Tough Week

I had a difficult week last week, which is unfortunate, but that is the way life goes.

The first problem I had was on Tuesday morning. I was in bed with my laptop. I had only been awake for a little bit and I hadn’t even had my coffee yet. All of a sudden, it seemed like the sound of rain falling had gotten louder. In fact, it sounded almost as if it were raining inside of my apartment.

It was raining inside of my apartment.

I have a small storage area next to my bed in which I keep a lot of things that I don’t use every  day. The space is very strange..sort of sunk into the wall. We believe it may’ve been the site of a trundle-bed back when the building was originally built. I live in an old Victorian, and it was really common for Victorians to have murphy beds. We believe that in my studio’s case, it may’ve been a trundle. Anyway, there is no bed in there these days. Just my junk.

My next-door neighbor moved out at the beginning of May, so the landlord had some cleaning  people coming to spruce up the place. I share a wall with the next apartment’s bathroom. In their zealous cleaning attempt, they caused the great flood of 2011. When I realized what was going on, I leaped out of bed and ran next door, barefoot and in pajamas to tell them to stop. They didn’t speak English. I sort of half ass understand Spanish, but my ability to construct a sentence, especially in times of crisis is greatly limited. I just kept gesturing and saying “STOP!!!” a lot. Finally the lady I was talking to got one of her co-workers to come over who kind of spoke English and she apologized. I thanked her and went back to my apartment. I was in here for 5 minutes before it started AGAIN. I ran back over and repeated the same scene.

When the water finally stopped flowing, I assessed the damage:

Awesome.

Not.

Luckily most things that I keep in that area are stored in plastic crates and were protected. There were a few casualties though. I had stashed some Cooking Light magazines and a few instruction manuals under there. Also the Wii box got pretty wet (don’t worry..the Wii was on the other side of the room at the time). The items that took the most abuse where my spare external HDs. The one on the right side had been in that box, which essentially disintegrated when I attempted to open it. The one on the left didn’t even have a box. I’m not sure if either of them work anymore. I plan on checking, but I wanted to give them the opportunity to dry out.

Aside from my own property damage, there was also some damage to my unit:

Even after I cleaned the walls and floor, there was still staining. You can essentially see where my storage boxes had been sitting. Going to have to make sure to send this picture off to the landlord so I don’t get charged upon moving out..

After that drama was over and I had my first cup of coffee, my next problem began.

I noticed that my cat, Cosie, was acting strangely. She wasn’t eating for starters. Secondly, she kept pacing in and out of the litter box. She would pee, and then leave, then go back and strain. I was concerned about her, so I tried to feed her a little human food (chicken salad). She ate a couple of bites, but wasn’t too interested. She was spending a lot more time than usual lying around and her eyes didn’t look very good. I was concerned, but I decided to watch her for another day.

When Wednesday came around and she still refused to eat and the litter box behavior continued, I got scared. I went to the pet store and got some senior cat nutrition supplement (kind of like Ensure, but for cats). She drank a few sips, and then sat back down. The only time she really seemed to get active was to go pace around the litter box, or to lick her behind. You see, she was licking a lot more than usual…when paired with the other symptoms, I did not feel good about Cosie’s state at all. That evening I called a 24 hour vet, explained the symptoms and asked if she should come in. They said I could bring her in right away if I wanted to, but it was a very busy night. I decided to make a 9am urgent care appointment, and hope that she would start eating again in the morning on her own and she wouldn’t have to go in.

The next morning came and she still looked pretty bad and eating still wasn’t on her to-do list. I packed her up in her carrier (her least favorite thing ever) and had Peter, my co-worker, drop me off at the vet on his way to work.

