Saturday, June 16, 2012

$600 Accident

This post will be a little graphic, so if you can't stand a little blood you should probably just leave now. This happened a little while ago, but I thought I would remind pet owners how quickly their beloved pets can injure themselves if we're not careful. This is what happened:

^A cat head...Between the jaw bones...
I'm in the process of moving, so I was in town all day buying new apartment things. I came home to my parents house. It was a long day. I had just gotten out of the shower and I turned on my laptop. As it was booting up I heard my mom screaming that the cat was choking on something. Not to be mean to my mother but she totally overreacts. This cat likes to eat tuffs of hair off the floor that is left behind from one of the other many animals in the house so he has been dryheaving like crazy lately. We thought it was just him hacking up a hairball. We finally found him and he was freaking out. It took me and my little brother to hold him down so my mom could pry open his mouth.

"There's a needle in his tongue!"

And there was. She tried to pull it out herself but couldn't do it. And then my mom just stood there and started to cry and she sobbed that he was going to die. My brother is too young to know what to do. I did something I didn't know I had in me-I had to direct everyone. I told my mom to call a vet that is closer than our usual one and get them to accept him right away. My brother stayed with me in the room. After about 15 minutes she didn't come back up. This was an emergency that couldn't be put off until the next day. I told my brother to get the cat carrier and then to get my purse and check that it had my wallet with my debit card and my cell phone. He was really fantastic through the whole thing-I'm super proud of him. He didn't freak out, which is excellent because my mom was barely functioning. And he listened to me and did everything as quickly as possible. Cool kid.

When he was gone the cat was cuddling with me and shaking. It was a sad moment that I'll never forget because I couldn't just fix him. Then he threw up blood and saliva on my hand, one of the most disgusting moments of my life. Then he cuddled with me more and spat more blood on my t-shirt. I thought with all the blood that he was going to die in my arms. Even with these thoughts and all the blood on my I kept calm for him. When my brother came back the cat kept looking at us and making weird movements with his jaw, and that made the grossest noise I've ever heard. My brother kept asking what that noise was and I had no idea.

With no word from my mom we put him in the carrier and brough him downstairs. No one was just accepting him-they kept giving my mother different vet numbers. WTF vets? It's an emergency. I had to tell her to tell them that he was coughing up blood. This isn't a "My kitty-witty is in pain" (like he stubbed his paw or something) kind of situation. We got in the truck and we passed my father who had my older brother in the van with him. They turned around and the cat went in the van with my older brother and I. The cat was really quiet, and he's a very vocal cat. We ended up going to our usual vet that is an hour and a half away, and we made it there in thirty minutes, which must be a record. My brother has a history of totalling cars, almost killing himself once, but he handled that van like a pro and we didn't even get pulled over.

When we got there he had some x-rays, but by looking down his throat no one could see the needle. It became a "Are you sure?" situation. Please remember that my t-shirt under my sweater had blood splattered all over it still. And my hair was still wet and dishevelled (I can't even brush it when it's wet). My brother, a mechanic, was in his dirty work clothes. We didn't do this for fun, jeeze. It turns out that through the eye of the needle was still white thread. Fatty probably found the string, which was connected to a sewing needle, and ate it. That gross sound we heard was the needle pushing through whatever is between the bones of his jaw. It was peiced through his tongue at one point, still visible if you opened his mouth, but he pushed it himself right through. Gross.

Instead of going through his mouth and pulling it out the way it went in, they sedated the cat and made an incision on the outside and just pulled the needle, complete with thread, right out and stitched him up. They gave us the needle after in a little jar too. One thing we can't figure out is where that needle came from. No one here actually sews. And the type of needle is short and thick, more like a quilting needle. The fat troublesome cat is always on the kitchen table when you aren't looking, so yeah, that's probably where he found it. But why was one just randomly out? We think it may have come in with all the new stuff we bought, and some of it was second-hand work clothes. Some stores use sewing pins on tags. Even before this I hated it when stores used pins to attack tags, and now my hate is perfectly capable of setting them on fire. The needle is currently MIA (not surprising in this house). When I find it I might post a picture of it.

Anyway, the vet looked at my brother, and said in a low voice, "So...about the cost..." and he then quoted "a few hundred." My brother laughed, saying that it sounded like he was going to say several thousand! We're big animal lovers here, and seriously, "several hundred" isn't an issue. I was totally prepared to pay for it.

In the end it cost a little more than $600 to fix him up and to buy the pain killers and the antibiotics. As my brother was saying after, it was an accident. A mistake. A mistake that cost $600 and pain to a poor little animal. Old fatty is totally fine now. Same grumpy, tubby male. The vet assistant had to pick him up to weigh him and she commented that he was like a bag of potatoes! He weights 17 lbs, btw. After the surgery the vet asked how long the cat was breathing with his mouth open after the needle went in. My brother and I looked at eachother and we laughed. He sits around breathing with his tongue hanging out all the time. He's goofy. To see how fat he really is, I'll leave with more of the x-ray:


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