Our cat is a Friday afternoon Job. Poor old Malteser, how is it possible to for one cat to have so many things wrong with him?
Our Cat Is A Friday Afternoon Job
What Is A Friday Afternoon Job?
A Friday afternoon job, as we say in the UK, also known as a Friday afternoon model, is a device or something that doesn’t work properly because it is said to have been put together on a Friday afternoon when the worker/engineer was tired and looking forward to the weekend.
For example, you buy a brand new car and it has lots of faults that need fixing. You might say that it is a Friday afternoon job or model.
In the context of this blog, I am referring to our cat Malteser who not only has a great many things wrong with him but also seems to come up with something new on a regular basis. The term is, of course, used with great affection.
An Abandoned Kitten
Malteser and his brother Giacomo and sister Lucy were abandoned outside our house 12 years ago as six week old kittens. Of course we took them in, as I outlined in my blog Three Kittens Were Abandoned. Malteser got his name because of his beautiful chocolate and beige and white markings. They reminded me of Maltesers chocolates and the name stuck.
All three of the kittens had cat flu (Feline Upper Respiratory Infection) and had to be treated at the vet clinic for quite a while. Malteser was left with a form of chronic rhinitis. Basically he has spent his whole life with a snotty nose caused by inflammation of his nasal mucous membranes. His sneezes are legend.
Malteser’s Health Issues
When Malteser was a year old he had a massive seizure, suddenly fell on the floor and thrashed around. At that time we hadn’t had the experience of a seizure, though that all changed of course with our cat Emmy who had epilepsy. Anyway, Malt came round but he was blind and deaf and terrified. He just kept screaming and lashing out – it was shocking. After half an hour he calmed down and his senses all returned. He had tests at the vet and a reason for the seizure was never found. And he never had another seizure thank goodness.
When Malteser was a few years old he disappeared for two weeks. He returned with an abscess the size of an egg on his side. We took him to the vet who lanced and cleaned the abscess and put him on a course of antibiotics. We were then lucky that it was quite a few years later that Malteser started to have serious health issues and incur larger and larger vet bills.
Malteser was quite healthy until 2018 when he was eight years old. He suffered a urinary blockage that nearly killed him. As I said in my blog Could Your Cat Suffer A Urinary Blockage:
This is a problem that male neutered cats suffer and it is rare to find it in a female cat. Urinary blockage occurs when the urethra becomes obstructed. The urethra is the tube through which urine passes out through the body. In male cats the urethra is long and narrow.
Luckily, our vet identified the problem and cleared the blockage, providing immediate relief to poor old Malteser. Malt was confined to a room for two weeks on special urinary food to help the crystals.
Still not convinced that our cat is a Friday afternoon job? Keep reading!
Ischemic Episode In Colon
While still recovering from the urinary blockage, Malteser had some sort of ischemic episode/stroke in his colon. He literally was unable to poop! For two weeks I massaged him and put things down his throat to encourage his colon to work. Every two days I took him to the vet for an enema to clear out his lower bowel.
Just when I thought he would never poop normally again he got into the dirt tray. And I have never been so glad to see a cat poop in my life! I had reached the point of wondering if it was even feasible to keep up the regime to try and encourage his colon to kick back into action. Luckily, he made a full recovery.
A few months after all of this, Malteser sounded a bit wheezy and I took him to the vet. He had managed to develop asthma! I have outlined our journey with this in my blog called How Do You Cope With A Cat With Asthma? So now we had to start a daily regimen of medication to support Malt’s asthma. To this day he still takes cortisone twice a day and a puff night and morning from an asthma inhaler. How do you give a cat a puff from an asthma inhaler? I tell you how we do that here.
In November 2019 we were told that Malteser’s kidneys were starting to fail. He had to immediately be put onto special renal food. The vet said we should keep him indoors at all times but that led to a big debate about his quality of life. We decided to let him continue to go outside but we would feed him the renal food. You can read the logic behind the decision in my blog Defining Quality Of Life For A Cat.
A year later, the vet was delighted to tell us that there was some improvement in Malt’s kidney function. And to carry on doing whatever we were doing.
Much to our utter surprise, and that of the vet, in August 2022 blood tests revealed that Malt’s kidneys were now functioning normally! Such good news! We still have to continue with the, rather expensive, renal food, though.
Are you starting to get the idea that our cat is a Friday afternoon job? If you still need convincing, here we go.
Teeth And Thyroid Problems
The same blood test in August 2022 that showed normal kidney function showed that Malt was now having trouble with his thyroid. This went with his symptoms of losing weight and wanting to eat everything in sight! I explained to the vet that he would be more than happy to lay on his back while I just poured food in continuously.
Teeth problems, a build up of plaque and an infection, meant he had to have surgery to have his teeth cleaned once antibiotics cleared up the infection. This is more an issue of old age than anything. Another blood test, when he had recovered, was a shock because it showed no sign of thyroid problems which the vet said was very starnge.
Cyst On The Pancreas
Malteser still had terrible bad breath – you have no idea how bad. In December 2022, when blood tests all came back fine, the vet did an ultrasound scan. She found a cyst on his pancreas. This was a concern because we didn’t know if it was a sign of more problems to come. The vet was concerned that it might develop into something more sinister. We arranged to go back after six weeks for another scan.
Sure enough, we went back on 1 February for another scan and this showed he had advanced intestinal lymphoma. At 13 years old, and with asthma and various other health problems, surgery was not an option for us. So his dose of prednisone for his asthma was increased to stave off the cancer as long as possible. But we were told we were looking at a matter of weeks. The vet said he wasn’t in pain but was likely to be feeling tired a lot of the time. Indeed, I had observed that if it was actually possible Malt was sleeping more than usual and seemed lacking in energy.
Malteser lived for three and a half weeks after the diagnosis and lived a full and happy life for that time. The day he died he was sunbathing outside with his mates. At 6pm one evening he suddenly started acting strangely and didn’t want to eat. He was restless and clearly in discomfort. He tried to use his litter box and was straining, producing nothing. We knew it was time. Luckily the vet saw him quickly and he was put to sleep being cuddled by me and Barnet Boy.
Friday Afternoon Job?
Calling Malteser a ‘friday afternoon job’ is very tongue in cheek, he was a much a much loved member of our family. But even the vet has been stunned by just how many different illnesses he managed to acquire during his lifetime. We used to joke about what he would come up with next. We were all so happy that his kidney problems had reversed! She had tears in her eyes when she told us about the lymphoma. And now he has gone. But he will live in our hearts forever.
Cat Photo Art For Sale
You can see my collection of cat photo art images for sale at my Art Heroes (Europe), Pictorem (USA and Canada) and RedBubble (worldwide) stores.
Before you go
My name is Dorothy Berry-Lound an artist and writer. You can find out more about my art and writing at https://dorothyberryloundart.com.
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Thank you for reading!
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