Tashi and Merlin Update

Tashi’s blood work came back today and he is doing better. His kidney values are just a little higher than normal, not super high like they were a few weeks ago. They are at a level that we can maintain. And since he is eating and not vomiting, and has gained half a pound this month, the doctor is optimistic.

Unfortunately Merlin’s labwork isn’t very good. The doctor told us he has end-stage kidney disease, so it is significantly worse than Tashi’s. But his appetite is good and he isn’t vomiting, which are obviously positive signs. Just this evening, he pulled Sprocket’s tuna dish out from under his nose. He is still bright-eyed and spunky, even though he doesn’t go around with his glitterballs anymore (though he was up until a couple months ago). He was first diagnosed with renal disease two years ago. He is about fourteen and a half.

For most of their lives, we have fed them super high-quality crunchies and prescription diet kidney crunchies. I guess that’s just not enough sometimes.

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44 Responses to Tashi and Merlin Update

  1. Purrs for your babies. We lost our Chuckles to renal failure, we really don’t know how old he was but we suspect 12+. Do you do sub-Q fluids? Chuck was a lot more comfortable having the extra fluid in his system. It is so hard watching kitties fail, I’m sending you a great big {{hug}}.

    • littlemiao says:

      Hugs for you for Chuckles. Merlin has been getting sub-Q fluids for two whole years – it has made all the difference in the world. Tashi just started. Our magnificent Ping (18 years old) also gets them.

      Thank you for the hugs.

  2. rumpydog says:

    I am sad to hear this. Regarding your comment about it not being enough, I’m betting it gave them a longer, better quality of life than they might otherwise have had. *hugs*

  3. Lurkertype says:

    Aw, poor Merp. But I’m glad he’s still eating everything and being cute. We lost our other kitty at just past 14, so you’re doing really well with all of yours, esp. King Ping. Being purebred probably doesn’t help MerPurr’s constitution, either. This should motivate you to take more pictures of the little owly cat, though.

    But such wonderful news about Prof. Tashi! I’m glad the treatment is working for him.

    ((hugs)) for everyone.

    • littlemiao says:

      thank you, LT. And MerPurr has had to deal with dental infection for a while because the vet says the dental procedure would probably be too risky for him.

      • My human had a cat with very mild kidney disease who passed away because of a dental procedure. It’s definitely better for Merlin to live with an achey tooth for a while. Is he on antibiotics?

      • Lurkertype says:

        That’s got to be hard on his kidneys too, filtering out all the yuck.

        Poor little powderpuff.

      • littlemiao says:

        Yes, he is on antibiotics.

        I knew abstractly that dental procedures could be risky for cats, but to hear about a case where the kitty passed away makes it so much more real. I need to start focusing on my miaolings’ dental health while they are young. There is some kind of tasty cheese enzyme marketed to keep cats and dogs’ teeth clean. I will have to get some. and maybe I could get them a kitty toothbrush.

        From my experience with the Miao Brothers, it is teeth and kidneys that are the major weaknesses.

        *hugs* to your human, Pedro. I am sorry she had to go through such a tragedy.

        • Thanks for the hug – I’ll pass it on when I’m done pretending to be mad at my human. šŸ˜‰ I think our greatest weakness is our egos – we’re too proud to let our humans know there’s something wrong. We try to look healthy and strong for so long that sometimes it’s too late to help us much by the time the problem becomes obvious…

          My vet recommended that she make a serious attempt at toothbrushing first. So maybe we can all learn how to do that together.

  4. Brown Suga' says:


  5. Oldcat says:

    It is hard to see a cat you’ve loved a long time fail – but you have to keep in mind you’ve already given them two to four times a normal cat lifespan. When Cassie was faltering herself the vet was saying that cat kidneys fail first because they have to super concentrate urine because of cats’ desert heritage.

    Sometimes it is better to live in the moment, like cats do.

  6. So sorry to hear that Merlin isn’t doing well, but glad that he’s still got enough spunk to steal from Sprocket. Try to focus on moments like that instead of looking too far into the future. šŸ™‚ Sending a head bump your way, Littlemiao.

