4/13 -- I Hate This.
My baby is sick.
It's Rascal. Rascal's the orange tabby I've had for pretty much my entire adult life. Larisa and I adopted him while we shared our first apartment in Takoma Park in 1991. He's been with me ever since.
He's been dropping weight steadily this past year, but seemed to be his usual happy, hungry self otherwise. The weight loss bothered me a little bit, but my own health crises had a way of putting it out of my mind.
This week, he became noticeably lethargic. He wouldn't run to the kitchen when he heard one of us in there. He wouldn't eat his Pounce treats. When Rascal would rather sleep than eat a Pounce treat, it's time to bite the bullet and phone the vet.
We were lucky enough to find a vet who makes house calls, which I think must be the single most wonderful discovery since the Internet grocery delivery service we started using a couple of months ago. (In case you were wondering, yes. Someday, we will indeed have life fixed so we never, ever have to leave the house again. Most likely when Starbucks starts delivering.)
Rascal hates riding in the car. Even at his healthiest, he'll last perhaps five miles at most before he starts expressing his displeasure by pooping all over himself and the carrier, making the rest of the trip hell for himself and everyone else in the car.
I was amazed by how quickly both Rascal and Mindy took to the vet, a warm and kindly woman who looks to be in her late 30s. Rascal didn't really have the strength to struggle much when she took him from me, but Mindy was a surprise. He doesn't generally warm up to strangers, and sometimes I think he still hasn't completely accepted my presence in his home. But he sauntered right up to the vet for a rub on the head. He even investigated some of their equipment, something I don't think you'd see any cat doing in a vet's office.
(Cleo, however, burrowed under our end table and refused to come out, even though I'm sure she would have enjoyed watching her brother getting tortured by strangers. The vet's aura wasn't quite that magical, I guess.)
The vet and her assistant seemed like nice people, but it was hard for me to remain calm as they poked and prodded my poor little guy for ages. They took vial after vial of his blood and then stuck an IV in his back so they could give him some "kitty Gatorade," as they called it. They won't have the results back until sometime on Friday, but they think it's most likely one of two problems: hyperthyroidism (which would be okay because it's curable), and kidney trouble (worse, because it's treatable but not curable).
They left, and the IV fluids perked Rascal up to the point where he yelled and hurled himself at me as I dished out some of the high-calorie canned food the vet left with us. Today, he's still a little logey and slow but seems a bit more like his old self. He came out to see us off this morning and accepted a Pounce, and he's trotted around after me and brushed up against my legs in the kitchen a little more. And he still loves the food the vet left for him -- he'll snarf that up immediately.
And I'm trying to be optimistic. Even if it's kidney trouble, one of my mother's cats has had that problem for years and still looks healthy and happy. But I'm dreading the vet's call tomorrow. Part of me wants to know what the problem is so we can start treating it -- I want Rascal back just the way he was, unrealistic though that may be.
The other part of me is terrified. What if it's something worse than those things? Why the hell didn't you call the vet back when he started losing weight? How could you let things get to this point? My conscience has been riding me about this one all week. He's my buddy; he was a loyal and devoted companion throughout all the years I lived alone (and lonely) in DC. It really hurts to see him looking so thin, so ill.
I'm just keeping my fingers crossed for tomorrow. Which is, of course, Friday the 13th. We send off an obscene amount of money to the IRS tomorrow, so the day already sucks and it isn't even officially here as I write this.
I think Rascal deserves some good luck, anyhow.
(Just one little Clix? Pretty please?)