Grand totals from last post about holy (holey? hole-y?) cat: $289.25, four vet visits, and 2 rounds of antibiotics.
Vet Visit 5 $14: When last we left young Bird, we were trying to shrink the lumpy jellied egg with her third exciting round of antibiotics. The hope was that everything would go back to normal and her microchip would become the barely noticeable rice sized piece of technology that it was supposed to be. The lab results on the bloody fluid came back benign so that was good. However by the end of this round, the lump had become a rock hard pea presumably wrapped firmly around her chip. It cost $14 to have this conversation:
Me: “My cat is still lumpy.”
Favorite Doctor #2: “Yep.”
FavDr #2: “Schedule a surgery and biopsy.”
Me:“Can you clean her teeth while she’s out?” I hate putting pets under. Might as well ditch the tartar buildup.
FavDr #2: “Sure. Do you want the pain management shot for after the surgery?”
Me:“Fuck yea I do! We are all about pain management at our house.” What kind of asshole doesn’t get their pet the pain management shot? Seriously, there are people who don’t. I act like I own personal stock in Advil, I’m not going to deny my cat the good drugs.
FavDr #2: “You do understand that the shot is for the cat?”
Vet Visit 6 $432.50: It’s not the money that causes my anxiety,– I mean the money end of it sucks as always– it’s the emotional stress. I can’t explain to Birdie why I’m “abandoning” her at the strange place that smells weird, causes her physical pain, and houses any number of animals that she doesn’t personally know and certainly doesn’t like. I can’t explain to her that she has to stay there overnight because the vet’s earliest drop off is 7:30 a.m. and Mommy is supposed to be at work living the dream and changing lives by then. So I spend the night visualizing my poor child cowering in a cold cage in the dark without her blankie or snacks or sense of well being. I spend the next day hoping that the vet doesn’t call because if they don’t call, then nothing has gone wrong.
I don’t normally have my phone on me at school or even have the ringer on except when one of the cats is at the vet for a procedure. I’ve walked out of a meeting because the vet called. So the Friday of Birdie’s surgery and dental cleaning, I taught prepared to run out of the room and answer the phone. Thankfully they did not call, but when I called at 3:00 p.m. as I had been advised, they were just finishing with her because they had gotten behind and I would not be able to get her until 6:00 as long as she was awake enough and doing well. When I checked in at 6:00, they said all had gone well and she was ready to go home.
My Cat is Extremely High
I assumed that when they said she was ready to go home, they meant she was really ready. However as the vet techs awkwardly giggled and handed me the carrier housing an angry growling, hissing furball, I had my doubts. Their parting advice was to keep her calm and not let her jump or she would pull her sutures. Were they kidding? When my cats aren’t sleeping, they are racing from point A to point B and then jumping off of it.
Bird and I made it home and set up the spare bedroom so she could have some alone “calm” time in a familiar place with lots of spots to sleep it all off. However as soon as I opened the carrier, that plan changed. She took two steps out and promptly fell over. My cat was high as a furry little kite. I should have asked for a pain management shot for me.
Reverse course. She was not fit to be in a room where there were beds and window seats to fall off of in the middle of her post surgery stupor. I condensed the recuperation suite into the main bathroom. This left enough room on the bathroom floor for my butt, one cat bed, a water bowl and a litter box. Five star accommodations. I sat on the floor and talked to Birdie as she paced, took laps around and behind the toilet while purring extra loud and growling. Here are two things to understand about cats:
1. When I have pain meds and have just experienced traumatic doctor visits, ALL I want to do is go to sleep. A stoned cat will not rest. They will pace, growl, tip over occasionally, and talk to themselves until they come down. Remember in The Princess Bride when Billy Crystal’s character pushes on the mostly dead Wesley’s chest and Wesley makes a garbled noisy exhalation as all the air leaves his body? Birdie made that noise. Repeatedly.
2. If a door to a room is shut, a cat must open it. As I tried to comfort and talk to my furry stoner, other paws were shooting under the door, carpet was ravaged and bodies
were thrown against the cheap fake wood because …Dear God!…the door was closed and I was on the other side of it.
When I opened the bathroom door, Miles and Sookie were piled on top of each other like the nosy neighbors who just got caught eavesdropping in a sitcom. This is why in our house if a door is closed purposefully, it must also be barricaded. None of the doors latch really well and it doesn’t take much cat effort to push them open. Build a barricade and eventually they may lose interest, but only after Miles has knocked it over at least once.
By Saturday morning I had a more normal version of my cat and upgraded her back to the spare bedroom. She wasn’t happy about the seclusion, but was still too tired and sore to care much. By late afternoon when I peeked in the window from the backyard as I did yard work, I discovered that the devious duo had removed the barricade to that room and let Birdie out. There would be no more containing her or keeping her from jumping. She also started licking her sutures which looked like sharp wires and either stabbed her in the nose or tongue causing her to frantically shoot across the room. My job at that point was to keep obsessively checking to make sure the sutures had not pulled and that pieces of my cat were not dropping out onto the off-white carpet.
Vet Visit 7 $0: Ten to fourteen days later, we returned to the vet to have her sutures cut out. Of all things, that’s free and only takes about 5 minutes, leaving me with a lump free, but scabby cat.
As of this writing, Birdie is still rocking the punk look with part of her hair shaved and a small healing scar. She tells other cats that she was in a knife fight. She has recovered her full capacity for evil and is busy dominating all feeding times by smacking anyone who gets near her.
Total financial expenditure: $735.45
Total emotional trauma to cat and owner : Priceless