  7. Lauri says:

    The Mer-cat has had the best life. I still have some glitter ball pictures saved so I can look at them.
    I’m glad he’s still eating and feeling pretty good.
    No matter what we feed them old age will creep up. But, because of the great care and food they have received I’ll bet it’s given them a lot of years that they may not have had in someone else’s home.
    Big HUGS!

  8. Thanks for the update on the boys. I’d say if Sprocket’s tuna bowl is still being stolen, that’s a good sign Merlin’s got some spunk! Speaking as a 12 year old cat, may I say that even though we start feeling the effects of age with health problems, etc., we never forget that without our humans taking such great care of us, we probably wouldn’t have had such long lives. It’s about quality of life…..and love. That we hang onto with paws and claws!

    Kitty Hugs

  9. amelie says:

    So sorry to hear about Merlin! He is lucky to have such a caring guardian though, I wonder if Dr. hodgkins (she’s my cat nutrition guru) has any recommendations for kidney failure. Maybe switching to wet food only?

    Ps are you on Goodreads? I saw your book stack post and I considered starting a book swap.

    • littlemiao says:

      Thank you! I will look for Dr. Hodgkins’ information. I want to make sure I feed my Miaolings right so their kidneys stay healthy. I give them a mixture of grain-free crunchies and canned food, but I suspect that a raw diet is optimal.

      Yes, I am on Goodreads. There is a little widget in the sidebar leads you to my kitten reading list, and my other books I miss Goodread’s official bookswap and I’d definitely be interested in participating in a book swap. The other site I’m using isn’t very active and generally they don’t have many books I’m interested in.

  10. Dianda says:

    Merlin is fourteen years old? That’s quite the age!
    So sad to hear he is not doing well. I hope things will turn out well for him in the future. I’ll send healthy thoughts your way.

  11. amelie says:

    Cool. Can I add you to my friend list? If I started a book swap I would probably announce it on WP as it’s where I do most of my chatting.

    Here is the Hodgkins book, Ives has IBD and borderline cancer, but I swear her book saved his life. I do not do raw but I cook him duck very rare and we are picky about the wet food we feed him.


    • littlemiao says:

      yes, please add me on GR!

      Thank you for the information. I will definitely get that book. It is really inspiring that Ives has been helped so much by that diet. I would learn how to cook meat for the sake of my miaolings and miao brothers.

  12. *hug*
    All kittehs are spoiled (as they should be) when they enter the Miao House. You can only do your best, which you have done. I’m glad both of them are bright-eyed and hungry. Hug them for me!

  13. My cat’s vet said that most cats she saw in her practice developed renal failure after 14 years, no matter how carefully the owners monitored their health. It sounds like you’ve done everything you can to give them an optimal life, so just continue with that and make them happy. That’s all we can do for them in the end. They’re sprites who’ve chosen to live with us for a limited time, and we were born to serve them. ((Hugs)) for all of you.

    • littlemiao says:

      The miao brothers (and -lings) agree that we are here to serve them. šŸ™‚

      I feel kind of helpless with Merlin, but it is something that has developed over the course of years and he has adjusted and we have adjusted too. I know it is serious but he is acting the same so maybe it hasn’t fully sunk in yet, for me or him. When the BUN value is high (and his is super-high) you are supposed to feel nauseous but he comes for meals and I rarely see him vomit. Merlin has always been a very independent, feisty, stubborn little kitty and that hasn’t changed.

      Prince Tweets got sick so suddenly (though he did have pre-existing kidney issues form an infection). It’s kind of worrisome that Tashi’s kidney issues developed just in the months after his brother was gone. But he is also about 14.

  14. jimmie chew says:

    sorry to hear the bad news, I hope he is cumfy and not in pain, I know you are take’n very good care of him, and I am sure sprocket doesnt mind share’n food.

  15. snoringKatZ says:

    If love could heal them, they’d be well forever. mmmWAH to the Miaos, both furry and not.

Miao & Purr!

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