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Abu Stuart, the Cat by Kay Stuart

Abu is our beautiful blue-point Himalayan kitty. We got him at one of our local animal shelters so we are not sure of his age, but we have had him for a little over eight years. Terri tells us that he is nine years old (Abu told her that), which sounds correct according to what we were told at the shelter.

We had Abu's hair cut way down sometime around February. Around the first of April, we started to notice that his hair did not seem to be growing in as fast as normal, and we were periodically finding pretty big wads of hair all over the house. Then, it seemed that he started to lose weight. He was eating normally and acting just fine, but as time went on, he just seemed to become thinner and thinner. We really started to worry about him, even though he seemed fine.

In early May, we decided to take him to the vet and have him checked out. At this point, he weighed only 7.0 pounds, which meant he had lost over a pound and a half. Several tests were done on his blood and a fecal test was done looking for parasites. Within a day or two, the vet called and said that all the tests came back and looked fine—no hint of any kidney, liver, thyroid or any other organ diseases apparent. The vet was baffled and said that we should keep an eye on him and bring him back for a recheck in a few weeks if he didn't show signs of any weight gain or hair growth. In the meantime, he suggested we give him some Nutracal each day to try to stimulate his appetite and see if that would put some weight back on him.

As luck would have it, I stopped in a local health store I frequent that happens to have a beautiful rag-doll kitty on the premises most of the time. I started talking with the lady in the store about Abu and the problems we were encountering. She said if all else fails, we might want to contact the "Pet Communicator." I asked some questions about this and she told me some very interesting stories. I asked her to get me the phone number and said that I just might give it a try. After all, we had already spent $250 at the vet and still did not have the problem solved.

We waited and watched Abu for a couple weeks. Finally I came home from work one day and he looked so pathetic that I just picked up the phone and called Terri. We were not able to connect for about a week but finally got to talk on June 3. As it turns out, I already had a follow-up appointment at the vet scheduled for Abu the next morning. The vet had decided that the next thing to do was X-ray him and look for tumors or growths.

We had a very interesting 30-minute conversation with Terri, during which she told us that the reason for Abu's hair loss and weight loss was diet…that somehow his food had changed. I told her what we had been feeding him—the same thing that we had been using for years (or so I thought). Terri insisted that perhaps the formula for the cat food had changed without my knowing it. While we were on the phone, I went to the bag of food and almost fell over. Sure enough, the Hill's Prescription c/ds that we had always been feeding him was now changed to just plain c/d and in very small letters across the top it said "New Improved Formula." (I found out later from the vet that the formula had changed about six months earlier, which fit perfectly with when Abu's symptoms started). Terri went on to say that she was feeling that Abu had some problems in his back/spine area around where his kidneys were and also at the base of his spine where his tail begins.

We took Abu in to the vet again on June 4. This time he weighed in at 7.09 pounds but was still looking very thin and scraggly. He was x-rayed. When the vet called us back to view the x-rays, we were all blown away as the vet pointed out the same areas that Terri had described…the problem was arthritis in the spine and vertebrae!

The vet told us the good news was that now there is a capsule for animals that is like a glucosamine for humans called cosequin. He suggested we sprinkle one of these capsules over Abu's food every day to help with the arthritis. Terri had suggested we take him off his Hill's c/d and try to find Wysong's food. I could not find that immediately, but I did find something called Nature's Best that does not appear to have a lot of by-products and unnatural ingredients. We changed the food and started the capsule treatment. Within 10 days, Abu had gained close to a pound and it was noticeable that his hair was starting to grow back.

Several weeks have passed and we took Abu in for a recheck and a bath last week. We are happy to report that he now weighs 8.04 pounds and his hair is growing in beautifully. One of the vet techs did not even recognize him! Also, I have just found a place to buy Wysong's food so I will be attempting to start him on that this week.

We are very happy to have found Terri and are getting to the bottom of Abu's problems. He is a very beautiful, healthy, happy boy!

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