Thursday, May 24, 2007

Get Well, Old Girl

I talked to my friend Will Briarwood yesterday. He was telling me about his cats’ ongoing health problems.

“I talked to you last week, right?”

You did. You mentioned that your little guy had his surgery, and one of your old girls had an upper respiratory infection.

“Well, the little guy got his stitches out, and seems to be doing fine. He is switching over to a different food – the good news is, he’s been snarfing it. The bad news is that the ingredient list looks like crap.”


“The first ingredient is water, followed by ‘meat by-products, chicken by-products, and animal fat (preserved with BHA/BHT).’”

I keep meaning to ask the vet about special veterinary diets that seem to have less than special ingredients.

“I’ll ask him if I have a chance when I see him tomorrow – the old girl is going in for more tests.”

Tests? For an infection?

“They were hoping it was just an infection. The old girl took antibiotics for two weeks, and she’s still coughing, and the x-rays they took yesterday showed the shaded spot on her lung was still there.”

That doesn’t sound good.

“Well, the doctor said it could be several things. It could be a persistent infection that needs more or different antibiotics. It could be – I forget exactly what she said – some sort of twist in the lung lobe that shows up on the x-ray. She said it did not look like lung cancer, and it was probably not mold or fungus related.”

So what kind of tests?

“Well, two weeks ago she had an x-ray and an ekg. Yesterday she saw the veterinary cardiologist – I don’t think I knew that there were veterinary cardiologists prior to two weeks ago. And tomorrow there going to put her under anesthesia, and squirt liquid into her lungs and then suck it back out, and then test that for abnormal cells. And they’re going to aspirate the area and take a sample.”

Poor old girl. How’s she holding up?

“Okay, usually. I think the coughing is making her sore – she went and hid under the bed when I left home this morning, which she almost never does.”

I hate to ask about your bills.

“I think the last eight months or so have been the most expensive we’ve ever had. I was telling Mary last night, maybe I’m just tired and worried, but I’m starting to get the uneasy feeling that we’re paying too much.”

You don’t mean that your cats aren’t worth that much – you mean that you think you’re being overcharged, or strung along?

“Something like that. It’s frustrating when you get test after test, bill after bill. But I suppose that’s the way it has to be, and that’s the most thorough way to check the cats’ health.”

Have you had time to watch all the season finales?

“Actually, I have watched them all: Veronica Mars, Lost, Heroes. I think I’m done for the season.”

I was surprised at how good the Lost finale was.

“Yeah, that was pretty great. And as I think we discussed last time, I worry about the cats more than I worry about cancelled tv shows – but it doesn’t mean that I’m not really bummed about Veronica Mars.”

Walking out into the rain, out of our lives forever…

“Unless they do a movie one day, as is already rumored.”

I don’t see that happening. I don’t think the fans are as crazy, or as vocal, as the Firefly fans were.

“We’ll see. And we’ll see if we get a Jericho wrapup at some point.”

We will see.

“I’ll keep you posted on the cats. I’m spending my day off tomorrow going to the vet, to the car dealer, and then taking my mom shopping for her birthday.”

As Mary tells me, you’re a good son, and you’re a good kitty daddy.


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