“Cashmere”… December 23, 2021
Cashmere came to our yard while we were on vacation, When we got home he was a rather thin and very hungry boy. I fed him outside because I really wasn’t sure I wanted to take in another kitty. However, his gentle personality won me over and e integrated with no problem whatsoever. That was in 2015 when the gang already here was aging and over 15 years old. I guess too they were too tired to put up a fight as long as he left them alone!
When the “Elders” started dying of old age, Cashmere was young. I did not want to wait until the last one passed to start getting a new kitten group. The old cats mostly slept in the garden window keeping warm by the sun and keeping each other company, except for two. Precious, who lived in the kitchen in a box on my desk or on the floor as he aged. He had a special cat bowl that I put up on the counter where I could see him as he approached and make sure that no new kittens pushed him out of the way to get at his suppers. Gavin LaRue, on the other hand, liked the front room couch. He came out to the kitchen, front of the house to the back, to eat and went back to sleep some more.
When I started to bring in new kittens in about 2018, I am not really sure what happened between them and Cashmere, my youngster at this point. About three years passed and I saw that Cashmere was being chased by one or two of the new Maine Coons in the Cat Garden. When one started to stalk him, another would join, and another would see and step in line to join the attack a lot like that of a small group of bully sixth-grade boys.
I began to see real problems when he came out from under my kitchen desk, jumped into Precious’s bed, a soft-lined box on the floor, and urinated. I moved him upstairs to the garden window room. There he could have more peace and be able to get to the litter box in peace.
On Thursday, December 23rd, I saw Cashmere sitting clearly in view in a litter box and not a thing was coming out. His stance was that of urination efforts. I know a little about how that belly feels when they have a full bladder and cannot pee from a previous experience. I examined him and double-checked a photo from the anatomy of a cat. He mewed just a little bit as I pressed on his tummy. Oh, this was NOT a good sign. I called my closest vet and asked if I could bring him in.
I located a carried right for his size, 22 pounds of a very fat cat, and laid a bunch of terrycloth soft towels in for bedding just in case he did pee. He acted quite happy to be receiving all of this attention from the Vet and the tech and he purred loudly. “Oh, he is such a sweet cat!” The vet said as she petted him and he responded with even louder purrs! Then she probed and palpated his belly, even trying to help him eek some urine out. But to no avail. She looked at me. “You are going to need to take him to an Emergency Hospital, a place that is open 24/7.” At that particular moment, I couldn’t say, “no I cannot take him there…” I picked him up and took him to the car thinking, “how to get to the Emergency Vet place.” My mind was in a meltdown of sorts. I was pretty sure that they would not take this cat when I had a present bill I was paying off slowly from the previous boy who had a blocked urethra in July of this very same year.
I picked up my phone and decided that before driving all the way over there, about another one-half hour drive, I had better call and see if they would take him. I explained that I was still paying a bill and that now I had another blocked cat. The gal put me on hold and then got back on and told me that I needed to be able to pay off my remaining bill in order for them to take care of this cat. I told the girl that there was no way that I could do that at this time. I thanked her and she said she was sorry. I said, It isn’t your fault, but I have done all I can do, now I have to put him to sleep. I also knew I could not run up yet another huge bill. I turned my car around called my local vet back and said, “You need to put him to sleep,” and I reported the 24/7 hospitals’ words… “I am on my way back.”
I walked into the local clinic and they were of course expecting me. They showed me the way to a new special little room designed simply for owners who needed to put their pets to sleep. A very simple small room as opposed to taking up a patient room with a sink and all the cabinets of stuff that comes into need when an emergency comes or just a regular patient visit. The tech had taken Cashmere into the room and got him out of his carrier. I found this big plump cat sitting there getting petted and purring so loudly. I really wished I didn’t have to do this. The poor thing, he was fat because he loved to eat and didn’t get exercise for fear of being picked on by the new “kittens” who were three years old now. Dr. Kelly came in and I do not remember what we talked about. But this I know it included what a sweet wonderful cat Cashmere is and it is the “Bullies” who see him as exactly that and see him as one they can victimize just because he is so kind! We see that in people don’t we? We petted, and he purred.
She pulled out the syringe and give him the first needle of two. This would put him to sleep and unaware of the next and final needle. She told me she gave him extra meds because he was so big. (22-23 #’s) I looked down at him as we continued to pet. Finally, she said, He is asleep now. He does not know what is happening. Dr. Kelly said, “I know you don’t want to see this final event so I will take him elsewhere.” “No,” I said, “I know what you are going to do, stay here and I will fix up his crate to take him home.” She turned his body to start to look for a vein or artery. I picked up his carrier and reached in to re-arrange his bed. The first terrycloth I touched was soaking wet! “Wait!” I cried out. “This cloth is soaking wet!” She stopped looking for a good site to put the needle in immediately and reached up to touch his bladder. “He is no longer blocked!” she said in great surprise. “What do you want me to do? I can bring him back from this needle, but I cannot bring him back from the next one!” I was stunned. I had to think fast. She warned me that this could happen again. I stood there. “What would you do?” I asked her and the tech. Both said they didn’t know, that they had never had this experience before! “I only wanted to put him out of his misery,” I said. “but he is no longer in misery!” Dr. Kelly turned to her tech. “Go get the heating blankets!” she said. The tech hurried off. Dr. Kelly turned to me. “You leave him here and come back in two hours.” I knew her shift was up and she was staying for Cashmere. “I can take him home,” I said. “Go! I am the doctor remember? If he survives I think we can consider this an early Christmas present. But I want you to know, I gave him extra of the drug because he is so big, We will try to get him back.” I was speechless. Everything became surreal. I could hardly think of what to do… I went to my car. I drove kind of aimlessly and went to a Wawa for coffee. I saw a CVS drug store and went in. I found a nice small Christmas card and bought it for Dr. Kelly. I remember a gift card I had in my purse that someone gave us from the church, I wrote a note of appreciation and stuck the gift card in the envelope. Now I was prepared to give her a nice thank you.
When I went back to retrieve him, he was wrapped up in blankets, some of them mine I had kept in the car. I finally had him in the carrier and on the road home. My husband who was busy working didn’t even realize how long I had been gone! “What in the world?…” he asked as I slowly trudged up the stairs to his office. I had a leg injury which made walking difficult and at his weight, it was almost dead weight! I recounted the evening’s events & his story and added the last of the events I learned when I got back to pick him up! The doctor told me that Since he was under anesthesia of sorts, Dr. Kelly had inserted a catheter into his bladder and irrigated his bladder the best she could getting out blood clots, bloody fluids, and bladder stones until his urine was as clear as she could get it. She said that the inflammation had just started which was a good sign whereby she was hopeful that what she had done would take care of the worst of it for him and give him the turnaround to better bladder health that he needed. She also stressed to me that she wanted me to keep him as un-stressed as possible and give him the science diet for urinary stones. I already had this on hand for Tucker.
Today it is May 9, 2022, as I complete this story. Cashmere is alive and well today, He has lost 4 pounds since December. The door is open and he could come downstairs, but he has been trained and realizes his needs are being met by staying upstairs. He jumps into the garden window and enjoys the birds in the tree just outside, and the sun as it warms his body. He clearly feels has newfound agility in light of his weight loss and now he can even clean his own rear-end! ‘Daddy’ passes his cage on the way into the office and gives him breakfast and a couple pills. The small dog cage sits atop a radiator with a PVC pipe built stand, by my husband and that heater space is put to use. He has a cat tree to access his “house if he feels fearful. I am so glad this happy boy was able to remain alive. I am forever grateful for the love of animals and the dedication of Dr. Kelly. She is of favored status!