To Gato! Here’s hoping wherever she is now that she isn’t suffering, has plenty of cat nip, and a bed full of coats where she can hiss at the owners when they come to retrieve them. May she rest in peace.
Sorry, this is a long and sad post but I have to get it out of my head.
Our cat, star of 100 photos and countless tweets, is sitting on the couch in my office next to me, dying, and it’s absolutely breaking my heart. “Kitty, you’re internet famous!” my wife used to say to her after I wrote another dumb joke or posted another photo. She was sitting on my lap a few minutes ago, edging past the indignity of my clumsy attempts to feed her cat food and water from a syringe, to awkwardly sit on my lap and purr. Then I got a phone call and she decided to move away. I opened the window for her, but she quickly left. She’s been cold and sitting next to the register eagerly waiting for it to fire up and blow some more heat on her.
My wife left for Hawaii Thursday morning, and I for Chicago in the evening. I came home from work, finished packing, cleaned her litter box and left out food. Then I petted her for about ten minutes before I hustled out the door for a weekend of too much Jack Daniels, beef, pizza and friendship. It was a great weekend for me, but as I headed home from the airport, elated but tired, I was looking forward to checking out any new Chicago posts and catching up on my timeline.
“I can’t find the cat???” I desperately texted Fiona. An hour went by as I continued to look for her. “Did she escape?” I thought I unlocked the front door when I got home but I couldn’t be sure. Is she hiding in a closet? Is she anywhere? I noticed the food and water were down, there was stuff in the litter box and she’d thrown up the couch (the little bastard). I went to bed after an eternity on Sunday night feeling like I’d done something wrong. Like I’d screwed up because either she escaped or I couldn’t find her in the house.
I got up the next morning and she was still missing. I went to work and rushed home at five PM. We have a massive flashlight because I’m a freak about the potential for an apocalyptic weather disaster so I opened that up on Monday night and started looking around in the basement. I noticed a nub of her grey-striped, raccoon-like tail poking out from between two boxes on the shelf of a desk that I’ll never figure out how she got between. I ran to the desk, but slowly with extreme trepidation, because I thought she was already dead, I moved the box a little. Her tail flicked. I quickly pulled the box away to see my sad, mostly one-eyed cat looking morosely back at me. I pulled her out as the cobwebs grabbed at her fur as if trying desperately to keep her sequestered from my desire to have her back. I took a picture, sent it to my wife and petted her for a while.
I took her upstairs, she drank some water and urinated as if she hadn’t in a long time. I made an appointment to take her to the vet Tuesday after work. She has pretty bad kidney disease that I blame on her previous owners for only feeding her dry food for the first five years of her life, the same previous owners who had her completely declawed (yes, all four claws) and let her live trapped in the basement for an extended time because they got a dog who traumatized her. Beyond cutting off her claws, I don’t think they meant to be mean to her, they just didn’t love her. Sins of antipathy.
I took her to the animal hospital, and she had plenty of snake hissing attitudes for the vet. Hissing is one of her favorite hobbies next to hating anyone but Fiona and I.
The Cat’s Favorite Hobbies in No Particular Order:
1. Staring out the window
2. Tucking Fiona and I in at night and leaving when we turn off the bedroom light.
4. Hiding on the bed when we have company and hissing at people when they come to get their coats.
5. Leaving biohazard waste on the rugs.
6. Bapping her clawless toes at my monkey slippers while hissing.
7. Sitting on my lap while I’m trying to type on the computer.
Tuesday she got blood work done. The vet called this morning to say that things are basically really bad and that I had three choices. Put her in an animal hospital and hope that even though she’s the most miserable ball of grey on the planet that an IV and a bunch of needles will make her better. I could try to treat her as an out-patient and she might recover or at least live until Fiona gets home. Or have her put down if she doesn’t get better while we do nothing.
The vet mentioned costs and that was the first time I really lost it. Not because we can’t afford it, because I’d pay pretty much anything in the bank to keep her going, but because I realized there are people out there who love their pets possibly even more than I love mine who can’t afford to keep them alive. And there are a bunch of heartless bastards who wouldn’t pay anything to take care of their family.
We went back today and the liveliest she’s been as she hissed and swatted and tried to bite me on the examination table. She got a second subcutaneous saline shot to attempt to rehydrate her since we are experiencing another failure of her kidneys. I listed my options above, and I don’t want her possibly dying with strangers, I want her here with me. Her quality of life might get slightly better for a while, but it’s likely to decline rapidly.
My wife is still in Hawaii and sadly won’t be home until this Sunday night. We’ve used Facetime so she can talk to the cat. I’m constantly sending updates, even though I feel they are always getting worse. I just hope I can keep her going until Fiona gets home and has a chance to say goodbye. There’s a chance she’ll get better but I doubt it. Every time I open can, she meows like a crazed banshee because she believes it to be tuna. When I brought her home today, I opened a can because she has to eat. She perked up and issued repeated meows that were lively, but still somewhat resigned. I put the tuna down and she sniffed, the walked away. “Why the fuck won’t you eat?” I screamed inside. So, I got out the wet food she won’t eat, mixed it with water like the doctor suggested and used the syringe to inject it into her mouth. It was a battle. A battle I’m failing at. I just want her to get better. She’s a fighter, but no one can make a little cat brain understand that they need the food to survive. To make it to Sunday. To say goodbye to Fiona.
