I Feel Dizzy, Oh, So Dizzy….

By Yul

We’re having a weird week at Cats Working. I’ll tell you about it in case it ever happens to you so you won’t freak out.

Christmas was perfectly fine, but sometime the night of December 26, I lost my sense of balance. The ramp I usually take to and from Karen’s bed seemed to sway with a tide and kept throwing me off.

By morning, I felt totally dazed and kept trying to do a 360 with my head, like that evil kid in The Exorcist. Karen thought I’d had a stroke and almost got us both killed on the icy road driving me to the vet’s.

The vet said I have “vestibular disease,” a quirky condition that suddenly makes kitties lose touch with gravity. The vet kept me almost all day to make sure it wasn’t a stroke and shot me (damn him!) with the antibiotic Covenia and Cerenia for nausea, just in case.

I kept my breakfast down, my eyes never ping-ponged in their sockets, and I wasn’t falling over or walking in circles, so they let me come home. Once back on my turf I figured, “What the hell,” and played the invalid card by pretending I was too weak to eat Fancy Feast.

Karen fell for it with vanilla yogurt and Gerber baby food. My delicious scheme backfired when I developed the “shizzly drits.” So Adele “graciously” donated her Royal Canin duck & pea (to get rid of it because she’s thoroughly sick of it). I don’t know what her problem is — it’s YUMMY!

It’s now Day 4 and I’m still not right, although last night I conducted a full inspection while Karen slept. I got her started on undecorating the Christmas tree, and paid a visit to Cole’s private man cave upstairs, although the steps wobbled like a fun house.

(BTW, Cole has been my constant companion throughout this ordeal. I owe him one.)

Now we’re just waiting and hoping I recover fully and soon. Karen keeps me supplied with hot water bottles to cuddle while I recuperate on her bed. The more time I spend sleeping, the less time I feel dizzy.

But right now, I look just like this cat.

In hindsight, this shouldn’t have blindsided us. I get respiratory infections regularly (it’s this virus I can never shake). One of them once ruptured both my eardrums. Recently, my right ear was bugging me and I scratched at it until my head was scabby, but Karen ignored it. Now this balance problem seems to be mainly in that ear. Could the vet have prevented it? I suspect not.

Otherwise, I feel fine, but I’m dictating this post to Karen because it’s a bitch to type on a moving keyboard. Please bear with us and stay tuned…


16 Responses to I Feel Dizzy, Oh, So Dizzy….

  1. Mauigirl says:

    Oh no, Yul, so sorry to hear this. Baxter and Little Cat send their best wishes for a speedy recovery. My aunt’s cat Geoffrey has had some balance problems recently and we thought it might be an inner ear problem but it hasn’t gone away even after his ear problem cleared up. He also has bad arthritis in his hips which could affect his walking. So now they’re giving him a cortisone shot every 3 weeks or so and it seems to get him back on track. He’s very old, over 17, so it could be something serious, but we don’t know; we just know the cortisone helps him. Hopefully for you it’s just your ear and you’ll be back to normal very soon!

  2. catsworking says:

    Mauigirl, nobody knows how this will play out. I could be left with a permanent head tilt, but I hope not. I have been doing my best to walk in straight lines, and I hold my head straight while I’m eating. And Karen keeps massaging my neck so it won’t freeze in that twisted position. She freaks out every time I look at her sideways and let my eyes go all wild. It’s kind of fun!

    Sorry to hear about Geoffrey, but things start happening as we kitties get older. I’m only 14, so I wasn’t expecting all this drama yet.

  3. adele says:


    Alice just wants you to know that no matter how you walk, you’re aces with her. We’re glad to hear that you still have an appetite, and that you’ve begun taking down the Christmas decorations for Karen. And Alice is very relieved to hear that Cole has been so devoted. You’re so lucky to have Karen as your personal masseuse and hot water bottle supplier.

  4. zappa says:

    Yul,I hope you are feeling better!! Could this be a case for medicinal catnip? We might have to take this to the streets!! Hot water bottles can only do so much,and if you need the ‘nip,it shouldn’t be denied you.Take it easy the next few days


  5. adele says:

    Good point, Zappa; surely among Yul’s many human friends, there’s someone, who could write him a scrip for pharmaceutical grade ‘nip. Then, it’s just a matter of finding a dispensary on East Coast

  6. catsworking says:

    Zappa, good idea! This morning Karen brought me the most potent catnip mouse we got for Christmas.

    It’s Day 5 and I’m still woozy, but it’s giving me a HUGE appetite. I’m polishing off a whole big can of Adele’s duck & pea a day, and hitting the dry food bowls for snacks. As I said, I’m not sick, just dizzy.

    I bet if I got really zonked out on ‘nip, my head would stay straight. Think I’ll try it to celebrate New Year’s Eve tonight. Thanks for the suggestion!

  7. zappa says:

    Awesome,dude!! Just let it happen!! The “munchies” are the best! Happy New Year to all of you cats and Humans! my mom says that she is gonna throw champagne in everyone’s hair tonight to celebrate


  8. MorganLF says:

    Zappa tell mom I think that’s a grand idea! I shall be tossing the odd flute or two upon the stroke of midnight. Happy New Year all 🙂

  9. marilyn says:

    my 9 kitties send their get well wishes. one of my cats was diagnosed with the same problem and was also on steroids. take it easy and don’t overdo.
    the cats of lakeview point

  10. catsworking says:

    Welcome, Marilyn. Was your cat on steriods because of the balance thing, or for another reason? I don’t get the connection.

    I am feeling a tad better today. I just walked all the way down the ramp off the bed, straight as an arrow. But to be on the safe side, I pull myself back up onto the bed by digging my claws into Karen’s bedspread and hoisting myself up. Great for the biceps.

  11. Noel McWormald says:

    Yul, I am very sorry to hear about your illness… if I’d know you’d become afflicted, I’d have gotten you a Christmas present! Thanks for the state-of-the-art pooper scooper. A clean kitty is a happy kitty. GET WELL SOON! — Cousin Noel

  12. marilyn says:

    yes, he was on steroids for the vestibular problem in addition to ear drops. we think it helped.

  13. catsworking says:

    Marilyn, thanks for the information. Yul’s vet took a different tack completely. I’ve never understood why they give him antibiotics every time he gets one of those respiratory infections, which are supposedly caused by a virus, but they definitely help and the bug gets knocked out within a few days.

    He once had ear drops for some ear problem, and I gave them to him again the next time he exhibited the same symptoms, only to find out later that he’d ruptured both ear drums. I hope I didn’t do that with the drops.

  14. adele says:

    Yul, I had a punctured eardrum once, and I was given steroids for it to help it heal. My sense of balance has never been the same, but as Karen can tell you, I CAN hold my head upright.

    In any case, I’m glad you’re feeling better. Your tweets today were very encouraging.

  15. marilyn says:

    Dear Karen,
    When my cat had vestibular problems, it was years ago and I think steroids were used for everything as a shotgun approach. Don’t beat yourself up over the ear drops-you were doing what anyone else would do in the same situation. If his symptoms persist and you can find a neurological feline specialist, it might be worth a consult. Hang in there and we are all praying for a quick recovery.

  16. catsworking says:

    Marilyn, Yul says he doesn’t blame me for what happened to his ear drums, but I still feel guilty about the drops. But I know you’re right.

    We’re into Day 8 and he’s definitely more steady and perky, and now I’m beginning to wonder if the head-tilt hasn’t just become a habit because he doesn’t always do it. I will ask the vet next week when I take him for a follow-up if we’ve got a feline neurologist in town.

    Thanks for sharing your experience. It’s been helpful.

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