To be honest, I think I reacted to taking Cosie to the vet worse than she reacted to being crated. Historically, whenever we have had older animals who have gotten sick and had to be taken into the vet, the result has always been the same: They got put down. So the immediate thought that came to me when I realized I was going to have to take my 14-year-old cat to the vet was that she wasn’t coming home with me. As irrational as it was, I cried for half of Wednesday. I had hoped that my early tears would spare me from acting like an idiot at the vet, but no such luck. As soon as I sat down to fill out the paperwork I started sobbing again. Then I got better. Then we went into an exam room and it started again:

Vet: “Hi. I’m Dr. ____”

Alexa: *shakes hand, starts hysterically crying* “I don’t do well with pet illness….”

Vet: “Okay…”

As the appointment went on, I improved. The vet examined Cosie and said that off the back he couldn’t figure out what exactly was wrong. He said there were a few ways we could go about testing her for a diagnosis. Having heard me explain that Cosie hadn’t been to the vet since she ripped her paw open and needed stitches about 10 years ago, he suggested that he go get print outs of the two plans so I would understand the cost involved. When he returned, he presented me with a $321 plan and a $730 plan. We discussed the options and decided to go with the $321 plan, with the understanding that we could add-on additional tests if needed.

So for $321, Cosie got her annual exam, a senior wellness exam (blood panels, urine tests, etc.), a shot of anti-nausea medication (to hopefully induce hunger) and some IV fluids to rehydrate her. Then we went home to wait, as the results wouldn’t be ready until Friday. On the bright side, once home, Cosie dove into some food I put down and seemed a little better. Still sick, for sure, but more herself.

On Friday at work, I received the news. Cosie has feline hyperthyroidism. He cautioned me that though he could see no other problems, the hyperthyroidism could be masking issues. So the plan is to medicate Cosie, then have her come back in after 3-4 weeks and check her levels to see how she is doing. He also still wasn’t sure about why she was licking so much, so he asked me to bring her back in (for free) when I came to pick up the pills. He said he didn’t see something he normally checks in his notes, so he wanted to check her anal glands (yeah, I know. ick.) before we start running other tests at additional cost to me.

So after butt poking and pill popping, Cosie seems much more herself. Eating plenty, using the litter box the normal amount and licking far less than she was earlier in the week. I have to give her a pill once a day for the first week, and then every 12 hours from then on. My sister is totally lucking out. She’s going to be staying at my place, cat sitting while I am in Reno celebrating my birthday this week…she only has to administer one pill! Trust me, the fewer the better…Cosie does NOT like pills!

While I am not excited about the new expense or the idea of trying to get Cosie to take her medicine, I am glad that she is doing so much better. I realize that being 14, Cosie is probably in her last 5 years of life, and that I will have to lose her at some point, but I’m glad that point wasn’t this week. I’ve had my kitty since I was 15 years old. She is the best.

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6 Responses to Tough Week

  1. Sara says:

    First of all, so sorry to hear about the water mess. What a pain!! But your poor kitty. I hope everything will be okay after the medication. I totally understand the part about not handling pet illness very well. My fluffy puppy, Chester, is like my kiddo and at 7 1/2 years old I worry if I see him acting funny if something is up. Hugs for you both and just give her a few more snuggles, I believe snuggles help!

  2. elaine! says:

    **hugs** It doesn’t rain but it pours, huh? I’m so sorry your kitty is sick. We’ve been dealing with scary weight loss in our 4-year-old cat for the past 6 months, and it’s been incredibly stressful. You just feel so bad for the little furr butts because they’re helpless in these kinds of situations.

    Anyway, it sounds like you got a good vet. I hope the pill popping gets easier and that Cosie starts feeling better ASAP!

    • girlinchucks says:

      Thanks!

      It really is sad when kitties get sick. You’re right…they’re all helpless…and WE are helpless too. I mean, we can take them to the vet, but it’s not like they can tell us where it hurts or even understand why we’re doing what we’re doing to them. =\

  3. Susan says:

    I’m so glad that Cosie is still with you! I have lost two dogs and a cat over the last few years due to advanced age and illness – such a heartbreak when they have to go. :-(

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