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October 3, 2008

The cat and I are settling into our routine with fluids. If he feels poorly, he'll cooperate fully, sitting quietly down on the mats in his carrier and letting me freely operate. He won't even get up when we're finished. But if he's feeling good, he gets restless. He's not unhappy -- he's perfectly fine with having fluid dripped into him, purrs the whole time -- but he just doesn't want to stay still in this boring old box. He wants to explore the table, jump down on the floor, or alternatively climb up my arm and onto my shoulder. Purring. I'm trying to keep him in one place, but it's hard to hold a needle in place on a moving cat and get any leverage on said cat with just one other arm.

Wednesday night I came home to find that the bag of fluid -- "lactated Ringer's injection" -- had not been fully closed off the night before. All but the last 50 ml or so had leaked slowly out the tube and spread across my dining room table. Now, my table is an antique, solid oak, refinished by my father (who is a woodworker) in polyurethane and linseed oil. So having half a liter of fluid pool on it for 24 hours wasn't good for it, although not as bad as it might have been with a different kind of finish. I didn't have a tablecloth or anything like that. The table looks just the same, but I can feel the difference in the surface. You can feel that the wood soaked up the water and is curling at the cracks. I don't know if anything can be done about this, or should be done. I'll be asking my father.

But, setting aside the table, there was the more urgent problem of how my cat was going to get his fluids that night. 50 ml isn't enough for a single dose. So I called an emergency animal hospital and talked them into selling me another bag. They're not really supposed to sell it over the counter -- technically it's a medication -- but I hit a sympathetic receptionist. So out I went, at 9 pm, to bring some some lactated Ringer's injection. Animal ERs are a lot like human ERs -- there are a number of people sitting around in the lobby, some looking worried, some just looking tired, and a few people in scrubs outside in the parking lot, smoking.

The cat has rewarded me by being his purry, affectionate self all week, patting my face with his paw to ask for ear scratches and curling up on the bed at night. The vet said his test results showed further improvement, although they were still far from normal. I asked what his prognosis was, generally. She said he might have as long as a year.



( 9 comments — Leave a comment )
Oct. 4th, 2008 01:27 am (UTC)
I am glad for the somewhat encouraging news about your cat. And I hope your table will be okay!
Oct. 6th, 2008 11:31 pm (UTC)
Thank you! The one thing that's become clear over the past month is that there's no way to know how long he has. But right now he's happy.
Oct. 4th, 2008 01:41 am (UTC)
I'm glad to hear that he's doing better, and it sounds like you've settled into a routine.
Oct. 6th, 2008 11:30 pm (UTC)
I'm glad to hear that he's doing better, and it sounds like you've settled into a routine.

We have enough of a routine that he's started to avoid me when he notices me fiddling with things on the table. *sigh* Hopefully I'll figure out how to make this easier on him fairly soon.
Oct. 4th, 2008 05:22 am (UTC)
Hugs to you and your cat. Make the most of the time you have. And take lots of pictures. My one regret when I lost Slash, was realizing I only had a few pictures.
Oct. 6th, 2008 11:28 pm (UTC)
Oh, I'm taking lots of pictures! I'm so glad I have a digital camera and can take as many as I like without running out of film, and can see them right away.
Oct. 4th, 2008 07:52 am (UTC)
The things we do for love...I'm glad things are (sort of) okay. What happens if you have to go away for a few days?

Edited at 2008-10-04 07:52 am (UTC)
Oct. 6th, 2008 11:26 pm (UTC)
What happens if you have to go away for a few days?

I asked my vet that, and she said that she had a list of pet sitters who had experience administering fluids to cats. Apparently this is a fairly common scenario with older cats.
Oct. 7th, 2008 02:53 am (UTC)
Yay for happy kitty. And for improvement.

Too bad your table had to pay the price!
( 9 comments — Leave a comment )