Think of Me, Think of Me, Sushi

Bizarre post title, right? I don’t often get personal on the blog (there are many more exciting, writing-related things to talk about!) but I could really use some cheering up this morning. Almost exactly a week ago, my cat Sushi (whose name I love to insert into popular lyrics, as you can see, above) got sick with an infection and stopped eating. She’s an older kitty — maybe 14, though I don’t know for sure because I adopted her — and some health problems are par for the course, but she got sick so suddenly that I’m really having a hard time coming to grips with it. I’m just not ready to lose her, less than a year after I lost my other kitty, Smokey.

She’s been to the vet and has quite a collection of medicines that I’m hoping will make her comfortable and heal her right up, but I don’t know if it’s looking good. She still hasn’t eaten on her own and the longer that lasts, the less chance of recovery. In lieu of a blog post today — I doubt I’d have anything intelligent to say, as my thoughts are elsewhere — I want to ask for some good energy and some well-wishes for my beloved Sushi, seen here.

photo

70 Replies to “Think of Me, Think of Me, Sushi”

  1. Mary, so sorry to hear about Sushi and your recent loss of Smokey. Our dear family cat, Keeta, is suffering from kidney failure and there isn’t much we can do at this stage. Watching a loved family member suffer isn’t easy. I hope Sushi regains the desire to eat and to get better. Good thoughts for you and your beloved feline friend.

  2. What a sweet kitty. I’m sorry. It really surprised me when I was a teenager how attached you get to cats, or any animals. I grew up on a farm, so you would think I would be more understanding when, later in life, I accidentally let the family cat out and forgot to let him back in and he ran away. My little sister was soooo upset and angry with me. Of course I felt really bad, but there was nothing we could do. Finally, he did find his way back (he was still relatively new to us, so we weren’t sure he could find his way). Then, several years later (probably the age your cat is) he started having really bad health problems. Poor guy. My sister had to make the hard decision to put him down. I think she had a really tough day, cried, and then got over it. It was easier for her to know that he wasn’t in pain anymore instead of seeing him constantly suffer. Still, not easy. I still think I see him out of the corner of my eye when I visit. He was such a big part of the family.

    Anyway, hope you get feeling better.

  3. I’m sending you and Sushi healing thoughts. She’s lucky she has a comfortable home and a good mom to see her through this. I hope she’s pushy for wet food soon. 🙂

  4. Definite healing and positive vibes coming your way, Mary. I hope Sushi makes a speedy recovery and that you’re both enjoying a good cuddle together. She’s so lucky to have such a caring owner/mommy.

  5. Though I’m more of a dog person than cat lover, your picture of Sushi made me smile. Pets become such an important part of our lives and it’s heartbreaking to see them sick or suffering. I’ll be thinking of you and your sweet Sushi this weekend.

  6. Mary-

    I’m sending good thoughts your way for Sushi. I’ve lost several cats in my life and it’s never easy. Luckily, all the great years we get before the inevitable make it all worth it.

    I assume they’ve given her the high taste cat food (I think it’s called Science Diet AD?) it’s supposed to stimulate the appetite. When my cat had cancer, he really loved it.

    Also, I don’t know if the kidneys are involved, but for older cats they are often the culprit. I read somewhere that giving subcutaneous hydration can help for a while. It allows the body to absorb more water than a cat would be able to injest just by drinking.

    Anyway, good luck and thanks for sharing so we can all offer our support.

  7. Melissa — She’s got cans and cans of A/D and her kidneys *are* bad because of old age, but this is an acute infection on top of that. I gave subcutaneous fluids to my other cat, Smokey, and we both ended up resenting each other so much (even when I hired someone to come and administer the fluids) that I can’t do that to Sushi. All of my decisions for her involve quality of life issues, and the fluids are a really tough call. Besides, she doesn’t have a lot of loose skin so it’s really hard to stick her well. Most of the fluids end up squirting out shortly afterward. Oy. I love adopting older animals at the shelter, since their odds are steeper, but it’s so hard to bond with them only to have their health decline!

