Monday, January 17, 2011

Everyone said it would be easy...

... Oh, wait, they didn't??


That's right, I remember now. Everyone said it would be HARD. They were right. We've had a rough week - maybe the roughest yet.


Last Sunday night - not last night, but the one a week ago - our kitty, Eli (the orange one) started barfing. Though he does have periodic episodes that sound like retching, we've come to understand that he has kitty asthma and those are just coughing fits. Occasionally, he's eaten something (like part of last year's Christmas tree that he found behind the couch) that he'll cough up and then go about his merry way, but this was different.

We gave it a day, kept an eye on him and tried a few suggested remedies, but decided on Tuesday that we'd better take him to the vet for a thorough check, just to be sure.  The regular x-rays didn't show any intestinal blockages, but they did a barium series as well. That didn't show anything to be concerned about and the rest of his bloodwork and tests were normal as well, so they sent him home. They'd given him fluids, pain meds, and anti-nausea meds, and he seemed much happier. Back at home, we offered him some nice, bland chicken breast but he was only interested in his regular food. He was eating and drinking without vomiting, which was a good sign. Unfortunately, his dear sister - the one who'd been inconsolably anxious when he was home sick - seemed to have forgotten who he was at the vet. Instead of giving Eli a warm, loving homecoming, Marceline spent the next few days swatting, growling, and hissing at him. Awesome.


In the meantime, while we were worrying about our little guy, Jon came down with a cold and gave it to Alice, who gave it to me. So we were all sick, (except Marceline) and unhappy. Fortunately, Eli seemed to be on the mend. He continued to eat, drink, and generally perk up over the next few days without developing any more symptoms, and his pancreatitis test came back normal, so we chalked it up to an unidentifiable upset stomach, infection, or other virus of unknown origin.


Until Jon emptied the litter box. He found a suspicious-looking buried treasure, so as any concerned parent would do, he cut it in half with the scooper. And it exploded with colorful, curly, ribbons last seen adorning Christmas presents - three weeks ago.


We knew during the holiday that such embellishments might be problematic with Eli around. You see, he loves ribbons. He is partial to a few particular things (cable knit, anyone?), and curly present ribbon is one of them. We halted all further additions of curly ribbon and tried to make sure that he didn't eat any off the existing gifts. Apparently, he got a few nibbles in while we weren't watching. Quite a few nibbles.


Jon took a photo of the scatological findings, which were fairly impressive. I won't post it here, but will instead leave you with this very cute and terribly foreboding photo of Eli eating one of my birthday presents. 





I think the worst is over for all of us. We invested in a cool mist humidifier which worked like a charm on both baby AND mom last night. Jon has to work today, but will at least get to ease back into his week with a break on his Mr. Mom duties as I have the day off. I plan to finish recuperating, give Alice some heavy doses of motherly love, and try to get to the chores I blew off this weekend in favor of watching movies and napping with kitties on the couch. The kitties are back to normal too; Eli is better than new and Marceline quit hissing at her poor brother and acquiesced to her sisterly duty of grooming the vet smell from his furs.


We're so relieved that Eli's problem resolved itself without any major intervention. Even though we had no real reason to, we couldn't help but worry about losing him. Sometimes, growing up means learning that the things you love won't get to grow as old as you'd hoped. Fortunately, this cat still has a few lives left.

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