This was the weekend of the Kitty Emergency. Kirk and I were hoping to have a nice, relaxing weekend full of take-out food and rented movies (and maybe even a little baking), but it was not in the cards for us. We instead spent our weekend going and back and forth between our apartment and the emergency vet clinic in Roscoe Village.
It started late Saturday morning. We actually slept in until 11am, and it felt WONDERFUL. Kirk got up and started stirring around, and I felt Sneezer (cat #1) curl up next to my butt. Kirk came back to bed, and I grabbed Sneezer to cuddle with her. She was acting weird, kind of lethargic, and was drooling (which was totally weird). I didn’t think much of it, until I was in bathroom cleaning washing the litter box mat and Kirk came with a rug from our bedroom that had been vomited on. It was not regular cat puke, so we went and checked on the Sneeze. When we saw her she had started drooling even more, and it was a little foamy – not normal behaviour for any living creature. We noticed that our flower bouquet had been played with, (and Thelma, cat #2, had pollen streaked across her face – but she seemed ok) so we thought maybe Sneezer had chewed on some greenery that she shouldn’t have. We were worried, but not excessively worried yet. You can tell from the pic below that she likes to munch on stuff…
We cleaned up the bathroom (changed out the litter box, washed the rug, etc…), and then checked back in on the cat. She was still clearly ill (increasingly lethargic and still having a drooling/foaming problem), so we knew we needed to call a vet. While I hopped in the shower Kirk looked up an emergency vet clinic online and called them. Since we weren’t sure exactly what kinds of flowers were in our bouquet, they told us to bring the flowers and the cat in for a look. So we got dressed, popped Sneezer into the kitty carrier, and off we went. When we arrived at the vet office they took one look at the flowers and noticed that it looked like a lily had been chewed on and, as it turns out, lilies are highly toxic for cats and without prompt treatment cause Kidney failure.
“So when did the cat ingest the lily?” the vet asked us. We had no idea – we assumed sometime during the night or early morning while we were sleeping. He recommended ingested charcoal, IV fluids for 48 hours, and blood tests throughout the treatment period. They also recommended giving her some anti-emetics to stop the vomiting. And then the vet asked us if we had any other cats. Yes… in deed we do. We have one that we left in the apartment with toxic pollen all over her face. He recommended that we bring her in for treatment as well. Even though she wasn’t showing any symptoms yet, chances were high that she would try to clean the pollen off her face and and would ingest the toxin. He said that often times, once pets show symptoms it is often too late. So, we knew we would have to bring Thelma in as well.
Ok… so the vet left the little examination room with Sneezer and one of the techs came in with our treatment estimate. Crap. When we saw it I almost started to cry. For the treatment it was going to be $800 on the low end, and up to $1000 on the high end. Yikes. She asked us if we needed a minute, and we took her up on the offer. As soon as she left I looked at Kirk and started to cry. The last few months had been really hard financially for us – I had some major car problems (close to $2000 in repairs), we moved, he had some car problems, we had our trip to Paris (which we had planned several months ago) and now this. Our emergency funds were pretty much depleted. And because we had two cats, we pretty much had to take the estimate and multiply it by 2. Ugh. It’s a difficult situation to be in – – – seeing your pet really ill and possibly on the brink of death, and trying to figure out what you can afford. How do you place a dollar amount on the life of a creature that you choose to share your life with? For people that aren’t pet owners, it sounds pretty cheesy… but it’s actually a really tough decision to make. Ultimately, we decided to figure it out later and move forward with the treatment for our kitties.
We signed paperwork and left Sneezer there and went home to fetch Thelma. When we found her in the apartment, it was clear that she had tried to clean the pollen off her face. So I grabbed her, washed her off as best as I could, stuffed her in the kitty crate, and off we went with Cat #2. The vet examined her and took her into the back so she could start her treatment as well. We gave the tech an old t-shirt of Kirk’s for her kennel, and Sneezer got her “Comfort Squirrel” to keep her company. Once Thelma got all hooked up to her IV and machines, we were able to go see them. Thelma came right up to the front of the cage to meow and say hi, but Sneezer didn’t move at all. It was very upsetting seeing our little kitties all sickly and sad.
We left the vet’s office and I started to cry – I barely stopped all afternoon. The thought of losing both of our cats in the same weekend was too upsetting to even think about. We came home and did all of our chores to keep busy – I cleaned the kitchen and bathroom, and Kirk vacuumed and mopped the floors. We then gathered all of our laundry and went out to laundromat. Yes. We know how to party on a Saturday night. we got back around 9:30-10pm, and decided to go visit the kitties to see how they were doing – it was the first of many visits we would make this weekend. When we got there we found out Thelma had gotten sick, but seemed to be doing better, and Sneezer had eaten a little bit of baby food. Thelma was a little agitated and kept meowing and sticking her paw through her cage over into Sneezer’s. We like to think she was worried about the Sneeze.
We proceeded to visit them Sunday morning and Sunday night as well. Thelma has generally been mopey but ok, and Sneezer’s blood tests were somewhat inconclusive. So, this afternoon is the big day when we get the final test results to see if we can take them home or if there is permanent damage. We’re hopeful that everything is going to be ok and our little family can be back together tonight, but we’ll see.
Those goofy stupid cats – – – that flower bouquet is by-far the most expensive bouquet I’ve ever bought. And this apartment will never see a bouquet again unless it’s been thoroughly researched prior to entering.