  8. We have two black cats that look just like Sushi so my heart goes out to you.

    Sending healing thoughts her way. I hope that she feels better soon.

    Take care both.

  9. Hi Mary,

    You probably know all this already, but I used to volunteer at a shelter so I picked up a few tricks. Cats are less inclined to eat food if they can’t smell it, so if your cat has any kind of a respiratory infection, you could try heating the A/D a little in the microwave to release the scent. You could also dilute it with water and use a syringe to squirt just a tiny bit into her mouth while she snuggles on your lap.

    My heart goes out to you. Adopting older pets is hard, but bless you for doing it.

    Best wishes and many good thoughts,

    Martina

  10. Mary,

    Thank you for sharing this part of your personal life with us. We were faced with a similar situation a few months ago with our dog. It ended up being a quality of life choice. It’s especially difficult since animals can’t tell us how they feel or what they want. It’s left to us to weigh the options and decide what would be best for them. It puts a lot of weight on our shoulders.

    I’m praying you’ll know what to do for Sushi at this time and sending good thoughts that she’ll eat on her own so you won’t have to make a tough decision.

  11. Sorry, Mary. Sending good thoughts your way!

    My best friend adopted two older cats and I used to take care of them when she traveled. I had to give one of them radiation pills for cancer. It was sooo emotionally hard. I just felt awful because she (Fang) didn’t understand what was happening.

    I think you are right to consider quality of life. It’s a tough, tough thing. ((Hugs))

  12. Aw. I’m so sorry to hear this, Mary. I hope Sushi recovers soon.

    It’s hard to deal with losing our fuzzy babies. My Buddy is dying of liver cancer – eventually. Seems he wants to outlive expectations first.

  13. Oh dear! I am sending good healthy-kitty thoughts your way. Here’s to hoping Sushi has a quick and thorough recovery. We’re all rooting for you!

  14. What a sweet looking cat with an awesome name. You can hear in your writing how much Sushi is loved. I bet she’s glad she has such a good friend to stand by her and comfort her while she’s not feeling well.

    I’m praying and I will keep it up. I hope that even though it’s a tough time, you both get extra helpings of joy and love and especially peace for your hurting heart.

    Julie Hall- I love that quote.

  15. Sushi, I’d send you a smoked trout from Rouen if I could, but instead I’ll project all my good wished for your speedy recovery. I’m a cat person, so my good wishes are better than the average.

  16. I am so sorry about Sushi. I lost my golden retriever, Cassidy, a year ago under similar conditions. He just stopped eating. He fetched balls though until the end and I was glad for him. I’d rather leave this world still able to do what I love.

  17. Sushi looks a lot like my Caterina, though “Bit-a” had some white on the face. Two and a half years ago she passed, and I still grieve. I believe we bond with some animals, just like some people, more intensely than others, and this was so of my “bit-a.” I had many names for her, as well, and made up songs for her. (me?) It is painful to watch an animal decline since they don’t understand and we can’t tell them.
    My thoughts are with you and Sushi–And remember, they have nine lives. She’ll probably pop right back and surprise you in the best possible way.

  18. Mary, thanks for sharing. Family (and pets are definitely family) always comes first! I think you’ll always be glad you gave your time and attention to Sushi when she needed you most.

    If it helps, we had a similar experience with our 19-year-old cat, and our vet friend advised us to give her baby food (e.g. chicken and rice). Sure enough, she ate the baby food for quite a few happy, healthy months before fading away peacefully one night.

    I’m sending lots of positive energy your way, for both you and Sushi.

  19. Hey Mary,

    Sending positive thoughts your way. I can tell by your comments that you’ll do whatever is best for Sushi, even if that means putting your own hopes aside. Quality of life really is the key.

    I’ve had 10 dogs and cats (all but one were rescues) and none of them ever had the “courtesy” to live forever. I try to focus on the good times and the good home I was able to give them and not on the sadness of the last few weeks or months.

    JR

  20. Sending virtual rainbows, butterflies, waterfalls, spring blossoms, large fluffy blankets, hot chocolate, sparkly stars, cookies and everything else lovely and heart-lifting to you, Mary, and Sushi!

