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cats, grief, pets

Dear Little Girl, What Can the Matter Be?

Little Girl has decided she no longer wants to go downstairs to eat. For the life of me I don’t know why.

Supervising from her chair while I work.

Instead she stands at the top of the stairs and meows pitifully. She won’t come downstairs no matter how much I beg, and she won’t let me pick her up and take her downstairs.

After one day of this it was all too much for me. I took a bowl of food upstairs to her and sat beside her while she ate. Now she takes all her meals this way.

I have watched closely to see if she might be ill; I’ve noticed no physical signs other than she seems to fear Graybie. So I bought Feliway diffusers and placed them upstairs. I distract the boys to give her some alone time. And when I’m in bed at night she lies close by.


This is her “leave me the hell alone!” face.

Of course I can’t help but wonder if she, too, has cancer, but what point is there in taking her to the vet? Both Buggie and Bubba had bloodwork done less than a month before diagnosed with cancer, and nothing in their results indicated anything was wrong. Besides, I wouldn’t choose to subject a former feral to invasive medical testing or treatment anyway.

Maybe I’m over-reacting. This month marks one year since Rumpy died and so it’s easy to see how’d I make a mountain out of a molehill.

Anyway, keep us in your thoughts. Thanks.

About Jen and the Furries

Hello and welcome. I’m a 50 something woman who’s probably awake when she should be sleeping. Oh, and there are animals, because who doesn’t have pets?


30 thoughts on “Dear Little Girl, What Can the Matter Be?

  1. Thinking of you. I’ve found it’s hard not to look back. I miss my babies too.

    Posted by Becky | April 18, 2018, 9:52 PM
  2. It’s like PTSD for losing our pets. There are physical that could have her staying upstairs, and while it would seem sudden that this started cats tend to manage conditions–we call it “hiding illness”, but really they are coping with it–until they can’t anymore.

    She may have some arthritis and walking down the stairs is painful for her. Did you try carrying her down to see what she did when you set her down? Or is she one you can’t pick up?

    Another condition could be vision or even hearing. Vision is obvious, a loss in hearing can be disorienting.

    I would observe other activities and see how she reacts to walking around, jumping up on something, and the like, and see if those activities are modified too. Once you have a few more facts about how she is acting you can call your vet and describe, and see if a visit may help her.

    Posted by Bernadette | April 18, 2018, 9:55 PM
  3. I hope it’s nothing sinister Jen. I can absolutely understand the mountain/molehill reaction. I need to take Beary to the vet, but just can’t bring myself to right now. Paws crossed Graybie is just having an anti-boy protest. xx

    Posted by bumpyroadtobubba | April 18, 2018, 9:59 PM
  4. Poor Little Girl, I will add her to my prayer list.

    Posted by 15andmeowing | April 18, 2018, 10:01 PM
  5. I’ve reached a very similar point. i don’t even remember how many of my dogs and cats have died from cancer and never was it diagnosed except at the point of death. The ONE time we knew about it in advance and subjected that poor cat to medical “repair,” she lived a miserable 9 more months and I would never do that to another animal. I hope no one does it to me, either.

    Posted by Marilyn Armstrong | April 18, 2018, 10:18 PM
  6. It’s a big and concerning change. I’d react the same. It’s hard to know if it’s medical or stress- like did something spook her and she doesn’t feel safe downstairs. If she’s eating I’d give it time and see how she does. You’ve had some really rough times- impossible not to think about them.

    Posted by The Persecution of Mildred Dunlap | April 18, 2018, 10:51 PM
  7. You all are always in Savannah’s and my thoughts. We feed Savannah wherever she decides she wants to eat.

    Posted by Savannah's Paw Tracks | April 18, 2018, 11:17 PM
  8. I’m very worried about Little Girl, too…..I’m keeping her and your family in my thoughts. still think of Rumpy, June Buggie and Bubba very often…I miss them…

    Posted by eripanwkevin | April 19, 2018, 12:30 AM
  9. It’s worrying when behaviour changes and we don’t know why. All you can do is keep an eye on her.

