I got the call from my son Friday afternoon.  He was very concerned about one of our cats.  She was inside our living room and constantly meowing, her back legs could not support her, she was standing in her water bowl, her breathing was labored, and she was not responding to any visual cues.

We have several cats and the one in question appeared to be Lilly.  But, this seemed very strange. Lilly is an outdoor cat who spends most of her time at the neighbor's house. In fact, she had not visited us in a couple of months.  So, how could this be Lilly?

One of our other cats is named Rosary.  She looks like Lilly, but Rosary is about 4-5 pounds lighter, and this cat that appeared to be on death's door was the size of Lilly.  After some closer evaluation, we determined the sick cat was Rosary.  Whatever was causing her issues had also caused her entire head and much of her body to be quite swollen.

I directed my son to try and find a vet that would see her on short notice.  A big thank you to Dr. Brian Hafernick at Pineywoods Veterinary Clinic for seeing her.  X-rays were taken and blood work was done, but none of the results pointed to an issue. Internally, everything about Rosary seemed rather normal, but outwardly, she seemed to be on her last legs.

Dr. Hafernick kept Rosary through the weekend for observation and medication. Slowly, she started to regain some of her normalcy.  On Saturday, her vision seemed to gradually return.  Sunday, she started eating again and some strength returned to her back legs. We were allowed to bring her back to the house on Monday afternoon.

During the past few days, here are some observations about our cat:

  • The strength in her back legs keeps getting better.  She seems to be walking fine, but will still not attempt to jump onto chairs and perches.
  • She is eating and drinking well
  • She seems to be much more skittish.  Any semi-sudden movement causes a major reaction.
  • Found her on one occasion standing with two front paws in her water bowl.  That's strange behavior, even for her.
  • We looked extensively but never found any puncture wounds or blood on her.  We did find a dead scorpion under the living room couch. She does like to play with, and subsequently kill things like geckos and tree frogs, so taking a scorpion into her mouth doesn't seem like a far stretch.

Would several stings around the head or in the mouth cause some of these reactions?  If scorpion venom is the culprit, will she have lingering issues?

Well, first and foremost, we are glad Rosary is alive and is doing much better than she was less than a week ago.  I doubt we will ever be 100% certain of what caused her to go from normal to severely ill in just a few hours.

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