This is a little later than I had intended to update; you’ll see the reason soon enough. But I want to preface this with a story about another cat who lived with us, back when we were still in Maryland. This cat’s name was Buzz-z; he was a grey plush who weighed in right about coon cat size. He’d been allowed to roam by his then-owner, and one night he and a raccoon met each other out on the town, the raccoon said something, Buzz-z said something in return and, well. . .they kinda broke up the bar.
Buzz-z came home sporting multiple scrapes, scratches and bites, and over the course of a couple days, during which his owner refused to take him to the vet, because “cats heal,” he became sick, and progressively sicker. We remonstrated with the owner, the owner was adamant that it was “no sense” taking a cat to the vet, whereupon I suggested that what the owner really wanted to do, instead of talking to an animal control officer, was to give me the cat.
Steve and I then took our new cat to our vet, who checked him over, did blood work, and an x-ray, which found what appeared to be a raccoon tooth buried in Buzz-z’s right foreleg, and said, “I’m not sure I can save this one, guys.”
We left him there, and waited for the call that would tell us that we’d waited too long.
Well…the phone did ring, about five hours later, and it was the vet. And the vet said something like, Can you guys come down here and pick up Buzz-z? He won’t stay in a cage, and he’s running all around the office, flirting with the girls, and nobody’s getting any work done.
So, raise a glass of whatever it is you’re having to Buzz-z, who taught us that, You never can tell with cats.
Had we not had this lesson, we might well have told the emergency vet to let Socks go. Had we, frankly, been as broke as we have sometimes been in the past (and indeed, as we were when we intervened on Buzz-z’s behalf), we might have told her to let Socks go. Knowing that we had the funds to buy time, to see what would happen with treatment, because you never can tell with cats — I don’t think I can begin to tell you what a relief that was. Thank you all, again.
So, for today. . .We got up before breakfast, picked Socks up at the Lewiston Emergency Clinic, wearing a cone of shame and sporting some serious gearage in his right foreleg, and drove him up to our vet in Waterville to continue the IV hydration project.
The second we took him out of his cat carrier in the examining room, he perked up (he hates to be in the cat carrier and in addition this morning there was the whole cone of shame issue), he demanded skritches, he ran up to his vet and head-butted her, he made happy feet. . .
We left him, expecting that he would stay on ’til Wednesday, when the emergency vet’s 72 hours of hydration was complete. Around 3:15 (after we had a nap, and lunch, and dealt with some business correspondence), we got a call from the vet, saying that we should come and get him, the new panel of blood work had shown much lower BUN/CREA numbers (though they are still elevated); the blood sugar values were down to normal. There was, yes, still the heart murmur, and the cancer issue which another of the vets in the practice had also scoped out, so there’s three vets saying the same thing, but what we have in hand at the moment is a joyful, comfortable, mischevious cat-person, who is extremely happy to be home.
So, that’s what we’re going with. Steve and I now both know how to give subcutaneous liquids; we have needles and eleven sessions worth of lactated ringer solution, and Socks is right now sitting on the co-pilot’s chair beside me, having just finished giving himself a very thorough bath.