On the sixth day of cat ownership, I made an emergency trip to the vet where I had a large-scale emotional breakdown.
I had planned to visit the vet sometime in the next month for a, "Nice to meet you. Here is my wonderful kitty," type appointment. Even though he had peed on my bed (twice!) on Saturday, I figured he was telling me he was stressed out not sick. And I didn't blame him. I've been a little stressed out since he's been here, too. It's not easy to learn to share your space.
What got me worried was the fact that Buster had been trying to pee, but nothing was happening. This morning he seemed really out of sorts-- not wanting pets and hiding under the coffee table. I called the vet's office. While I was on the phone Buster started crying and barfed up a whole lot of food. The vet's office said, "Bring him in NOW!" so I did.
Buster was snatched into the back to be looked at, and after filling out about half of a form, I was escorted into an exam room to speak with the doctor. It turns out Buster's urethra is partially blocked. They want to anesthetize him, put in a catheter and do a bladder lavage, which will cost me $1100.
This pronouncement was my cue for a significant emotional breakdown. The tears started flowing. My heart started palpitating, and with my sinus infection, I was a blathering snotty mess before you could repeat the phrase, "eleven hundred dollars."
For those who may not be aware, I would have adopted a cat years ago were it not for my feelings that responsible pet owners should be able to afford veterinary care for their animals. Needless to say, I could not afford this. Every fear that I had about becoming a pet owner seemed to be realized when I admitted this to the vet. To make matters worse, Buster is the one good thing that has happened to me this year. Hearing that I can't take care of him adequately was quite a blow.
I told the vet to put him on meds to help him relax his urethra. I drove home at about 2 miles per hour and I tried calling my Mom, my sister, the adoption agency and my psychiatrist. Of course I got the phone phobic's worst nightmare: six different answering messages for six different phone calls. I even thought about calling my Dad, but I hadn't admitted to him that I have a kitty yet and I knew his reaction would be along the lines of, "Kimberly! Did you even think about vet bills? Idiot." Not needing to hear that sort of criticism, and not knowing how the stock market was faring, I decided not to call him. I looked around for my Uncle Steve's phone number (he's a vet) to no avail before driving over to the adoption agency. There, I cried about Buster's plight and they asked why I didn't take him to their vet.
Much to the original vet's chagrin, I took Buster to the other vet. He squeezed Buster's bladder and made him pee in the sink. I'm no feline urine stream expert, but I would say that that squeeze indicated that things weren't plugged up in Urethraville. The vet said he was stressed out and needed a diet to make his urine more acid. Buster was given a cortisol shot and some special food.
We came home and took a long nap together. But I'm looking at the urinalysis from the first vet and I'm wondering if I've done the right thing.