Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Monday, and more health problems in the household

So, I had gotten ready for work and was just leaving the house when I realized I hadn’t seen Scruffy yet. I was a bit worried about him as on Sunday night he was walking funny. I found him under the bed, seemingly unable to move! I got him out and onto the soft little rug next to the bed. I covered him with the yellow lap blanket, gave him a bowl of water and a little food and then had to go.

After 8:00 a.m., I called the Redford VCA Beech Road Animal Hospital. I had taken him there years ago when we first moved here to get his shots. Sure enough, they still had his records. They had an open appointment at 11:40 a.m. so I took it. I asked if they had any idea what could be wrong and they said it sounds like he had a stroke! I let my boss know what was going on and that I probably would be taking a long lunch.

So, I left for home a little after 11:00. When I got there, I grabbed the cat carrier out from under the workbench, where it has sat undisturbed for many years. It was all dusty, so I brushed it off with a broom, took it inside and grabbed a blanket. I shoved the blanket inside (without looking – dumb) and then loaded Scruffy inside.

Sidebar: In spite of being very clumsy, Scruffy was not in pain. He purred (as usual) when I petted him.

I got there on time, went into the examination room and they took Scruffy out. Damn! What I didn’t realize is that there was a lot of sawdust inside the carrier. The sawdust was now all over Scruffy and then their examination table.

So, the technician did the usual weight and temperature checks. Scruffy did NOT appreciate the rectal thermometer (Hey, I never did, either). Then the vet came in. She did more checks and so on. She said she needed to get some blood and a urine sample. She also wanted to take some x-rays.

The x-rays were telling. Scruff has a lot of arthritis in his spine and legs, but she said that would be normal for a cat that old. There also was a spot in his lungs that could either be a tumor or an embolism. She said they could order a biopsy, but that at his age, the “cure” might be worse than just leaving it alone. She said he was dehydrated and his electrolytes were all messed up. Now, there is no night staff at this place, so they can’t keep the animals overnight. What she suggested was to leave him there in the afternoon. They would run an i.v. to get some fluids in him, along with a strong antibiotic and some potassium. I was to come back at 5:30 p.m. and they would see if he had improved. If he had, I could take him home. If not, they would send me to another clinic where he could stay all night. I agreed and went back to work.

At 5:00, I raced up there. Unfortunately, since I didn’t have an appointment, I had to wait a l-o-n-g time. Finally the vet came in and she said Scruffy was making good progress. She suggested three different outcomes: one, I take him home for the night after they disconnect his i.v. Two, I take him to an all-night clinic in Commerce Township (about 20 miles away), where they would watch him. I asked if he would be still be getting the i.v. and she said, “No they are more like baby sitters. But, they only charge $120.00 US as opposed to $500-750 dollars.”

I asked what the third option was and she said she would like to keep him there overnight, with the i.v. intact. The downside was that, God forbid, he dies, he dies alone. I said, “Well, I wasn’t that damn impressive as an owner when I went to bed and never realized there was a problem!” So, we shook hands and she took me back to see him.

He was looking a lot better, despite the i.v. stuck in his front leg and was eating some chicken scraps. I petted him and told him I would pick him up tomorrow, so he could go back to torment Caley. He purred like a mother fncker and I left him there.

On the way out, I paid a “deposit” of $500.00 US. I had been saving that for a compound miter saw, but, when I thought about it, $500 dollars divided into 24 years was like spit per day. Scruffy’s worth it! Me and that cat have been through a lot!!!

It did remind me of something Dr. McClellann told us once, way back in the day. Lu had mentioned we were leaving there to take a cat to the vet. He laughed and said taking a cat to the vet was like trying to get your Bic lighter repaired…

Hey, it was funny, then. Not so much today.

I got home and called Jake. I filled him in on the details (it’s his freakin cat, after all).

Then I washed all the mats and rugs Scruffy had laid on. I pulled my bedroom night stands outside the bedroom. I vacuumed it and then washed the floors, moving the bed as required. I didn’t have any idea what he might have barfed on or pissed on. But, I wanted it nice for his triumphant return!

I finally made a sandwich of the thawed-out Honey-Baked smoked turkey, some French bread and the last of the mayo. I watched a little TV but went to bed at 9:30 p.m. It had been a long day.

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