I have a sad but all too common story to tell. Last week at work, I met a 12 year old cat who had been sick for a few days. He stopped eating, became very lethargic and started vomiting earlier in the week so his owners brought him in to see me. He had always been a healthy cat but he hadn’t been to the vet in 7 years!
He was very weak and dehydrated and we ran some blood work. It turned out that he was in end-stage kidney failure and there really wasn’t anything we could do for him at that point. His family was shocked and not at all prepared for such bad news. They asked me how he got so sick, so quickly.
It’s not that these people are bad pet owners and did anything wrong, but I think that this cat HAD been sick for a very long time. When I questioned them more, it turned out that he had been drinking more for quite a while. I suspect that he developed kidney disease several years ago and like most cats with this ailment he lived a pretty normal life aside from increased drinking and increased urinating. However, it’s incredibly common for cats to hide their symptoms until they get so sick that they reach a crisis point. It goes back to their natural instincts. A sick or injured wild animal will almost always try to avoid showing their weakness, in order to avoid being an “easy target” for predators and competition.
I think this poor kitty lived for a long time with his kidney disease gradually progressing until he simply crashed. Of course, to the owners, it seemed very sudden and they had to say goodbye to their family pet with no advanced warning.
The moral of this sad story is that dogs and especially cats should have annual blood work to screen for things like kidney disease (and many, many other diseases). It’s not that his kidney disease would have been curable if caught early (because there is no cure in our dogs and cats), but it could have been managed in ways to help slow the progression of the disease. Knowing would also have helped prepare his family for the day that they would have to decide to euthanize, rather than having to make that decision so suddenly. They were heart broken to find out that their cat was dying when they thought he maybe just had a “stomach bug”. It was a very sad situation 🙁 So please talk to your vet about doing annual screening blood work in your pet, especially once they get over the age of 8.
So last night was Oscar night and we had some people over to watch it. My contribution to the food was dessert, of course, and my husband made a delicious buffalo chicken dip too. The dip was a hit and I should probably post that recipe too. For now though, I’ll let you know how to make a Tres Leches Cake. It is a Spanish butter cake that is soaked in three different kinds of milk. I was skeptical at first that the cake would be soggy, but it really wasn’t. The cake is very, very moist and topped with a whip cream frosting. Everybody really liked it 🙂 and it was fun to make.
My husband is starting a work-out/weight loss bet today so I had to get the leftovers out of the house. Luckily my in-laws happily took the leftover cake off our hands!
Tres Leches Cake
For the cake:
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 cup unsalted butter
1 cup white sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups whole milk
1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
1 (12 fluid ounce) can evaporated milk
For the frosting:
2 cups heavy whipping cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 tablespoons powdered sugar
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour one 9×13 inch baking pan.
Sift flour and baking powder together and set aside.
Cream butter and the 1 cup sugar together until fluffy. Add eggs and the 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract; beat well.
Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture 2 tablespoons at a time; mix until well blended. Pour batter into prepared pan.
Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 25-30 minutes. Pierce cake all over with a fork.
Combine the whole milk, condensed milk, and evaporated milk together. Pour over the top of the cooled cake. It will look like a lot of milk but don’t worry, it will absorb.
Whip whipping cream, powdered sugar, and the vanilla together until thick. Spread over the top of cake. Keep refrigerated.