NekoRein (neptunesubmerge) wrote,

Tales from the Sick Kitty Trenches

My arms are covered in scratches. My cats don't like going in their carriers. They don't like taking their medicine. They don't like going to the vet and they definately don't like car rides.


It all started about two weeks ago when we found a teeny gloop of bloody poop on the floor near the litter box.

Well, actually, it all started in January, when we got the reminder post card that kitties were due for their shots. Responsible attitude: "Eh, we'll get around to it."

Bloody poop attitude: "...let's wait and see if they do it again."

Guess what! They did!


Because kitties had their dual appointments for OMG WHAT IS WRONG WITH THE KITTY BUTT?? and Yearly Shots, Four Months late on Friday, Dewey started screeching up a storm on Thursday. Dewey is normally a very talkative cat, but this yowling was very uncharacteristic. In addition, he kept going into the bathroom, digging around the litter box, leaving and going back to it. Blockage problems are a big issue with male cats, so I was very concerned. I was "Call up the vet the second they open and be prepared to run out the door" concerned.

Our conversation went something like this:

"Hi. My cat Dewey has an appointment tomorrow afternoon. I'm getting very concerned about him and don't want to put it off. Is there any way you can fit him in today?"

"We have a 3:00."

"Anything earlier?"

"How about 11:30?"


"Well, we have an 8:30, but you can't be here in twenty minutes."

"I will be there as soon as I can get him in the carrier!"

Spoiler Warning: Dewey turned out to be fine.


We got Dewey as an adult cat from a kitty rescue group. They claim to have found him in a library parking lot and so, he was named after Dewey, the famous Library Cat who has been the subject of a number of books. I have no idea if this library story is true or not. I kinda doubt it. I figure they said "Orange tabby! Let's name him after that famous orange tabby, Dewey Readmore Books!"

They theorized that Dewey had once been someone's pet who was dumped from a kitty carrier. He's got an pretty intense fear of the carrier, but I am not sure that is unusual. Normally getting either Dewey or Junebug into the carrier is a two-person job, but Thursday Morning, 8 AM it was just me. I got him in there in about five minutes and don't ask me how. My memories of it are pretty blurry but I am sure there was shoving and Greenies involved.


Like I said, Dewey turned out to be fine. He's got some slight swelling of the anal glands which is the cause of the blood we found on the floor. The vet did something to them, I don't know what. I turn around when someone goes at my cat's butt with a paper towel. He has some pills to help with that. And he also got his shots and blood drawn for his yearly blood test.

And so we thought Dewey would not have to return to the vet on Friday.


We were wrong, of course.

There was a problem with his bloodwork. I don't really know what the deal with that was. It sounded over the phone like a technical error. He needed more blood drawn.


Friday: June's appointment.

When my mother called to make the original appointments, she scheduled them for 4:30. When I left the vet's office on Thursday morning, they said something about 5:00. I just sort of followed Mom's lead on this one, assuming that she knew better than me when she made the appointment.

What PROBABLY happened was Dewey was scheduled for 4:30, Junebug was scheduled for 5:00. Dewey's appointment was moved up to Thursday, leaving the vet's office to expect us at 5:00. But we were there at 4:30.


Here are things I did not know prior to Friday:
1) Cats can pant. They usually pant during times of high stress, like a car ride, or when they are very, very ill.
2) Junebug can meow. (She normally squeaks.)
3) Junebug can meow loudly.

Junebug spent the ten minute ride to the vet panting and loudly meowing and was absolutely inconsolable. In her defense, she has never ridden in a cat carrier by herself before. We got her when she was a kitten and she and Dewey used to fit in one carrier. They would ride together and neither of them would be all that stressed. Before we got her, at the rescue, she usually traveled with other kittens. Being in a carrier by herself was a new and horrific experience for her.


I honestly expected her to take a chunk out of the vet, but she was too scared to move.


Let me tell you about the nurse. This woman was pissing me off. She came into the Friday appointment with an estimate for the day's bill and spoke about everything solely in terms of how much it would cost. She looked at the invoice a hell of a lot more than she looked at either of the cats.

Put the estimate down and treat my cats! It was really angering. She would also disappear into the back to update her estimate based on services we wanted or did not want instead of, you know, actually DOING anything with the cats.


It turned out June is fighting an infection of some sort, so she got a dropper of Amoxicillin. Her eyes were red and the lymphnodes in her neck were swollen. June doesn't like being handled and she will scratch the shit out of you when you try to hold her still for her medicine. She is supposed to take one mL twice a day. Here are some of the things we have tried:

-One person holds the cat, one person forces the dropper in her mouth.
-One person holds the cat wrapped in a blanket, one person forces the dropper.
-One person holds the cat wrapped in a towel, one person forces the dropper.
-Put the medicine in milk.
-Put the medicine in plain yogurt.
-Put the medicine in water from a can of tunafish.

The tuna water one worked really well.

Junebug is cynical. Before I had these cats, I didn't really think cats had different personalities. I figured people just projected onto them. NO. Dewey and June have VERY different personalities, interests and ways to talk. June is cynical. She's still not entirely sold on us and she is hard to trick.
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