Cats

Bandage Change

Last night after work I brought Scratchy to the animal hospital again so they could test his blood and check his liver levels and change his bandage.

I sat in the waiting room for a few minutes, then the tech came over with a clipboard and confirmed what Scratchy was there for.  He started to take the carrier and said he’d be back in a bit after the bloodwork and the bandage change, and I said something like “So I’m not allowed to watch the bandage change?”  I said a bit wistfully, not in a snotty way.  In case you were wondering.

And he said there was no reason I couldn’t, it would just take longer because some reason I didn’t exactly understand but I said “okay” politely and resumed the magazine page-flipping I’d begun moments ago.

Within a minute or two, the door to one of the exam rooms opened, the tech guy came out and beckoned me over. 

“We’ll take his blood sample and then the Dr. will do the bandage change in here.”  I thanked him.

I sat in the room and waited, my thoughts drifting through various other animal/medical events in my life.  And I thought, for a moment, that maybe I should have gone to veterinary school…I think I’d have done well, frankly.

But, it didn’t happen, no sense in regrets.

Soon I heard a familiar meow outside the room.  The tech guy opened the door, Scratchy in one arm and the carrier in the next.  Scratchy had a purple pressure bandage around his back left leg and the little closure at the tip of his feeding tube had been changed to a different style.  (Bill said it had come out a couple times during the earlier feeding.)

I scratched Scratchy around the edges of his bandage and soon he was purring loudly and fairly relaxed.

The Dr. came in with bandaging materials.  We chatted about Scratchy – she said he definitely seemed spunkier than the last time.  I told her how he’d been doing, that little by little he seemed to be acting more like himself (but it’s VERY little by little), and that Softie is still not sure what to say to him, so she just stares and occasionally hisses.

Soon the various layers of bandage and tape were peeled away and I could see Scratchy’s shorn neck.  With a tube sticking out of it.  The tube, which is about the diameter of a pencil, maybe a hair smaller, is sutured in place on the left side of his neck, toward the front.  The opening looked good – no swelling or discharge or anything like that.  The Dr put a new absorbent square of something around the tube, then re-wrapped everything and taped the end of the tube back against Scratchy’s neck. 

They’ll have the results of the blood work some time today.  He’s still jaundiced, so his numbers won’t be down all that much yet, but just like it took a while for him to get so sick, it’ll take time for him to get better.

As I was leaving – hanging around at the front desk while someone went to get more of Scratchy’s high-cal food – I got to meet the three cats that live at the hospital.

They spend their days in what seems to be a couple of rooms connected by a tunnel just below the ceiling.  The whole thing is glassed-in, and they have one of those huge carpeted cat tree-house things or whatever they’re called (obviously we don’t have one). 

There are three of them – all males.  And when Scratchy and I came out of the exam room late last night, the three cats were out and about in the reception area, prowling around, eating their dinner, walking across the desks and paperwork and receiving lots of love from the staff on duty.

I asked where they had come from.  All three had had urinary tract blockages (something that happened to one of my male cats years ago) and their owners couldn’t pay for their treatment.  So they turned the cats over to the hospital, the staff took care of the blockage problems, and now these three gentleman felines live like furry royalty.

I brought Scratchy home, let him get settled, and then gave him his final feeding of the day.

And that’s the update. 

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