In three days we went from a Vet diagnosis of “no big deal” to my thinking early on Sunday AM that maybe this actually was a big deal, and a long trip in the rain and dark to get her to the ER (thanks to my dad for a new portable GPS – a big help in finding a small place on a big road in bad visibility), to a new diagnosis that she was a “very sick kitty” (that’s the technical jargon) and unlikely to make it without extreme, and uncertain, measures, possibly resulting in a permanent disability (maybe dialysis – for a cat?), to later in the day when the diagnosis changed again – an operable condition. From there we decided to go for it, that was Monday. Tuesday I picked her up from surgery, about 24 hours post-op.
So my Zen cat is home and enjoying life again. She had two big stones in her bladder, but that’s a routine surgery (routine does not equal cheap nor comfortable) and she looks like any human post-op. She has fur shaved off at the site of surgery (lower abdomen), and about 8 large surgical steel staples. She also has fur shaved off where they had ECG monitors, and one leg where they had an IV inserted (yes, they do IV drugs for cats). She gets 2x per day antibiotics for a week prophylacticly, and I have pain meds if she gets uncomfortable, which so far she isn’t. I also have one of those circus clown cones in case she starts pulling at the staples. If she does, she’s tougher than I am…
The prognosis is she’ll be 100% fine. She has a new diet with a mix of dry and canned (or nowadays the trend is to foil wrap) wet food, and a new bubbler thing that makes water a little more interesting – cats like to drink moving water and this thing sort of makes the water burble – a little like an aquarium pump only no air – just pumping the water around – what I would call a zen fountain.
It’s a little ironic how much I learned from caring for Nancy that subconsciously I transferred to Lu’. I think we all do that with our pets – project our own ways of being or ways we’d like to be. Death is a big thing. If you let it win, you have to live with that forever. Which, as the song says, is a long time. Win or lose, you do both yourself, and the patient, a mitzvah by engaging in the fight. This time, the good guys won.
Another lesson I learned is when somebody comes home from the hospital, they need bling (or in the case of males, gadgets). Lu has a new heart shaped bronze charm to replace the old one that had my old cell # and other outdated details. She also got the water gadget, but like most females, is disinterested. And she’s got good food – all patients like upgraded menu options.
Lu’ is resting comfortably, waking up to eat, slurp a little water, get brushed, purr, and curl up again. I doubt she slept from Saturday to Tuesday.
Anyway, I think we’re beyond crisis point and I appreciate all your support. I realize Lu’ is just a cat, but as humans we have a responsibility to try to do right by the animals we bring into the world, take responsibility to care for, and who for their part bring an added dimension to our lives. I maintain a hope that people who own pets might eventually change their feelings about other animals, despite that historical trends don’t appear to justify my optimism.
I’m glad we were able to help out Lu’ – she has certainly earned at least this much.