"Come to me now and rest your head for just five minutes, everything is good."
Amid all the chaos of Neil's appendectomy and intestinal obstruction, I had another emotional trial. My small cat, Zamboni, was a very sick kitty.
When Neil came home from work on that "fateful" Monday a couple of weeks ago, on the day he wound up in the ER, he emptied his pockets onto the kitchen island and changed from his work clothes to sweatpants and a jersey. One of the things in his pockets was a small silver pillbox, just big enough to hold a couple of Advil. Or three.
I was in the ER with him until midnight, waiting for him to go to a room, and when I finally got home, there were some pieces of what looked like an aspirin tablet on the floor. I picked them up and tossed them in the trash. I was too exhausted to think any more about it.
In the morning I headed right back to the hospital. Neil had his appendectomy that afternoon. After the doctor spoke to me, and while Neil was in Recovery, I ran home to feed the cats. I cleaned up some cat yak. That wasn't unusual. Loki, my big cat, frequently barfs up another cat. Then I went back to the hospital. When I got home about 9 p.m. I ate some dinner, picked up some more bits of pills and cleaned up more yak.
Then I went upstairs. There was cat yak on the landing and more in the hallway. I came back down and that's when I saw Zamboni vomiting up what looked like white foam. My vital signs blipped momentarily. I Googled cats and Ibuprofen. What I read was all bad. Ibuprofen is toxic for cats. It can harm their livers, destroy their kidneys, cause seizures. I was shaking.
I called my vet, got the answering service, left a message and got a call back from the vet on call just minutes later. He told me to take Zam to the 24-hour vet clinic. Ironically, it is right next door to the hospital. I crated Zam and off we went.
I filled out forms and handed over my credit card. We waited while triage was done on a dog that had been hit by a car. Then Zamboni was taken back for an exam. The vet recommended lab work. I handed over my credit card again.
Then I waited in the waiting room. I briefly considered running over to the hospital and telling Neil but I decided he didn't need to worry about anything but getting well just then. I tried to read but was distracted when another cat was brought in for what the owner thought was a bite by another animal. The owner was a hot mess, a lot like me. We talked each other off the ledge to pass the time.
Zamboni dodged a bullet. His labs were normal. He got a dose of anti-nausea meds and some hydration and advise to bring him to our vet the next day for a recheck. It was 1 a.m. when we got home.
I brought Zamboni to our vet for labs the following day and again they were normal. We went home with four tablets of anti-nausea meds for use as needed.
On Thursday Zam started vomiting again. I managed to get him to swallow a pill, after which he drank a lot of water. And vomited again. I wasn't sure if he'd absorbed any of the anti-nausea medicine. I watched him for a while. He made a valiant effort and managed to upchuck a wad of chewed-up blue rubber band.
After that the vomiting abated. Further crisis was averted. I was a dishrag of emotion, but we'd weathered this storm.
I couldn't lose Zamboni. He's only 20 months old. He has so much personality and he's still a baby, really. He's small and I have a feeling he may be a perpetual kitten. I just have to keep him alive.
In the meantime, he's back to playing his favorite game, String Theory. He loves ribbons and strings. He carries them around all over the house. He brings them to you and wants you to throw them so that he can bring them to you again so you can throw them again. I've never had a cat play "Fetch" before.
Now if I could figure out how to stop him from dragging them through his water bowl, I'd be just a little happier.
But all is well with the world again.
"I'll light the fire, you place the flowers in the vase that you bought today
Staring at the fire for hours and hours while I listen to you
Play your love songs all night long for me, only for me
Come to me now and rest your head for just five minutes, everything is good
Such a cozy room, the windows are illuminated by the
Sunshine through them, fiery gems for you, only for you
Our house is a very, very fine house with two cats in the yard, life used to be so hard
Now everything is easy cause of you
I'll light the fire, you place the flowers in the vase that you bought today."