Just below $1300 later, Tigger is home. He’s a little groggy and missing some fur on neck and foreleg but as congenial and (dare I say) clingy as ever. He smells distinctly like a vet hospital now. This is slightly problematic, as Tigger’s unequivocal night spot is directly next to my pillow. We’ve been napping together since he settled down and I keep waking up with a snootful of Main Coon fluff thinking I’ve somehow been transported back to the night at the emergency clinic.
Speaking of which, I give you a story. Last night, as I fretted in the waiting room, a young Springer Spaniel named Ritzy Cracker came in with acute pancreitis. The owner was a woman in her sixties named Carol, and we fretted together for a while. Sharing worry breeds fast friends. I held Carol when the vet revealed Ritzy’s grim prognosis (“nothing we can do”) and went back with her when the time came for euthanasia. Knowing from conversation that her husband was out of town, I got her phone number, so I could make sure she made it through an assuredly lonely and painful night in one piece (she did). The experience troubled me and left me with this thought: I pity those who never forge a deep bond with an animal, because they miss one of the most unshakable friendships life offers. I also envy them that they never have to face the inevitable loss of such a singular friend.
It was around then that the vet told me they had detected a heart murmur in Tigger, and that condition combined with the sheer weight of years he trails behind him made the prospect of sedating him to insert a catheter very tricky indeed. She thought his heart was still strong and was in fact impressed with his condition (for his age), but we agreed to try other avenues of treatment first. They failed. She called me when they put him under and again the moment he awoke and the nerve-wracking period between was where most of my heartworn pleas for help originated. I’m sorry if I came across half mad with worry. I was.
Long story short, with fluids and antibiotics and a rather unpleasant tube inserted in a rather unpleasant anatomical region, Tigger recovered quickly. I transferred him, tubes and all, to a day clinic at eight this morning and brought him home (tube free) at five thirty. I realize I should have posted an immediate update, but couldn’t help but follow my kitty while he inspected the apartment to make sure it hadn’t transmogrified into a den of evil in his absence and then, satisfied, snarfed half a can of prescription Kidney Diet (which you all helped buy) so quickly he belched. Have you ever heard a cat belch? It’s really quite odd.
What I’m trying to say with all of this is thank you. In less than twenty four hours your kindness has put forward slightly over $200 towards Tigger’s bills, which covered all the work done at the day clinic and his various prescriptions (diet, painkillers, antibiotics). It means so much for both of us, and I don’t know how to express the depth of my gratitude via internet. At a loss, all I can offer is kitty pictures.
Note: all orders placed Friday will ship Saturday, come hell or high water. Tomorrow will also see the return of your regularly scheduled craft blogging.
ETA: I’ve decided that if I manage to get myself onto stable financial footing -not even pay off the entire bill, but get enough that I know I can afford all his follow-up work and not worry should another emergency arise- I’m going to start donating half of all sales to an as-yet undetermined animal charity or two. If I manage to make enough to cover Tigger’s emergency bills, for a month after the day the money is made I’ll donate all sales and cover shipping myself. I hope to do this in both Tigger and Ritzy’s names, because I’m sentimental like that and I know Carol would apperciate it (we’ve been talking). If anyone out there has suggestions for good charities to look at, please drop me a comment. Right now I’m thinking about the local Humane Society and maybe a rescue group.
Son of ETA: Tigger’s thyroid values came back normal, which leaves checking his kidneys again in a week or so and then, if that doesn’t give us any clues as to what could be causing this heart murmur, examining the heart itself. His infection is nearly gone, and though his patience for twice-a-day pillings is quickly waning, he’s otherwise happy and comfortable. I don’t even have to give him doses of painkillers any more.
My finances are slowly recovering. Through Corvus corax sales and mind-blowingly kind donations I’ve raised $382.62 towards Tigger’s nearly $1300 vet bill. A wise etsy seller, Sharon Foster Art, told me the best way to respond to such overwhelming kindness was to “…just say thanks. That’s enough. And later when you have something to share, share with someone else that needs help.” So, thank you. In the spirit of thanks and inspired by your kindness, I’ve begun browsing Charity Navigator and other similar sites in search of good animal charities. If you know of any particularly deserving group please drop me a comment. I plan to begin donating proceeds as described in the first ETA as soon as I can work out a solid budget.