Thursday, February 12, 2015

All About that Cat

Those of you who follow me on Facebook or Instagram have already heard of our dear cat Pippin's brush with death, but I thought I would pound out the long version here for posterity.

From the day we brought our cat Pippin home from the shelter in a year and a half ago, he has perfectly personified his literary namesake.


He's hairy, loves to eat, has huge feet, is incredibly sweet, and gets into more than his fair share of trouble.

The kids love him, and he loves them back--which is to say he indulgently lets them carry him, chase him, etc. That's love by cat standards, right?

Everyone who's met him loves him. He's just so dang cuddly and entertaining and ridiculous.



Pippin and Noni are friends too, I just can't seem to find pictures of the two of them together.

Anyway, a few weeks ago we started stepping in a lot of cat barf. If you know cats, you know they just love to barf, especially in heavy-traffic areas. I mean, wtf? They hide under beds all day but choose to hurl right outside the bedroom door. so, given the nature of cats, we took the appearance of barf with a grain of salt and at first didn't think too much of it, but then Pippin started to act very un-Pippin like. He was skulking a lot and not participating  in his favorite activities, including mercilessly teasing our other cat, trying to trip me as I go down the stairs, and photobombing my bump selfies.



We thought, maybe it was something he ate? Maybe a hairball? Who can tell with cats?
Eventually he started looking so pathetic that I bit the bullet and made his first vet appointment here in our new town, then I got SO worried that I called back to make an emergency appointment. I really didn't think it could wait until Friday.


Everything was just starting to feel very familiar--just a few weeks after I was released from the hospital in 2013, the cat Nemo and I got when we were first married started acting very sick. A visit to the vet showed that she was in acute kidney failure, at a stage so advanced that we had to euthanize her. It hit me pretty hard.

When Pippin's bloodwork came back it was the exact same diagnosis as our previous cat--acute kidney failure, probably due to a toxin or a physical injury--and I immediately assumed the worst. Maybe it's the hormones, or maybe I just really like this cat, because I was an absolute wreck.

The thing about veterinary care is that it is super expensive, and I really struggled with shelling out the amount of money it would take to treat him ($1000+) with no guarantee that he would recover. The outlook was pretty grim, but we decided to gamble on him, since he seemed to be at a less advanced stage than the previous cat, he was still interested in eating and drinking, and the kids really like him, dammit.

Even so, you could have knocked me over with a feather when Pippin's bloodwork showed dramatic improvement the next morning. The vet was equally shocked--thanks dude.

It was a very happy day when we got to bring him home from the hospital. Unfortunately, the damage to his kidneys during this crisis is permanent, and he may continue to have some health problems because of it. But gosh am I glad that the kids didn't have to lose their best friend.


And I have definitely found a new appreciation for all the ways he brightens my life.


Cudding the Ender-Bump

But I still reserve the right to be grumpy with him when he tries to trip me on the stairs.
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Postscript: There's more Humblebee on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook. Hope to see you there! Especially on Instagram. I love Instagram.

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