I am writing you this morning because I need a favor.
You probably know my two cats - Betsey & Ross, who I adopted 9 years ago when they were mere kittens. I was living in Washington DC at the time and the best we could estimate, they were born on the 4th of July - hence their names. :) My friends Karen & Kelly went with me to look at them (it was Karen's idea, as I recall). At the time, I had no idea I would ever grow so attached to them because I didn't have pets growing up and never understood how people thought of their pets as part of the family. Boy was I in for a shock!
If you know Betsey & Ross, you know how much they absolutely love each other (and me) and how much I have fallen in love with them. Despite their age - 9 years - they both still race around my house like they were kittens, fly through the air for their feather toys, and the unconditional love Ross gives to everyone. Betsey, on the other hand, is a bit more suspicious of everyone other than me. But when she warms up to you, her love is unconditional too.
About a month ago, I discovered a lump on Ross's left hip. Because I've been traveling so much since then and my vet was out of town, the surgery to remove it is today. They don't know yet if it's cancer or if it's just fatty tissue, but in cats, lumps are of much greater concern and more likely to be cancerous then lumps in dogs. I dropped him off last night and to say I'm a nervous wreck is an understatement. And since I walked back in without him, Betsey has been searching high and low for him - sitting in all his favorite spots and "talking" up a storm questioning his whereabouts.
The good news is that Ross's bloodwork is normal, his disposition has not changed and his eating, etc. habits are all normal. Given the speed at which he was racing around yesterday afternoon and since I've gotten home from Michigan, he has no idea that he's even got this lump and is not in any pain from it.
As I said, I'm a nervous wreck and so I'm turning to my friends for help. His surgery is between 12 and 2 (Chicago time) today and I'm supposed to be able to bring him home this evening. The biopsy results won't be returned for a week (hopefully sooner). If you could just say a little prayer around noon today that he's ok and that it really is just a lump of fatty tissue, I would greatly appreciate it.
I will email you later with the results. Thank you very much.
Jessica & Betsey & Ross
Dr. Kinnavy called me at 12:50 to say she was getting ready to start Ross's surgery and that all last evening and this morning, he was very social and talkative to all the staff and wanting to play. That sounds just like him! She explained that it would probably be about an hour or so before she called me back.
At 1:25, as I was standing in Costco, she called back. I was a little nervous becuase it was so early. But my fears were only temporary when she said she was done and that it had been the easiest procedure she'd ever done on a cat.
She opened him up and found a very small lump - about the size of a raisin encased in a layer of fat under another layer of fat. It turns out that what I was feeling on him was the fat casing around the lump. She also said that this explained why the lump was so difficult to isolate and could not be aspirated and most people would never have felt a lump as small as Ross's. The best news for me was that the lump itself came out very easily and there was no blood with it, which leads her to believe that it's probably just a fatty cyst. In any event, she's sending it out for a biopsy and I'll have those results in about a week.
Ya know, sometimes it feels so good to know I'm a good mom to my cats and will be a good mom to children someday.
All in all, Ross was very well behaved and I can pick him up today at 5. Oh, he's coming home in a full little kitty gauze body suit and Elizabethan collar so he won't lick or scratch the wound. I'll send pictures because it's certain to be a sight!
Thank you so much for your prayers and your warm wishes.
Jessica, Betsey & Ross
He will be quiet today because he's confined to my bedroom without his sister. When I left this morning (at 6:00), he was wearing the body suit, but I don't expect it to still be on when I return. Tonight, I'm adding the Elizabethian collar to his outfit. He'll just LOVE that!
Pictures will follow as soon as I figure out how to download them from my camera.
Jessica, Betsey & Ross
I've asked my mom to write you this thank you email because you would not be able to read my kitty scratch and I don't know where my mom keeps the stamps.
You have no idea how badly I had to poop, but all the drugs they gave me on Tuesday made it too difficult and it hurt. I feel very bad that I worried my mom so much, but I didn't know how to tell her I couldn't poop. So I just pretended to be sick so she'd get Dr. March to help me.
I didn't even mind having to sit quietly at Slender Lady while you helped mom clean the fans.
When we got home, I ran and played all night and even pooped on my own (in the litter box so mom wouldn't be mad). I slept well and am back to my normal studly-self.
Oh, I think you're very cute too. :) Maybe once I get these stitches out and my hair grows back we could get a drink - if you know any bars that allow very handsome and charming cats.
Thank you again for helping me out last night. I don't know what my mom would do without you!
Ross (as dictated to Jessica)
All was going well with Ross, until I realized he hadn't eaten, been drinking any water, peed or pooped for almost 3 days. Oh, he was quite lethargic as well. According to the post-surgery information I was given, these are all bad signs.
I called the vet and rushed Ross back in to determine the source of these new problems. After a few moments of private consultation with Ross, Dr. March walked back in and informed me that all of his vital signs were good, but that he was dehydrated and constipated and she was certain he really needed to relieve himself and she could make him. Trust me, you don't want to know how they make cats poop.
After about 15 minutes of blood-curdling screams by Ross (all while I was in another room - I'm still squeamish about some things and believe we all deserve privacy during some moments), Dr. March brought him back to me and announced that he had now pooped and would be fine.
We walk out to the front desk and am told that Ross's poop just cost me $75. As I wrote the check, I just looked down at my poor baby, who was in a bit of discomfort from being forced to poop, and told him that I must love him an awful lot to pay $75 for him to poop! As I was standing there just shaking my head, Dr. March says "Oh, your toxicology report just arrived. It was a benign fatty lump."
THAT'S RIGHT: I PAID $235 FOR MY CAT TO HAVE KITTY LIPOSUCTION AND AN ADDITIONAL $75 FOR HIM TO TAKE A POOP!!!!! Not to mention all my agony and worry.
Betsey, Ross and I thank you very much for your support and prayers last week.
Statement from Ross:
Thank you very much for your prayers over the last week as I had a small medical procedure. I feel grateful knowing that you all care about my mom and me so much.
I'd also like to take this opportunity to clear up a few rumors:
1. Despite what my mom says, I was not having "kitty liposuction." I had a legitimate procedure that will help ensure my health for years to come. I'm a very sexy cat who must look good for the ladies (both Diana and Shannon have commented on how handsome I am since my procedure last week), and I must deny these rumors that I had cosmetic surgery. I am 9 years old now (I don't know what that is in People Years), and that isn't young anymore. At some point, the clock starts ticking for all of us and we must make decisions about our health. I feel that I was being proactive and luckily my health insurance (Jessica) covers preventative medicine.
2. I must also firmly deny the rumor that I was rushed back to the vet because I would not poop. My reasons for seeing Dr. March on Thursday evening are personal and it is unfair (and possibly illegal) to have my private medical records made public without my consent. I'm having my people look into this.
3. Finally, it seems that some paparazzi took some unauthorized photos of me wearing a yellow onesie in some compromising positions. This was a necessary medical device and I resent that anyone tried to take advantage of me in my time of vulnerability. Any postings of these photos on the web or anywhere else are entirely without my consent and I will offer a reward for the identification of the paparazzi and the return of these photos.
Once again, I thank you for your support. Trust me, my mom wouldn't know what to do without all of you. :)