Friday, June 27, 2008

Silas the stupid cat

I've mentioned Silas, Susan's hyperactive cat, on a number of occasions. There are photos of him lurking throughout the blog.

One of the lovely features of our new house is that it has a half-rail on the second floor that looks down into the living room 12-15' below.

Last night, the Babe and I were sitting on the couch around 10pm. All of a sudden, we heard a loud splat. I saw out of the corner of my eye that Silas had fallen from the railing to the hardwood floor. He'd landed on his feet and then his feet spread out and he'd done a chinplant.

I leapt up to get him and he took off. I chased him through the house and he sprinted upstairs and into Susan's room and under the bed. I tried to fish him out from the bed, but it wasn't working. He was really scared and was yowling and not cooperating. I couldn't tell if he was

I got the Babe up there and we fished him out from under the bed... then a little while later, we got him from under the couch in the music room, then the couch in the living room, and finally under our bed. He was very panicky by this time as you can imagine. I'd gotten one of the cardboard folding cat carriers and we put him, semi-wrapped in a towel, into the cat carrier and closed it up. Hurrah! I picked up the cat carrier by its handle... and the bottom fell open. I hadn't folded the darned thing right and the flaps unlocked. Silas ran under the bed again. The Babe and I were laughing at this--poor guy, he was in great pain and scared, but DAMN, that was funny!

We fished him out again, put him in the more-sturdily-constructed cat carrier, and took him to the emergency vet. The Babe and I discussed what might be wrong with him on the way over--broken bones, sure, possibly internal injuries, I hoped not. The Babe said "Brain damage from the impact." I said what we were both thinking: "How could we tell?" Susan and her b/f met us at the vet.

They worked on him for a couple hours and determined he had a clean break of his right radius. His jaw wasn't broken, they figured, but it sure was gonna hurt. (The next day, I could see that Silas's chin was one massive bruise punctuated with a large cut. He may also have a hairline fracture, but it wouldn't be easy to spot and there's nothing we could do about it except not pry his jaw open to give him pills.)

They splinted his leg with bright green Koban and then added a neat little red Koban heart, which was very cute. I'd predicted it was going to cost us $500 for our little adventure. It turned out to be $514. (Gawd, I'm good....) Susan and b/f came home with us to get Silas settled in to Susan's room, then they took off for the coast near Portland to spend the week at her b/f's parents' place.

Even though whacked out on a painkiller cocktail of what the ER vet referred to as "kitty magic," Silas was still pretty hyper. Not surprising, I suppose, but I do say that I'd neuter him again if I thought it'd do any good. We finally got to bed at about 1:30am. Bleah. We'd been told we had to give Silas painkillers every eight hours, so the Babe got up at 6:00am to do so. She came back to bed and said "You have to take him to the vet today."

"Why?" I asked. We weren't supposed to need to do this for a week.

"Because he's pulled his cast off."


I phoned our regular vet that morning and got an appointment for 1:00pm. At the appointed time, I rounded up estúpido gato and put him in the cat carrier, and took him over to the vet.

They were very nice and gave him a new splint (this one in red Koban with white Koban letters applied down the side that said "O U C H"). They taped that one up around his armpit, so that'd keep him from getting it off this time. I also got an Elizabethan collar, the lack of which they figured was why he had gotten out of the other splint. You could see kitty teeth marks all the way down the splint. Not bad for someone with a mighty sore jaw, I must say. The vet also gave me some free pain pills for him, all for $81, which was a lot less than I expected to pay. And while I was there, I entered a contest with HomeAgain microchipping services that will give me Silas's 10 lb, 6oz weight in silver if I win. Good: maybe he'll earn his keep on this one.

I came home, gave him his 2:00pm pain meds and went back to work. Just because other creatures in the house were on pain meds and grumpy, somebody has to pay for it.

The Babe got home from work and I went upstairs to check on Silas. He was sitting in Susan's room, his Elizabethan collar on, pissed off... and I realized he didn't have his splint on, again. Sure enough, it was elsewhere in the room. Aw, shit, this was not fun.

The Babe took him to the vet this time. They did an incredible job for us: re-resplinted him, added a supporting network of bandages around his torso, built a t-shirt of Koban so he couldn't hook his hindlegs under the part on his chest, trimmed his toenails so he couldn't even get purchase on it, and charged us a mere $21. They're doing a lot for us, they are!

The Babe ran out and got moist food (it was painful just watching him try to eat the dry kibble he normally inhales like a furry vacuum cleaner) and later this evening he ate a bunch of it. We also fed him a powdered kitty trank hidden in a couple of balls of Greenies (which are pure kitty heroin if you haven't tried them on your cat). That worked and we got most of an acepromazine dose down him.

At this point, the young Houdini is in a large animal crate so he can't run around a lot. He's already bashed off his Elizabethan collar. I'm REALLY hoping he doesn't rip the splint off again, because this is getting seriously expensive. We'll see what he's like tomorrow.


bozoette said...

Oh, I hope Silas gets well soon, if only to keep your pocketbook healthy. And I have to admit that I burst out laughing when I read the part about the cardboard carrier. Then I felt bad. Briefly.

Anonymous said...

OMG...sorry to hear about Silas' injuries, but damn, it's a funny story.