Saturday, November 14, 2015

happy birthday to me! (a cat-centric pity party)

Today's my birthday!! Yay happy me :)

I have more or less resigned myself to being a cripple for the celebrations... not ideal, but really, not much worse than any other day in the crutches so... c'est la vie, right? But I have fun plans on the docket (including horsey plans!!!) and have every intention of enjoying them to the fullest.

"i have to pee" - martini
It's been a tough week in the Emma household tho. Well, tough couple weeks, honestly. A few days post-injury, my big cat Martini started displaying unusual litter box behavior. That eventually branched into exploring alternative places to pee. This is NO GOOD in my book. No good at all.

kitty jail
I took him to my vet (with the help of my mother) and they prescribed antibiotics (as they were unable to get an actual sample at that time), and over the course of a week's worth of treatment, the cat improved and life was allllll better again!


poor guy doesn't like lock up
Haha... that is, all better again right up until it wasn't. Until the poor kitty pretty much started following me around after work one night telling me he was having serious problems.

he loves windows tho!
Specifically, he was squatting on everything everywhere (see pic #1, wherein he squats next to his food bowl) - but producing nothing. My vet had warned me that a blockage was possible, and that it's actually a fairly critical condition with potentially dire consequences if left untreated.

always super bold in new places - even the hospital waiting room
But naturally it was after hours when I discovered this behavior, so off to the animal hospital we went. Just me, my cat, and my broken leg and crutches down two flights of stairs. Ugh. FML.

"what's out the window!?!" - martini
My understanding is the prognosis for this type of illness is pretty good - easily managed with dietary changes after the initial blockage is successfully treated. But that treatment is apparently quite involved, and Martini remained hospitalized for around 36 hours.

cutie finally decided to hang out and wait (and wait) with me
Careful observation is required following release from the hospital - including separation so that I can confidently monitor his litter box behavior. This is obviously... hugely challenging for me. And required buying a new litter pan, clumping litter (the stuff I usually use isn't clumping, but I needed clumps to assess volume), and then carrying all this, plus the new food AND the freaking cat back up into my apartment.

Guys this almost killed me. BUT I also discovered in the process that I'm starting to be able to put *some* weight on the bum leg... silver linings, right?

he's pretty laid back
Keeping him isolated is also tricky bc obviously he wants to dart out the door whenever I try to go in, so it requires some advanced maneuvers with the cat and crutches to keep everything corralled. Ugh.

"so they help me pee, yes?" - martini
And then naturally his litter box behavior was just as bad, if not worse, than pre-hospitalization, and after a few calls in to the hospital to discuss, they had me bring him back in about 9 hours after they had released him. At 10pm. Ugh. So back down the stairs the whole circus went... then back to the hospital, where they provided some additional treatments and medications but did NOT readmit... then back home and back up the stairs again.

this little hellion tho.... ugh. he has been super vocal and is getting into EVERYTHING in the big cat's absence
All that meant that I also lost my prime parking spot and had to double park to get the cat into the house before hunting for truck-sized spots. Very fortunately, a university security guard was milling about (I live near a university whose students are not from Baltimore and, as a group, are intelligent yet oblivious, making them VERY easy robbery targets. So they need all the security help they can get!) and offered to carry the cat up to the front door for me.

"hellion? i would never raise hell! unless, wait, is 'hellion' a type of food?" - OG
Hilariously, he nonchalantly asked if I was the one who had been hit by a car that evening.... Apparently there was a hit-and-run earlier, thus explaining the heightened security presence? But yea, obviously, no, I was *not* hit by a car (I only looked like it ugh) - but thanks for reminding me that despite my incredibly shitty evening, things could actually be much worse....

driving me absolutely batty is an exhausting business
Anyway, all that back and forth was incredibly stressful. And may have led to much feeling sorry for myself (and perhaps a few tears too, whether they were for me or Martini remains unclear).

As of this writing, I'm slowly becoming more confident that we've "gotten over the hump" in Martini's treatment and that things are getting back to normal... Or at least I really freaking hope so! Cats, they always have such a great sense of timing, right? Ugh.

"plz to be free?!?" - the prisoner immediately before his release from isolation
So that's your sad sack sob story for the day (but cat pics kinda make it better tho, right?), and hopefully things only improve from here. Hope you all have a nice weekend and that your pets are hale and hearty!

56 comments:

  1. Happy birthday, though what a huge amount of stress with your kitty! :(

    I saw that first photo and immediately thought, "Oh shit!" Having worked for so long in the veterinary ER, I can tell you we saw Martini's problem a lot. :/ Vets call it Feline Lower Urinary Tract Disease (FLUTD), which is a general term for anything involving the bladder and urethra, including feline idiopathic cystitis, which is the most common urinary problem in young male cats. "Idiopathic" = we don't know what causes it; "cystitis" = inflammation of the bladder. That said, it is known that stress is a known trigger, which is why I'm not surprised that his litter box behavior was worse after returning home from being hospitalized. :/ Each cat's definition of "stress" will vary by individual: I've seen some kitties develop FLUTD symptoms just because furniture was moved around! Some will develop signs because of a guest or guests in the house, adding a pet or losing a housemate, or major changes in their routines that they find upsetting. Barometric pressure changes can also be a trigger: we would get multiple male kitties with urinary problems the evening before a storm, be it a hurricane or snowstorm or a major temperature change about to happen (just with like colic in horses: also very common right before storms. It's weird.)

    It sounds like they gave you all of the general recommendations for dealing with this type of issue. How long do they want you to keep him separated for urine monitoring?

