Monday, June 09, 2008


* Mrp and I are the proud owners of 2 cats. Actually, I'm proud of it while mrp kind of hates it and only puts up with them because I love them and they've been my buddies for 11 and 9 years respectively. Anyway, one of the compromises we've made is that the cats go to the basement while we sleep. Now that sounds mean, but they actually are so well trained they start getting antsy to go to the basement after 9:30 every night if I don't take them down sooner. They run down willingly and await their kitty treats and hugs and kisses before I turn out the lights and head upstairs. Of course, in the morning they'll remind me around 6:30 if I haven't let them out yet--sucks on the weekends! As soon as I open the door they bolt out like bats out of hell (cats out of basement) and await their tiny serving of milk I give them for another peaceful night.

Well, this morning I opened the door and only one cat flew out. Odd. I looked around the kitchen to see if maybe I missed her. Nope. Hmm. So, I walked downstairs and I turned the corner and out of the shadows my little (actually pretty fat) kitty, Astrid, peeked her head all covered in blood. I looked at her and knew something was wrong. This was not a little scratch. There was blood dripping out of her nose and it was all over the white tips of her delicate diluted calico paws. I ran upstairs and looked up emergency veternarian clinics. I found one relatively close and made the call. And at 6:10 AM I packed poor Astrid in her carrier and pulled out of the driveway with tears streaming down my face and her nestled snug next to me.

Every now and then over the course of the 20 minute drive, she'd sneeze and spray more blood all over the walls of her carrier. I'd cry a little more. We finally made it. It took forever. The place is not one I'd choose under normal circumstances, but now I just wanted to know if she was in imminent danger before waiting the hour and a half for our normal vets office to open. The vet came in and did his exam while poor Astrid hid her face in the crook of my arm. Somehow I managed to keep her purring with soft words and lots of cuddly pets. That's notable if you know her.

When the vet was finished he said she wasn't in immediate trouble. He had some ideas, but a real diagnosis needed xrays and blood work. I'd rather my vet do that and I was able to get an appointment at 8:45 so off we went home. By now, the blood seemed to have stopped and Astrid seemed a lot more calm.

When we arrived home for a brief stop in between appointments, Astrid scooted out of her carrier. After a brief hiding in the basement stint she came upstairs and socialized with my other cat, Fortunato, and me. She was making a gurgly sound and didn't touch the bit of milk I gave her, but otherwise she seemed good. Then I loaded her back in the carrier for the next journey. Luckily this one is right around the corner.

Our regular vet asked me lots of questions. He was particularly concerned she got into some poison or cleaners or something. I couldn't think of anything. The only thing in the basement is their litter boxes and food and our desk full of papers. Anything toxic is locked far away. Other than that he thought it could be a pulmonary issue or perhaps simple asthma. I waited while they xrayed her chest. When they were complete they called me back. I couldn't help but laugh at the scene. The vet tech was holding Astrid and applying an oxygen mask. Astrid had one of those blissed out looks with her little tongue hanging out of her mouth. I wish I took a picture. Then I turned my attention to the xrays. The vet pointed out some congestion in her lungs, but everything else looked fine. So, we waited for the blood results. After about an hour's wait, we discover nothing abnormal. The vet concludes it's a freak thing or a tumor in her nasal passage. The diagnostics for the latter are extreme so we decide to wait and see. He put her on the same medication given to race horses to stop them from bleeding from their noses when they overexert themselves and sent us on our way. I was relieved: she's not dying! But puzzled: what the hell happened?

I got her home and decided to clean all her eating and drinking bowls and put in fresh food before leaving for work. When I was cleaning out her food bowl I discovered a layer of mold at the bottom of one dish. I had wet the food down for my other cat a few days ago and the moisture must have caused mold. It had to be the culprit. I through the dish away. I tried not to cry. And now I'm going to be a parent?! I felt like a total ass.

My vet just called me back. It wasn't the mold! I've been acquitted of attempted cat murder and potential horrible parenting! I still feel bad that there was mold in their dish and now I'm a little worried about what it actually was that caused poor Astrid to spew blood out of her nose, but at least I feel better that it's not MY fault.

* This was not taken today, but it's one of my favorite pictures of Astrid. She's begging for a treat!


joe positive said...

oh, man. I can only imagine how you must feel. This morning I took my dog for a surgical consult and someone in the next exam room was crying like the world was ending. And for her, I guess it was, as it must've seemed like for you this morning.

I'm glad your cat seems to be ok. And don't beat yourself up about the mold; do ask your vet about it, but just move forward from here.

TrainingtoTri said...

oh no, how scary! I would have totally freaked too. Glad to know she is okay for now. Hugs to astrid.

E-Speed said...

How scary! I'm glad she is okay. I can remember Milford waking us up with blood all over his neck. Scared the shit out of us!

Mindi said...

Wow - that is horrible! I hope she is ok!