Well, geez. I have more sad cat news.
On Friday evening, I was heading upstairs after tucking the kids in, and our cat Louis (YES, I am giving a CAT a pseudonym, and I realize that's a little paranoid, but dudes, I write frankly about my mother-in-law here) (his real name is 01iver) was curled up on the carpet at the bottom of the stairs, which is highly unusual but he looked comfy so whatever. I paused to pet him, and he stood up to get harder pettings but he wasn't standing on one of his back legs. I carried him up the stairs to get a closer look and saw he had a bunch of scrapes and bites. I sighed, because he is TOO OLD to keep getting in cat fights, but he does it like once a week.
I tried to clean the two little matted/bloody spots on his leg, but he didn't like the look of the sink so I gave up. We settled him into the shoebox he likes in the computer room and he seemed fine---purring and squeezing his eyes and going to sleep.
In the morning, he was still there---and he ALWAYS sleeps on our bed, with in fact annoying persistence, so that was weird, but you know cats: weird. Paul picked him up and he mrowwwwwwwwwed so Paul put him down again, and we could see he still wouldn't put weight on his leg.
I felt like a dork calling the vet on a Saturday morning (their urgent-care hours) for what was probably going to be "Uh huh, yes, this cat's diagnosis is 'owies' and 'too old for this crap'," but...well, since Georgie, I've been a little more skittish about the cats.
And here I would like to make a long story shorter by saying that Louis's leg was shattered. Shattered. The vet thinks he was probably hit by a car. She gave him a huge dose of painkillers right away. And then she told me my options, and for a 15-year-old cat there was really only one good option, and yet there were officially other options and it feels bad to say, "No, I don't want to spend the $3,000---let's just have him die instead." But that is what I did. And then I brought him home and buried him in the back yard next to where Georgie is buried.
I was less upset this time. Last time I was a bit of a basket case, I think because it was all totally new and it gave me a Brush With Mortality along the lines of "OMG WE ARE !!!ALL!!! GOING TO DIE AND ROT AND THIS CANNOT BE PREVENTED!!!" whereas this time it was more like, "I remember where I left the shovel, and this time I will change into junky shoes first, and shoot I forgot it was pretty rooty over here but I guess I'll persevere so he can be next to Georgie."
Also, this time it was not TWILIGHT and POURING RAIN, which eased the melodrama.
I do feel awful that he spent an entire night with a broken leg. I would almost go so far as to say I feel guilty about it, but I think guilt is an inappropriate emotion when wrongs have not been intentionally committed---and in fact, we tried to do RIGHT. I moved the leg and he didn't protest, and I carried him around and he was purring, so my tests to establish whether this was an Emergency or not came back negative. Even the next day he seemed okay: I stuffed him into the cat carrier (oh, WINCE!) and he didn't fight it more than usual, and I pulled him out of the cat carrier (oh, WINCE WINCE WINCE!!) and he didn't protest. He seemed so okay, I felt like a dumbhead taking him to the vet.
But the vet tech just LOOKED at him and said, "Uh...oh. I want to warn you right now, that leg doesn't look good." So SHE knew right away, and I don't like it when something is obvious to someone else and so I end up feeling like I look neglectful/oblivious at best. It reminds me of when I brought Georgie in for a routine annual check-up and the vet immediately said, "...Does he always breathe like this?" and I didn't know what she was talking about, and it turned out he had congestive heart failure.
Well, whatever: I wish he hadn't spent a whole night with a broken leg.
Life-improving products, part 4 - (Continued from part 1, part 2, and part 3.) Stearns Youth Life Vest (photo from Amazon.com). I’d been too scared to take the kids to any body of water oth...