Yesterday I took my cats to the vet. It was time for their annual check-up, they needed an update on their vaccines, and one cat, Miki, required blood work. A year ago (I think), the vet told us that Miki probably has kidney disease. Kidney disease in cats is fatal, although death can be postponed for years with proper care. Miki was diagnosed with kidney disease because his urine was very dilute (low density), and cat urine is usually very concentrated (high density). I pointed out that Miki likes to drink a lot of water, but the vet assured us that this is a side effect of kidney failure.
At that time, we were very concerned. We had blood work done and took an ultrasound of Miki's kidneys. Nothing showed up. Six months later we again had blood work done, and again everything seemed normal. Still, Miki's urine was dilute. That's the first sign, we were told; the other symptoms will come.
I neglected to mention that this past weekend, we visited my wife's parents, and we brought our cats with us. Miki is the more nervous of our cats, and while he travels well enough, his behavior in the house of my parents in law is not quite what it is at home. There are some rooms that he will not enter, and he doesn't drink as much as he usually does. He just gets a little stressed when he's away from home.
So I take the cats to the vet. Miki hasn't been drinking as much, and lo and behold, his urine is quite concentrated. The vet is impressed. Miki can't have kidney disease: the fact that he produced concentrated urine is proof that his kidneys are capable of the feat. Now the vet tells us that although it's unusual, every now and then one does come across a cat that just likes to drink water.
Gee, that sounds a lot like what I said before I allowed myself to be talked into spending well over $1000 on diagnostic tests. I'm relieved -- very relieved -- to know that my cat is healthy. I just wish his thirst had not cost me so much money.
In other news, I am posting this entry to my dreamwidth account.
My dreamwidth journal: http://shirou.dreamwidth.com
Most of you are probably reading this on livejournal. Dreamwidth has a cross-post feature so that everything I post to my DW will also get posted to my LJ. I will continue to use the cross-post so that people who follow my journal on LJ can continue to do so. However, I encourage you to check out DW when you get the chance. DW is based on the LJ code, but with significant improvements. In addition to numerous functional improvements (both current and forthcoming), there is also a dramatic improvement to the management. The management of DW differs from the management of LJ in that the owner and the employees are active journal users. DW promises to be a community in a way that LJ is not, or rather, is no longer. Currently DW is in closed beta, meaning that you won't be able to sign up just yet, but it will enter open beta in 9 days, so you should be able to get an account then. DW will use invite codes for free accounts. You can go ahead and guarantee that you will receive an invite code by registering your LJ OpenID with DW (here