Maybe you’ve been wondering where I’ve been. Maybe you didn’t care. Maybe you didn’t even notice. Either way, I’m here today to tell the story of how I almost lost the love of my life (and apologize for the cheesiness of my post title).
I’m not talking about a boy here. I am talking about a cat.
Specifically, this cat:
I have had her and her sister since they were babies. They are 4 years old now and prior to this past weekend, I have never had any medical issues with either of them.
Then Sunday morning, I woke up to two piles of vomit in the bathroom. At first I assumed it was Bailey, because she swallows things she shouldn’t pretty much constantly and always manages to get them out one way or another.
Then I noticed Mica acting sluggish and aloof from me (something she NEVER is, she is usually in my face 24/7). A few times that day, I saw her head to the bathroom to throw up. I don’t understand why she chose the bathroom as her spot to vomit, but I can’t complain because my bathroom is tile and honestly the best place for her to vomit if she has to in terms of clean up.
At first I wasn’t worried because cats throwing up is pretty common, with hairballs and so on…but then on Monday morning I noticed about five more piles of vomit in the bathroom and officially panicked. I went to work for a half day for an important meeting I couldn’t skip, and then rushed right home to take Mica to the kitty emergency room (she doesn’t have a regular vet in the area, I have moved a bunch of times and haven’t gotten her a new one as of yet).
We got in right away, she had her vitals taken and an exam done. The doctor suggested an x-ray to make sure she didn’t have any obstructions that would cause her to try to vomit them up. The x-ray revealed that she actually did have 3 fecal obstructions. The doctor removed two of them manually (try not to picture that), but the third was too deep for her to get out manually. Mica was given fluids to combat dehydration as well as a few other medicines to calm her nausea. $429 later, we were discharged with instructions to withhold food and water for the night and try to feed her a little wet food in the morning in hopes that she would pass that third obstruction on her own.
I took Mica to bed with me at 9:30, by 1am she was up vomitting again. In the morning, I tried to feed her and give her water and she wouldn’t eat or drink.
I went to work for a few hours again and came back at 1o:30 to bring her back to the kitty emergency room.
There was a different doctor on call and she started saying all these kinds of scary sounding things like “cancer” and “liver disease.” She wanted to run a slew of tests on my poor little baby including bloodwork, an ultrasound, a urinalysis, etc. The doctor went and drew up an estimate. The estimate was for $1800-$2600 for all the tests and to keep her overnight to keep her on an IV drip since she was so dehydrated from the vomitting.
After several rounds with the doctor about how I couldn’t afford all of that and more than a few tears shed, we finally agreed to a total of $1000 to keep Mica overnight on the IV drip and to do bloodwork. Reluctantly I left her at the vet’s office, freaking out about leaving her there and for the impending medical bills. All I could think about was her being scared and alone in a cage while strangers poked and prodded her.
At 10pm, the vet called again to say that Mica had not improved any and that an ultrasound would be needed, which was an additional $500. At this point I was tapped out. I had no funds left and could not afford another $500. I asked about payment plans and any other options I could consider. The response was that my only option was to wait until the morning to speak with the hospital administrator to see if there was any alternative.
Fast forward to this morning. The hospital administrator graciously agreed to perform the ultrasound with the understanding that I would pay for it when I picked Mica up from the hospital. However, if the ultrasound revealed that she had foreign material in her stomach like they expected, she would require surgery. Surgery would be an additional $3000 to $4000.
In case you aren’t paying very close attention, that would be a total of $6100 to save my cat’s life. As if I have that kind of money sitting in my back pocket.
The hospital administrator advised that I could attempt to find a local vet that would do the surgery at a decreased cost. Otherwise, if I could not afford the surgery, Mica would have to be euthanized.
People that do not have pets or are not pet people really do not understand the bond pet people have with their pets. For me, especially with Mica, it was love at first sight. She was the one I picked right off the bat in a litter of kittens. From the moment I brought her home she was my baby, following me everywhere and constantly begging to be petted and held. Even now, after four years of togetherness, she still follows me around constantly begging to be picked up and loved. And I love her. Quite possibly more than I have ever loved any other animal. Not finding the money for the surgery to keep her alive was not an option for me. No matter what, if I had to sell a kidney, I would find a way to pay for her surgery.
To Be Continued…