Tinkerbell, Paris Hilton's prize pooch, has nothin' on our Platinum Pet...not after this weekend's excitement, that is. It's kind of funny/sad - I tend to ridicule people who drop oodles of money on the care and grooming of their pets, saying things like 'it's a dog people!' or 'it's a damn cat!' Funny how wisecrack statements like that always seem to come back and bite me in the ass.
So one of our two family cats, Juna, is an old lady by any measure. The cat just turned fourteen - at our best estimate - seeing as she was recovered/rescued from a parking lot by my former housemate sometime in 1998 and the vet at that time estimated her age. But even if you give or take a few years, we're still talking about a cat that is well over twelve years old - making her the equivalent of somewhere between 70 and 80 human years old (according to calculator cat - which by the way - WHY is there such a website as calculator cat?!?)
ANYWAY - surprisingly, the cat is very healthy. Happy, sweet, kinda sassy at times, but overall a good pet. And I think we've done a good job caring for her - despite the fact that the cat never goes to the vet unless there is something seriously wrong - like the time she vomited profusely all over the house - prompting a night-time visit to the pet ER for what turned out to be an $800 hairball.
Saturday evening, after a full day of running around and going non-stop with the children (with no nap for any of them I might add), we return home so I can start dinner. I'm in the kitchen, children are in the den and I hear 'ewwww, Mommy, the cat pooped!' I immediately go in to find all sorts of grossness all over the carpet, the couch, the back of the couch cushions.
So I suspect it's Juna - because the night before I noticed that she was moving kind of slow and looked a bit unkempt - her fur was kind of dingy and not fluffy and shiny like normal. I picked her up to see if I could determine the problem (she's a long-haired cat so at first glance she appeared fine) and my hand felt something soft, something squishy, and something wet and oozy right near her bottom.
I turned her over to see if I could figure out what it was - and didn't look long to realize something was terribly wrong. And yeah - I'm sure I started to overreact and hyperventilate a bit - while trying to maintain composure in front of the children.
Thankfully my awesome sister-in-law agreed to come over right away to watch the kids so I could cart the cat off to the pet ER. Surprisingly, we were seen fairly quickly - and the vet agreed to keep the cat overnight to run the battery of tests to determine exactly what the problem was so I could go home and relieve my sister-in-law. At first guess, the vet thought it was some sort of abscess on her female cat parts.
So I leave the cat - after forking over $574 for the diagnostics they would perform and some pain management so the cat would be comfortable during said examination and await the call from the vet that comes in around midnight with the news.
Are you ready for this?
So apparently the cat had a clogged anal duct. What in the hell is an anal duct and how does it become clogged?!? I still don't know, but apparently it's not un-common - especially in old cats. It abscessed - so they had to clip the cat's hair and tail (leaving behind a naked cat ass and half a bushy tail) and clean out what is now a gaping wound about 3" in diameter (I stopped her when she started telling me in descriptive detail what they cleaned out) and give her a lot of pain medicine and antibiotic injections. To the tune of another $280. And instructions to come retrieve the cat by 9 am the following morning.
I gather the children the following morning - bribe them with the promise of donuts after we get the cat so I can get them all in the car - and we go collect Juna - which was an adventure in and of itself as my three offspring decided the pet ER was the perfect place to act like freaking monkeys and jump off the furniture, climb on the exam tables, and completely ignore my telling them to sit down and zip their lips.
I get a package of information of how to CLEAN THE WOUND - because I'm expected to deal with that nastiness at least twice a day, the name of a special kind of cat litter we have to use for several weeks until the wound stops draining and closes (so the litter won't get in the gaping hole in her ass and cause infection), and another type of collar to get to go around her neck so she won't be able to lick or chew in the wound. (Because the ER grade collars don't do crap and the cat managed to get it off within seconds of them putting it on.)
Oh, and by the way, they also detected a heart murmur - and recommended that I take Juna to a cat cardiologist to discuss methods of treatment. The cat cardiologist?!? The what?!? And I need to be sure to remember to discuss this when I take the cat to her 'regular' vet on Wednesday for a follow up. (Regular vet is a bit of a misnomer - as I said - my cats don't go to the vet on a 'regular' basis and they aren't up to date on vaccinations. But hell, I've done something right, the cat is fourteen years old and I haven't managed to kill it yet....)
So we get the cat home - get her established (sort of) in the basement - which is to be her new home until all of this heals - because God forbid I do NOT want anymore 'drainage' all over our house. And then head out to the pet store - where we drop another $200 on said supplies (which also included two types of cleaners to deal with the mess on the upholstery and carpet - one to deal with the stains - the other the smells - but I'm happy to report I think it's all fresh and clean.)
Finally we return home - get the basement as clean as possible - get the cat(s) settled - because both animals have to reside full time in the basement now - I refuse to have two litter boxes and food/water bowls set up in the house - and all is well. Sort of. Sterling (the other geriatric cat at age twelve - who is now on arthritis medicine by the way) now HATES Juna. I'm not sure if she's freaked out by the weird haircut or the cat collar thing or the smell of the cat from being in the vet ER - whatever - she keeps hissing at Juna and running away.
Oh well. They can figure out a way to co-habitate in their place of sequestration.
For now - I'm trying to figure out just how I ended up spending $1K on a cat - an old geriatric cat - that we'll most likely have to find a home for when/if we ever move to Virginia. Or how I can justify an $800 overnight stay for myself, ANYWHERE, so that I can get a break away from all of this craziness.
Hell, I'd settle for a $69 room at the Motel 6. Rats. Oozing cats. Monkey behaving children.
I'm all full up of crazy for this week.