Tuesday, August 05, 2008

The Pee Scream

After three days of force-feeding laxatives to my cat, I am delighted to come home and see both pee AND poop in her litterbox. "Wonderful!" I say to myself, "Zsa Zsa's feeling better!"

Then, at 7pm, I hear it again: "the poo scream." She's walking around her litterbox with her tail raised, straining and crying. After a while she starts doing this in various rooms of the apartment: the kitchen, the living room, the bedroom. I'm hoping that she'll finally succeed, even if it means getting poop inside my Mary-Janes.

But it's not to be. After an hour of this I can't take it anymore and I call the emergency clinic. They're cheerful and tell me to come on by, with a warning that they're more expensive than a regular vet. I don't care...my cat's in pain.

So I bundle her into her catbox and begin driving in the general direction of the clinic, which is far off in a bizarre industrial park that I've never driven to. Sometime during the last fourteen years when I wasn't driving, some city planner had stepped in and moved all the streets around. I'm driving through the rain, desperately trying to figure out where I'm going, while beside me my cat howls and howls.

Then, while we're on the Expressway, her howls escalate a notch and the most terrible poopy smell fills the car. I'm glad that she's finally cleared her obstruction but I don't like the thought of her sitting in her own feces, plus the smell is really, really awful. I drive faster.

Much later, at the clinic, I pull her out of her box and...there's nothing inside. She pee'd a bit, but nothing more. "Must have been gas," explains the receptionist.

The vet is a no-nonsense sort of lady, she's not going to take any guff from MY puss. She squeezes Zsa Zsa's lady-parts until a tiny bit of urine comes out, which she sends off for testing. Then -- to pass the time I guess -- she sticks a thermometer up Zsa Zsa's butt, followed by a finger which she twists around as Zsa Zsa hisses and bites. "Not much feces in there at all," she says, taking a cursory look at what she's managed to scrape out.

After all this -- the laxatives, the thermometer, the rubber finger -- it turns out that Zsa Zsa has a bladder infection, and she's straining to pee because her irritated bladder THINKS it's full. Pushing my quivering, traumatized pussy-cat down on the table she demonstrates the fine art of "pilling." I hold my bleeding wrist and watch carefully; this will be my life for the next ten days.

The price for all this joy: $200. Fortunately this elevates my money anxiety out of the "vaguely anxious" category into "oh hell, just roll with it."

Seriously, the vet was wonderful and the money was worth it; I couldn't sit at home and listen to the poor girl howl like that. Of course she'll have to go to her regular vet to get her kidneys checked out, and this is a sign that my previously-robust Zsa Zsa is definitely in decline. That's sad, but at least I know she'll pee easier on the way down.


Kimber said...

"Pee scream" should really be added to every vet's lexicon.

Muffy St. Bernard said...

I'm sure they get to hear it enough! It's so sad.

Raven said...

If you've never had a bladder infection, it hurts. Trust me. :(

I hope kitty is feeling better (even though your wallet might be feeling a little more sore).

I wonder if Zsa Zsa has had any crystals in her urine. If she has, she will need to be on a Rx diet and antibiotics for at 2-4 weeks. And then likely a maintenance Rx diet for the rest of her life.

If her kidney levels are out of whack, she may need to go on an Rx diet for that as well.

All my cats are on Rx diets for this stuff...

Muffy St. Bernard said...

Yes, I understand that it's a common problem.

I went to the regular vet yesterday to ask about (and buy) whatever special cat food was required. After fifteen minutes of (free) checking of Zsa Zsa's test results, they said that her urine wasn't that bad (no crystals) and that her current diet (supplemented with more frequent wet food) was fine.

But they did suggest I bring her in for a more thorough checkup, which I'll do when my wallet is in less pain.

Muffy St. Bernard said...

PS: The antibiotics seem to be helping. I also bought her another "cat water fountain," in the hopes that THIS one won't wear out in two months. Third time's the charm?

Muffy St. Bernard said...

PPS: I DID in fact have a bladder infection once, and I can vouch that it's awful. :)