Friday, February 8, 2013

Two Cats and a Vet


Today I am taking my cats to the vet.

This is a day that causes massive anxiety for all involved because one cat is evil incarnate, and the other cat has a mystery illness that three vets in two different states have failed to diagnose.

True story.

Fat Cat
Fat Cat really is a thirteen year old example of evil incarnate. I know, at times, I can be given to bouts of hyperbole, but this isn't one of them.

When she first arrives at the office, she seems perfectly reasonable and not evil. She purrs delightfully and looks at the vet techs with innocent eyes filled with love and playful curiosity.

Then you put her on the exam table, and her alter ego, EVIL CAT, comes out to play. And by 'play', I mean bite. And bite hard. One year, she bit my hand badly enough to send me to the emergency room. The following year, I asked the receptionist if there was some sort of big red flag on Fat Cat's record because I wanted any who had the misfortune to come into contact with her to know they were dealing with an EVIL CAT. The receptionist told me they didn't put red flags on the files because some of the owners were offended by this. Instead they highlighted the pet's name in orange. I told the receptionist to go ahead and put a warning in big, flashing neon lights because I did not want anyone else to get sent to the hospital just so my cat could have a rabies shot. We see a different vet now. She hasn't bitten anyone yet, but they still put on the armor when they hear she's coming. And probably draw straws to see who has to suffer through her appointment.

Zombie Cat
And then there's Zombie Cat.

Zombie Cat is my fifteen year old enigma. She is so named because there's no way this cat should still be alive. We don't know how she's doing it, but our theory is that whatever illness she does have actually killed her and turned her into a zombie, and we just didn't notice.
 
No one has been able to figure out what she has. We have had many theories and even more prescriptions over the years. Past (incorrect) diagnoses have included herpes and chlamydia. (I am assured that these diseases are different in cats than they are in people and is, in no way, an indication that my cat is a furry little slut who spends her evenings down at the docks, trolling for sailors.) Here's a short sampling of what happened at her last appointment:

8:50am: The vet, after having shaved Zombie Cat's neck to draw blood from her "old lady" veins (vet's phrase), recommends the cat have chest x-rays done ($110 a pop) because she suspects Zombie Cat's lungs are filling with fluid.


8:51am: I approve the x-rays, figuring that if her lungs are flooding, it's probably best I find out.

9:15am: They return from the x-ray experience (four x-rays total), and Zombie Cat looks ready to bite someone. She always looks like that though, and hasn't bitten anyone yet, so I'm not worried.


9:16am: Zombie Cat bites the vet tech.

9:30am: The x-rays results are in. The good news is her lungs aren't filled with fluid, and her liver looks fine. The bad news is that it could be cancer. Or lung worms. Or heart disease.


9:30:01am: I'm sorry— let's go back a second. Did you say lung worms? As in worms in my cat's lungs? And why can't you rule that out? They wouldn't show up on an x-ray? I mean, you can see the damn kibble in her stomach, for crying out loud. Why can't you see lung worms? Are they invisible? Holy hell, is there such a thing as invisible lung worms?


9:31am: But wait, it gets better because apparently brain fungus is also a possibility.

9:31:01am: Zombie Cat bites the vet.

9:32am: The vet recommends I get the cat a CT scan to  rule out brain fungus. An MRI would be better, but a CT would do. The MRI costs more, but the CT scan is only around $1000, and I'd have to drive approximately two hours to get to a facility that performs cat CT scans. Now I want to bite the vet.


9:33am: Out of curiosity, is there any disease my cat might not have?


9:33:01am: Cat herpes and cat chlamydia. Right. Forgot about that. Proceed.

Needless to say, I did not leave the vet's office that day in a very good mood. But at least our visits are never boring, right?

I'm very curious to find out what disease Zombie Cat shall be diagnosed with this time. I'm betting on syphilis. Or a government created killer nano robot infection. (Name! That! Reference!)

Hard to know which one to root for...

Have a great weekend, everyone. And if you're in the path of this mega snow storm that's engulfing New England, stay warm and stay safe.

Until next time...

34 comments:

  1. I think it's human scratch disease.
    That's a hard thing trying to balance how much money to spend on a pet. On the one hand, it's a cat. On the other hand, it's -your- cat.

    And, well, I did just spend $400 to have my cat's shoulder stapled.

    I think it would be easier to name the thing that that reference doesn't apply to: Sesame Street.

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    1. It is a hard thing, but I just couldn't afford to do a CT scan, no matter how much I would've like to have known about the brain fungus.

      Most of my references come from the Whedonverse, but this is one of the few exceptions.

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  2. My cat was a sweetheart until we had to go to the vet. Then he turned into psycho cat, spit and bit everyone. They had to put on handling gloves just to give him shots. Poor kitties, hope you guys find out what's wrong. It's crazy how expensive the visits/exams are. I remember having to go through a similar experience my last cat. ):

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    1. Fat Cat gets the handling gloves treatment as well. One year, she was so bad, the vet just kind of looked at her (from the other side of the room) and said, "She's... probably fine."

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  3. oh my, hope everything works out :( poor thing, they are sooo cute, too

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    1. They are cute, if slightly nutty. At least they fit in with the rest of us.

