Friday ended up being kind of a screwed-up day for me when the other two members of the household came down with various ailments and I had to do that thing we Moms do best - take care of them both.
Upon my returning home from work Thursday night around 11:15, Amanda greeted me with the words "Feel my forehead". Sure enough, she was pretty warm to the touch and was also complaining of a sore throat and headache. Advil Cold & Sinus was administered and it was discussed whether she should go to school in the morning or not. The final decision was left up in the air depending on how she felt at 6:00 a.m.
In the meantime, Tesla was looking and sounding decidely lousy with some wheezing, a runny nose, and a major case of lethargy. Amanda said he'd been basically laying around all day and had only eaten a little bit around 6:00. Not knowing much about overall cat health, I sought advice via Yahoo! Instant Messenger from Not The Mama (aka Mo) as he's the closest thing to a WebVet I know! Mo said it sounded like Tesla had a cold and perhaps I could try giving him some ground up Lysine in his kibble or wet food. Apparently the Lysine helps cats' glands to open up and is the equivalent of we humans popping extra Vitamin C when we get a cold.
Not having any Lysine in the house I threw my coat back again and drove over to the 24-hour Walgreen's to get some. I ground it up as instructed, mixed some of it in with a bit of Fancy Feast Salmon, and set it in front of Tesla who just stood there and looked at the dish totally indifferent to the succulent salmon smell. He looked pathetically at the food, over at me, down at his water, back over at me, and then just stood there looking forlorn and a bit wobbly. At that point Amanda scooped the little guy up and took him off to her room where both sickly ones crawled into bed for the night.
Around 6:00 a.m. Friday morning Amanda poked her head into my room where I wasn't able to detect any more trace of fever but she said that her throat still felt like it was on fire and she felt congested. It was only a half day at school - mostly taken up by a pep rally that Amanda had no desire to go to anyway - so I told her to go back to bed while I placed a call to the Admissions Secretary all the while mumbling about Amanda having her father's sickly disposition. Shortly after that, I fell back to sleep as getting up at 6:00 a.m. on my day off is very, very rarely on the agenda!
Several hours later I got up and poked my head into Amanda's room to see how she and Tesla were doing. Tesla poked his head up from behind Amanda's head and gave me that patented "I'm sick, Mom" look that kids are so good at. Oy. It was time to call the vet.
After I explained to the receptionist what was going on she said they had an opening in about half an hour so I told Amanda to get dressed, get Tesla in his carrier, and off we went to the Animal Hospital just up the road a bit where we walked into a lobby full of dogs - big, drooly, noisy, fur-shedding dogs that caused my throat to narrow, my nose to run, and my eyes to itch. Oh swell. For his part, Tesla sat quietly in his carrier and shook like the proverbial leaf in a high wind.
Luckily we didn't have to wait long before we were shown into an examination room where Tesla was taken out of his carrier, placed on the scale to weigh in at a whooping 7.75 pounds, and then just forlornly sat there on the scale looking around and not moving. I guess I can't say that I blame him - I don't think I would have been moving either at that point! When the vet came in she gave him a thorough going-over before diagnosing him with a classic upper respiratory infection probably brought on by the stress of being in a shelter and then being in a new home and trying to make all the adjustments. She said it's very common with cats that have come from shelters to get these infections but the good thing was his heart and lungs sounded good and she didn't think it was anything more serious. We were sent home with antibiotics that Tesla gets twice a day until gone, a couple special cans of cat food, instructions to bring him back if he didn't seem better in 24 hours, and a lower balance in my checking account.
Shortly after we got home I was happy to see Tesla munching away on some kibble (which I had mixed the other half of the Lycine tablet in) and then he climbed up to take a nap. His wheezing already seemed better so I took that as a good sign that he'd be feeling fine pretty soon.
As I left the house I grabbed my camera on the off-chance that I had the opportunity to take some pictures on what was shaping up to be a beautiful day but I ended up just spending the afternoon visiting with my Mom instead - a much better use of my time I think. When I got home Amanda said she was feeling a lot better and reported that Tesla had managed to eat a bit again but had otherwise spent most of the day sleeping. I think perhaps he has the convalescing thing down to a science!
We gave Tesla round two of his antibiotics in the evening so I'm hoping that once he gets a couple more doses down his throat today that he'll have made a marked improvement and it won't be back to the vet anytime soon. I'm hoping the other sickly one gets past her ailments soon, too. If not, she's got until Wednesday to recover as she's out of school until then for the President's Day break.
In the meantime, perhaps I should start popping some Lysine and Vitamin C myself - just in case!