Boo Boo was rescued by his papa John in the Spring of 1989 age unknown. He and his beautiful blue-eyed sister Tasha lived with a junkie who neglected them to the point of abuse. When he came to live with John, he was in very bad shape:( But with lots of TLC, he blossomed and grew to become a handsome playful fluffy kitty.
In April of 1989, I saw Boo at his dad's place. There he was, sitting on the coffee table posing for me. As soon as I sat down, he jumped on the couch beside me and started purring. He had the neatest loudest, most amazing rumbling purr I have ever heard.
I had never even touched a cat, let alone pet one before I met Booey. It was truly love at first sight for both of us. He picked me to be his mama, and I fell head over heels in love with him. Since then, I have become a cat fanatic. Boo Boo and I had many happy years together (though not enough, of course), and for that I will be eternally grateful.
In April of 1997, Boo was diagnosed with Chronic Renal Failure (CRF) and Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy (HCM). I was devastated when the vet gave me the grim diagnosis. She said this was the worst possible combination because he had fluid around the lungs/heart area so anything that took fluid away from there, would do the same to the kidneys, which were already working overtime and needed fluids. I took him to a specialist who performed an ultrasound, confirmed HCM, and told me to give Boo Cardizem and Lasix. He told me that nothing could be done for the kidneys or the heart at that point. He was given 2-3 weeks to live, max.
I read every little piece of information I could get on CRF and HCM focusing on natural alternatives for treating them. I took him off Lasix around day 3 and never did give him the Cardizem. Instead I started him a gentle natural regimen on day 4, which he stayed on pretty much till he passed away on Dec 11, 1998, in his sleep of a heart attack.
I hope this gives people who are dealing with both these diseases hope because neither of these diseases is a death sentence. Certainly if Boo who alas was not a raw-fed cat until it was too late, could enjoy a good quality of life for 20 months after he was diagnosed with two serious diseases, so can other kitties. Think positive, and don't give up hope.
I will add that Boo Boo never had a great appetite, he just was never a chow kitty. So what little appetite he had went away, and sadly never came back. We sensed he was going to starve himself to death if we didn't intervene. So we started assist-feeding (AF) him.
He was a real champ and gamely put up with it. John and I know had we not been able to do that, he wouldn't have been with us long past his diagnosis. Please do try AF even if you think your cat won't accept it. Read our account of Boo and AF here. Get Falconer's gloves, buy a kevlar suit, or look into a feeding tube; do what you have to:)
Boo got 3 doses of an acute homeopathic remedy (based on his symptoms) when he was first diagnosed. His symptoms (pulmonary edema, no appetite, and lack of energy among other things) all resolved with the remedy and Dandelion Leaf tea. After that he got a dose of his constitutional remedy as needed.
That as well as his supplement regimen which included Taurine, L-Carnitine, Co-Q-10, Fish oil, Rehmannia 6 or Six Flavor Tea pills, Potassium Gluconate/Tumil-K (he had low potassium), and other herbs/supplements in rotation kept him symptom-free until his last few minutes on this earthly plane.
The night he died, I came home late from teaching a class, and we cuddled and played till pretty early in the morning. I am so glad I treated each day as if it could be the last together, and told him I loved him more than anything in the world.
When I awoke at 8 a.m. and looked over at his basket, he was lying in it with his eyes closed and a very peaceful look on his face as if he was sleeping soundly. I was used to checking his heartbeat and respiration, so I was always attuned to the way his body moved with each breath. I knew right away something was wrong, and sure enough he was gone.
I'll end with a cute story - one of the most healing moments came a few minutes after I discovered Booey had died in his sleep. As I was still taking it all in, I feel this tug on my jammies and a certain monkey cat named Pigpen tapping her paws at me as if to say "Cry on your own time, lady. It's breakfast time for the rest of us, so chop chop". I laughed through my tears and was so glad I had a bratty monkey to help me get through such a tough time.
Cats are so amazing and adorable. Honestly without the other kitties to comfort me, wipe away my tears, and shower me with love, I don't how I could have kept going. Oh, and bucketfuls of flower essences helped a lot too.
Note: Since homeopathy should be tailored to the individual cat, I didn't mention either of Booey's remedies. Please consult someone who knows what they're doing, ahem I was born with homeopathy training in the womb
For more information on homeopathy and cats, read the Homeopathy article in our "Healthy" section.