I think I'm a Bad Cat Mom.
Soo... Bosco went out Wednesday evening and didn't come home in the morning. My first instinct was that he'd been eaten... he just isn't the type who'd get lost. He knows where the food is, and very much enjoys partaking of it. Anyway, when I told the kids he was missing, Coralie said 'Did we lose him forever? Can we get a new cat??' Keelan actually cried at school today, because his teacher mentioned the cats to him (not knowing one was missing). Imagine my surprise when Bosco magically showed up on the back door mat this afternoon. That was quickly replaced by dismay, when I opened the door to let him in and he wouldn't get up. I picked him up under his 'armpits' and put him down inside... and he was creeping like a little old man. It was like he could barely walk. My brain was thinking 'OMG SOMETHINGS BROKEN'. He came into the house a few feet and laid down. I tried to get him to take some food, and he wouldn't eat (red flag). Then he hid behind a chair. So I called the vet, and they were full but said that I could drop him off there and they'd try to squeeze him in somehow. I had to get Coralie from school first, and then we got out the cat carrier. Here now was a problem... Bosco had since relocated himself under the bed. I was terrified that I was going to damage him somehow, but in the end I had to pull him out by the scruff... and he *growled* at me when I picked him up, so I knew something was going on. He growled a lot when I was trying to get him in the carrier. We dropped him off at the vets, and they called me about an hour later. Turns out, he had an enormous abscess on his abdomen, requiring surgery. Luckily, our regular vet was in and was able to do the procedure. He said it was 3" wide, and 1 1/2" deep. He said the pus in there was really rank. Bosco had a fever of 105. I remembered that a few days before he disappeared, Bosco was in a fight. I had done sort of a cursory inspection of him the following day but didn't feel anything... he doesn't like to be touched underneath, so I didn't check there. After talking with the vet, we agreed that this is probably the origin of the injury... I mentioned that Bosco had growled at me on Wednesday when I picked him up to put him out (which seemed odd at the time), and the vet said that he probably had the abscess then. The reason he didn't come home is because he felt like crap, and cats hide when they don't feel well. They think that the limping and reluctance to walk was probably because of the pain of the abscess, but they'll do x-rays later if he continues to limp. They said they didn't feel any complete fractures on exam, but that if he was cracked somewhere, they'd need an x-ray to see it. The vets had him heavily medicated after surgery, so he'll stay there overnight. He'll come home tomorrow with a drain and a Cone of Shame (if you've seen 'Up', you'll get this) :-). The vet says he'll have to stay in a bathroom or somewhere where there's not carpet, because he'll be, uh, draining (so gross).
All this anxiety about the cat (first the missing cat, then the broken cat) is exhausting... Husband and I were talking today about our love/hate relationship with Bosco ('unpleasant cat' as hubby calls him), but I'm used to having him around and I never wanted anything *bad* to happen to him. He's most attached to me, as his primary care/attention giver, and regardless of his cantankerous disposition, I made a commitment to take care of him.
But I'm realllly glad the vet didn't call and tell me 'It's a broken pelvis. That'll be $3000.'