Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Adventures of the Monkey Cat

Well, things have settled down slightly around here, and your extremely compassionate comments (Trevor has never been kissed by so many strange cats!) and e-mails deserve an update!

For most of his life, Trevor has had a voracious appetite and energy/talent for finding trouble level, and the waistline to match. He's never been full-on obese, but he's generally a bit pudgy. So I've been working on this, and in the past few weeks, Trevor actually has been losing. Yay!

Well, about a week ago I began to be concerned that he was losing too much weight. And this weekend, I realized that in fact, not only was he losing too much, but he wasn't eating. The cat who would eat anything (seriously, the only food this cat has ever turned down in his life was imitation crab, so think about that next time you go to eat it) was turning down deli ham. And when I realized that I could feel his spine, which is not good in cats, I went into a panic (panic being defined as "incoherant sobbing staggered with manic babbling which leads at least one friend to think I'm on the ledge of a high-rise." Sorry, J.) Which of course happened on a weekend when the vet was impossible to reach. My parents have a different vet that they are very happy with, so I called her first thing Monday morning, and shortly thereafter had an appointment.

So we went to that vet, where they discovered just how much fight my sick little boy had left in him. It took three vet techs and a vet to hold him to get x-rays, and while they were doing that and getting bloodwork, I could hear him yelling through a door, down a hall, and through another two doors.

After the x-rays we learned that his kidneys are two very different sizes, and we don't know why, and after the bloodwork we discovered that his liver is wonky (that's a technical term that means "isn't happy, but we don't know if it's an infection, a chronic disease, or what"). Because of the liver, I was instructed to get food into him as proficiently as I could (keeping in mind that cats throw up for sport, so putting a bunch of food in his throat and having him vomit it back up wasn't the goal.) She also wanted a urine sample, which involved segregating him from Aslan (which, frankly, Aslan has been petitioning for since he moved in) so that I could keep their output properly identified, and asking him to pee in a litter box that had been scrubbed with rubbing alcohol to sterilize it, and "filled" with 3 tablespoons (ie, about 1/10 of the amount needed) of special sterile litter, then suctioning it up, putting it in the sterile cup, and storing it in the fridge until I could get it to the vet (I don't think they were providing a helicoptor for medi-vac transport, but we didn't get that far).

So I spent all night waiting for him to pee (which is like "Waiting For Godot" but more fun) giving him several eyedroppers of food on the hour, every hour, and managed to get maybe 25 ml into him. Not good. But this afternoon I went back to the vet (without him, but one of the techs had a new bandaid on her neck, and they all said the name "Trevor" in hushed, reverant tones). There I was given an appetite stimulant to get him to eat, an antibiotic to kill any infection in the liver, a food of baby-food consistancy (the better to syringe into his mouth), and a bag of fluids, which I have to inject into him under his skin. They gave me a little lesson on the fluids, letting me practice on the office cat ("he has to earn his keep somehow!") and let me know they were extremely skeptical that I would be able to pill and inject such a fiesty little monster, all while force feeding him with a syringe.

When we got home, I went to the bathroom and gave him a squirt of food, the appetite stimulant, two squirts of food, the antibiotic, then three squirts of food, before he got "fiesty" and put a paw up (claws in) to stop me. Mama's boy. I gave him an hour break, then went back and injected the fluids under his skin, with him sitting on my lap and purring. Somewhere in this time I realized that a) perhaps they should have put more stress on the "turn the fluids off before pulling the needle out of the cat" part of the process and b) I was glad I chose to do this in the bathroom and c) his shoulders squish now when I squeeze him. I gave him two more squirts of food, then set him free.

We don't really know what's wrong, and he's still not feeling good at all, but we've made strides to getting him healthier, which is really all that matters to me in the world. I'm really, totally, thoroughly, completely, and, in all seriousness, DONE with shit happening to the ones I love.

So please keep praying for my little monkey, and I'll keep chanting "Fluid off THEN needle out"

ETA: The vet's office called this morning. Not with test results, not with billing questions. Just to see how Trevor was doing. Possibly to see if I still have all my apendages (I do - no claws have come out yet). But still.
This is a Good Vet


Blogger chacha / Jen said...

Poor kitty! I'm sending lots of good vibes your way!

10:19 PM  
Blogger rho said...

Oh Kiddo - -- I so feel for you - it is so hard. :( Keeping the good thoughts for himself. And for you too. Remember fluids off before taking out needle .... hehehe So just how wet did you get?

11:45 PM  
Blogger KT said...

Well, at least they know where the problem is and can start looking to fix it. And it definitely sounds like Trevor is nowhere near down for the count!

More snuggles being sent for you and Trevor!

12:30 AM  
Blogger Emily said...

I'm so sorry to hear Trevor isn't feeling well! At least it sounds like you've found a good vet and things are moving in the right direction, but I know how upset you must be feeling. Oliver and I are sending get well vibes your way!

2:04 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Just wait -- when T is all better he will still want his Special Syringe Food and Important Sterile Litterbox. He'll deserve it, though. You'll deserve a massage. In fact, you deserve one now! Love to all of you!

8:03 AM  
Blogger Stacey said...

I hope Trevor is better! It sounds like you are doing all the right things...

10:12 AM  
Blogger Rachel said...

Poor kitty, and poor Amie! A feisty kitty is a good sign. They'll figure it out and fix him up good.

10:44 AM  
Blogger Jody said...

I'm so glad you got some food in him!! I am still more worried about YOU though!!!

10:19 PM  
Blogger Madame Purl said...

Sending get well kitty vibes to the baby.

12:03 AM  
Blogger Kim in Oregon said...

We gave three cats fluids for over three years. Believe it or not, they actually got used to it because (we believe) they realized that the fluids made them feel better.

INitially, we would wrap them in a blanket like a burrito to keep them still, but after a short period they got used to it. Good luck with it!

3:45 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Poor Trevor. And poor Amie. Hang in there. I am sending healthy thoughts and many hugs your way. Linda

8:33 AM  
Blogger Carol said...

Soapturtle sent me. My Micha-kitty and I are sending good vibes your way as I type. Hope things are going well.

11:48 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am sending good vibes
I will be thinking of Trevor and you


8:26 AM  

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