Today Was a Bust

King Tuffy has not been himself lately.
(Not that he's Bucky-vicious...yet.)

He's not into stuff like usual.  He won't get off the floor.  He's lethargic.  No interest in his favorite things & activities.  Lots of repetitive swallowing.  Has lost weight...and not like fat either (he's a big cat and he'd put on some weight when we'd lived in town), but this is different.  I can tell he's lost some muscle mass.  Very disconcerting.

Last night I laid by him until 3am, hoping his breathing would improve.  It didn't.  In addition, this morning he left a foamy present from his tummy on my floor.  Poor guy.  So I called the vet.  They couldn't get him in AT ALL today OR tomorrow!

So, I got a NEW vet.

They didn't have an appointment for him either, however they rock this cool drop-off system.  There's no solid appointment on the books, but he's seen as soon as the doc gets a spare moment or several.  I dig that.  Wish my MD or OB had a system in place like that for their patients.  Anyhow, Tuff hadn't been there but maybe 30-40 mins when the doctor called me himself.  (Gotta say, I was not only impressed but also relieved to speak to him directly and not just have some message relayed back & forth by an assistant---no offense to ANY assistants, since I've been one in the dental field for ages.  It was just nice to be valued enough to hear directly from the doc.) 

Turns out, King Tuffy has an upper respiratory infection.  Pooh!
(But that explains why he could hardly breathe and why there was so much discharge obstructing the nasal cavity.  Trust me, it. was. gross.  But I HAD to clear the airway for him last night.  So it was him, me, his nose, LOTS of q-tips, and this stringy mucus/discharge.  Trust me.  If I still had one of those snot-sucker bulbs they give you at the hospital with your newborn, I'd have used it A LOT!) 

I would've puked if that stuff had come out of me.  But when you're a mom, even to your 4-legged children, your fortitude kicks in like an Army drill sargeant, hopped up on RedBull & 'roids, during Basic Training at Fort Jackson, S.C. in the middle of a humid July.  I was THAT strong.  I had a white-knuckle grip on my normally weak constitution. (Be proud.  Be very proud.)

In addition to the infection, which required antibiotics AND pro-biotics, Tuffy was pretty dehydrated--made sense, since I haven't been able to get him to eat or drink anything, and he's been vomiting froth every so often over the past 48 hours.  That called for fluid to be injected just under his skin.  Looks like he's got a fat old tumor under his left front armpit.

His right eye runs on & off.  Has since we first got him in 2006.  They ordered an ointment for that.  Then to help get his immune system back in fighting form, they injected vitamins through his coat, along his back.  Apparently that stings, and he was EXTREMELY grumpy about it.  The site's still tender.  AND SOME OF IT LEAKED OUT OF HIS BACK WHEN I WAS DRIVING HIM HOME!!!  Ew, ew, ew!

So all that is what they DID do.
Set me back more than $350.  ::gulp::
That was NOT where I'd intended or wanted $350 to go right now.  (There are some issues with lack of cabinet space in this house at the moment that are REALLY demanding my attention.  Not to mention NO television to watch our DVD collection on...which is a problem considering all the uncharacteristic wet weather we've been having lately.  And, frankly, I'm getting tired of sleeping on an air mattress.  I mean it's been like 3 mos already.  C'mon!) 

What they WANTED to do was blood work to check his cell levels, which was another $210...AND x-rays to determine if there was anything worse than the infection that we were dealing with, which was another $200.  (It was all I could do to get my husband not to divorce me over the $350...there was NO WAY we could've done all that the vet wanted to today.  The other part, it's not like you can make payments to the vet.  Doesn't work that way.  Pay the total when you pick up the patient.  
Done & done.) 

You have to know that both my husband & I were raised rurally.  So on the farm if an animal is lame, it's put down.  Simple.  No vet.  One bullet.  A sad funeral service, and then life elsewhere on the property resumes.  Trouble is, THIS IS KING TUFFY WE ARE TALKING ABOUT!!!  Not even my big, strong, gruff, manly husband could put Tuffy down.  Nope.  Neither of us could muster that.  Makes my heart ache to even consider it.  And really, as far as we know right now, it's only an upper respiratory infection.  So...we'll hope that what they were able to do today + the meds they gave me, along with knighting me to the vet nurse round-table, will be enough.  If not, next week I may be having to cough up the extra $400 for blood work and films.

I think he thinks I'm punishing him.  First, I bring home another cat...in a huge carrier.  Second, I expect them to get along.  Third, I expect them to share a water dish.  Fourth, I pet the other cat AND give it some of the same kind of kitty treats Tuffy likes.  Fifth, I stuff Tuffy in that goodness-forsaken carrier, and put him in the car.  (Tuffy dislikes the car.  He's traveled a ton, but his paws get sweaty and he gets anxious on a normal basis.  Considering all the upheaval in his life lately, I think he was MAJORLY stressing.)  Next thing he knows, I'm dropping him off at a strange, sterile-ish place that smells like LOTS of other animals.  That's it!  He knew it.  I was putting him up for adoption!!!!  (I just KNOW this was all going on in his brain.)
I'm sure getting poked with needles & IV's didn't make him feel like everything was gonna be warm & fuzzy & all OK.  Then I picked my baby-in-a-box up, and he was so excited to see ME through the grate.  At least he was for a fraction of a second, then I saw his ears dart backwards, and the glint in his eye.


Yeah.  I wanted to cry along with him.  Poor fellow.  So, let's just sum the day up with: it's been a nonstop roller-coaster of a day.  I'm exhausted.  I'm ready to get off the ride.  And I still have to play nurse for the week until another adventure with the vet next Friday for Tuffy's recheck appointment.

Hope it's been a better day in your neck of the woods.  This is LKP from Gusty Ridge, signing off for a breather (day or two, tops!).  Love ya, mean it!


Garden of Egan said...

I'm so sorry about the feline. Man they sure get in your heart don't they?
I have a baby super sucker but he'll be all better by the time I could get it to you.

Hope you get some sleep and get caught up.

Hugs to you all!

jen said...

i grew up in Idaho, so I'm totally familiar with the mindset. That being said, some animals just warrant a little more attention. And cash.
And BTW, Ben was just posing like that. He actually had a crossbite and the frenulum extended too far between his front teeth.

S.I.F. said...

Oh you are a COMMITTED cat mama! You go girl! I'm glad Tuffy had you there to pull him through! :) I hope you just keeps getting better lady... nothing worse than someone you care about being sick like that!

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