My cat Ichabod had been displaying some weird symptoms the other night that immediately raised a red flag for me. He was trying to pee in his freshly cleaned litter box. Trying, but with no success. Sometimes after I clean his box he likes to hang out in it and push the litter around, so I figured he was just excited about his clean toilet. I know when a cat is having a pee problems it's a huge issue, so I decided to keep an eye on him. After all, he was still eating and drinking and his energy was normal.
The next morning is when we realized there was a problem. He was lethargic, he wasn't moving much. The kid wasn't eating and he hadn't urinated the entire night, which is when cats really do the most peeing. We shouldn't have waited, but ultimately Chris and I decided we needed to go to work and we would check on him when we got home. Well, bad idea. We got home and there was blood around his penis.
Now guys, please try to understand. I know most of you will understand this. I love my cat so much, and I think that has been proven over and over again, BUT I am very broke. I don't want to get into money woes, but simply feeding ourselves is a struggle. There was no way we could get him to a vet without paying emergency charges, which is generally double normal veterinary care. We hated to do it, but we resigned ourselves to wait until the next morning and call out of work to take him to the vet.
Here is where things started to get.... well, super shitty. We took him to the vet two blocks away from us. For the record, these are some of the most outstanding people in this city. I have never been to this vet before and I thought they were a little snooty when I walked in, but I guess that's just Seattle, huh? We're all a little stuck up, I'll be the first to admit it. So, we saw the doctor and after showing her a hard thing Ichabod had passed, she immediately concluded that he had a full urinary tract blockage and he needed to be hospitalized immediately. We were more than willing... but the cost. The cost killed us. They quoted us $1,200, which included a few days in the hospital and x-rays and so-forth. They were able to adjust the price to $800, but that was still too much for us. I think when they saw Chris, a tall 6'4" man, slide down to the floor and break down in tears they realized there was nothing they could do for us. The wonderful doctor there took it upon herself to call around and find someone who could help us.
She found a "value vet." In Everett. For those of you who don't know, that is at least a half hour drive from here on a beautiful clear day, and we don't own a car. Taking the bus was out of the question. Our amazing friends let us borrow their car, and we zoomed up to Everett as fast as we could. The moment we got there he was taken from us and rushed into surgery. Yeah, pretty big deal. The poor cat hadn't been able to pee for over 24 hours and he was in a lot of pain. The sweet woman at reception didn't get to take her break and the doctors and techs all went into overdrive to help our little orange and cream kid.
We left him in their care and returned the car. We had to pick him up at 5:30 and we arranged for another ride. We got there and they told us what terrible shape Ichabod had been in. His bladder had been huge and inflamed, his kidneys were going nuts, and he had tons of crystals. She said that if we had waited any longer, Ichabod would have died.
So anyway, we paid them the $500 they quoted (which we had to borrow from Chris' mom) and went on our merry way with our very drugged up cat.
He had to spend the night in the bathroom with a catheter. He is really uncomfortable, but it is 100% clear that he is feeling better. It doesn't look like much, if any, blood is coming out anymore. Our building scheduled the maintenance man to check every unit's plumbing today so I had to take Ichabod out of the bathroom and hold him in a blanket. I don't have the heart to put him back in the bathroom, so the sweet little man is currently sleeping on a blanket in my lap and peeing all over the place.
And you know what? I couldn't be happier.