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  4. Hey,

    Oh dear... sorry :)

    (But I couldn't help laughing... I couldn't... just 'cos I substituted "DR." for "Vet" and "middle child" for "Fat Cat."

    PS... If this is you, son, reading this comment in fifteen years, it's not me speaking... (subsitute "Papa" for "Zombie Cat.")

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    1. You were meant to laugh because this situation is nothing but ridiculous.

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  5. I have an equally evil cat who once actually bit my hand as I was feeing him... he'd obviously never heard of the old saying! Bites, scratches and growls were very common a few years ago, but suddenly he's become very sweet, compliant and old! I hope zombie cat gets better soon.

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    1. I think Zombie Cat will be sick for the rest of her life. However long that may be. And if she really is a zombie, that'll be a while.

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  6. Cat bites tech - hilarious!
    Is the cat suffering? Other than when she's at the vet? If she's old, whatever it is obviously hasn't killed her yet.

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    1. Yes, I'm sure the tech found it hilarious too...

      No, the cat isn't suffering. At least she hasn't been since I stopped all treatment.

      But we call her Zombie Cat now because we're convinced whatever she has actually did kill her and made her come back as a zombie, and we just didn't realize it.

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  7. The tortoises are not big fans of GOING to the vet - I don't even want to tell you what happens during the car ride! - but once there, they're pretty good. ML actually seems to enjoy getting her nails trimmed - kind of like a pedicure.

    Good luck at the vet! Hope all works out okay...

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    1. Zombie Cat is absolutely silent in the cat, though she often pees herself in fear. Fat Cat cries from the very second you put her in the carrier until she gets in the exam room. And then the biting happens.

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  8. OMG
    I really don't want to laugh at your predicament but damn you wrote this funny.

    I've told my son that's how the Zombie Apocalypse starts. From cats.

    Vet care is ridiculously expensive and they lay on the guilt pretty thick when they want extra tests and such. I don't envy your position.

    I hope you hear some good news today.

    When you said brain fungus, I thought of Brain Cloud from Joe vs. the Volcano. :)

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    1. You're meant to laugh. If I can't laugh at this, I would cry. Laughing is better.

      And my goodness, I haven't thought of Joe vs. the Volcano for a very long time. Now I feel an urge to watch it.

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  9. I've got a friend with a crazy people biting cat. It's so weird, you'll be minding your own business and the thing will walk up and start shit with you... FOR NO REASON! And I mean it will get nasty, biting, clawing, screaming in that crazy cat voice. So weird.

    Maybe your cat has the same thing that my dad has, 'old-cranky-assed disease'.

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    1. Zombie Cat was, for a very long time, that cat. She was known for ambush ankle biting. She doesn't do it very much anymore though.

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  10. Wouldn't it be ironic to spend that thousand dollars for a CT scan and find out brain fungus is just a technical term for zombie cat disease? Seriously, though, I hope your cat is okay. It's horrible when our pets are sick and we don't know what to do for them.

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    1. I imagine her CT scan results would look a lot like Test Subject 19's scan results. And if you're not a fan of The Walking Dead, you don't know what I'm talking about. But it's a zombie thing...

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  11. Sorry about your kitties love. Give them hugs for me!!!

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    1. They're not really cats who enjoy hugging. What if I just give them extra kitty treats for you? =)

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  12. I am just so upset that they can't help Zombie cat. I don't blame her for biting people, as they poke and prod her and still they can't help her. As for Fat cat, I can relate. My cat bites me all the time, though her teeth has not broken the skin yet. But taking her to the vet is definitely a challenge, considering that she is a naturally lean cat, but she likes pushing me around. Best of luck to you and your cats.

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    1. I've spent a lot of time being upset by it too, but I guess I've just gotten accustomed to the no answer situation whereas Zombie Cat is concerned.

      After that last visit, I didn't blame her for biting anyone either.

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  13. Glad to know my cat wasn't alone in turning to the Dark Side on that table.

    I'm not sure if he was ever highlighted orange, but at times I should've been.

    Let us know how it went, good luck with the storm, and a warm blanket to your cats.

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    1. It just kills me that the vet is more afraid of my 12 pound cat than he is of my 130 pound German shepherd. He spends my dogs' appointments saying stuff like, "You're a shepherd! Stop hiding behind your mother!"

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  14. It's so difficult to diagnose things in animals since they can't tell you where it hurts and when. But should zombies feel pain?

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  15. Poor Zombie Cat. She can't help being a zombie. When she was bitten it just happened!

    One of my cats (the fat one, just like yours) turns evil at the vets, too. The sweetest animal in the world with go insane at the sight of a vet.

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    1. I've never had a cat that was completely mellow at the vet, but this is the first cat I've had that's required her handlers to wear protective gear.

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  16. Yikes. I hope your cats are okay. What a production!

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    1. And I wonder why my significant other never volunteers for vet appointments...

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  17. love the cat characterizations! you sure you dont write paranormal with such animated inspiration! i see a story of two witches trapped in cat bodies... and they bite!!

    hilarious anarchy, thanks for the tale! hope it went well in the end!

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    1. Well, no one had to make a trip to the emergency room afterward, so I count it as a win!

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