    (Apologies to anyone who finds my comment too over-the-top saccharine but I figure this is an occasion where a little sweetness is needed!)

  21. Comiserations for your cat. But Congrats on making the Reader’s Digest best blogs list and the spotlight for best agent blogs from Guide to Literary Agents. You’re one of my favorites.

  22. Hi Mary,

    I’m so sorry to hear about Sushi not feeling well. I’m a huge cat lover and Sushi looks just like our cat Molly, only she was dark gray. We lost her about two years ago due to an unknown illness where she also stopped eating. She was ten years old.

    I will keep you and Sushi in my prayers this weekend and hope to hear that she perks up and begins eating again.

  23. I lost my right-hand girl in January and still mourn her regularly. My thoughts are with you and hope whatever the outcome, it’s the best for her.

  24. Mary, I feel for what you are going through. I have had cats almost all of my life. We hand raised two orphaned seven-day-old kittens in 1990. It wasn’t long before I knew one of them was the once in a lifetime cat for me. Have you ever had a pet that trusted you completely, and would do things for you that no other pet had done?

    We had to put him down on Sept. 6, 2006. Even though I know we did the right thing, I still cry over losing him.

    Your Sushi is beautiful. You are in my thoughts. I hope Sushi finds her appetite soon.

  25. I’m relatively new to this blog but I have found it incredibly insightful and helpful to the beginning writer. Thank you, Mary, for all that you do. As you like to put Sushi’s name into songs, here’s one that I hope lifts your spirit:

    I see trees of green, red roses too
    I see them bloom, for me and you
    And I think to myself
    What a wonderful Sushi…

  26. Oh Mary 🙁

    One of my kitties spent a few days in the ER last month and everyone I know thought I was crazy to shell out so much cash for an animal. They just don’t get it, do they?

    Here’s hoping your sweet baby is comfortable and on the road to recovery. Keep us posted!

  27. I’m a cat person myself and my cat Ozzie and I send all the best to Sushi. May all be well soon for you and Sushi.

    Ev

  28. I’m an every animal person. Hang in there, I really hope Sushi gets well. 14 isn’t that old for a cat anymore. We’ve had cat’s that lived to be 21 and beyond. And just ignore any of those people who don’t get how you would be so upset over a cat. Our pets become a part of our family, you have every cause to be concerned. Here are more wishes that she pulls through.

  29. Mary: I am thinking good thoughts for Sushi. I love animals, and have lost a couple along the way, so I know what you’re going through. They are such precious souls. Hang in there and I hope Sushi bounces back.

    Laurie

  30. Hi Mary.

    I hope Sushi is feeling better since your post. I understand what you’re going through, as I found out a few months ago that my cat has a rare form of cancer. Seeing our babies in pain is brutal!

    Oddly enough, when Mylan won’t eat regular food…or even drink water…the only thing that makes him eat is TUNA! But here’s the thing, it has to be regular tuna (not chunck white albocore)…and you need to mash it up. Also, be sure to put tuna juice on it when you give it to him, and add a little water to it. My cat LOVES tuna water. Gross, I know…but it’s the only thing that works. You should give it a try.

    Hope Sushi is doing better.

    :O)

  31. When my 18 year old cat showed the same signs as Sushi, this past Winter, I also began offering Salmon, Sardine and Tuna juices from the can (and very tiny bits of the fish broken up in the bowl. Also very low sodium chicken broth seemed to be popular, you can give that a try (he seemed to really like Campbells Free Range Organic best… fussy cat!:)
    He still struggled with the fish bits to get them down but drank enough of the liquids.
    It’s so hard. Just when you think it’s the end, they perk up and recover, other times….. there is just nothing to be done but love them and make sure they are still enjoying their life.
    We suspected a growth either in the throat or stomach was to blame but at his age, there was no point in going to a vet and putting him through tests. When he got to the stage of not even wanting to move, I had to do the right thing by him.
    It’s so very, very hard when a beloved pet is nearing the end of their lives. I wish you strength and Sushi a speedy recovery.

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