So, in honor of these three celebrations, I thought I'd share a little blast from the past -- a little overview of how the first couple of visits to the cardiologist went. That way everyone can imagine how my day is going to go.
And pity me.
From 2014 --Princeton P. Kitty Visits The Vet
I’m not going to lie, I find this warning label a little disturbing.
Now, I know some of you all are shaking your heads in disbelief, “Seriously?” You are saying to yourselves, “You haven’t posted a freaking blog entry for over a month and all you have to talk about is the standard warning label on some medicine?”The thing is, this medicine is for MY CAT.
And we almost never let him drive.
But the real point of this is that we have yet another animal with heart disease, aka A Million Dollar Cat. The drama all started a few months ago when I took Princeton P. Kitty to the vet for his annual checkup. The vet said his little heart was beating so fast, he couldn’t make out the individual sounds and suggested that we take Prince to a heart specialist and kitty cardiologist at an animal hospital about an hour and a half way from here.
That’s right a kitty cardiologist.And don’t feel bad if you didn’t even realize such a thing existed, both my brothers said “A what?!” about 5 times before they believed me.
I have a feeling that Opie would have had the same reaction except for the fact that our appointment was 2 days after we lost my 13-year-old Chihuahua, Peek-A-Boo, to congestive heart disease and I was pretty emotional.
And by “emotional” I , of course, mean borderline psychotic.
So he just nodded and said ok and away we went. And the highlights from that first trip include:
1. Prince got car sick as we were pulling into the clinic parking lot—all over me, my new purse, and –most importantly—the referral form from our vet that we needed to provide the receptionist when we walked in the door. “Wow,” Opie said. “What were you doing? I mean, it looked like you wanted him to puke on the form, like you shoved it under his mouth on purpose.”
“Do you really want to critique my cat puke catching skills right now?” I countered. “DO YOU REALLY?!”He didn’t.
2. Prince decided he wasn’t into this doctor business and started running around the exam room like he’d been shot from a gun. He tore under the chairs, slid underneath a little table, dashed behind the trashcan...flying around at top speed exactly like a cat with no visible signs of heart trouble. Then, when one of the vet residents squatted down to coax him out from under the exam table, he sprinted under her lab coat and clawed his way up her back.She didn’t say so but I suspect she has new respect for the declawing process.
3. After the initial exam, they told us they needed to do an ultrasound and EKG. “We’ll go over the costs with you.” The nurse said. “Then you can decide—“
“Just start the tests!” I insisted. “We don’t care about cost!”
Meanwhile poor Opie was motioning the nurse over to a corner of the room. “We care a little,” he mumbled.
But we had the tests and the long and the short of it is that Prince has hypertrophic cardiomyopathy and supraventricular tachycardia which is apparently common in Sphynx cats. It’s manageable with medication but he has to be carefully monitored.Which is why, just before Christmas, I got to take my little darling back to the clinic for a recheck. This time sans Opie (who apparently feels “family sick days” don’t apply to cats). The problem with this is that it meant I had to put Prince in his travel crate. Not because I wanted to but because if I don’t, he spends the entire car ride seeing if he can balance on my head.
Which is a little distracting on the highway.Almost as distracting as listening to an irate and incredibly vocal cat SCREAM IN RAGE for an hour and a half.
Well, to be fair, for an hour and fifteen minutes because that’s when he got so angry that he threw up all over the crate and I had to pull over.
I cleaned him up as best I could and he insisted that putting him back in a crate that smelled of cat puke was tantamount to torture. Fine, I said to myself, I can keep the ridiculous creature off my head for 15 minutes.We made that part of that trip with limited disturbance and I decided that I would just park as close to the clinic door as possible and then I would run in with him in my arms and beg the nurse to put us in an empty exam room.
So, I grabbed him in one arm the crate in the other and ran for it.
And I almost made it.But then the fire alarm went off.
“False alarm,” I assured Prince, still running up to the door. “It’s a false alarm.”
It wasn’t.The vets were leaving the building in a huge group. And, not only could we not go in the clinic, we couldn’t get back in the car because it was in “the fire danger zone.”
And since I couldn’t hold one squirming cat in my arms indefinitely, I had to put him back in the crate. The dirty, pukey crate.As soon as I shut the door, he began screaming like I’d just set him on fire.
“He’s really happy to be here,” I assured all the assembled vets.
I’m pretty sure they didn’t believe me—possibly because he screamed the entire 20 minutes we were in the parking lot waiting out the fire alarm.Then, when we finally did get inside, the first thing they were supposed to check was his blood pressure. “I have a feeling it’s pretty high!” I shouted above the screaming. So, before we could even begin the exam, I had to spend 30 minutes calming him down.
Which, if the picture below is any indication, was only marginally successful.
In any case, we repeated all the tests, he seems to be doing better, and I thought that we’d get out of there without further incident…except the cardiologist thought it was important to talk about his stress level.“You can’t let him get so stressed out,” he said. “It could put strain on his heart.”
Considering this is how Princeton P. Kitty spends most of his days,
But I thought I better reassure the cardiologist. “He only gets that way when I make him ride in the crate.” I said. And then made my big mistake--tried to joke. “Trust me, if he made noises like that any other time, I’d totally give in and let him have his way.”
“That just enables his behavior,” the vet said.And I had a brief—though terribly satisfying—image of punching him right in the face. I mean, COME ON. It’s not like spoiling him a little is going to damage his moral welfare. He’s a cat. And he’s LOUD. And tenacious. The last time we had a battle of wills was when I decided that, instead of sleeping between Opie and I, I should sleep next to Opie and Prince should sleep on either side of us. He stomped up and down my entire body for 30 minutes before I caved.
(Those of you who have never met Princeton P. Kitty are probably asking yourselves why we didn’t just lock him out of the bedroom…you obviously aren’t reading carefully. HE’S LOUD, PEOPLE! He would have no problem sitting outside the door, crying at the top of his lungs—which gets both dogs barking—and flinging himself against the door at random intervals—which puts both dogs into hysterics.)
But I digress..
Anyway, I didn’t resort to physical violence against the vet and I didn’t even say something nasty…largely because it’s harder to find a good feline cardiologist than you might think.
I agreed to try tranquilizing him before the next car ride and took him on home.Which should be the end of it…but, as luck would have it, we had to take the dogs to the regular vet for their shots the next day and I mentioned that we’d been back to the cardiologist. “Prince wasn’t too happy about the trip,” I said.
“I heard,” the vet said. “They faxed over a report this morning…they said he’s pretty high strung.”I think it’s a testament to the to my strength and maturity that I waited until we got back into the car to address that particular slur on my cat’s character.
“HIGH STRUNG?!” I screamed when we got in the car, “Can you believe they said my cat is HIGH STRUNG? He just doesn’t like the flipping crate, that doesn’t make him HIGH STRUNG.”
He’s no more high strung than you are,” Opie agreed.
Hmmmmm…..Anyway, the beauty of this story is that after ALL OF THIS, we had to increase Prince’s heart medicine which means that we (and by we I mean I) have to take him back to the clinic in 2 weeks…and the cardiologist only prescribed enough Xanax for one of us.