Friday, January 3, 2014

How the Vet Stole Christmas

This is an old post. I wrote it a month and a bit ago. I am putting it on the interwebs now because I was too lazy to proofread, but too much of a perfectionist to post it before I proofread.

How the Vet Stole Christmas: 

I had to wait a few weeks before writing this post, because it was all too fresh. It wasn't funny yet. But I think I'm ready now.

Lisa has been gone four weeks. Because the Navy is specifically designed for anal-retentive competitive people like Lisa, she is actually enjoying all the unpleasantness the Navy inflicts on candidates. It sounds pretty terrible to me, but I suppose this is why I am the Navy Wife. I get emotional when I'm sleep deprived, and I'm sure I would have been sent home from training after less than twenty four hours.

I am settling into a routine on my own, which mostly revolves around cat feeding/playing/sleeping times, as explained in my post about Lisa's Colorado trip.

I love Lisa a lot. And I want to keep her happy. And it would make her very UNhappy if I killed one of her feline children. It's a lot of pressure.

General Observation: many lesbians are a little weird about their pets. I have yet to meet a gay animal mommy that wasn't in a slightly atypical codependent relationship with their fur babies.

Let me start off by saying being a single mom is hard. Props to those who manage it with real live human babies and successfully keep them alive.

I don't think I can be one of those people.

I almost killed Marvin.

Well, actually, he tried to commit suicide because I left home for too long.

I work Wednesday evenings, and then am home for nineish hours before heading to work again Thursday morning. I like this arrangement, because it allows me to cram all the work into a condensed time frame on those days, and leaves lots of time for origami and runs and coffee shops and baking.

(Incidentally, my freezer is full of baking because there's no one around to eat it and I consistently over-estimate my cookie-eating capacity. I had to toss some cupcakes I'd frozen to make room for more cat meat. It was a sad day)

Anyways, on those two days, the kitties are alone more than they think is ideal. And Marvin comes up with new and exciting ways to induce vomiting and/or diarrhea. Tinkle is a good kitty, and remains content with angry pooping in my shoes or on my pillow when I leave for too long. Not Marvin. He rifles through cupboards, climbs on top of fridges and snoops under the bed, looking for all the things he shouldn't be putting in his mouth.

That fateful Thursday I came home to a decidedly lethargic Marvin. I am ashamed to admit I was happy he was so quiet, and thanked a benevolent higher power for a silent kitty. For about half an hour. Then I went into the kitchen to feed them, and immediately noticed the letter I'd left on the counter was gone.

 It was a letter to Lisa, containing a baggie of iron supplements that she had requested I send. I found the letter shoved behind the juicer, the envelope and baggie ripped open and covered in cat hair and drool.

The baggie was empty.

I swore.

And immediately started Googling.

The all-knowing internet said I had killed him. He was for sure a goner.

I started hysterically crying while I shakily dialed the vet's office, explaining through sobs that I had poisoned my fiancee's fur baby.

While I was on the phone, said feline started sprinting around the living room, yowling as he projectile vomited on walls, floor, couch and coffee table.

I didn't know cats could projectile vomit. It was simultaneously horrific and fascinating.

And then Tinkle tried to eat it.

While I cursed the cats, Lisa and the universe in general, I followed the Marvin the Magical Vomit Fountain around on my hands and knees, sloshing water and soap on everything.

Suzanne rescued me from my soggy living room and drove us to the vet. She was laughing. I was not.

After 30 minutes and a quick visit with the vet tech, I was told to go home, and give him lots of fluid and things that would speed the iron through his system.

So began forty eight hours of obsessively syringing water, meat, psyllium husk, pumpkin and spirulina slurry into Marvin every hour on the hour. Yes, I made him a high-fibre cat smoothie.

I set my phone alarm through the night to make sure he was still breathing.

Those two days were a dark time. It was kind of like being in charge of someone else's extremely ill and hideously hairy newborn.

He was fine. A little dopey, but fine.

I was a nervous wreck.

On Saturday, he was still fine. But I continued to Google cat iron overdoses, and stumbled across a new article. This all-knowing-web-forum-contributing veterinarian told me that cats with iron poisoning will seem to get better, only to deteriorate and die over a period of weeks or months.

I concluded that because his condition seemed to be steadily improving, Marvin was probably going to die.
Marvin on his death bed
So, sleep deprived and suffering from internet-induced heart palpitations, I took him to another vet.

Four hundred dollars and several hours later, he said that Marvin was fine. A very healthy elderly kitty, in fact.

So Lisa will receive three sheets of blood work results, and a brand new cat insurance policy as her main presents for Christmas. (Surprise, Honey! You're welcome) Instead of chocolate and expensive knick knacks, I will fill her stocking with origami and cat fur puppets felted by yours truly.

I have learned two things from this whole experience:

Firstly, I need an adult to deal with crisis situations. I am lucky to know some grown-ups in Newfoundland now, and was very very thankful for all of them. Especially the ones willing to talk me down from the ledge in the middle of the night. (Well, it was actually Marvin I was dangling over the ledge) And the ones willing to drive me to the vet at an ungodly hour on their day off.

Secondly (and most importantly) Google is not a veterinarian.

No comments:

Post a Comment