The tiger looked thin, and the man who’d been caring for the 17-year-old cat since he was a cub worried if Ty would make it through the day.
Yates noticed something was wrong about two weeks ago. Ty was sluggish and not eating. Yates hand-fed him for days, but he could only get him to swallow three to five pounds of meat a day, rather than the 10 to 15 pounds he normally eats.
Neither ultrasounds nor X-rays provided a clear image of what was in Ty’s stomach. So veterinarian Brian Luria broke out an endoscope. “It looked like a giant ball of hair,” he said. As is turned out, a four pound hairball.
The same kind of hairball all cats get, only too big for Ty to cough up. In the wild, a big cat in Ty’s situation wouldn’t have made it, Luria said.