Leigha and the Triplets

Monday, February 02, 2009

It Sucks Being an Adult

Since I have become an adult, there haven't been many things that I have felt sucked. Granted I could do without bills and working, but nothing that was earth shattering, until now.

On December 20, our 10 year anniversary, my Aunt Bobbie, Uncle Jerry, cousin Asheley, and her daughter Sydney came over to watch the kids while Noe and I went out. I have just sat down and really looked at the pictures for the first time because I didn't get them until a few weeks later. There were some cute ones in there!

Sydney was making a new friend. She kept giving Rockey some love!

The next evening, Rocky started meowing kind of funny. I had never heard him cry like that before. I also started noticing that he wasn't sitting normally. He was holding up one of his back legs. I checked to see if something happened to his legs, but he didn't really have a reaction to me touching his leg. I was conflicted with what to do. I didn't know if it was serious enough to take him in that night, or was it something that would go away rather fast.

About an hour later, Rocky started crying. I watched him walk up the stairs and take forever to try to lie down and get comfortable. That leg was still up a bit. I knew at that point that I had to take him in. He was straining to go to the bathroom and he couldn't. Thank God Noe was in town so he could stay with the kids.

I learned that there is no such thing as a 24 hour vet here, although almost every other one has it on their signs. What makes them 24 hour is the fact that they are partnered with the pet hospital. That meant I had to drive about 25 minutes to get him in. It was 10:30 p.m. when I left the house. When I walked into the ER, there was one other lady in the lobby who was there for the exact same problem as we were. Then a couple walked out of the back room, bawling, because they had to have their pet put down because they couldn't afford to treat it (it was really sick).

It didn't take long for the vet to come in and tell me that Rocky's bladder was blocked. It was really large and hard. The poor kitty, that had to be excruciatingly painful. One of my childhood cats died from a bladder that was blocked. I was given the quote that it would cost $800 minimum to treat him that night and then they would send him in the pet transport to my regular vet down the street from my house. Being a bit paranoid, knowing that it why Sootie died, I asked what the chances were that he would be ok. I think the vet felt a little bad for me, and gave Rocky a quick little ultrasound to make sure he didn't have stones that would have needed to be surgically removed. It made me feel better that they didn't think so.

The vet told me that they would keep him until Wednesday morning and then I could pick him up. The catheter was working great! Unfortunately, they told me they would have to keep him because he had a little blood in his urine. Normally that would have just been an extra day, but it was Christmas Eve. We wouldn't be able to pick him up until Friday.

On Friday I picked him up and brought him back to the house. Everyone was thrilled to see him, except for Smokey. Neither one of them appreciate it when one gets out. Even if the cat escaped to the backyard, the hissing starts. It wasn't too bad though, better than I would have thought. Unfortunately, the next day I realized that I noticed that Rocky was having trouble going to the bathroom again. I called the vet and they assured me that it was normal due to swelling. I was just to keep an eye on him to see how much he goes. They had told me he would probably go a lot for a few days due to the IV. It's really hard to tell when you have two cats sharing a litter box!

I decided to make a litter box out of a cardboard box and locked Rocky up in my room. He was not able to use it. I left him in my room all night, and in the morning I checked on him. There was urine all over my bathroom and then a little tiny trail of blood spots leaving the area. I felt relief that he went, but knew it wasn't normal. I had called my aunt and uncle the previous night to see if they could come earlier to play with the kids. I wanted to take him in as soon as they opened.

I was right, Rocky's bladder was hard and large again (even though he got some of it out). They told me that if I fed him this prescription cat food, they only see 10% of the cats again. Lucky us!! Once again they didn't feel comfortable letting him go on Wednesday morning, considering this was his repeat offense, so they kept him over New Year's. On Friday morning they called and told me that he had been doing great and I could come and pick him up at any time.

This time it was different. Rocky came home purring, well after crying the whole car trip. He was super cuddly, and just being himself. It was great! It made me realize that the previous week he had returned home and just acted kind of strange and non-social. I was just happy to have a healthy and happy friend back home.

The next evening, of course right after the vet closed, Rocky started acting a little bizarre again. He wasn't crying at all, but I caught him trying to go to the bathroom without any luck. I found a huge wet spot where he had been sleeping on my bed. It started getting a little worse as time went on and I finally had to lock him up in the bathroom. I had never seen such a mess of cat litter in my life. It was just absolutely everywhere. I guess the sheer frustrating, and pain, just made him kick litter up even more than normal. I had to move him to the downstairs bathroom when the boys were ready to go to bed. I called my aunt and asked if she could come by first thing in the morning so I could take Rocky back. It was weird though, he wasn't crying at all. Just tried to use the little box and couldn't. I didn't know what was going to happen the next day. A vet on call the week before said that when it's the third blockage they suggest surgery where they remove the penis and reroute the ureter. OUCH! I knew in my gut what I was going to have to do, but I was struggling because Rocky wasn't even crying.

By the next morning Rocky still hadn't used the restroom more than a drop here and there, and not in the box. I packed him up and let the kids give him a hug. Leigha was the only one I had attempted to explain what could happen. I wasn't sure what I was going to do yet. By the time I got to the vet, his bladder was large and hard again. With tears in my eyes, I told the vet that two weeks of this pain was enough and I couldn't put him through anymore. I filled out the paperwork, paid my bill, and then had a few last moments with Rocky. He started climbing and jumping into the cubby holes and was straining to go to the bathroom. I knew I was making the right choice, but it sure hurt like hell!

My mom had been the one to put my childhood pets to sleep when it was needed. I have never had to do this myself. It was the first time that I realized it sucked being an adult. They offered to do it after I left, but I couldn't. I rubbed Rocky's head as they injected him with an overdose of sedatives. I was amazed, and relieved, that it happened very fast. By the time she removed the needle, he was already in kitty heaven. She gave me a few more minutes with him, and it was hard to let go. I walked out of that office in tears, with everyone in the waiting room staring. I had watched that couple walk out two weeks prior and I wish I hadn't gotten a chance to feel that same pain.

When I first moved to Vegas, Noe and I adopted Rocky and Smokey from the same litter. We only meant to get one, but we couldn't decide. They are saints to put up with my kids so well. The boys will climb on them like they are horses. They hug them, pull takes, etc. Rocky was just a wonderfully sweet cat. He will be missed by our family.


Suzanne said...

So very sorry for your loss. Putting pets down is very hard. And it does suck really bad. There is no other way to explain it. I'm in tears here myself, remembering when I had to put my dog to sleep. It was a horrible decision to have to make, and very difficult to watch.
Thanks for sharing.

laraine said...

Aww Cathy I'm so sorry.

It is awfully hard to make the decision to put an animal to sleep. I've had to do it a number of times and it never gets easier. I've never had to explain it to a child though - that is going to be even tougher.

Laura said...

That does suck. I am sorry you had to go through that.

Stacey said...

I'm sorry you had to go through all of that. It isn't fun being an adult sometimes.

Tiffany said...

Oh, I'm sorry you had to go through that.