Friday, June 10, 2011

Kidney Kitties

Yesterday morning, rather than breakfast, Noodle got ambushed and keel-hauled to the vet's, where he got his teeth cleaned. Dentals are all-day procedures, so we'd also booked a late-afternoon checkup for the Tweeb, with the idea of bringing both cats home at once. Cost was rather--and surprisingly--modest, given that Noodle needed pre-anesthesia blood-work done, and that the Tweeb got some antibiotics (she's been having this weird little cough that makes us worry about heart failure).

One of the things the blood-work revealed is that Noodle is also on the brink of renal failure. His kidney values, while still within the normal ranges, are approaching the point of worry, and falling in the "high normal" range. Right now, the plan is to monitor him, which means keel-hauling him to the vet AGAIN in six months for another blood test.

It's one of the cardinal rules of owning cats, that the ones that need to see the vet most often are the ones that are the most problematic. The Tweeb, for instance, has taken to piddling on me when we put her in her carrier. Noodle just hates his carrier--in fact, he infinitely prefers the vet to his carrier, and I strongly suspect that the only reason they could get him into his carrier yesterday was because he was so strung out on ketamine. Shadow, on the other hand, goes to the vet about once every other year and is as pretty and as perfect as a picture, and always goes in her carrier with a minimum of fuss.

What's so daunting about the prospect of Noodle having to see the vet as often as the Tweeb, then, is not the cost--it's unpleasant, but affordable. It's the emotional toll that comes from dragging a whining, howling cat to the vet and back again. It's figuring out how to outsmart the cats and get them to a place where you can catch them. It's waiting for the vet to call and tell you that the Tweeb is still normal/better/worse than she was the last time. Costs may increase in a linear fashion for every sick or borderline-sick cat, but dread goes up exponentially.

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