Friday, June 17, 2011

Update on Zorro-- A Visit with the Vet

I didn't get much sleep last night. I spent most of it tossing and turning, worrying about Zorro, and trying to figure out how to get him to the vet.

At 11:00pm, I tiptoed into the mudroom for one last check on him. The bits of dry food I'd placed on his bed earlier were still there. Clearly, he wasn't feeling well. The "normal" Zorro never leaves a scrap of food behind. He barely stirs as I stroke and brush his hair and search for any injuries I might have missed. When I reach his left hind leg, it feels as though bubbles are popping underneath my fingers. It feels like rice-crispies. I start palpating his leg and searching for a cuts, scratches or swellings in that area. I find what I think may be another puncture wound, but Zorro starts growling and squirming in his bed, so I decide to leave him alone for the night.

Friday June 17th

I turn off my alarm and drag my weary self out from under the duvet. I head straight for the mudroom. I don't think Zorro's injuries were life threatening, but I'm a worrier and I'm a bit afraid of what I might find on the other side of the door. Thankfully, when I open it, he's there, curled up in his bed, his rib cage rising and falling with every breath. The kibbles are gone and his water dish is empty. He purrs as I stroke his fur. Unfortunately, his leg still has that rice-crispies feel.

I leave Zorro and rush through my barn chores. By 7:30 I'm showered and ready to head to work. But first, I plan to stop at the vet's office and drop off the patient. They told me on the phone last night that I'd have to be there with Zorro for them to examine him, but of course I can't be, because I work. Surely though, if I show up with him, they'll take him and care for him-- for a fee of course. If they won't, then I figure I'll bring him to work with me, and take him to the Truro clinic on my lunch break. It's not a great plan, but if I don't get him antibiotics today, then I'll likely have to pay for an emergency call on the weekend, or wait until Monday.

I open the door to the cat-carrier and Zorro obligingly limps inside, where he curls up contentedly until the truck starts moving. Then he yowls at top volume for the entire 25 minute drive. Finally we arrive at the vet's, just as they're opening for the day. I gently maneuver the loaded cat-carrier through the front doors, then I announce that I don't have an appointment, but I do have an injured cat, and a dilemma.

The woman behind the desk (Kelly, I believe), recognizes me (sadly, I come here a lot). She has me sign a form, then tells me to go ahead and leave him, they'll make sure he is taken care of, and they'll call me with any questions or instructions.


I call the vet to see whether Zorro is ok. He is, and they've given him a long-acting antibiotic so I won't have to force daily doses of medicine down his throat.


Kelly rings up my bill as another girl brings Zorro out to me. They tell me he was pretty easy to work with. I'm not surprised. He never once tried to scratch or bite me last night, despite my poking and prodding. The vet rounds the corner and I ask whether she found the source of the "rice-crispies" on Zorro's hind leg. She gives me a blank look. "His hind leg? I must have missed that." The younger assistant pipes up: "no, we didn't find anything, but remember, he was the cat that didn't like us to touch his hind legs" (now to me, this would be a cue that there might be something wrong with his hind legs, but that's just me). "Well," says the vet, "bring him back here, lets take another quick look." Then she looks at me "this is why we like owners to be here when the animals are examined." Point taken.

A few minutes later, and I'm holding Zorro's cat carrier again. They found puncture wounds on each of his hind legs. They tell me the antibiotics should take care of them. It's time to take him home.

Zorro still spends much of his time in bed, but he has done some mudroom exploring, and he definitely has his appetite back. So, hopefully after a few more days inside, he'll be fine. I just worry that this all might happen again. Before leaving the vet's office, I asked whether there was anything I could do to deter the Tom cat from picking anymore fights. Kelly said no, but she told me that if I'm sure he's a stray, I can bring him in and they'll euthanize him for me. I just don't think that I can bring myself to do that though.

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