PLAYCAT

Birdie

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Turn on’s:

  • sleeping on feet
  • Meat. Any meat
  • Brushes
  • Toe play
  • Head scritches

Turn off’s:

Perfect Friday Night: Getting high on the nip -whatevs, it’s all natural- and running around the house at top speed.

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So your cat is transgender. Now what?

What indeed?

“Sitting in the closet with my transgender cat” is not how normal people answer the question “What are you doing?” Even if your cat spends over 24 hours in the “safe/I feel icky” spot in the closet because her meds make her feel lethargic. You just want her to feel better so she can come out of the closet.

However that’s where I spent a lot of time recently since Birdie can only present urinary issues on the weekends preferably after our own vet has closed.

I returned from a day of Christmas crap, looking forward to a leftover enchilada and a fresh avocado. Instead I got a cat who ran to the bathroom about a dozen times in a half hour, frantically dug through every box and peed a dime size drop before running away and then running back to do it all again.

I sometimes think that Birdie misses the emergency vet. The long drive, the unfamiliar environment and smells, the horse sized dogs in the waiting area, and the crazy vets who pulled night shift.

After hanging in the waiting area for an hour and half, watching bad Christmas movies and the horse-dog hug people, we finally got into an official room!
We’ve done this before. Birdie has presented the same symptoms -again only on the weekends- and we’ve heard all the cats and stress urinary issues speeches.

All. Of. Them.

Including the “this usually only happens to boys” speech. Edging on to the three hour mark, I heard the vet coming because he was WHISTLING AS LOUD AS POSSIBLE and continued to do so when he hit the room, proclaiming, “Hi! I just woke up!”
His opening salvo was, “What your problem is, you’ve got a male cat trapped in a female cat’s body! So I’m gonna give ya the boy cat exit speech.”
Then he proceeded to talk at top speed about boy cats and cat pee. He rattled off a list of possible things we could do for or to Birdie, including sticking a something in her to biopsy the inside of her bladder. I tried to interject that sticking things in her was not an option tonight, but he was off again on what a pistol she was when he tried to ultrasound her bladder. “Didn’t get to see much there!” I did not tell him about the Jorge’s name tag episode.

Most of his rant focused on his theory that her issue was stress and inflammation related not pee crystal or infection related. Then he told a story a story about a male cat who made pee snot in his bladder. My eyes may have glazed over. I didn’t get to eat that enchilada after all. Finally he paused long enough to ask what I wanted out of all this.

“I want to get her comfortably through the weekend until we can see our regular vet.”

Okey dokey, since that was it, he’d give me the simple boy cat exit paperwork; should only take him 10 minutes.

As soon as he left, I texted my friend who works with a Gay Straight Alliance group because Brain had taken a strange train of thought, possibly to escape the medical verbal onslaught.



I then followed up with an update to MomBert.



Ohhhhhhh, Grammie gets it! She’s too hip for her own good.
On the way out, one of the nurses complimented me on how patient I was being. I thought she meant patient with the starting to look like four, enchilada-free hour visit, but she meant with Birdie’s issues.

Seriously? What kind of shitty people are out there with pets? Don’t answer. Sadly I know. And I know that the nurse was being nice.

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I just want my fur kids to be safe, comfortable, and healthy. I’ll medicate her so her kitty urethra feels better and try to de-stress her life as much as I can. (Step one is removing the catnip from my yard according to our regular vet. It invites all the riff raff.) Birdie can’t help it, just embraces it, cause , Baby, she was born this way.

“Just put your paws up ’cause you were born this way, baby”

Evil Bird

I only weigh 8 pounds, but….

It took two vet techs, a beach towel, a cone of shame, the feline specialist vet, and my mum to control me. 

They almost failed. 

I have the strength of twenty cats twice my size. 

I almost drew the vet’s blood before she drew mine. 

I tore Jorge the vet tech’s name tag off and broke it. 

I told the other vet tech to take her “distract the cat with a tapping pen” technique and go fuck herself. 

The feline specialist vet had to take a break from me. 


My mum is sorry she made the appointment because I wasn’t eating consistently and she was worried. 

I’ll eat whatever the fuck I want, but not the special “stew” the vet sent home. 

I screamed so loud and so frequently that I scared a dog in the waiting room. 

His people thought they should leave. 

They should have. 

I am incredibly bad ass. 

Sookie and Olivia Wigglebothum Go to the V-e-t

This is us making the best of our trauma. 

Your face when the doctor makes you weigh in fully clothed and with your shoes on.  

“Bitch, I do this naked at home!”

When your skinny friend is all like, “Oh, you’ll totally fit.” But… 

…you know it will never work, and then your friend has to figure out a way to save the awkward moment.    

Skinny friend:”OMG I think that sizing is totally off! It must have shrunk!”

 When you imitate Meryl Streep in that scene from Out of Africa and nobody gets it.  

“I vant you to come home !”