    Posted by Clowie | April 19, 2018, 12:49 AM
  10. You and Little girl are in my thoughts .. I do hope she settles and braves those stairs

    Posted by Julie@frogpondfarm | April 19, 2018, 2:38 AM
  11. Sending good thoughts your way and I hope all is well

    Posted by grannyK | April 19, 2018, 5:28 AM
  12. Where is the kitty litter? (Rhetorical) Wouldnt a trip to the et ease your mind? Obviously being close to you is a great comfort. It seems impossible it’s been a whole year! No Rumpster means no Jamima! Still so sad about both. Sad face, H

    Posted by helentastic67 | April 19, 2018, 7:39 AM
  13. Then again it may be aging, fearful of other more aggressive cats, or major cantankerousness. I have one cat (only 13 now) who decided several years ago that she was going to dine in the upstairs bedroom where she prefers to spend most of her time. She isn’t sick and isn’t afraid of the other cats but also doesn’t want to get into “playtime” with the younger ones. She will whack then good if they disturb her. She comes down once in a while to tour the house but prefers to be the upstairs cat. I open windows when I can so she can get some fresh air and the upstairs is a nice place. This behavior started as she got older.

    Posted by Kate Crimmins | April 19, 2018, 8:48 AM
  14. Sending positive thoughts your and Little Girl’s way….I’d do the exact same thing and humor her…..hugs to you both!

    Posted by Annette Barnes | April 19, 2018, 9:38 AM
  15. Many hopes for Little Girl to be well, Jen. In the past I did have a cat who decided he didn’t want to eat around the other cats, so I would take his bowl into another room for him.

    Posted by Catwoods | April 19, 2018, 11:26 AM
  16. Is it really a year since you lost Rumpy? It doesn’t seem possible
    Perhaps like Kate suggests it could be an age thing, and maybe Little Girl feels safer upstairs, especially if she feels she’s closest to you up there.
    Maggie can be clingy, and these days we are watching her carefully with her movements, appetite, breathing and bodily functions.
    My thoughts are with you, as our fur babies can’t tell us what’s wrong.

    Posted by pensitivity101 | April 19, 2018, 12:55 PM
  17. Purrayers for your sweet Little Girl. A vet visit may ease your mind, at least. But I think around here there are encounters when I am not around, and they rearrange themselves accordingly. (It was better last week for a couple days when it was warm enough to open a window, but there is still snow on the ground today.)

    Posted by catladymac | April 19, 2018, 2:49 PM
  18. You might want to take her. She might have some non-cancer ailment bugging her. Best wishes and purrs….

    Posted by Andrea Kenner | April 19, 2018, 6:18 PM
  19. We all do things to accommodate our older pets.

    Posted by corkscot | April 19, 2018, 7:54 PM
  20. Concierge cat feeding…has a certain cache to it. 😇

    Posted by Tails Around the Ranch | April 20, 2018, 4:17 PM
  21. In thoughts as ever, doyou think maybe one of the others is bullying her or she may have a strain or Arthritis. Hoping she will improve 💜💜💜💜

    Posted by willowdot21 | April 22, 2018, 8:58 AM
  22. You are definitely in our thoughts, Jen and Little Girl. ❤

    Posted by meowmeowmans | April 22, 2018, 10:26 PM
  23. Was going to make a comment on your latest post but when I go there it gives me an error message. In any case, I do hope you can figure out what the problems are. Cats are curious that way. I don’t have any presently but did for many years and sometimes I simply could not figure out what made them tick. They can change the way they act and for us there simply doesn’t seem to be a reason but it probably is there somewhere. Good luck!

    Posted by Renee Espriu | May 5, 2018, 10:53 PM


  1. Pingback: I’m Getting Better. The Cats are Getting Worse. | Dogpaddling Through Life - August 7, 2018

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