Posted by: canthold | November 7, 2007

The Pearl Collar

So about 4 o’clock this afternoon I was wondering if it was too early to start drinking. I even went so far as to pour myself a glass of wine. It tasted just awful. I let it breathe for a while, but it was still awful. I just couldn’t justify opening another bottle and I’m pretty sure that my husband only opened that last night, so that sucks.

I’ve been feeling like a tightly wound ball of something. Like a watch that’s been over-wound, perhaps. I know that coffee does this to me. I had two cups today because I had so much to do and it puts me on edge.

But it was really my cat.

My poor little kitty, who has been named Pearl, finally, in case I never posted that. (Named for the an animal in the Island Princess movie by my four-year-old who thinks that cat is hers but she’s really mine.) (Was that a real sentence up there?) Anyway, my poor kitty is now wearing a collar.

My daylight savings time brain thinks it’s already 10:30 at night, which is my bedtime, so I’m feeling a bit incoherent. I wish I could blame it on the wine, but for those of you reading this when you’re awake, you already know I didn’t have any wine.

When I took Pearl to my (dog’s) vet to get her shots, I was shocked by the $450 spay estimate they gave me. Being frugal, as I am, I ended up taking her to get spayed at the SPCA on Monday October 29th. The cost of that, plus a microchip, was only $60. Besides being terribly inconvenient because I had to drive 30-miles round trip rather than the easy-peasy 3-mile round trip to my (dog’s) vet, I was happy they were able to make this necessary surgery low-cost.

I picked her up the next day and took her home with all of my post-op instructions. It was a breeze. She was totally fine and I had to remind my kids (constantly), my husband and my dog not to bother her as she’s just had major surgery, but she was very chipper and acted like nothing happened. Nothing at all.

Until the weekend.

They warned me that there might be oozing. I never saw any until Saturday. I watched it. It didn’t look that bad, but it was suspicious. Sunday was a little worse. On Monday morning, bright and early, I called my (dog’s) vet and they couldn’t get her in until Tuesday. Making that appointment would have required me to swallow a few knives while drinking a glass of fire. I decided to also try the SPCA. After all, they did the surgery and offered to let me bring her in to have her checked out if there were complications. I wasn’t able to speak to a live person, but the outgoing message said that due to high call volume, I can expect a return phone call in one to two days.

I tried to call the emergency number and was transferred to the voice mail box that I had earlier. I left a second message. They still have not returned my call. It’s a good thing that I’m not holding my breath. I must say that while I admire the work they do there to rescue animals, I’m tired of having bad experiences there.

This morning I called my (dog’s) vet and asked for an appointment for today. My kitty’s tummy looked like it was a bit past the oozing stage and she probably removed one of her stitches. They got me in at a time I could actually make it and well, that’s when my hair felt like it was going to all fall out.

Pearl’s temperature was elevated, probably due to the infection that she had. The vet told me she needed to check that only the outer stitches had come out, and not the other layers holding her little kitty muscles and other innards in there. In order to, as she said, probe around, (which I asked her not to say again due to a high risk of my getting sick), she needed to gas my cat. Supposedly it was no big deal. She would just put the cat in a tank and pipe the gas in and no matter how simple she was trying to make it sound, I kept picturing a little Kitty Auschwitz. I was close to fainting, but not as close as I was when she returned with the cost estimate.

I’ve been kicking myself about this whole thing. I’ve been kicking myself that I never put a collar on her after her surgery. I had no idea this was all possible. Why didn’t the SPCA offer up a collar? Then again, I’ve had cats spayed before and I’ve never had this happen.

Fortunately, our worst case scenario never played out. Only the outer layer had come undone. The infection was pretty bad, though, and instead of closing her up, they put a tube in her belly to help drain the pus. (I’m sorry I used the “P” word. I was trying not to.) They’ll remove it on Friday.

And the bill came to nearly $300. I’m the sort of person who will spend anything on my pets (unless I can find a low-cost spay clinic) and I can’t fathom what alternatives would have been satisfactory. Of course, if I had been able to take my cat to the SPCA on Monday for a post-op evaluation, that would have been good. Or if my (dog’s) vet had had openings on Monday, that would have been good. But I don’t care how young this kitten is, I love her and need to take care of her.

I never told my husband that I took her to the vet at all. I know he’s going to suspect something when he see’s the collar. It’s pretty obvious and all. And the first words out of his mouth are going to be, “how much did that cost me?” What’s the best answer to that? (I know, I know, it’s “$300. Live with it.”)

So that’s why I kind of wanted to have a glass of wine at 4 pm today. Then again, if I had had the drink, I wouldn’t have gotten the mountain of clothes cleaned, folded and put away that I did. So there’s that.

And did I mention that Pearl will need two doses of (liquid) antibiotics for a week? I didn’t think so. 


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