Mid-June, while cleaning the upstairs, the vacuum started sucking up thread off a spool like spaghetti. I picked up the roll and put it on my daughter’s shelf.
Around the same time, Lulu started vomiting twice a day. With her food and Rico’s available, I chucked it up to a consequence of overeating. Then she stopped eating, her vomit became liquid, and I waited for a hairball. None came.
I tried to get her into see her vet, but they were fully booked and not taking walk-ins. They gave her an appointment in early July. Lulu lost weight, and her mood declined. So I called another vet. Upon hearing of her condition, they squeezed her in between patients.
I dropped her off (C-19). Several hours later, I got the call. Per Lulu’s scan, she required emergency surgery or…
Fine. Bring it.
I’ve never had to use emergency vet care. The surgery estimates were high; like goodbye savings account high. Time was of the essence, so I transported Lulu from her vet to the hospital about 20 minutes away, again dropping her off. After confirmation of the thread, I got the cost of surgery.
My response, “That’s a car!”
The family suggested I put her down, but Lulu just turned four in April. She’s family and there was no way I was putting her down.
I’d waited for loved ones to get out of surgery many times. Before C-19, I waited at the hospital, this time, I waited from home and work.
I got the call that she had made it through surgery, and once she stabilized, I could bring her home.
She was a hot mess.
Once we got home, she clawed my daughter to get into the house.
It was not my first time caring for post-op folks. Pre-thread, Lulu was not allowed in my room; post-op, she’s allowed to sleep on my bed. I added a letterbox, cat toy, food, and water to my bedroom décor. Note: If I ever have to do time as a cat, let me score someone like me.
Lulu spent the first few days hiding under my bed, making it impossible for me to give her her methadone. The vet said injured animals hide, and she was in a significant amount of pain. I could only give her four of her many doses.
According to her surgeon, some thread was still in her intestines, so I waited a long week for her to drop a duce. Once she did (and for a week), I cracked it open like a plastic Easter egg hoping to find a thread. It never happened.
As Lulu started acting like herself, a few minutes of bird watching, a bit of play with her new toy, adventuring to other rooms in the house, I stopped checking for thread. To make nighttime bearable for all, we gave her 30 minutes of free e-collar time so she could bathe herself.
Lulu is back to her old self with improved bedroom privileges. She’s back to following me into the kitchen each morning and jumping on the counter to watch me tend to the a.m. chores. Then, while I drink my morning coffee, she sits at the back door watching the little birds our small garden has attracted.
I’m so grateful to her skilled surgeons and the universe for “checking” my faith yet again.
UPDATE #1: Once Lulu was on the mend, we took Rico to the Veterinary surgeon (as recommended by his vet) to remove the mystery disease in his stomach. Upon examination, she said there was nothing to remove, nothing to do. That his body will process out whatever the infection is. None of the vets had seen anything like it before.
UPDATE #2: Rico has passed away.
UPDATE #3: Since Lulu’s surgery, she’s started exploring our backyard and enjoys laying out in the sunshine. She’s also been very demanding about getting her cuddles at least twice a day.