Roll With It

So talk about your roller coasters!
They finally force-fed my kitty at the vet's right before I came to see her at the end of the day. Then they sent me (and her!!!) home with a bunch of kitty opiate oral liquid pain-killers, and some pepcid. And orders to call with updates, and especially to keep track of her food intake. Of which there wasn't any.

She finally daned to use her litter box for the first time around 8am this morning. I've never been so excited about my cat's peeing habits before, let me tell you. And when I got out another dose of the pain meds, she ran over to me so I could give it to her. RAN OVER TO ME. FOR MEDICINE.

I think she's addicted. Seriously. Of course, being a tortie, that didn't mean she'd actually let me GIVE her the medicine-- she just let herself be caught so I could pry her mouth open, shove the gunk in, clamp her jaw shut, and stroke her throat while she tried to bite off her own tongue. Sigh.

So I was hopeful. Until the Vet called. The final test came back, the CDC (whatever the heck that is, it costs a hundred dollars) and it turns out her white blood cell count is horribly low. So We made an appointment to take her back into the doctor's for another test. This one was to see if she had either feline leukemia or kitty AIDS. Those being the most likely reasons for a low white blood cell count, apparently.

The drama of library conferences has NOTHING on this, folks.

But luckily, I had a massage scheduled (in trade for other work, so neither of us had to come up with cash, thank goodness!) for this morning. So I went ahead and had that done. Unluckily, I realized when my masseuse was a few minutes late that I wasn't going to make it to the vet on time, so I had to reschedule that by a half-hour. Luckily, the noon appointment time was still available. And my cat was still fairly stogned and pliant when I got home to put her in the cat carrier.

Apparently, she was also much calmer about getting her blood drawn this time around. And it only took ten minutes to get the test results back. She is evil illness-free, as far as we can tell. Luckily, it is NEITHER feline leukemia NOR kitty HIV. Unluckily, we still don't know what it IS. I have strict instructions from my vet (who also owns a tortie) to call her with updates.

And LUCKILY, I have a very wonderful update to report. As soon as we got home, she got out of the cat carrier, wandered over to the wet food that has been sitting hopefully in my room for the past few hours, and licked it a few times before wandering back to her blanket in front of the space heater. FOOD!!! She ate a bite of FOOD!!! That's more than she's eaten of her own volition in three days! WAHHOOOO!!!!

And I have finally got some hope back that she'll recover from this insane trip of hers.
Thanks for all your good thoughts, everyone. We both needed them for a while. Maybe we still do. But at the moment, Abbigale is curled up on my bed in the sun pretending that her little fore-arm isn't shaved and listening carefully, just in case I venture over to the pain medicine again. Because, as I said, she REALLY LIKES that pain medicine.

So, basically, three days of worry and vet bills later, the only thing we know for sure is that she had some really painful gas, stopped eating, got really dehydrated, and is now hooked on pain killers. Not necessarily in that order. ...sigh.


Loving Abbigale

My cat is in the Animal Hospital today. They're trying to figure out why she stopped eating and drinking two days ago, why her chest hurts, why she has a build-up of gas, why she's been puking and other grossness for the last 24 hours, at both ends. And how to make it all better.

I'm trying to figure out how I'm going to cope. She is a fixture in my life. She is one of my best friends, and my life-companion. She is only ten years old. And if she needs surgery to remove an obstruction in her bowels, I'm not sure I can pay for it.

I'm trying to figure out how to make my situation go away. How to have a job, or another credit card, so that I could have a hope of paying for this. Or rent. Rent would be nice to be able to pay, too. I'm trying to figure out how I got so desperate financially that I would even consider NOT getting this $800-$2000 surgery for my Abbigale. I'm looking into donations from animal-rescue organizations. I'm looking into my credit card totals to see how bad they really are. I'm looking into payment plans. My vet is looking into some possible other cause for her illness.

I'm trying to cope with my sudden reality that I've already spent $600 on her medical care today, and that I really don't want to wake up without her tomorrow... and that it costs less to put my best friend to sleep than to heal her... but even that would be expensive. I'm really trying to cope with reality, but failing.

Because the reality is that she is my one ability to keep coping with my life. She gives me a reason to get up (even if it's a half-hour earlier than I wanted to get up), and she helps me sleep at night. She loves me unconditionally, and forgives me for being selfish and stupid from time to time. Nobody else does that. How can I weigh her life against something as stupid as two or three months' worth of rent payments.

I have some wonderful wonderful human friends-- and some of them have really been there for me when I've been in tight spots at various times. But believe me-- I've spent more time being content because SHE was content to be with me than I have just happy on my own account. So here it is.

The last few shreds of hope I have are that maybe the problem is something that can actually be fixed without surgery... or that I won the lottery last week and just don't know it yet. Because as much as I need a job, and want the opportunity to earn my way-- I'm going to feel like shit if I get a good-paying job within a few days or weeks of putting her to sleep for lack of funds.

I know that my desires are purely selfish here-- the desire to keep her alive, and the desire not to go into debt to do so. And I've realized, that as much as it's going to hurt-- whatever the outcome-- what I really want is for her to know I love her, and for her not to suffer. Whatever that means, I think I can make my peace with it. Eventually. After the heart-hurt eases a bit, and the empty spot starts to heal. I know I'm never going to fill her spot.

Today, I'm just sitting around waiting for news, researching dead-end financial options and grant moneys for emergency pet care, and crying. At least, after I made the vet appointment last night, she and I had the whole night to lay together and cuddle on the bed. And even though she had to get off the bed to vomit and have diareah about five or six times, she always made her way back up to where she could sleep on my arm, curled into my side.

God, Goddess, please let her live.