Ugh. I had the worst week last week. I feel a bit like Craig David when recounting it. Here goes.
Cat stopped eating Monday
Took her to the vets on Tuesday
They kept her all that day and Wednesday
and on Thursday night I picked her up
On Friday she was still a bit sick
On Saturday she did a poop and I let her out
Chilled on Sunday.
So yeah, that’s the basis of the blog. Tilly stopped eating resolutely on Monday after several days of taking in almost nothing – pushing it around the plate and saying all her friends got steak, I thought. I was wrong. It got worse. She didn’t pee, she lay around doing nothing. This is very un-her. Also, she’s not yet two years old so I was FREEEEEEEEEEAKING.
I called the vet and took her in, we did a handover on the street outside and I went and sat back in my car waiting for them to phone me. I thought I might be able to take her home again, but they said they were keeping her in their pet hospital.
The vet put her on a rehydration drip, but she still wasn’t eating. They took bloods for tests and said they were all fine. Everybody acted like this was good news, but I hate that. I hate it when my car breaks down and the garage can find nothing wrong. Because it’s ILLOGICAL. Obviously something is wrong, it’s not working and you’re saying there’s nothing wrong and there is, look. Only this wasn’t a car, this was my furry baby.
By Wednesday I was CatMamaZilla. I spent much of the day on the phone simply trying to get through to them to talk about what they were doing about it. I had visions of her simply wasting away while they told me there was nothing wrong. They were not inclined to do further tests ‘at this stage’. I was most unhappy.
When I eventually got to speak to a vet, he was vile. He had a very loud voice and he talked down at me continually from the point I got on the phone to when he was wrapping it up to finish the ‘conversation’ and I had to actually tell him to stop talking over me and listen to the questions I had. He DID NOT like that, I can tell you, but what can a girl do when her kitty is ill? I wasn’t about to lie down and take any old shitty service they chose to dish out when her life was at stake and have it man-splained to me that they would decide what happened next, not me.
He suggested that if I were to go to a hospital with a problem, they might take months before they would give me a scan or an MRI. I said, maybe with the NHS, yes, but not with private healthcare. He said he’d had to wait six months for an MRI on BUPA… I said oh, that’s not my experience of private healthcare. When I used private heatlhcare and was ill, I got scanned so often I thought I was a microwave meal. The point I was making to him is that vet care is very highly priced private healthcare for animals. You do not have to wait six months for a scan for an animal, you pay for it to be done straight away.
At the end, I said to him, “What you must understand is, she is my furry baby and I will go to the ends of the earth to get her the treatment she needs, a diagnosis and a cure. I don’t care what it costs or how much effort is required.”
He said, “Oh of course, of course…” and I could tell he was thinking ‘Stroppy bitch’. He must have said as much to the night vet who called me later sounding trepidatious. I took great pleasure in being sweet as pie to her, so she’d know it was him with the attitude problem.
They said they would do a urine test if they could get some… cus of course, she wasn’t weeing. Then she did start weeing, but not where they wanted her to. They missed 3 pees, which were like gold dust in those dark days. I put on more pressure and they agreed to extract the urine using a fine needle next time her bladder was full (she’d just voided). I did not trust them to do it, so I rang every 2 hours on Thursday until they confirmed they had it.
Urine tests showed nothing wrong. They put her on appetite stimulant tablets.
Then she began eating a tiny bit when hand-fed by the kind vet nurses. She’d lost .3kg in weight, that’s a huge amount for an already slim cat in the space of a few days.
Of course, because of coronavirus, I wasn’t allowed to visit her. When I went to pick her up, I had to call from the car park and pay them £535 without having seen the invoice before they would hand her back to me. I have insurance but they refused to do a direct claim. I was staggered… before I moved here, my previous vets were gold. They always billed the insurance company directly and I only had to pay the excess to the vet. It seems times have changed and not for the better.
That makes me so upset and angry. Quite literally, there may be times I can’t afford to get her treated by a vet, despite having insurance. How many people find themselves in that position? I don’t care if it’s the fault of the insurers or the vets, but someone is putting money before the welfare of animals and as soon as I’ve shaken the dust of this experience from my boots, I will be making a helluva fuss about it.
I couldn’t wait to get her home and actually see how she was. I stopped the stimulants as soon as she got home so I could see how she really was (I knew I could put her back on them if she didn’t eat over the weekend, the little white tablets cost £8 each by the way! They’re in the fridge now for emergencies) and she carried on eating. Slowly at first and then with increased enthusiasm over the next couple of days. And she did two pees in her litter tray.
But no poop. I realised, they’d not told me if she’d done one at all while she was there. I rang, they said they’d check their records and call me back. A receptionist called me back and said she’d spoken to the vet and she hadn’t done a number two while she was there, but they weren’t ‘duly concerned’.
She loves going outside and wanted to even in her weakened state. I said no. Then when she was eating and back tearing it up, I said no until she’d pooped in her tray.
We had a stand-off where she told me very clearly she’d rather go outside and do it privately, on a neighbour’s garden, like a normal cat, and I said no. Whenever she’d go to her locked cat flap and make noise, I’d gently and firmly lift her up and put her in the litter tray, hoping she’d get the idea.
The poop was the price of exit.
I was cooking in the kitchen when I finally heard her in there scratching around later on Saturday. She produced. It was stinky. I have never been so happy to see cat shit in my whole life. I told her what a good cat she was and let her go outside to celebrate. I joyfully bagged up her butt truffles and disposed of them.
Today she’s much better still. She’s also very loving, I think she’s so glad to be home and feeling better. I know I am.
Do you have any vet experiences you’d be happy not to repeat? Does yours do direct billing to the insurer?
What ARE you wearing?
The dress can also be worn as a bodysuit (ie. without the skirt) as lingerie, for instance. Pretty!