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Sheba, our eighteen-year-old tabby literally rescued from an alley when she was a starving and malnourished kitten, is "off her feed" as of yesterday As you can tell from this photo taken a few years ago when she was spry enough to hop up to her blanket on the living-room radiator, Sheba is devoted to her food, so her not eating is a bad sign. Often with cats, loss of appetite is the only sign that something is wrong. Cats are masters at masking their ailments! For well over a year, Sheba has, on her own, confined herself to her mat on the floor. She has truly been The McGuffey Reader's "the cat on the mat." In her dotage, also referred to as cognitive dysfunction, Sheba has been more comfortable on her mat in front of the fireplace, whether the fire is burning or not.
This morning, I managed to coax Sheba into lapping up some tuna juice, but she wasn't much interested in eating the tuna itself. What's happening could be stomach upset or something more serious.
The Old Girl is still purring, but not very enthusiastically. And she's still licking my hand, but not as aggressively as usual. My husband and I will make the decision to have Sheba euthanized if she starts showing signs of suffering. For quite a while, she has had benign tumors all over her body; she may well have these tumors internally, in her digestive tract. We've known for some time that "the bad day" is coming, but the knowing doesn't make the day any easier.