Poor Old Batty.
I will not contest that she is by far our smartest and most complex cat. She is particularly devious when it comes to getting what she wants, like mooching food or running outside. My roommate dotes on Batty, more than the other three cats combined, and I make up for it by giving the other three the attention my roommate gives solely to Batty.
But anyway, Batty is a true Layman: A candle the burns the brightest, which also burns the briefest. We've known for a while she has elevated kidney levels, and the vet has told us "she has the kidneys of a cat five years older than she is." (We got Batty in 1997, making her ten years old this week.) Batty also has high blood pressure, which may have something to do with her bad kidneys. It's just strictly genetic, the bum-luck of the draw.
Some time last spring, or summr, Batty started crying at night, and early in the morning. Howling, like wolves are supposed to bay at the moon. It was always as we went to bed, and then at sun-up (which, in Seattle in the summer, is something like 5 a.m. We literally tried everything to get her to shut up, changing food, and leaving on lights and TVs... my roommate even resorted to making homecooked kitty food, convinced from some crackpot book that storebought pet food is too unhealthly. Nothing worked.
We took her to a different vet, which is where we got more information on her blood pressure and kidneys. The vet told us that these factors can actually cause dementia. Now, I've already got a father suffering from Alzheimers, and about once a month or every couple weeks I get a alternating panicked or comical call from my mom about what crazy shit he's doing now. Turns out that Batty is having the kitty equivalent of Alzheimers, which kinda explained why she just got manic once in a while, chewing up Netflix envelopes and having to have running bathwater and... crying like crazy at night.
We've tried everything. Batty has a pretty good personality, when she isn't acting crazy, and the last thing we wanted to do was turn her into a zombie. We started giving her blood pressure medicine, but that didn't really help. And, finally, after what felt like the millionth time of her waking my ass up a dawn's first light with incessant yowling, we turned to prozac. She didn't like pills, so we had an option of having the pills ground up in fish oil, and then you squirt it into her mouth with an eyedropper. She hated that, and she ended up looking all greasy and mangy, because of licking herself afterwards.
So we've switched back to pills, and the prozac is clearly working. No more crying, or it is very rare and brief now, and Batty is clearly more relaxed and less prone to weird psycho fits. So it worked, I guess.
•A GREAT freakin' movie
•J.L.G.S.-- what it is, what you can do with it, and how it may save your life.