Golden Boy, Part II

You may remember a post I wrote back in November about Clancy the Cat’s emergency (and hugely expensive) bowel surgery.  He made a full recovery and, except for a slight modification of his diet, life went on as usual.

Fast forward a few weeks ago, when Clancy decided to stop eating.  He clearly felt awful and by the end of the week, ended up at the emergency veterinary hospital.  Fluids were administered, x-rays were taken, blood was drawn, medication was dispensed, but no diagnosis was given.   Three vets had a go at the x-rays and all seemed to see something resembling gas in the abdominal cavity. The emerg vet included the observation that Clancy’s intestines were “abnormally positioned”.  All three recommended an ultra-sound but I declined, asking instead for a consultation with the veterinary radiologist, who I suspected would be better able to interpret the x-rays than the vets. My vet forwarded the email containing the x-rays files she received from the hospital to the radiologist, expecting to hear back by Wednesday.

When Wednesday came and went with no word, I had to consider my options.  It was possible that the radiologist would not be able to determine anything of consequence from Clancy’s x-rays, and I would have waited for nothing while Clancy got sicker. It was also possible the radiologist would render a finding that was sinister and/or required more medical attention that I could not afford. After much thought, I reluctantly decided that it would be best to have Clancy euthanized. The date was set for the following morning.

My vet arrived at my apartment with her tech and we started proceedings.  Just as she was filling the syringe with the pre-euthanasia sedative, her cell phone rang.  Her assistant answered it.

“It’s the radiologist,” she said, handing the phone to my vet.  She was phoning about the x-rays.

Or rather, she was phoning to say that she couldn’t open the x-ray email file.  We told her we would phone the hospital and have them send the file to her directly, and to hang tight.  Ten minutes later the phone rang again. It was the radiologist.

The x-rays were normal, she said, except for some fluid, indicating possible pancreatitis.   Try giving the cat a trial of prednisone, she said.  A stay of execution was at hand.

After the governor radiologist’s call, my vet dispensed prednisone (actually prednisolone, a form of prednisone for cats) and left, asking me to keep her informed.

Twenty-four hours after the first dose, Clancy no longer needed pain medication and began to eat.  Forty-eight hours later, he no longer needed gastric medication and begged for his dinner. A week later, he no longer needed the appetite stimulant and wakes me up in the morning for his breakfast.

He now is being weaned off the predisone and will be off all medicine in less than a week. He’s slightly traumatized by the administration of pills and liquid medication via syringe, but he’s found that taking Buddy’s spot beside me on the couch is a good a tonic as any.

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The patient, taking Buddy’s place on on the couch.  Buddy isn’t impressed.

Golden Boy

Such is the new moniker for Clancy the Cat, who recently underwent (expensive) emergency bowel surgery mid-November.  Clancy’s tummy, and my wallet, will never be the same.   I’m not sharing the amount of money I spent on his recovery, except to say that there will be no Caribbean vacations in my immediate future.

I discovered that caring for an sick cat is much different than caring for a sick dog. When dogs are sick, they plop themselves down in a corner and mope; cats hide.  Dogs can usually be coaxed into taking medication, either by hiding it in their food or stuffing it in a treat; cats are not so easily fooled.  Dogs will sit and tolerate post-operative ministrations because they want to please you; cats could give a crap and escape to yet another hidey-hole, just to annoy you.

The process of caring for a sick cat goes something like this:

Step One.  Owner retrieves the cat from under the bed, where he has been hiding since his return from the cat hospital. A large towel is at the ready.

Step Two:   The cat is wrapped in the towel, creating what is called the “Cat Burrito.”  The “Cat Burrito” is a time-honoured method of safely immobilizing cats.  (Note: cats do not like being Cat Burritos.)

Step Three:  While holding the Cat Burrito, a friend is solicited to administer the medications. The first medication is a pill, ejected into the cat’s mouth via a “pill gun.” The pill gun is a long cylinder-type gizmo that places the pill at the back of the cat’s throat, ensuring the safety of your friend’s fingers.  The next two medications are liquid suspension formulas, ejected via a syringe into the cat’s mouth.

Step Four:  Release the cat from burrito. With the next medication dose, repeat steps one through four. (Note: with each successive administration, the cat will find new and better hidey-holes.  An alcoholic beverage for the owner, after steps one through four, is highly recommended.)

I’m happy to say that Clancy is now recovered, playful as a kitten and no worse for the wear. I’ve sprouted several more white hairs and Buddy is still wondering what all the fuss was about.

After all this, Golden Boy better live a long, long time.

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A recovered Clancy, with Santa and Rudolf.

P.S. For your feline-watching amusment, I give you Monkey, the harness-hating kitty.

Bath Time

I took Buddy the dog for a long walk around the hood the other day. He was thrilled. I think dogs forget that the “out there” exists when they haven’t seen much of it for months.

All that melting snow turned everything to muck, and most of it stuck to Buddy. Much to his dismay, this necessitated a B-A-T-H in the T-U-B. Buddy hates having a B-A-T-H and wonders why he can’t stay D-I-R-T-Y. I’ve tried to explain it to him, but he still prefers  D-I-R-T  to   W-A-T-E-R.

Apartment living makes the B-A-T-H a bit of a challenge.  I no longer have a laundry tub so I have to use the bathtub.  Once in, Buddy prefers to stand as far away from faucet (and me) as possible.  This time, though, I had a plan:  I got in with him.  Buddy never saw that coming.

He survived his ordeal, though, and once out of the porcelain container of death he was a happy camper.  He plopped himself on the towel and started falling asleep before his head hit the ground.

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Underwater Dogs

Photographer Seth Casteel thought it would be an interesting venture to see what dogs looked like underwater.  The results are both beautiful and hilarious.

(N.B.  Buddy thinks they’re all nuts.  No way is his head ever going underwater.)

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Rhoda the dachshund

Rhoda the dachshund

Rocco the Boston Terrier

Rocco the Boston Terrier

Herbie the English Bull Dog.

Herbie the English Bull Dog.

Oshi the Spaniel

Oshi the Spaniel

Foster the dachshund

Foster the dachshund

Rex the Boxer

Rex the Boxer

The Plastic Fantastic

71BuU2ZyOeL._AA1500_No, it’s not a dildo. 🙂  It’s the nickname for the Canon 50mm lens, a shiny new addition to my photography equipment.  It was touted as THE  inexpensive lens to have for low light and portraits, and since I didn’t have a lens for that purpose I just had to have  it.  

So far, I’ve mainly taken photos of Buddy the Dog and Clancy the Cat.  They are not impressed,  which is why they look so grouchy.  These photos were taken in the evening, in low light.  The clarity is amazing.  Yay lens!

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