I’m not going to lie, May was a difficult month for a wide variety of reasons. Updating was difficult, making art has been difficult and over all I have felt like I am in over my head. The two main issues of May:
E-Di, our beautiful black kitty needing a very expensive operation.
Attempting to re-organize the entire house.
I was also supposed to finish up my 365 day photography project, but at the end of the month I realized that I was a few days short. I’m not sure where I missed days, but I’m pretty sure that some of them were in May. To make up for this, I have decided to simply finish the remaining days into June and accept that I didn’t quite make it. Regardless, I learned a lot from the project and I will have a better update once I am actually finished.
This past Monday, E-Di had his operation to remove a tumour from the base of his tail. Anyone who says that having an animal child is less work than having a human child has obviously never dealt with a cat after an operation. Only, with animals it can be a lot more frustrating, they don’t understand what we’re saying, we don’t fully understand what they’re saying, oh and apparently poor medical work is also more acceptable.
When we got him home from the vets, he was very groggy and drugged up, and probably pretty confused as to why his behind was shaved. This made the first night rather easy.
Where he had his IV in during surugry.
His sutures, which he prompty ripped out as soon as possible (but I'll get to that soon).
Wearing his first Elizabethan collar.
The problems first arose partially in due to the E-Collar that we received from the vet.. as you can see, it was a hard plastic and not very big. In fact, it didn’t restrict his ability to access his incision at all, and he quickly learned that he could use the edge of the collar to scratch his itchy sutures. But, generally he was not interested in bothering the area and so we didn’t worry about it too much. Well.. big mistake. The next morning, he discovered that he had ripped out the lower half of the sutures, leaving his incision wide open and obviously very sore. I called the vet immediately (8am) and they told me I could bring him in for 9am. I had to get him into his carrier on my own, as my partner was at school, and that was quite the struggle. He did not want to get back in the carrier, and probably didn’t want to go back to the vet. Despite being early in the morning, it was already boiling hot outside. I can’t even imagine how uncomfortable he was in a carrier when I walked back and forth (the walk would normally take me about 10-15 minutes, but with a 13pound injured cat, it took more more like 25 minutes each way).
When I got the vet’s office, they took him into the back and then 10 minutes later informed that yes, he had ripped out some of his sutures (because.. I guess I didn’t already know that). But they said they could put some staples in instead for a rather nominal fee. I informed them about the E-Collar, and they gave me a different one for him, one that was not hard plastic, and that had a bigger cone (why they gave me that little one in the first place, I don’t know). When I got him home, he immediately hid under my computer table, so I just sat with him until he decided to come out (keeping a very close eye that he didn’t bother his sutures and staples). In the early afternoon he finally decided he wanted to lay in the sun, which gave me a good opportunity to look at his incision and new staples. I was horrified at what I saw, which was one staple, in sideways, and literally going into his fresh wound.
Here you can see the staple, that is poorly placed and overall poorly done.
I called the vet and told them about it, I was very upset at this point because it was clear that he was in pain and that the area was bothering him. They told me that they had the staples quick, and not to worry about it. At this point there wasn’t much I could do, I wasn’t willing to leave E-Di alone and it was obvious that the vet didn’t want to discuss the problem further. As soon as Jerry got home, I went back to the vet’s office, equipped with photos of the staples. I talked to the woman who was responsible for this stapling job, and was pretty much given the run around. I pointed out that it was kind of sideways, that his incision was still a bit open in the area because the staple wasn’t keeping it closed, that it was excessively gooey where that staple was, that he was incredibly lethargic and refused to walk, eat and drink water since the staples were put in… and I didn’t even receive an apology. Instead I was informed about cat’s great healing (which although I acknowledge is true, should not be a justification), and that “well, he wasn’t under while we did the staples and its easy for him to move around while we did it”. She said that I could bring him in for them to take the staple out and put a new one in, but I thought that it would ultimately cause him more stress and pain than it was worth. She promised that the incision would still heal properly and that I shouldn’t worry about it. I ended up purchasing pain medication for him while I was there, and left ensuring that they knew how unhappy I was with E-Di’s treatment.
That night was the hardest night to handle E-Di. He spent more than an hour constantly pacing, trying to reach the incision area and growling at us when we went near him. He was having a really hard time walking, and was generally in a terrible mood (not that I blame him at all). After the incident the first night, I decided that I would sleep downstairs in order to keep an eye on him, and try to keep him as happy as possible. We had to literally hold his food and water in front of him for the first few days because he wasn’t eating or drinking on his own free will. I’m not sure if this was caused by lack of appetite, lack of energy or because it was painful for him to move.. but either way he did eat and drink a little if we held it there long enough. He is already starting to act like his old self though, and he is walking a lot better now. We’re trying to keep him from going up the stairs, but every time he manages to he has such a look of pride that I can’t help but let him stay in the upstairs hallway for a bit.
So, over the past few days, I have had very little sleep, and am incredibly exhausted. I also have been unable to do any house organizing because he will try to follow me constantly. He is the most happy just sitting beside me during the day. He is certainly being pampered, which I’m sure he doesn’t mind either. He has another appointment in just over a week in order to remove the sutures and staples. I just can’t wait for him to be back to his old self, running around and playing. I’m sure he is so bored, and its probably driving him crazy.
I also wanted to thank everyone who helped us out by purchasing crafted items, or by giving donations. Every penny was appreciated. We are a little less stressed about the financial pitfall this caused which allows us to focus on making sure E-Di heals and is happy.