Trinket turned 15 in January, that's pretty old. He still acts like a puppy for the most part, runs up and down the stairs, stands on his hind legs and begs at the table, chases away cats and squirrels in the back yard. He doesn't hear nor see very well any more, which just makes him a bit more reasonable.
In the last couple of years his breathing has been getting noisier, especially at night. Sometimes he hacks as if imitating a cat coughing up a hairball. We thought we should consider sending him to the circus. He doesn't like visiting the vet, and we let him be.
Last weekend Trinket started hacking on and off rather loudly, more frequently than before, and worse at night, much worse than anything we'd seen. We called the vet and she said it might have to do with his heart since she detected heart murmur before. We took him in right away. Dr. Larsen managed to get couple of X-rays of his chest without any drugs, just a little cat muzzle. (Did I mention Trinket doesn't like her? He really shows it, physically.) The X-rays show Trinket has enlarged heart and collapsed trachea, both problems that we had a sense that existed, but now aggravated by old age. We got medications to help his breathing.
It's been three days since we started the medications and so far so good. We are all getting some sleep. Trinket is rather liking the pills routine, which involves a piece of cheese and some scratches behind the ears.
Keep your fingers and toes crossed Trinket will maintain his health and snuggle with us for many more days and weeks and months.