Catten Trouble, Saturday: General E-Mail

I spoke with Dr. Huang, the Intern, today, and she said that Tony ate a little baby food yesterday. They’re currently thinking, based on the blood work and everything else, that he has a liver shunt, where the blood is flowing around the liver, rather than going through it. They’ve added vitamin K and other things, to try to help stabilize him if indeed that is his trouble, and are continuing with the prednisone or whatever steroid they’re giving him, in case it is inflammatory bowel disease. But they think that it is going to be the liver shunt, and propose sending him out for a test for that on Monday, where they inject some dye into a muscle and then watch the dye on a screen, and see if it flows through the liver, or around it. The office that would do that needs a little advance warning, to lay in the required dye, but hopefully we can do that on Monday. Now, even if he were in pretty good shape, the odds of success on liver shunt surgery are only 50/50, and right now he’s pretty sickly, so…eh.

Visiting hours are between 2pm and 9pm, so I’m going to go over there and try to keep him company for a little while today.

Sylvia and I went to see Tony this afternoon. He was really happy to see us, and did his patented meow/purr alternation routine the whole time. He was in the middle of receiving a plasma transfusion, so they had us come back and see him in his cage. There were nice warm blankets that he was resting on. We offered him some food, but he wasn’t having any.

At about 7pm, I thought that I would go pay another visit to Tony. He’s such a people person, he really doesn’t do well when he’s isolated, even more so than you might just normally expect. I had asked before if I should call before I came, and they had said, “Oh, no, you can just come any time between 2 and 9pm.” But when I arrived at the office, their door was locked, and nobody was around the lobby. I called them on my cell phone, and someone answered, and said that it would be better if I came in about an hour. I explained that I was already outside, and that I had asked, and they said, well, it was just that I would have to visit him back at his cage, because of the plasma transfusion, and they couldn’t do things like x-rays while I was back there, and there were a lot of things going on at the moment. But since I was there, they let me come in, and said that if I would just wait in the lobby, I could see him in about 15 minutes. And about 15 minutes or later, they came out again and said, well, unfortunately there a dog that’s crashing, who’s on his way in, and they really wouldn’t be able to give me more than just a minute. I went back there, and Tony was getting another infusion of plasma, but it was almost over, and I asked, couldn’t they just let me take him into one of the visiting rooms and hold him in my lap while they worked on the dog? The woman took pity on me, and checked with the doctor for an OK, and then they made a really nice little bed for him out of a big bowl with a blanket as bedding, and another blanket to keep him warm, and then they let us go into a small visiting room, where I held the bowl in my lap and stroked his ears. For the first 20 minutes or so, he did the same meow-purr thing that he’s been doing every time he sees me for the last several days. But about 20 minutes in, he just shifted his position, and settled down, and had a nice sleep in the warm blankets while I stroked him. Occasionally he would get up and change position to get more comfortable, but mostly he just was sleeping, letting me stroke his fur. They left us alone for a nice long visit, probably an hour, and I really think it was good for him; it certainly was for me. His abdomen was less swollen tonight, I thought, but that’s probably just wishful thinking. I’m not sure that he’s eating very much. We’ll see.

Tony, shown here in happier times, relaxing in his favorite chair, with a friend:

See Sunday’s Catten post.

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