I was originally preparing this post to be a celebration of our older cat turning 18 years old, but the world has turned upside down over-night in a way that makes a leaky roof not even important.
Hamper had a stroke. He is alive and will hopefully recover, but things are pretty unsure right now.
I heard a noise from the living-room right as I was falling asleep and knew it wasn't a normal noise. My beloved "Big-Ol-Meow" had vomited and was unable to stand. After getting him cleaned up he tried to walk, but his left side just didn't respond in the way he was trying to move.
He was aware of what was going on, but groggy, and after settling him in his cat bed in the dining room with me laying close by on a little futon mattress, he even drank a little water. I stayed up with him all night, mostly just petting him, but also offering water whenever he would take it and cleaning him when he could not get up to go pee. Thank heavens we have two washable cat beds so that we can keep him comfortable while one is being washed.
Today he has drunk water several times, and is eating every time I offer him a teaspoon of wet food. From researching cat strokes, I learned that eating is probably the best sign for a good recovery, so I am hopeful. On the other hand, he is unable to stand or walk without help and I am just making best guesses as to whether he wants food and water or a trip to the litter box... or just to adjust how he is laying, each time he struggles to stand.
He is not in any pain, but I can tell how frustrated he is that his own body won't do what he tells it to.
Hubby and I are both ready to pack him up to visit the vet but since the actual stroke is over and he is eating, there is little to suggest they could do anything to help. And even that would not stop us from going, but Hamper hates the vet. Not just hate as in "doesn't like", but hate as in "physically and mentally traumatized" by a visit to the vet. I honestly believe that the trip not only could, but probably would, do him more harm than good in his current state. So unless things fail to improved over the next day or two, he will stay home with my constant care. Of course, that is subject to change, and I am monitoring him as closely as possible.
I have spent today researching online and editing posts one-handed because the other hand rightly belongs to Hamper. So for the next several days or more I will be camped out next to his bed. Heaven knows he has camped out with me any time I haven't felt well.
Please send all your well wishes his way. He has been my baby and best friend for 18 years... and hopefully many more.