Friday, December 15, 2006

Pluses and minuses

Cat1 & Cat2, November 2006

Baloo, who I've been referring to as Cat2 here, has been very sick for the past several months and took a turn for the worse this week after the most recent round of chemo*. He seemed to have dramatically less strength and stability in his legs (than the already low baseline of the last few weeks), he wasn't really eating or drinking and was just hiding in the basement for a good part of the evening and following morning.

When I took him to the vet for his appointment the next day, he really wasn't looking good, and talking over the options, I was having a hard time keeping my shit together. Actually, let's be honest: I pretty much completely lost my shit while talking to the vet. I hate it when I can't keep it together. But yeah, he wasn't doing well. The vet remarked that he looked pale (possible low red blood cell count) and that he had a fever, and she talked about the possibility of hospitalization, more testing, antibiotics, a possible blood transfusion, all with a pretty poor prognosis. I was basically thinking that I wanted him to be home in a familiar environment, and wanted the SOOTTAD to be able to spend some time with him as she was flying in the next day (today) before, well, you know...

They left me alone to sob uncontrollably in peace, and I eventually got most of it out of my system or under control, or, well, something. While waiting for the assistant to return, I tried giving him reiki** just hoping that it might make him more comfortable. It turns out there were a number of uncharacteristic snafus including lost samples, and the vet being called into a meeting of some kind -- I was kind of shellshocked and it didn't really phase me at that point. In the end, we decided not to get the bloodwork test results rushed (STAT!), and I took him home with an IV bag of fluids that they had showed me how to administer and the plan was just to keep an eye on him and the vet would call when she had more information.

Through the afternoon, Boo settled down awkwardly on the bed upstairs. It raised my spirits ever so slightly that he chose the bedroom over the darkened basement, but I was still worried. Cat1 (Stimpy, named by the Ex, who for the present we will simply refer to as Tubby McEatsalot because he's been chowing down on all the food Boo hasn't wanted) spent the day with him, and I actually tried to work from bed for a while so I could spend more time with him.

The vet called with the test results: low RBC count as expected, high WBC count -- an indication of a possible infection. Instead of taking him in for more tests, we opted for prescribing a course of antibiotics, which meant another trip back to Angell. I went after dinner, and stopped in on a friend before heading home, and when I got back, he actually came downstairs, crying for food and drinking some water.

We'll take the small victories.

Of course, the downside to the feel-good experience of seeing the cat upstairs amongst the living, is discovering that while he was feeling well enough to want to sleep upstairs through the afternoon and evening, he wasn't feeling quite well enough to actually make it back downstairs to the litterbox. And finding a bed soiled with cat pee some time after midnight just before you're going to climb into it really isn't on my list of the best things in life. Yay, full load of laundry at 1am.

But, y'know? For now, I'll take it.

* Yes, he's getting chemotherapy. One of these days I'll actually get into all that.

** So, uh, yeah, I did a Reiki workshop last month. There's a story there too, but I'm not sure I'll get around to writing about it.


Rebecca said...

I'm so sorry to hear about your sick kitty. It's always so hard to know what to do.

leah said...

oh stany, i'm so sorry. it breaks my heart to hear about baloo and how ill he is. poor baby. he has the sweetest face. i'm happy to hear of the small victories. give your meows a smooch for me.