This would be that "career" thing I've heard so much about...

Monday, August 23, 2004

Trials and Tribulations of Luna the Kitty

We are still cat sitting. Their mom and dad come home today. So two days ago (evidently they didn't think turning the big plant into a litter box, peeing all over the bathroom rugs, or uprooting my oldest house plant were adequate mementos of their stay) the fuzzy one stabbed our kitty, Luna, in the eye with a claw and punctured the full thickness of her cornea. (Those are the doctor's words. I would have been alarmed simply if he'd said "punctured her cornea" but I guess he didn't want to take any chances that I might react in a reasonable fashion so it was "full thickness of her cornea"). Our regular vet took one look at her spectacularly gory eyeball and sent us across town immediately to the cat hospital to see a kitty ophthalmologist.

Luna kind of hates the car with a fiery passion. When she is feeling good, she will start crying from the moment the engine turns over until we shut it off. But - even though we were stuck in stop and go traffic on the 405 for almost an hour - she was mostly silent in her misery. She was also foaming at the mouth. We had her in her travel case because we didn't want to risk her freaking out and doing more damage to herself. I had an arm inside there to sooth her but I couldn't see her. Then I noticed my arm was wet, looked inside, and saw the foam coming out of her mouth. For one surreal moment I had this thought that she'd contracted rabies from the visitors, but that's just insane. Turns out the anesthetic they'd dropped into her eyes at the vet tastes like coconut. Cats hate the taste of coconut. She was foaming at the mouth in an effort to flush the coconut taste out. Because she wasn't in enough misery. Oh, and somewhere during that drive Luna peed all over her towel.

So after 50 minutes we arrive at the animal hospital. Bravo for people coming up with this idea. It's exactly a hospital, with wards and wings and specialists and crash carts, but for animals. I guess I never really sat down and though about kitty ophthalmologists before. Ours was really sweet. You might get a different version from Luna, but until she learns English you'll just have to trust me. He had more anesthetic eye drops for her, and then he used a massive cue tip to rotate her eye around and see if any "eye juice" (I can't remember the technical term, I know it has something to do with "fiber") was coming out of the wound. Good news: it doesn't look like she needs surgery. The whatever-you-call-inner-eye-juice-fiber-stuff plugged up the hole. The thing we've got to worry about is if there is infection / bacteria down deep in the scratch. So the ophthalmologist (I just like saying our cat has an ophthalmologist) sent us home with four prescriptions that need to be administered 6 times a day, including two antibiotics, a steroid, and a local anesthetic kind of ointment-dealy-bob. And a lampshade.

For anyone who's ever had to put a lampshade on their animal - I mean, I love my kitty, and I feel so bad for her, and we're going to do everything we can to help her get better, but I laughed when I saw her wearing it. I'm a bad person.

Right now Luna just lays in a corner. The lampshade makes it hard for her to walk because when she doesn't feel good she kind of slinks along with her head really low to the ground. She'll take a step and the lampshade catches on the carpet and jerks her head and she stops. Then she heaves the lampshade up, takes a step, lampshade gets caught on the carpet, she stops and heaves... It's really very sad. You want to try to anticipate where she wants to go so you can pick her up and just end the misery that is her journey to get there.

All this being said, I don't blame the visitors. They're just cats. Cats are basically Id running around unrestrained. That's what I love about cats. If we'd known this was going to happen we would have segregated them right off the bat, but they seemed to be getting along. So to OF-Q and IF-Q, sorry about solitary confinement these last few days. Mommy and Daddy will take you home in about 4 hours.


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