Super Lawyers
William C. Altreuter

Friday, June 29, 2012

Pet drama this week. All is well, but A and I are pretty wrung out, so we are going to go to Toronto with Judge Mattison and his lovely wife, Dr. Mattison. Grey had been looking peaked, and Orange-- well, because she is so fat she, uhm, is not as fastidious in her personal hygiene as she might be, and needed to have her butt shaved so we had a vet appointment scheduled for both for yesterday. Tuesday we came home from work. Grey was fine. She spoke to CLA on the phone. Twenty minutes later A called me in and I saw that the cat's eye was swollen shut. We call the vet, get the voicemail ("If this is an emergency...."), then we drive out to Amherst to sit in the animal urine reaking Emergency vet's office until 10:30. To pass the time we argued about whether to let the girls know what's going on.The cat can barely stand.

They run blood. RBC down, WBC up, can't tell what's wrong with the eye.

Plus this is the sort of vet who calls the cat a kitty, me the kitty's daddy. and, of course, A the kitty's mommy. This is embarrassing for Lang and me, and fills A with a Hulk-like rage. ("Actually, our legal status is that I am her owner" she does not say, but thinks so loudly I can hear her.) The next day we bring her to the real vet, who starts in right off with The Talk. ("You have to ask if she is going to be the cat that she wants to be.") He is very sympathetic, and even knocks his fee down because we had to go to the ER vet. They admit Lang, and they tell us that if the more advanced bloodwork comes in bad they will call later that afternoon so we can be there when they give her the needle. They say it nicer than that, but then they don't call. We check in. IV antibiotics and fluids are working, and she is a big hit, flirting with all the staff.

That evening, wrung out, I decide it is time to call the girls.These are moist conversation, to say the least. I cry at the end of Lassie Come Home, and the cat has been with us for 15 years. Caroline wants to book a plane and blow off half a week of class. This, of course, would be completely around the bend. If I were in the hospital she'd Skype me. We talk her down (a little-- if she'd gotten out of a cab at the vet the next morning I'd have killed her, but I wouldn't have been surprised). A is mad at me-- I got them wound up when we don't know anything definitive. I wake up the next  morning knowing that there will not be any cat vomit to step in on my way to the bathroom, but still sad.

We take Orange in for her scheduled appointment. Lang is having breakfast we are told. Corned beef hash with a poached egg, wheat toast and a saucer of crème fraîche. Meanwhile, Orange is having her moment. Orange's repertoire of sounds is pretty limited. She walks through the house contentedly purring for the most part. Sometimes in the summer she will sit in the window and emit a soft, creaky "mew" that sounds a little like a stuck drawer, but that's about it. At the vet, however, she gets Metal. Seriously, she started growling like a lion in the zoo. She also hooked her front paws over the edge of the table and refused to budge, then, out of pure hatred, shit on the table. We didn't raise her like that, and A was quite embarrassed.  The vet was cool about it-- "We've never had a stool sample from her, and now we do," he cheerily announced, then it was off to the other room with her for The Procedure. That elicited some interesting sounds-- the dog that was barking in the waiting room stopped in mid-sentence. We checked in on Grey, who had a red bandage on her front leg which secured an IV but otherwise looked okay. They still didn't know what was going on with her eye. WBC was resolving, RBC still low, but kidney function was fine, and there wasn't any reason to suspect cancer or feline leukemia. They kept her until the late afternoon and discharged her with a bunch of antibiotics that Grace will have to give her. I have bet on race horses that cost less than this little adventure.

| Comments:
I was going to be super sneaky and come home this weekend while you were away, but flights were too expensive

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