05 August 2008

Sick Kitty

Our cat, Bootsie, will be 12 years old next month. She's a great cat (gentle disposition, never gone outside the litter box since she was introduced to it at 8 weeks of age, cutest meow on the planet [for a big cat she "meeps" more than meows]) and we've had her since she was practically born. Or, rather, she's had us. We love our Bootsie-woo, as Flynn calls her.

So imagine my horror when, this morning, I saw her trying to pee on one of Flynn's canvas tote bags that was lying on the family room floor. She's never, ever, ever done that before. After I shooed her away, I noticed there wasn't very much urine and it was tinged red.

My dad was an internationally respected veterinarian (and he taught hundreds of others to be veterinarians) so I know what blood in the urine means for a cat. Worse case scenario: her kidneys were shutting down and then we'd need to put her down, which I'm not ready to do. The thought that my cat could be dying (never mind she's peeing blood and most likely in pain) panicked me and sent me to the yellow pages.

Because until today we did not have a vet.

For the past 6 years, I've known that we needed to take Boots in for annual check-ups, but couldn't bring myself to replace my dad. Irrational, yes, but deep abiding grief is not rational.

I did not know where to start. The small animal clinic where my dad taught and practiced does not see patients (they haven't for about 6 years, which is kind of stupid because how are future vets going to get any good if they can't practice what they're learning). Running my fingers through the phone book listings, I thought, "I wish my dad were here." I miss him every day, but it's when I have questions or concerns about our cat I miss him the most. I miss his knowledge and the way he explained things to me. The free animal care didn't hurt, either.

Then I remembered that a friend takes his cat to a doc in Urbana so I called them and was told there wasn't a vet in the building today but would I want to the number of the place they refer to. Sure, I said. Called the other doc in Urbana and was put on terminal hold then disconnected. So much for them.

There is an animal hospital about 3 minutes from my house. I called and explained the situation. They told me to bring Bootsie in an hour and a half at 9:30. I did and when meeting the doctor, he told me he had worked with my dad. In fact, my dad was the one who hired him at the clinic. Upon hearing this, I was immediately put at ease because this doc had my dad's stamp of approval. He's good at what he does, Dr. Davis - excellent bed-side manner, knows his stuff, didn't talk down to me, brings his kids to work with him (he has 7-year-old twins and a 5-year-old).

They gave Bootsie a sonogram to see if there were any stones in her bladder or kidneys (nope) or any lesions (nope as well). They were able to get a small urine sample and said, yes there's blood but no crystals. The crystals would mean something serious but the diagnosis is Bootsie has a general UTI and is now on antibiotics, which I will give her 2 times a day.

My poor old kitty cat is now curled up under the guest room bed sleeping off her stressful morning. I'm hopeful the drug works its mojo and she's back to normal soon.

I can't help but feel my dad had a hand in finding our new vet.

Thanks, Dad.


Mommy, Queen Of Everything said...

Poor Bootsie, it stinks that they can't talk. Hope she's better soon.

Cynthia said...

How wonderful to have found someone that had a connection to your father....obviously meant to be...

Best to Bootsie....

Mommy Schiff said...

I had no idea about your father. I am so sorry!

Here's to many more years with Bootsie =)

lbotp said...

I know how scary it can be when something is wrong with a furbaby. Hope Bootsie is on the road to recovery.