Thursday, May 12, 2005

Sick Cats

Our cats have been sick again lately.

Fysh got a nasty upper respiratory infection. It sounded like she was breathing through a thin layer of mud - her breaths were all spluttery. And she'd do her reverse-sneezing bit pretty often, resulting in big snot globules hanging from her face or all over the wall/window where she stood. We felt horrible and got a round of anti-biotics. Some of that, another drug, and her asthma inhaler, and she was back up to snuff in less than a week.

Then Jupiter threw us for a loop. He started doing lots of dry heaves, horrible sounding dry heaves. I mean scary, exorcist scary. And some of the time he'd puke up some bile. Plus, he stopped meowing. That was the weirdest. He's an odd cat, and will often wander around the house, meowing loudly in various places. There's no rhyme nor reason to/for his meowing. And he'll usually stop as soon as you let him know you're listening. But then, 5 minutes later, he might very well start up again.

So, we took him to the vet, and she said he was super dehydrated. Well, first she said he was impossible to handle, then she said he was a sick cat and really dehydrated. So, Mary being a doctor and all, we gave him subcutaneous fluids for a couple days. Like how I used the lingo? I'm learning through osmosis (pun intended - subcutaneous fluid ... osmosis ... get it?). Basically you stick this huge needle (pencil lead sized, not your mechanical pencil led, but those old-fashioned wooden pencil pencil leads) into the scruff of his neck and pump in 120 CC's of fluid (4 ounces or 1/2 cup) of liquid in there. Cats can absorb it like that.

After a couple of days like that, he regained his spunkiness, but had lost his voice. The vet said it might take up to a month to get it back. No such luck, he was meowing loudly within days.

But, back to the vet saying he was impossible to handle... Normally, Jupiter is about as low key a cat as you can expect. We've had kids around him and he just soaks up their attention, patiently hanging out as they hang him over their arm - feet dangling. You can thump him like you're fluffing up a pillow, and he just purrs louder and louder.

Well, at the vet's office, as soon as one of the helpers (nurses?) goes over to his cat carrier, he beings to hiss real loudly. And evidentially, he continues to hiss and refuses to be held or handled in any way the entire time. He doesn't bite and scratch, but wiggles around and makes it impossible to do any exam (he's rather like a slippery worm when he doesn't want to be held). When I picked him up the nurse went into the back room to fetch his carrier - and as soon as she opened the door he began hissing again. He hissed the entire time until I picked up the carrier and walked out the door of the vet. He immediately stopped hissing.

Later on, during the treatment phase, the vet called to ask how he was doing. She also mentioned, rather firmly, that we might consider finding a vet who does house calls if he needs further treatment.

We've been fired as clients (for Jupiter).

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