Just when I thought that Hakeem was getting better, watching him jump into the tub and onto furniture with ease, this morning he wouldn't eat. I didn't worry too much, as unusual as this occurrence obviously is for such a portly feline, because it's been a rough week and he still has the pain patch on. But then when he walked out of the bedroom with dark blood covering his chest and mouth, I worried. I thought that his gums were bleeding from the extractions so I immediately called the vet who advised me to bring him in right away. When I went into the bedroom to get dressed, I saw that it wasn't his gums that were bleeding. He had thrown up a stomach full of black blood all over the carpet and my new pants, which he had been sleeping on. It looked like a mini-crime scene. Of course, the condition of my stuff wasn't my immediate concern, I just needed to get my boy to the doctor, fast.
I tucked him into his favorite purple laundry basket lined with an old flannel sheet and draped an old towel over the top to carry him in. I knew he wasn't feeling well in the car because usually he's quite vocal, letting me know for the whole ride that he would prefer not to be in a moving vehicle. Today he hardly lifted his head for the entire drive. At the vet's office, with the smells and barking and all, he did come to life a little to protest, but nothing like when he's feeling good and sassy. While I waited for an exam room to become available, a couple came in carrying an obviously old cat with a crooked jaw. The kitty didn't even need a carrier, it wasn't feeling good enough to make a run for it. The old couple asked about Hakeem and told me about their 19-year-old buddy who was no longer eating. It had developed a tumor on its face that was pushing its jaw aside unnaturally. The man, who looked to be in his late 70s, said that since the cat had taken ill he had placed two sleeping bags on the floor and put a heating pad under one of them. He slept on one of the bags and the cat slept next to him on top of the heating pad. I felt so bad for the cute couple, worried that they weren't going to go home with their cat. They were so nice, telling me how gorgeous Hakeem was and saying they could tell how much he loved me by the way he looked for me when I stepped away from his basket. As if I wasn't emotional enough over the panicky situation, they were killing me.
The vet tech told me Hakeem could go into the exam room so I hoisted the heavy laundry basket into the little parlor and onto the stainless steel table. Hakeem protested, but only a little. However, he protested a little more (okay, a lot more) vigorously when the doctor came in and took his temperature rectally. Not surprisingly, you're never too ill to hate that. I took this photo of Hakeem snoozing in his basket at the office because I'd never seen him so calm there. That's how bad he felt. Thankfully, the doctor removed Hakeem's pain patch so that I didn't have to do it tomorrow as scheduled. That was another ordeal that Hakeem didn't care for much and let he let the vet know. The doctor poured over the medical records but could find no reason for him to have all that blood in his belly except that possibly he had swallowed it post-surgically from the mouth wound. But to be safe, he gave him an injection of a medication that would decrease the acidity in his poor little stomach, and he also gave me six more syringes so I can give Hakeem more injections over the next few days. I've never done this, but he showed me how and said that Hakeem's extra fat makes giving him a shot much easier. It's nice when being fat works in your favor, but I'm still not looking forward to it. The vet also gave me his pager number and told me to call him if anything else happens over the weekend and he'll be available, or else to call him on Monday to give him an update on Hakeem's condition.
When I returned to the lobby with Hakeem in his basket to pay the bill, the receptionist looked at Hakeem's record and mentioned that it looked like he had a better day today than Tuesday. Turns out Hakeem has a recorded reputation of not being a nice kitty when he visits the vet! The old couple was still there with their sick kitty, waiting. Even though they hadn't been seen yet, they asked how Hakeem was and repeated what a nice kitty he was and how much he obviously loved me. They were so nice because they were obviously in pain over the condition of their beloved pet but they just inquired about me, assuring me that my kitty was going to be okay. I sure hope their little guy is okay.
Hakeem is home now, sleeping soundly on the well-covered couch, just in case of further incidents. He has been eating a little but he's definitely worn down. My mom and dad came over earlier and my mom scrubbed the blood stains out of my carpet while my dad went to Surdyk's to buy some cheese. Typical. Thankfully, my mom knows how to handle some pretty serious cleaning issues and isn't afraid to help out. I got the blood stains out of my cargo pants with the help of my friend Shout. I'm just keeping my eye on the kitty, hoping there won't be a repeat of the horrors of this morning and dreading giving him his injection in a couple of hours. But mostly I'm just glad we're home.