I no longer remember exactly how long it was from the time we adopted Lily to the time I knew something was wrong with her, but I’m in the ballpark when I say it was about five months later. There had actually been several signs from Lily that I saw but didn’t understand, so I didn’t seek help as soon as I could have.
Would it have made a difference if I had caught her stomatitis sooner than I did? I honestly don’t know, but I do feel terrible that I didn’t seek help sooner. In fairness to me, though, I wasn’t ignoring the signs. I simply didn’t understand them. The day I knew something was wrong I made an appointment with our vet. But, I still feel awful that Lily suffered because of my ignorance.
When we first brought Lily home she overwhelmed us with her energy. Lily was the most active cat I’ve ever had! She just never seemed to run out of energy and she frustrated our other cats because she wanted to play all the time.
We used to joke that she was our ADD kitty. Lily was a very sweet and loving cat, but she wouldn’t stop long enough to give us more than maybe 30 seconds of love. Lily would literally jump up on my lap, snuggle down and purr, then 30 seconds later something would capture her attention and she would be off pursuing it.
About five months later, when she was approximately one year old, she snuggled into my lap for my 30 seconds of attention. By then, she might actually extend her snuggle time to about two minutes. During this time I noticed that she had horrible bad breath. Cats are known for having bad breath, but this was something else. It was like she was rotting from the inside out and what I smelled was death.
I knew immediately that there was a problem because she was a good two feet from my nose when I noticed the horrible smell. Typical bad cat breath would never be noticeable from two feet away. Right then and there I called our vet and scheduled an appointment for Lily.
As you know, Lily has stomatitis, and it was at this visit to the vet that I learned about this disease for the first time. As soon as my vet explained stomatitis to me, several things clicked in my mind and I realized that Lily had shown me symptoms, prior to the bad breath, that I completely missed. I will write about the missed symptoms in my next post.