Lately I've been concerned with the health of someone else....
Most of my reader(s) know that I have 5 cats. I didn't plan to have 5 cats and I know that 5 cats is an excessive amount of cats. Especially for someone who lives in a single wide mobile home. So all of that aside...here is what has been going on with me and one of my cats for the last week.
On Friday, April 3rd, I came home from a wonderful date with IMOM. We celebrated my birthday which was last month but I was too sick to want to do anything. I got an amazing birthday gift but that's whole 'nother blog post. Anyway....I came floating in to the house on cloud 9 and almost stepped in cat barf. OMG. It was everywhere. My first thought was that Nort, my kitten who had a rough start in life...(read back in my blog under "Nort Report"), but Nort was running around being her little goofball self so it obviously wasn't her doing the puking. I went in to the bathroom and there was poor Elijah. Apparently he had been throwing up for a few hours. I cleaned him up and then cleaned up my carpet and the bathroom floor and then I sat in the bathroom and held him on my lap hoping that would help him to feel better. He didn't throw up again until way early the next morning. He threw up 10 times between the hours of 6:00 AM and 9:00 AM.
Saturday early AM
I found a box and put a bath towel in it and loaded him in to the box. When he didn't fight to get out I knew he was a sick kitty. I put him in the car and he just layed there and cried. Of course by the time I got on to Pacific Coast Highway he decided that he didn't want to be in the box and was trying to climb out. Fortunately there is a vets office about 3 miles from the house so I was able to drive with one hand on the wheel and one hand on Elijah. (No, I don't own a cat carrier. My kitties do not like to ride in the car and thus I do not take them for rides. )
The vet said that it sounded like he probably had a foreign object in his belly and they needed to do some xrays. About an hour later they called me back to look at the xray. That could have been an xray of a lizard and I wouldn't have known any different. The doc said that it looked like Elijah had a "linear foreign object" in his intestine. His plan was to give Elijah barium and then wait a while and xray him. He would do this repeatedly until they could see exactly if the foreign object was actually blocking the intestine or simply interrupting the flow of things. The doc told me to go home and they would call me later with a report. When the doc called he said that the barium xrays indicated that the foreign object was blocking the intestine 99% but that 1% of non blocked area would allow them to try to flush the blockage from the other direction.
On Sunday they were going to give Elijah an enema and hope that between the barium coming from one end and the enema coming from the other end it would pick up the blockage and move it out. After they gave him the enema the vet clinic called and said that the enema had really cleared Elijah's innards and now he was a dirty mess. (I found out later that they had given him 3 enemas.) They asked me if I wanted them to bathe him before I came to pick him up. I knew he wasn't going to like having a bath but he was a pretty dirty little boy just from throwing up and. I couldn't imagine how he must smell after having an enema so I told them to go ahead and bathe him. A couple of minutes later they called and told me that they would have to sedate him in order to bath him. I told them that would be ok. Then they called me again and said that since he was sedated did I want them to go ahead and neuter him. I thought that would be a good idea so I told them to go for it.
After work I picked him up and brought him home. He was not a happy camper. Who could blame him? He'd been poked and prodded from both ends and when he woke up he was missing body parts. I put him in his bed and I got him clean towels in case he wanted to lay on the floor. He wasn't allowed to eat or drink but I don't think he wanted to anyway. I held him for quite a while and then I put him in his bed so he could get some uninterrupted rest.
That morning he was supposed to try to eat and drink and I had meds that I was supposed to put in his food. He was not interested in eating so I just left his food in there with him hoping that he would feel like eating later. By the time I got home from work it was obvious that he hadn't even sniffed his food. He had thrown up a couple of times but I figured that was to be expected after having abdominal surgery. Later that night he started throwing up again but now when he retched he would scream. It was the most awful sound I've ever heard coming from a cat. I hate to say this but it reminded me of the sound my elderly grandmother would make when the grand kids would accidentally step on her toes. He continued to throw up through out the night.
By the time the sun came up I had him in his travel box so I could take him back to the vet which I thought opened at 7:00 AM. WRONG. They open at 8:00. I need to be at work at 8:00 and since I had just taken an entire month off of work I didn't think they would look too kindly at me coming in late. So.. I raced Elijah back home and flew to work. All morning long I fretted over taking Elijah back home when I knew that something was wrong with him so at lunch time I drove home as fast as I could and loaded him up and took him back to the vets office. When I got there the receptionist told me that the doctors were all out to lunch and that I had to wait for them to return before they would take the kitty. I explained that Elijah had just been in their care and was returned home in worse condition than when I originally brought him in. I begged her to let me leave him there and just have a doctor call me when he returned from lunch. To my amazement she agreed so I left him there and went back to work.
Just when I returned from work the doctor called me and told me that they had to do exploratory surgery. Since he had resumed throwing up that indicated that the blockage was still there. I agreed to let them do the surgery and was glad that something was really going to be done to take care of the problem.
About 30 minutes later the vets office called me and told me that Elijah had gone in to cardiac arrest. They wanted to know if I wanted them to do CPR. "YES!", I said. " DO CPR! DO IT NOW!" It took them about 20 minutes but they were able to get him back. They told me that they were not equipped to handle such a critical situation and I needed to come and get him and take him to an emergency hospital.
When I got to the vet they brought me a heavily sedated kitty wearing one of those stupid cone collars. He looked like he had been wrung through the wringer. His eyes were glazed over and his little tongue was actually hanging out of his mouth. His mouth and rear were both green from all the bile he had passed. It turned out that Elijah had swallowed over 6 feet of black thread. It had wrapped around the back of his tongue and then went down his esophagus and through his stomach, small intestine, large intestine and his colon. They had to open him up in 8 different places to take the thread out because it was tangled up all over the place. The doc said when they first found it they tugged on it hoping that it would just come out but when they pulled on it hard enough to dislodge it...both ends of Elijah's body came off the table.
I had to drive about 7 miles to the emergency hospital and apparently that is just enough time for some of the sedation to wear off and cause Elijah to want to attempt to climb out of the box and try to sit on my lap. This made the drive very challenging.