Last week, the universe decided that my bank balance was a tad too high and therefore decided to smite my cat, Velvet, with a gastrointestinal problem. She began vomiting A LOT and after I changed my sheets and put our comforter aside to take to the laundromat, I made an appointment with our vet for Saturday morning.
Because we don't really know how old Velvet is (the shelter guessed that she was seven or eight when we got her in 2007) and her symptoms possibly pointed to hyperthyroidism, I went ahead and had blood work done. They also gave her IV fluids and some anti-nausea medication and I brought her home with some nice, bland prescription food and instructions to give her over-the-counter Pepcid.
That helped for about a day, but she spent all night vomiting again on Sunday and she was looking really rough on Monday morning. After talking to the vet, who said that her blood work was pretty much perfect, I was planning on taking her back in late that day. Then I stopped by the house after lunch and couldn't find Velvet anywhere.
I went down to the basement and saw a puddle of blood-tinged vomit at the foot of the stairs. Dr. Jones was following me and he pointed me to her, crouched under the shelves in the very back of the basement, in the coldest possible location. I lay down on the filthy basement floor, dragged her out of her terrible hiding spot as gently as possible, and took her immediately to the vet.
This time they did X-rays to see if maybe she'd swallowed something that was irritating her stomach. That seemed really unlikely to me (if it had been Jones, on the other hand...) and sure enough, her stomach and intestines looked clear, even with a barium tracer.
This time, she got IV fluids along with a different anti-nausea medication. Also, the vet told me that the barium itself is actually therapeutic because it coats the stomach.
I brought her home and she slept for the rest of the day. I posted on Facebook that from now on I would be charging all visitors to my house a fee for petting the special cat who was now worth her weight in gold.
The good news is that she's better now. She lost some weight during her ordeal, but her appetite remained hearty throughout so I'm sure she'll pick it back up now that she's stopped throwing up. Today she's been coming to me for attention, sitting on my lap and purring. Once I see her playing again, I'll know she's completely well.
So yes, that vet bill money would have been nice to keep around for something else, but I'm just glad my kitty isn't miserable anymore. That's completely worth the expense.