I have a million things I should be doing right now. The house desperately needs cleaning. I have two papers and a final left to finish for school. I have to cook for a potluck at work tomorrow. But all I can do is keep looking at the cat, petting her to make sure she’s breathing, and hoping she can make it until Sunday.
She already has a kidney disease and is on a special diet. When I got home from Chicago on Sunday night, I couldn’t find her anywhere in the house and I was pretty distraught. I looked everywhere. I didn’t find her until Monday night after work, curled up behind a box on a desk shelf in the back of the basement. I almost didn’t find her then but a little nub of her tail was hanging out. I bought her upstairs and she drank a ton of water and seemed to get a little better. I made the appointment this morning, they did some tests and I’ll find out tomorrow if her kidneys are getting worse or if a saline injection will be enough to get her back on track.
I vaguely remember telling a bunch of folks at CHSH that my wife is awesome and that I totally married up. If you want proof, this shirt was in our mailbox when I got home tonight. It says “I love you and you should brunch like there’s no tomorrow!”
Awesome Amazing Wonderful group of people! Rhi, 9to5Life (Christen), MoistPork (Jen) and 24_forever (Crystal), sadly not pictured is Wheatnik (Zack). I hope I’ve spelled the names right. Anyhow, it was a lot of fun to get to meet Rhi and Christen and corner them for a bit. Zach, Jen and Crystal helped me to get a Friday morning hangover when I thought I was just going to get to the hotel and go to bed. I hope some day to return the favor.
I say it jokingly that StellaRtwot is my self-proclaimed new best friend. At least she told me that several times on Saturday. It was absolutely wonderful to spend time with her and we had a lot of fun together. Also note, that I think her normal accent actually disguises a thick Jersey one—at least that’s what her Jersey Mom impersonation lead me to believe. The other lovely lady is qu4rtkn33 (Courtney). She was fabulous.
This one has weird iPhone flash sun thing going on and if I was savvy with Photoshop, I’d have made it a happy sun. Anyway, that’s Rachel (@GirlDetective), Joe and Jamie (@Xytrex). Side note, I walked home with Jamie and his brother (@MrBigFists) who also was wearing an awesome pair of red Chucks. I’d say we were red Chuck buddies now, but that sounds kind of gross. Anyway, Jaime is awesome.
On Friday, I was on a mission to meet this woman (Rachel again) and I’m glad I did. I had a lot of fun hanging out with her on Saturday night, even if the 2:30 AM pizza wasn’t the best thing for me if I want to live to 70.
I’ve now hung out with Cultlerish extensively at three different tweet-ups and with Joe at two. They are both excellent guys (even if Joe wimped out of eating odd pizzas at 3 AM). Anyway two best people to hang out with if it’s only going to be two nights once or twice a year.
I LOVE THESE TWO PEOPLE! I can’t stress that enough. I had an opportunity to have dinner with Tom (@DrivewayDranker) and Sue (@VerifyThis) before the tweet-up started and couldn’t have had more fun.
I apologize in advance for the photos to come (the multiple posts, not the photos themselves). I don’t know any nifty consolidator thingie apps that I can use (also those probably are disapproved of by Tumblr anyways).
The upside, is you can all heart them and let me be your Tumblr Crush, right?
Do you have one of the USPS certifications? At my last job, the mail room manager got one. I used to laugh shameless at her for having to go to a seminar on the post office. Although it really did help our company that she did.
I don’t have any certifications myself but plenty of my coworkers do. We provide services for companies to do mail, so that’s why I have to know so much. It’s dull, but occasionally interesting. The net is that it’s a skill set that will help me regardless of what I choose to do in the future.
There’s a lot related to my job that is quite boring. One of those dull parts is becoming an expert on USPS Regulations so businesses and non-profits can get good prices when mailing in bulk.
Then other days, I accidentally stumble across this. It’s better to read at the link below because of the charts and stuff, but here are some highlights (The key takeaway is that you CANNOT mail your pets):
526.3 Live, Day–Old Poultry 526.31 General The following live, day–old animals are acceptable for mailing when properly packaged: chickens, ducks, emus, geese, guinea fowl, partridges, pheasants (only during April through August), quail, and turkeys. All other types of live, day–old poultry are nonmailable. Day–old poultry vaccinated with Newcastle disease (live virus) also is nonmailable.
526.5 Live Scorpions The mailing of scorpions is limited by the restrictions in 18 U.S.C. 1716. Under this limitation, scorpions are mailable only when sent for the purposes of medical research use or the manufacture of antivenin. Scorpions are nonmailable under any other circumstances. See Exhibit 526.5 and DMM 601.9.3.10 for mailing conditions that apply to permissible shipments.
526.6 Small, Harmless, Cold–Blooded Animals Small, harmless, cold–blooded animals, except for snakes, turtles, and turtle eggs, are mailable only when they meet certain requirements. For some examples, see Exhibit 526.6.
Exhibit 526.6Requirements for Mailing Small, Harmless, Cold–Blooded Animals (Except Snakes, Turtles, and Turtle Eggs)
General Requirements: All animals in this group: Must be able to reach their destination in good condition in the normal transit time between the mailing and address points. Must not require any food, water, or attention during transport. Must not create sanitary problems. Must not create obnoxious odors.
526.7 Dead Animals or Parts of Animals
Dead animals or parts of animals include two groups of items:
Group A: Items that need to be refrigerated. Group B: Items that must be dried.