Puckett is most definitely a force to be reckoned with. She has outsmarted me and I have this uncomfortable feeling that she has done this before at least once and I seem to fall for it every time.
When I got home from Colorado, I knew Puckett wasn't herself and I attributed it to her being angry with me for leaving. Then she seemed to get steadily worse. She has sulked in the past in response to me leaving her, but never this long and by the middle of the week she stopped eating completely, wouldn't drink, didn't use the litter box, and spent most of her time facing the wall and ignoring everyone. I know Puckett well enough to know when she's off and boy, had she been off. She's not a huge eater, but she is consistent in eating. She eats a few times a day, a few pieces at a time, and then she will consume water at camel proportions because she only drinks once a day. She also uses the box like clockwork. Last Tuesday there was none of that. Just a very lethargic cat facing the wall and showing no interest in anything. At one point she did come upstairs and did her "Feed me, I'm starving" dance, but as soon as I put food down, she sniffed it and turned away. She refused all food, hers, Percy's, the canned food that I thought smelled better than some entrees I've ordered at restaurants (this is grain-free Candidae in various delicious flavors, like rabbit, because if I can't eat gluten, neither can my pets). Puckett even refused her Greenies treats which she never does. I also attempted Lysine supplements to help her immune system and she barely glanced at those.
Meanwhile Willow went to town on the canned food and Percy went to town on the Greenies. No appetite issues there. One would think those two would be fat as pigs, but they aren't. One would also think I never feed them. They eat more than Puckett, she gains all the weight, and they stay slim and trim, proving that the unfairness of weight gain is as much alive in cats as humans.
This morning it was the same deal. I fed all three cats and Puckett acted like she was hungry, but as soon as I put her bowl down she turned her nose up and walked away. I am one of those people who Internet-scares herself so all the webpages I read on cats not eating convinced me that a trip to the vet was in order. The webpages scream if the cat doesn't eat for 24 hours there could be SOMETHING SERIOUSLY WRONG! BRING YOUR CAT TO THE VET IMMEDIATELY TO AVOID LIVER FAILURE AND BEING BRANDED AS THE WORLD'S WORST PET OWNER! I was doubly worried as my best friend had just lost her cat the same week and that whole fiasco started the exact same way - with a cat refusing to eat or drink and a complete personality change.
Puckett ended up at the vet for the whole day. I had them examine her, run a whole panel of blood tests, and check all of her vitals and levels. Everything checked out. Everything was normal. The only thing that was concerning was the fact that instead of losing weight from not having eaten in a couple of days, she'd actually gained a few ounces. Considering she's been moping around like a cat on the brink of a serious illness to say nothing of the skipped meals, I was beside myself with confusion.
We always get hyper-aware of our own pets when a dear friend has just lost her precious pet. The fact that Puckett's mysterious illness came on the heels of Breyer's passing really freaked me out.
I even had the vet run a feline leukemia and feline immunodeficiancy virus test. Both came back negative.
A hundred and ten dollars later I'm left asking myself, "What the heck is wrong with this cat?"
The answer? She's a hypochondriac. And she's kind of an asshole. I picked her up after work and took her home where she immediately went into her starving kitty dance, and this time with no lethargy. I fed all three cats and once again Puckett refused everything. All three bowls, her food, Percy's food, the canned food. She continued to dance around and chirp her "feed me" demands. I finally took some of her food - the stuff she's been eating for years, the stuff she's been turning her nose up for the last two days - and put it on one of my coffee cup saucers. My elegant white Nespresso saucer to be exact.
She started eating. She cleared the whole plate. Then she went downstairs and used the litter box.
Are you kidding me right now?
The rest of the evening she behaved like her old self. She even sprawled in the middle of the kitchen floor and watched me do dishes with those unblinking eyes almost like she was demonstrating how pleased she was for what she put me through. She went along her usual nightly business just as though the last few days had never happened. She even drank her usual gallon of water.
I'm at a loss. I mean, I can't even right now.
Well played, Puckett. Well played.
Puckett - 1; Human - 0