Rufus’ Trip to the ER


I was up early Sunday morning and decided to take advantage of my *extra* time to accomplish some chores. One of those chores was cleaning the litter box. While cleaning out the box I noticed our youngest kitty, Rufus, sitting in the box for what seemed like a suspiciously long time. I waited, and watched, and waited. Nothing. I fed him some food and put him back in the box and watched him some more. Nothing. It looked like he was straining to go so I thought he might be constipated. Sly and I went to our local hippiemart and picked up some pumpkin. We mixed it with some tuna in oil and gave it to Rufus to see if we could help him along. Still nothing. We put him in the litter box again and then invaded his privacy the way only crazy cat people do to see if we could figure out what was happening. Again, nothing. We started googling like crazy. Everything else seemed “normal” — he was playful + alert,  but my gut was telling me we had to take him to see the vet.Of course it being a Sunday, our regular vet was closed. We found a vet that was open, described what was going on to the receptionist and made an appointment for that afternoon. 15 minutes later we received a call from the vet that we should save our time/money and go straight to the ER. Rufus was immediately admitted and diagnosed with a blocked urinary tract — a condition that progresses rapidly and is fatal if not caught and treated immediately. Luckily it seemed like we caught it before any damage was done (heart/liver failure). Rufus responded very well to treatment and spent the night under observation hooked up to an IV.

It was pretty hard leaving behind Rufus while he was hospitalized in the ER. All the memories of Sabine’s illness and eventual passing came flooding back and I was really worried something would go wrong. We didn’t sleep much that night.

Yesterday the vet called bright and early to tell us Rufus was doing really well and they planned on releasing him later that afternoon after removing his catheter. They told us that Rufus was being really feisty, resisting when they tried putting the cone collar on him and swatting at people (he is normally the most gentle and affectionate of our kitties).

He was ready to come home.

So far he has been doing well but there’s a good chance he relapses in the next couple of days/weeks because whatever caused the blockage could still be in his system. We have changed his diet and set up camp upstairs where he feels more comfortable and where we can monitor is eating and litter habits. Pandora is pissed that he is back, but Max has been taking care of him — licking him and watching over him.

Even though he was only gone for 24 hrs our house felt really strange and empty without him there. I’m so thankful that we were home this weekend and recognized his abnormal behavior. I’m thankful we didn’t wait around. I’m thankful we live a stone’s throw away from some really great animal care facilities. I’m thankful he’s back home. Fingers crossed he’s through the worst of it and that he is well on the road to recovery. I know he’s “just a cat” but he’s a big part of our family. We love our little guy — our family is not the same without him.

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