    I'm glad Martini is finally doing better, and I hope he's 100% back to normal very, very soon!

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    1. Agree with everything said here! Also wanted to add, absolutely no treats or different food of any kind, as this will disrupt the urine's pH levels if it is a crystal problem. The urinary food helps keep the urine at a more acidic level, thus dissolving the crystals (if they are the right kind) And preventing the formation of urinary stones. I always felt so terrible working with the blocked kitties. Hopefully he is in the clear and you can have the happiest of birthdays!

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    2. thanks!! yea that all matches pretty well with what the vet said. he's already back with the other kitty (was separated for about 36 hours) and seems to be doing really well. fortunately he seems to really like the prescription food too, which is a relief given how pricey it is!!!

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  2. Happy Birthday! Hope your kitty continues to improve!

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  3. Happy Birthday!!! And I hope your kitty gets better and life doesn't require as many trips with as much stuff.

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    1. thanks - i will be very happy to not have to schlep stuff up the stairs any more!

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  4. Happy birthday!! I hope kitty feels better soon. You need a butler :( at least the security guard helped you out once.

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    1. oooooh i would LOVE a butler right about now haha. or even just a dumb waiter... that would be sweet lol

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  5. Happiest of Birthdays to you!!!! I hope Martini continues to feel better!

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  6. Omg hugs! Happy birthday, but you poor girl. What a week. Glad to hear kitty is doing better. You are a trooper.

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    1. thanks - it's been hectic to say the least. kitty seems much improved tho, and that's what matters!

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  7. Omg hugs! Happy birthday, but you poor girl. What a week. Glad to hear kitty is doing better. You are a trooper.

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  8. Happy birthday. Glad to hear Martini is feeling better. Thank God for cat meds. They're both adorable!

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    1. haha seriously thank god for cat meds!! and these two are lucky they're so cute - esp that annoying little gray one ;)

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  9. Happy birthday! I hope he continues to feel better.

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  10. Happy birthday! I hope your kitty continues getting better. I can't imagine all the lugging you did in crutches.

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    1. thank you! and oh man, all that lugging was exhausting! i'm about ready to rig up some sort of pulley system haha

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  11. Happy birthday! Fingers crossed for your kitty, and I hope the rest of your weekend is great!

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    1. thanks! aside from kitty issues the weekend was definitely a success!

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  12. Happy birthday and I hope Martini feel better soon!!

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  13. Happy Birthday!! I hope things get better from here. Not a fun day for sure. But your cats are super cute!

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    1. things are definitely on the up and up, cats are feeling much better already

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  14. Happy birthday! I'm sorry it was crappy. I have nothing useful to say but (and coming from someone who's not a cat person (please don't hurt me) you should take this very seriously) Martini is a SUPER pretty kitty!

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    1. fortunately the birthday itself was very far from crappy - but man these cats sure know how to keep us on our toes!! lol and i happen to think he's quite pretty too ;)

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  15. Awwww you're such a good cat mom. I can't imagine doing all of that with a bum leg. Much love to martini hoping for a speedy recovery.
    Happy birthday, Emma!

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    1. thanks! fortunately he's such a good cat it really wasn't a hard call to make getting him the care he needed

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  16. Happy Birthday!! That was so sad though :( Poor kitty. I hope he gets better soon!
    I did laugh at the "hit by a car comment". I can see why he would think that!

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    1. lol i nearly laughed out loud when he asked me that too - like, really dude? but then again... yea i can see it too haha

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  17. Happy Birthday!! Poor kitty, hope he is doing better!

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    1. thanks! so far he appears to be well on the way to recovery

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  18. Happy birthday! Sorry to hear about the kitty troubles, hope he 100% soon.

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    1. thanks! he's getting there slowly but surely

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  19. Happy birthday!! And best wishes for a speedy recovery for Mr. Martini (and less up-and-down-the-stairs for you)!

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    1. thanks!! haha and if i could avoid going back up and down those stairs any more i definitely would!!

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  20. Happy Birthday Emma! I'm sorry it wasn't a very pleasant one :( Things can only get better right? Big hugs to you and Martini and may he get well soon!

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    1. fortunately the birthday itself was actually quite pleasant (and still a few more festivities in store for me!!) but worrying about the kitty is definitely not the greatest feeling

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  21. oh poor kitty :( I was hoping it wouldnt be such a long vet visit...but happy birthday! Next time out is on me to celebrate! v

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    1. ugh yea he was there for a WHILE poor guy.... hope your pup is doing well now too!!

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  22. Happy belated birthday and hope Martini is doing better!

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    1. thank you!!! so far he seems much better :)

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  23. Happy belated birthday! My late Maine Coon cat had multiple blockages, so I fully understand your pain. If your can't isn't super picky, Purina One makes a very affordable UTI food (not prescription) that I fed for over 5 years and it prevented all recurrences of the UTI's and blockages that he got (ALL the time).

    Hope Martini gets to feeling better quite soon and your crutches stop being such a hindrance. Yay for some weight bearing ability!

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    1. ooh thanks for the heads up about that food. he doesn't seem picky in the slightest, so that might be something i look into, as this prescription stuff is PRICEY omg!

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  24. Well that's poo. Yay for random helpful security guard at least.

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    1. seriously!! i'll take help wherever i can :)

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  25. Happy birthday, sorry for the belated part!
    Snaps for kitty feeling better.

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  26. Happy belated birthday!
    That's awful! I hope that your very cute kitty is feeling better now.

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    1. thank you! so far the kitty appears to be making a full recovery!!

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