It may not look like it, but this
flew out to Indiana for Andy's family reunion obscenely early on
Thursday morning. Because it's such a busy time of year for our
friends, how much I would worry about fires with the drought this year,
and because I wanted to poison the little vole-monsters who have been
plaguing the garden all spring, I thought it would be a brilliant idea
to board the cats while we were gone. Because of our travel times, the
cats were due to check in the day before we left and get picked up the
day after we arrived. I made the reservations well in advance, made a
copy of their immunization records, and thought I was really pretty
clever for coming up with this whole idea in the first place.
feeling like I was planning ahead, we dug out the suitcases Tuesday
night. I have joked many times about Theo getting upset when he sees
suitcases come out because he hates change so much, but I always thought
I was just joking. As we now know--it's really true. I woke up at
6:00 AM Wednesday morning with a kitty who was trying to urinate about
every 10 minutes but couldn't. Urinary tract infections are painful
enough for anyone, but for male cats they can be quite dangerous. Theo
has never had one, but my old cat, Catanova, had, so I knew the
problem. So, rather than checking them in later in the afternoon after a
trip to the gym as I had carefully planned, I collected the cats and
took them to their hotel early so the vet could have a look at him.
turns out that there are two things that can stop a cat from
urinating: stress, which causes inflammation of something and results
in blood in the urine, or a bacterial infection, which is the one that
can kill male cats. But it also turns out that a stressed-out cat can
hold his bladder for a good 24 hours. So, the vet checked him, thought
he looked okay, put him on a pain-reliever, and said they would keep me
posted. So, rather than getting to worry about the house burning down
with the cats trapped inside, I got to worry about my cat's urination
problems--because boarding one's cats in a cat hotel just isn't weird
enough on its own.
Now I don't know what your
experience has been with vets, but mine has been all over the place.
We've had the wonderful people who took care of Theo when he broke his
leg, and I've had two of the I-need-a-new-boat vets--one of whom ran
several hundred dollars worth of tests when I took Catanova in for fur
falling out and sent me home with shampoo for a skin irritation which
wasn't a symptom of anything they tested for (and, to add insult to
injury, was until that point a friend of mine), and the other one wanted
to operate on Theo shortly after his leg saga to REMOVE the pin in his
leg when I took him in for coughing. So, I was a bit worried that they
put him on pain medication instead of antibiotics, and then was REALLY
worried after the vet called and didn't know that Theo had been trying
to urinate since before 6:00 AM and couldn't, in spite of my telling at
least 3 people, including the one I called to ask if I could bring him
in early to have the vet look at him. I suppose it's possible, of course, that
among their circles of friends they regularly discuss cat urinating in
normal conversation, but I was sort of thinking that at least one of
them might be writing it down. I shall know to always look for pens or typing in the future.
had been trying to make sure everything went smoothly, because this was
the first time I'd tried traveling since I hurt my back, and stress
makes my back worse, and the Valium was only going to be helpful in a
limited sense because the amount needed to relax REALLY tensed muscles
is also the amount that would have made it really hard to get me off the
plane in Denver and onto a connecting flight without the aid of a
stretcher. Luckily--and I'm sure I'll never say this again--getting up
at 4:00 AM makes one groggy enough to compensate for the lack of drugs.
We had some time in Denver, so I called again and luckily Theo had
urinated and did have blood in the urine, so it was just inflammation,
and they were going to keep him on pain-killers and an anti-depressant
while we were gone. So, I enjoyed the rest of the trip with feelings of
guilt rather than worry, which is a slight improvement.
arrived home Monday night sometime after midnight, and set off to
rescue the cats pretty early yesterday morning. They received a report
card for their behavior,
The cats were glad to be home and spent most of the day in the backyard,
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