Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Chats du jour: Oh how the mighty have fallen

My lovercat.

Remember how I said that I would never spend thousands of dollars (i.e., more than I spent on my first car or on my graduate education) on my cats? How I said that if the vet bills were too high, I would just get a new cat instead because it's not like it's hard to find used cats cheap?


Maybe there are exceptions.

Yesterday I took Laverne to the vet and spent more than a nice eBay purse would have cost me. Yes, there is a yellow pebbled leather Cole Haan purse I am coveting with a "buy it now" price of only $65 plus $6 shipping.

But that purse is now but a dream because I spent more than that (20 in beer units) to the vet.

SH thinks I acted too quickly and should have given it another day to see if Laverne recovered on her own, but tell me what you would do when you cat's behavior changes from

1. Daily loud reminders starting at 3:30 p.m. that I need to feed her, PLEASE, at 5:00 and don't forget what if you forget omigosh I am starving please, please, please DON'T FORGET TO FEED ME!
2. Daily hoovering of the food as soon as it is served plus the attempted stealing of Shirley's food, which is why I have to watch Laverne eat and remove her from the dish as soon as she is through, which is about 17 seconds after she has started, while Shirley daintily picks up each bit of food, contemplates it, then chews it 32 times, repeat, thus taking about 17 maddening, boring minutes to eat.
3. Constant demands for attention, especially when I am trying to read, i.e., sitting between me and my book and purring, kneading, and looking up at me adoringly. Also sitting behind the computer so she can be right by me. Sitting on my lap while we watch a movie. (We being SH and me, although Laverne does seem to enjoy certain chase scenes.) Curling up at my feet at bedtime.


1. Not reminding me it's time to eat. Getting to 5:15 p.m. with no complaining or crying. Showing no interest in the food when it is poured into the bowl, even when I carried her to the bowl and put her in front of it. No thank you, she sighed as she slowly walked away.
2. Only eating when I slid the dish to her as she hid under the bed.
3. Not wanting to be with me, including hiding in the furnace room while SH and I watched "Dr No," which is not the height of great storytelling or cinematography but had a bikini'd Ursula Andress in it, which was enough to satisfy SH. Not wanting to sleep with us. Hiding under the bed and behind the shower curtain, even while I was taking a shower.

An old photo of Shirley at the vet.

After a day like this, I did what any normal person would do: I panicked and then I went to the internet, the best place for up-to-the date feline medical advice.

Everything I read said that if your cat is sick, you need to take her to the vet right away.

SH has been sick since Saturday and all I've done for him is thaw out some orange juice and put up with his whining.

What's easier to replace? A husband or a cat?

Not sure.

I called my vet, thinking they would tell me to give it another day for a spontaneous healing. That does happen, you know. My CD player wasn't working and I left it alone for a few days and voila! Back to normal. Same thing with the fan I knocked down that developed a rattle. After a few days, the rattle went away. Sometimes, if you turn the music up in the car, suspicious sounds will disappear.

But the vet tech said to bring Laverne in right away. "You don't want to wait on these things," she said. "They can get bad quickly."

I threw Laverne into the carrier and drove to the vet. She cried pathetically the whole way, that mournful, "You're abandoning me!" meow that cats use when they want to make their owners feel really bad.

When we got to the vet, there was already a dog in the exam room, which Laverne obviously smelled. She might be a chipmunk killer, but she doesn't pick on anything bigger than she is, so she was shaking and shedding like a banshee. (Banshees shed A LOT.)

Then the vet took her temperature. Would the indignities never cease? She had a fever. I told him that SH was sick (convinced it was West Nile Virus or swine flu, which cats can also get, according to SH) and that Laverne had caught a chipmunk and maybe it was rabies.

Probably just a virus, he shrugged.

Gave her a shot. Which she also did not like. Gave her a worm pill, just in case, which she also also did not like.

Sent us home after a $109 bill.

When we got home, SH said he thought we could have waited another day.

I told him he just wants Laverne to die.

She is better now.


Maureen@IslandRoar said...

That first picture is priceless. I'm so glad she's okay. I would've done the same thing. I still have 4 cats since losing Checkers, but there is a big empty spot in the house that he used to fill. Figuratively, of course.
You are a good kitty mom!

Class factotum said...

Thank you, Maureen. I rarely go to the doctor myself and I wasn't worried about SH not going to the doctor with his West Nile virus/dengue fever/bubonic plague, but all you know about a pet is there has been a huge change in behavior. Maybe she is sick, maybe she is just practicing to be a pet on TV. Who knows?

As my dad was dying, we talked about who he would see in heaven. Our cat O'Malley, who had been dead for 15 years, was one of the first names on the list. You don't forget your pets, ever.

yellowsnapper said...

I stumbled across your blog and your cat looks exactly like mine. Weird. Glad she is better. And I understand on the money issue. Lincoln scratched his eye once and it got infected. $270 and 3 vets visits later he is perfectly fine. Would anything be sadder than only one blue eye?