I want to start this post by saying, I am a parent. Granted my children aren't of the human persuasion, but for me, in this point and time in my life, they are my children.
Please, parents of actually living, breathing tiny humans, spare me any comments about how I have no idea what it's like to have a sick child, that pets just don't compare. I'm sure in very many ways the don't. Just know I'm aware of that.
This weekend has been a long one for myself, my husband and my kiddos. Angus, our cat started acting off this weekend. From his symptoms we googled and narrowed it down to a possible UTI. Not usually a big deal I suppose, but for me, it's felt like it was. You see, the last time I owned a cat, that had this problem, I was pretty young. We had a male cat, who was black by the name of Autumn. He was about two years old, maybe three. Autumn got a UTI, one that I guess my parents didn't catch in time, and he died due to complications and the infection.
Fast forward to now. Mike and I are the responsible adults with pets. Ones that look out for our animals non-stop. They are our babies and our family. They sleep with us every night, wake us up ever night, and often drive us bonkers but in the end, we love them, more than I love most humans on this earth.
Angus like I said started acting strange, showing all the tell tale signs of a UTI. We quickly called our vet, since they were still open. The receptionist, that I'm not really fond of informed us they could see him first thing Monday morning. My first thought was OK, I can relax. We have an appointment and they didn't seem too concerned about seeing him right this moment.
That feeling quickly went away. The more I thought about it, I started to rationalize or maybe think very irrationally in my mind about Autumn. My first cat, my first male cat. My first male cat who was also black. I'm not saying Angus IS Autumn, but let's just say ever since I lost Autumn as a kid, I pinned for another black cat. After Autumn we only had girl cats (Misty and Barnie). We never had these issues with them. Apparently the UTI is a bit more common in fixed males.
Angus seemed OK, he was just licking himself (sorry) a lot. I tried to calm myself but then realized quickly that he hadn't gone to the bathroom in over 12 hours. Oddly enough when I returned home, from work on Friday I ran in and did some chores to get them out of the way. One being dumping and scrubbing the hell out of his litter box. Not sure what drove me to do it, other than the obvious (smell).
I got it all cleaned up and the first thing he's always sure to do, is use it right after I clean it. Literally it takes him maybe 5 minutes once he knows it's clean to mark his territory again. I can tell he's gone #2 (again sorry) but no #1s to speak of.
This concerned me. After enjoying a dinner for my sister-in-law's birthday, with Mike's family and after talking with his mom about the emergency vet - we put our evening plans to go out and see a friend's band on hold and drove Angus over to the ER Vet to get him looked at.
It's insane how much vet bills can be, but when you're concerned, money just doesn't seem to matter. Thankfully I had the money handy to handle this, but money wasn't my worry. His health was.
They instructed us we'd have to wait a bit, both doctors were in surgery. An anxious but friendly couple waited in the waiting room next to us. I knew it was their baby that was in surgery. Literally what felt like maybe 15 mins, and it was probably 30 max the doctor came out to see us. Can you imagine if that was an actual ER. If we had a human child, I bet we'd be there for 2 hours before getting some attention.
He gave ole' Doodle Bear (one of his many pet names) a once over and determined that he had blockage. I won't go into specifics but apparently it's a common thing. Angus was going to have to stay overnight for observation etc. This was rough for me. In the 8 years that we've owned him, I've never been away from him unless we were out of town. He's never been left at a kennel. He's always been in the comfort of his own home. I felt horrible, but I knew it was for the best.
After a night of horrible sleep, I woke up and quickly started doing chores I wanted to get done (like taking down the Christmas tree, don't judge me!) and doing dishes etc. It was almost as if I felt like I was preparing the house to make it nice for Angus to return too. Mike got in on the act too cleaning and straightening.
By noon we were told we could come get him. As soon as they brought his little, sedated body out, they handed him over to me and I wrapped him in a blanket. He meowed a bit (which he doesn't do often) and clung to me resting his head on my shoulder. I nearly lost it right there. I'm going to blame PMS because I'm not usually such blubbering type of person, then again, he's like my son, so maybe when it comes to my kids I will be (prepare yourself Mike!).
We were instructed to take him home and let him rest. That he may or may not urinate since he had a catheter all night, and was pumped full of fluids to ensure he wasn't dehydrated but that he might be all pee-ed out. And that we needed to keep our vet appointment on Monday to let our vet asses him, give him meds if needed and a diet for dealing with this.
Once home, Angus was a bit out of it but you could tell he was glad to be there. He tried to use his restroom with little luck, ate a ton of wet food we got him, and then proceeded to relax the rest of the day. He was still having issues getting comfortable. He'd lay for a moment, then be up, move around, then lay down again. You could tell the sedation was taking a toll on him. I finally got him to lay on my chest for a bit later that day. We relaxed together and he slept on the bed as I watched his and my favorite Food Network. Truth be told I don't know if he likes it but I always watch it so I think it calms him too.
We started noticing the accidents that afternoon. I think quite possibly, he was peeing in his sleep. We cleaned up the bed. Then later had to clean it up again. We also noticed he messed on his sister, June, our Dog's bed. Again, I think this is happening when he's sleeping. I feel terrible. Awful that he's going through this. I can't even get frustrated. This must be how mom's feel when their little ones get sick, or wet the bed. What can you do but feel sorry for them.
I know he's in pain.
This morning we took him to his appointment and had to leave him for observation. I lost it pulling away from the vet. Like I said I'm usually very calm, collected and I don't lose it easy. I blame hormones, PMS, and maybe, just maybe fear and worry. Mike always says if June passes, he'll be a mess, and I know I will too, but I feel like I might be a bigger mess with Angus. Not because I love him more, that's not it, he's my buddy. He's a momma's boy for the most part. Just like June while she loves me, is more apt to be all about Mike. It's just how they are.
I can't think about bad stuff like that, it makes me sick. For now I just want him better.
The vet called Mike and explained the issues with the accidents, he will give us meds for that, for the blockage, a new diet, and he's checking out blood work now to ensure nothing is wrong with his kidneys. My fingers are crossed.
We will be heading this evening to the pharmacy to get him some pills. Yes, I said pharmacy. Apparently Angus is getting only the finest people meds. I wonder if my insurance will work with that?
I'm starting to consider pet insurance right now, honestly.
Tonight it will kill me, but I will make a nice bed, in the bathroom for Angus. Place his litter box in there with his food and water, and make him a cozy home. His room where we keep all this stuff isn't heated and there is a winter advisory tonight for icy conditions. Not ideal for his wellness. Any other room in the house I fear he'll mess on the rugs, so maybe just maybe the bathroom will be just right. Only disturbed when we have to use it ourselves. He had a heating vent in there that is his favorite place to lay and hide (behind the curtain).
If you are the praying type, and I am. Keep little Angus in your prayers. I know he'll pull through this. I just need to get past this nagging feeling in my gut, the fear I have of not having him close. Mike has praised me for noticing his off behavior, which makes me feel good. Maybe I have more of a maternal instinct than I give myself credit for.
If you've made it this far, thanks for reading. I just had to get this all out before I started welling up and crying at work. I am not a public cryer.