Thursday, July 31, 2014

The Other Baby

A few days after we moved in to the new house, and after a few serious thunderstorms, Joe noticed a puddle in the corner of the finished part of the basement.  He cleaned it up, wondering where it had come from.  The next day, another puddle in the same spot.  We couldn't figure it out.  The ceiling and walls weren't wet and had no signs of water damage.  Was it coming from under the baseboards? 
Then, Joe caught Lily peeing in the corner.  Our perfect little almost-3-year-old kitty who has never had an accident in her life, never even had so much as a hairball, and whose only vice has been using our couch as a scratching post, was now inexplicably peeing in the same corner twice a day.  Ok, and as to how we could have been so stupid as to not realize the puddle was cat pee?  Well, the floors down there are dark so you couldn't really tell what color the liquid was and I swear there was no telltale odor. 
She kept marking that same corner in the basement and then she started peeing in every corner of the living room on the hardwood floors.  Cats notoriously hate change, so I figured she was pissed at us for moving her to the new house, or maybe she smelled the old owner's dogs everywhere and was marking her territory, or maybe she didn't like the placement of the litter box.  We tried moving her litter box, buying a new litter box, putting out an extra litter box, nothing worked.  I began to get a little suspicious something more serious was wrong because even before we moved, I noticed she seemed to be peeing more frequently and was licking her naughty bits with increased dedication.  Then one day the pee on the floor was red.
I called and got a vet appointment for the next day.  Her urine sample was red, but the vet was unable to get a very large sample out of her.  What she could get had some bacteria in it.  The vet gave her a prescription for a urinary infection and we made an appointment for two weeks later for a follow up.  Doctor visit, urine analysis, prescription = $168.  The vet explained that she probably stopped peeing in her litter box because she associates it with pain when she pees, which makes sense because she still poops in the right place with no problems. 
Two weeks later, she seemed worse.  More pee on the floor, more frequent attempts to pee with only a little coming out at a time, still red.  Joe took her in for the follow up and she had to stay all day.  More urine samples, blood samples, x-rays = $500. 
They saw a mass in her bladder on the x-ray and the next day the doctor called us and said her blood work was fine, but her urine had tested positive for phosphorous crystals and the mass was likely a large crystal.  The treatment is prescription food which is formulated to break up the crystals and medication to ease inflammation in her bladder, plus pain meds as needed.  The crystal is rather large so it could take months to break up, and if it doesn't start getting smaller or a piece of it breaks off and gets lodged in her urethra, she'll need surgery.  How much would that cost, you ask?  Oh, just $1500.
And her prescription food is $5/can. 
She has another appointment in two weeks for more x-rays to see if the crystal is any smaller. 
I love her.  She's my first sweet little baby girl, but her timing could not be worse.  I have an actual baby on the way and need to be saving for maternity leave and there's that whole mortgage thing and I own a whole house full of empty rooms begging for furniture.  My adorable husband who loves this cat like whoa is all whatever it takes, we will borrow if we have to for the cat, and I'm a little more hey, you know we're having a human baby soon who maybe should come first?  I say that all tough, but in reality, my little Lily-billy will have whatever she needs and we'll just have to figure it out.  If this was inevitably fatal or we were prolonging her discomfort with no cure in sight, it would be a different situation.  Although I might change my mind if the hardwood floors start showing stains.  Just kidding.  Maybe. 
I just want her to be ok.  Preferably before the baby arrives.  And I'd very much like her to stop peeing on the damn floors.  But mostly the just be ok part. 



saclutter said...

This is exact thing happened to us when we were pregnant with Madison. Our cat had the same issue. She made a circle of pee around our formal dining room table and we had a baby on the way. We had to choose the unfortunate route due to her age and the expense of having an actual baby. Hope she gets better!

Christina said...

Oh man, I'm sorry that happened. I hope we don't have to make that decision, that must be so tough!