It's too early to say if this is a sign that the worst is over, but I am glad to note that Tisha has shown some marginal improvement in the past forty-eight hours; I'm still not sure of her long-term prognosis, but I'm pleased to report that she's both eating and drinking now, and she's actually getting up and walking around for short distances. She's still wobbly and a bit weak, but any effort to move on her own steam is noteworthy.
She's also trying to use the litterbox, and has actually done so twice today--and while that may not seem like much of a cause for celebration, I assure you that it's wonderful news after a few days of seeing her soil herself regularly because she couldn't get up and go to the litterbox.
In doing some research, I've ascertained that Tisha's age is the equivalent of 95 to 100 in human years--perhaps more, since those numbers were based on cats in general and not on flat-faced Persians (who have a shorter life expectancy than most cats). That's remarkable, considering Tisha's numerous health problems over the years--a tendency to cysts, an ovarian problem, frequent respiratory infections, etc. Of course, we've had her since she was six weeks old and have never let her go outdoors, so her environment has been carefully controlled, and that probably works in her favor.
And of course, we're also two of Those Eccentric People Who Spoil Cats, and that might have helped as well.
I don't want to think of having to have Tisha put to sleep, but I know that it could very well happen at some point... and it could be soon if we can't get her past this problem. I've enjoyed too many years with this dear kitten to ever dream of forcing her to exist in pain and discomfort.
As someone once told me, a cat is love in physical form. Tisha's love for us has been absolute; even when we had to give her medical treatments that were unpleasant, she tolerated them. When she was having physical problems, she always came to me because she knew I would see her through them. If we reach the point where I can't give her respite or comfort, then I know what must be done...
(The photo is from a much happier time--early 2005, shortly after Anna had joined our household. This is Tisha teaching Anna the best spot to stand and watch squirrels frolic on the deck. She and Asia had done this for years, and she was glad to have another doorway companion...)