#Caturday

 

It Wouldn’t Be Normal if We Weren’t at the V-E-T

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A beautiful Sunday morning and I’m trapped in a waiting room hoping for the best for a furry child. My cats, as I’m sure fur less children are as well, are ninjas at figuring out the worst possible times to manifest illnesses such as late Saturday night into Sunday morning when our regular vets are not open. So without benefit of coffee or breakfast beyond a granola bar, I sit, wait, and grade the essays I dragged along.

Late Saturday night, Birdie was making frequent unproductive trips to the litterbox. She would freeze in pee stance for what seemed like forever then check out the tiny dribble or the complete lack of urine. This morning she was still at it. All of the online articles screamed that a cat trying to pee but not getting results was a condition to be dealt with immediately not to “wait over the weekend until the vet opens on Monday.” One article actually said that. So far an “unremarkable X-ray” has ruled out bladder stones but the urinalysis which takes an hour to process will address whether she has an UTI, crystals or something else.

So I’m here at the only 24 hour, 7 days a week emergency vet working on hour 3 as the capacity of the waiting room fluctuates. I’ve already spent too many hours in the cancer wing of this building with Cosmo then Bella. I hate being here.

It’s hard enough that the Bird is not okay, and waiting and worrying at the regular vet would only be marginally better, but the “emergency” element makes this place worse. Everyone waiting for a pet is haggard and tense. This is not a regular vet visit for anyone. At least two separate people are sitting by themselves crying. A stretcher has been used three different times to unload large dogs from their owners’ cars and transport them through the lobby to the exam rooms. At least one dog was wrapped in a sheet; I heard the owner say that he had passed last night. I assume they are here for cremation.

I have to look away or find myself crying with them.

The vet techs are high pitched and upbeat even when calling owners back for some of the worst news. During consultations, the techs and doctors speak briskly, rattling off terms and possibilities at an auctioneer’s speed. Maybe because the next emergency is coming. Maybe because overwhelming already overwhelmed pet owners with an onslaught of fast verbiage will limit the number of tears and questions.

If I wasn’t paranoid about Birdie’s health, I would have waited until Monday. However all advice directed me here and my own anxiety.

Update: Wrapping up hour 4. Pee crystals which makes The Bird even more of a weirdo because it’s predominantly a male cat issue. Special food for life. Yea!

“We’re All Mad Here”: Day 26

Anxiety

Anxiety

Anxiety affects us all. Some more than others. Animals as well as humans.

I’ve been living with Sookie’s brand of anxiety since 2010. I was willing to accept that she viewed me as an axe murderer intent on killing her, or…petting her gently. I’m pretty sure that she just sees Leatherface doing his chainsaw dance every time I walk towards her. I’ve accepted this because she and Miles love each other and watching their interactions is worth all the soft pets in the world.

However Sookie’s resent aggression as a reaction to Olivia’s presence in the house, is now affecting Sookie’s relationship with Miles. This, I cannot accept.

We went to the v-e-t today. In typical Sookie fashion, she had burrowed under the blanket in the carrier before we even got out of the driveway. This is not an aggressive or brave girl. Once in the exam room, Sookie ran along the counter to wedge herself behind a stack of books, pressing against the wall, hoping to be absorbed through it and out of the office. It did not help that we could hear another cat shrieking from a separate exam room. Sookie stayed pressed in the corner as the vet tech and I discussed what I was seeing at home.

After the initial exam, Sookie tried to shove her 12 pounds in to the smallest possible space underneath the counter. She did not want to talk to me or sit on my lap. The vet noted the same “frozen” response that I get at home whenever I manage to pick Sookie up. No physical reason emerged as a cause, and Sookie’s blood work came back looking fantastic. So it really is her kitty psyche that is a mess.

I walked away with a sheaf of reading material, some suggestions to modify behavior, and a prescription for human anti-anxiety meds for my cat. Birdie is now the only one in the house who is not medicated for something

The face of "normal" at our house.

The face of “normal” at our house.

"Prescription" collar

“Prescription” collar

(KNOCK ON WOOD!). She is the poster child for reason and normalcy. In other words, we’re screwed. I hope Bird can hold it together.

One of the suggestions for Sookie was a break away collar with a bell to prevent sneak attacks on the other cats. I always thought that Sookie was pretty straight forward with the smacking and screaming, but I’m not the cat specialist. During the first hour, the persistent jiggle of her tiny bell was enough to give ALL of us anxiety. Plus she still jumped on Olivia and smacked her around. I think Sookie was trying to work out how to run away from the ringing thing on her neck. Best solution: group nap.

Unfortunately, her mood seemed to have worsened after the nap. She did not want to move from a corner behind  a chair. Toys did not help, I was back to axe murderer status, and she did not come for food which is unheard of in our house. I finally acquiesced two hours later when I found her on top of the furnace in her safe “vacuuming spot.” No vacuuming had occurred. I climbed up on a chair and removed the collar which I think was causing more upset than anything else. She said she immediately felt better about life.

Safe spot

Safe spot

Just like with people, it will take about a month before we see effects of Sookie’s ant-anxiety meds. Depending on those results with her little brain chemicals, this could be a short-term “chill out” option or a life time commitment. I hope that walking in to find her cuddled in a pile with Miles this afternoon was a good sign of things to come.