F here: about 2200 last night Tigger, probably without intending to, communicated urinary problems (as in lots of visits to the litter tray and no results), so he upended some plants on the back balcony and scratched about in the potting mix to see whether a change of medium would inspire the necessary response from the organs involved; again to no apparent avail.
I swept all the compost into a second temporary litter tray and he seemed to be grateful for having it thus confined - not that it made any difference. Over the next 2 hours or so he would collapse himself down on the floor beside the bed with a heart-shattering sigh, lie a while then try again in one WC or other. I pulled the yoga mat into the bedroom and joined him on the floor in the breezeway. We lay, not exactly embraced but always touching - his choice. He wandered back and forth - bathroom one way, balcony the other - I massaged his back, his paws.
Around 0230 he indicated a desire to climb onto the bed - as in "F open the mozzy net" - so I joined him and he immediately sank onto the icepacks wrapped in a beach towel that I use for my feet and lower legs. He maintained his mortgage on the ice and seemed to sleep, but still got up and returned from time to time. I think I slept a couple of hours then too - he had kept me awake (not fair - my anxiety for him had kept me awake) the rest of the night.
We got up at 0430. It was dark. Venus hung in the sky. He asked for breakfast, so I gave it to him and checked the compost on the back balcony. It smelled of cat pee. I've never been more happy to inhale that pungent smell. It didn't mean he was off the hook however. 30 years ago I had a cat with bladder stones. Tigger was on his way to the vet just as soon as one would be open. The sign on the door had said 10am opening. 0930 never took so long to arrive and we set off. We arrived 15 minutes early. By 1032 the doors were still firmly locked so we rang the number. Was it an emergency? I was asked.
"I believe so".
"Is it a stray?" The vet must get a lot of English women bringing in strays for treatment perhaps.
"No. Tigger is family; a house cat."
Fifteen minutes and a lot of pfaffing around later and Tigger and I were sitting in an x-ray room waiting for a machine to warm up, the layer of flesh (shall we say) on Tigger's tummy having made it difficult for the vet to determine whether his bladder was distended. Tigger had certainly made it clear that the attempts to 'determine' had generated a considerable amount of pain.
For nearly two hours from doors-opening I graduated from ambulance driver, to X-ray assistant (huge heavy lead dress to wear), through vet assistant to recovery nurse. Poor Tigger was anaesthetized, vomited, peed (yay), slid into unconsciousness, catheterized, flushed (three times), injected with antibiotics, had his ears checked and his teeth cleaned (because the anesthesia hadn't worn off), and the catheter removed again after the vet had been able to check all his water works and announced 'no stones, no blood, no blockages, and no apparent problems with the actual plumbing'.
There was another hour of sitting in the waiting room with Tigger neatly arranged in a sort of 'cat recovery position' on Donkey waiting for him to 'come round'. He eventually displayed an ear flick response to having his ear blown into and I was 'allowed' to take him home, armed with antibiotics, instructions to watch him like a hawk, and call any time (ANY TIME) if he displays the same symptoms in the next 72 hours. We seemed, said the vet, to have had the benefit of catching whatever it was early and he would be spared the usual 3 days of dribbling through a catheter while things inside heal and restore themselves.
Another cat with exactly the same problem had come in behind us. It was making a lot more fuss about it all.
I guided Donkey home again using all the shade I could find, and shading Mr T with my straw hat when we had to dash out into open sunshine. Back home he remained slumped and mainly unresponsive for another hour before finally raising his head, but the anesthetic hadn't finished with him. He brought up whatever remained of his breakfast, staggered heartbreakingly across the tile floor, slipped, over balanced, fell; terrified and tense. I gathered his limbs together and stroked him till he relaxed. I lay on the floor with him for another hour and a half.
It's hot again.
My god I was exhausted! I probably slept because I became aware of Tigger lying across my arm and realized I must have been been mouth breathing. If I am that dry he must be too. WHY won't he drink water? WHAT do I have to do to hydrate him?
Tigger is a tough but gentle wee character. Even when the vet's examination was clearly painful there was only yowling, no claws, no teeth, no twisting and fighting, and all that time in my role as vet's assistant I had to hold him against me and keep reassuring the poor blighted wee chappie. Now he is curled up on the shelf in the bottom of the barbeque; hiding from the world, trying to rid himself of the tail end of a long sedation. And I am working out how to maintain close monitoring of whether he tries to pee and with what effect and simultaneously dash out to buy tinned tuna in spring water...., sift his wood pellets so I can tell if he has peed in them, and wondering if he would prefer some new fresh potting mix instead.... the patient can have anything he wants IF HE WOULD ONLY TELL ME WHAT THAT IS.
If he could tell me it is probably "LEAVE ME ALONE".
|Cat Recovery Position|