Regarding Cat Surgery

Appollonia Friday was kind of an interesting day. When I came home from lunch, I noticed that Appollonia hadn’t eaten any of her breakfast, and she normally has a very healthy appetite. She was also hiding somewhere, which was doubly strange because my cats have a habit of meeting me at the door whenever I come home during the work day.

I went to look for her under the bed, and she surprised me by jumping out from under my quilt, where she had curled up (to keep warm?) I went to pick her up and when I held her hindquarters, she meowed like she was in pain and jumped out of my arms before hiding under the bed.

Needless to say, this was pretty worrisome, and I immediately called the vet. At first I wanted to take her right in, and damn the prospect of being late back to work, but she had other ideas, and could not be coaxed out from under the bed. I ended up just making an appointment for 5 o’clock so I could make sure to get her into the vet’s office as soon as possible, and I figured I’d just leave work early to get there.

It was a good thing I went ahead and made the appointment, too, because when I came home at 4 o’clock my bedroom carpet was covered with blood spots. I don’t know if she was bleeding at lunch and I didn’t notice it, or what, but, as you might imagine, I was pretty freaked out. I ended up doing everything I could think of to get her out from under the bed… rattling a plastic bag on the other side of the bed did the trick. Corralling her into a cat carrier after that was not an easy task, but I made it to the vet’s office in good time.

The diagnosis? Ruptured anal glands – cats and dogs (and other animals too, I presume) have these glands that are normally “expressed” when they do a No. 2, and Appollonia’s had become impacted for some reason. The resulting blood (and hideous smell) on my carpet was the aftermath. This is apparently common in dogs but very rare in cats… and the warning sign in this case was that Appollonia had been scooting her butt on my carpet for a few weeks. I had just chalked it up to gross cat stuff… needless to say, I know better now.

(And that was more than you wanted to know about my cat’s butt!)

She ended up staying the night at the vet’s and had surgery on Saturday, which put me out about $400. It was worth it, though… it was good to know that this was something that could be corrected very easily.

The vet techs told me that I needed to keep her cooped up for 3-5 days so she could heal properly (and so Jackson wouldn’t beat up on her), but I caved today. She was just so pathetic, and I felt like such a bad kitty-daddy for keeping her all cooped up in the bathroom. I’ve switched the little buggers to a high-fiber cat food, so that’ll hopefully help prevent this sort of thing in the future.

It feels like some kind of rite of passage as a cat owner, though… the first major cat surgery that doesn’t involve removing reproductive organs! Ah, well… cats can be expensive creatures, but they make up for it by being all cute and furry. Works every time!

One thought on “Regarding Cat Surgery”

  1. You know I have a cat now, via Vera.
    And Vera used to work for a vet, so she knows the warning signs.

    And it’s very important to check it out if a cat, or any animal for that matter, is scooting their butts. It is kind of a gross animal thing, but it also means that something ain’t right down there. For my cat, Caipirinha (or Capi as we call her —, this meant she had intestinal signs. Bad stuff. Now you know to understand what it means when a cat is scooting.

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