I have just returned home for the season after my classes, though came to an unwelcome surprise. Harriet, my eldest cat (19 years, a Maine Coon) has taken ill. Until now she has, despite her age, been an active and playful cat, enjoying to go outside and to cuddle with humans. My parents report that last Thursday she returned from outside as though she had fallen into oil; her coat was full with grease, and she had suddenly become much more lethargic. She still eats and drinks, though seems to prefer milk to water, and can use the litter box. She can walk, though she often will rapidly shake or twitch an individual leg as though trying to shake off water. We often carry her to her food or the litter box for her. She sleeps much more than is usual for her, and takes smaller breaths than befroe. My parents, after returning from a week-end where they needed be away from home for sundry purposes, had given Harriet a bath which she had not enjoyed when they returned, and removed much of the oil or whatever secretion there was, though there is still some left, and she is still unwell. This is bizarre, and naturally I am deeply concerned for my elder 'kitten.' Would any kind Voater know how I may either help treat her or at least comfort her?
Harriet never liked photographs, and I do not wish to disturb her now, though here is a picture of her from within the month, before this happened. My parents also have this of her to-day.