Reading, Writing & Other Addictions

Facing Reality Through Fiction

Computers, Cats and Cars, Oh My!

on 08/01/2012

This July, I took the first vacation I’ve had in a long time where I actually left town and it didn’t deal with anyone getting married or dying.  I went to Galveston with my mother for just a few days to hang out and relax.  The week before I left my brother and his family came to visit me at my apartment complex and swim in the pool.  Now, I had adopted my brother’s ex-wife’s cat Ranger a little over a year ago, right before they split.  So, Kent was sitting in my living room with the cat on his lap and he asked me, “Does Ranger not purr anymore?”

I said, “Of course he purrs.”

Kent replied, “Just not as loud?”

I started to think about it and he was right. Ranger had been quieter the last couple of days.  The wax in his right ear had also been bothering him, and I had been cleaning it out every day for almost a week.  He had also not been as playful the last couple of days.  So the Friday before I left on vacation, I decided to take him to the vet (Kent’s family was there on Wednesday for the 4th of July).  Ranger was indeed running a fever so the vet gave him some antibiotics and something for his ear. Ranger was also given a cortisone shot, as I had said he was lethargic.  Ranger bounced back and was doing fine.  On Tuesday, I gave him some of his medicine and commented that he probably wouldn’t need anymore.  I packed my car and went on vacation.

When I returned home that Friday, Ranger wasn’t doing well at all.  He looked and felt like he had lost weight. He wasn’t moving well, and he wasn’t eating.  I called my niece who had looked in on them while I was gone and she confirmed that he hadn’t eaten a lot or moved around a lot while I’d been gone.  I gave him some of his antibiotic and waited to see if he would eat anything.  He didn’t. So Saturday morning at 8 o’clock, I put him in the car and called my vet, letting them know I was on my way.  They took blood and urine and said it was probably one of two things: diabetes or a urinary tract infection.

Heavy of heart, I went to work on Monday and thirty minutes into the day my computer died.  Not crashed.  DIED.  They worked on it all morning and then said I needed a new one, which I didn’t get until almost 4 p.m.  So after a wasted work day and three increasingly impatient calls to my vet. I headed over to his office to pick up some special food a co-worker had told me about that was supposed to be good for diabetic cats.  It didn’t work.  Ranger still wouldn’t eat. And none of my begging or pleading with him seemed to work. He also wan’t drinking.  He was dehydrated. I tried to force feed him some water, but he threw it up.

Tuesday morning, he looked like death, and I was scared.  The vet called and let me know that the test confirmed that Ranger had developed diabetes, and I would need to schedule his first injection so they could teach me to do the injections from home.  He said bring him in on Thursday, Friday or Saturday.  I told him Ranger still wasn’t eating and he already looked like he was dead.  He was barely moving.  The doctor told me to keep giving him the antibiotic, but I had run out of the antibiotic that morning.  So I stopped by his office on my way home from work to pick up a refill.  I scheduled Ranger’s first injection for Thursday at 8 a.m. as that was the soonest time they gave me.

Wednesday morning I gave Ranger his meds. He barely moved.  He was so thin and weak.  His skin was just sitting on his bones.  But he was getting his injection tomorrow morning, I told myself, and then everything will be fine.  He will get better.  He just needs to make it through one more day…but he didn’t.  His poor little body couldn’t take it.  And he was gone by the time I came home from work.  My precious, easy-going little guy was gone.  I blamed myself.  I blamed the vet.  All he needed was one more day.  He was getting injections on Thursday.  He would get better on Thursday.  Just one more day.  I called in sick that Thursday and mourned my guy.

A week to the day after he died.  I celebrated my birthday (not a significant birthday, just a birthday). And two days later, my car overheats in traffic.

Moral of the story: Don’t go out of town.

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