Bulk Up Little Girl

Our teeny, tiny grey-haired domestic short hair cat, Aggie, who is 14 years old went to the vet on Monday for a scheduled dental cleaning. The process has been interesting!

The night before the procedure we had to remove all food access – that meant removing the other 2 cat’s food bowls too, much to their disgust. She was allowed water. In the morning I still had to feed the boys, so I sent Aggie down to the basement with Greg while I quickly took care of them. Aggie ran back up to the top step and screamed and yelled and cried to come out. When I opened the door to let her back up, Greg was sitting on the top step with her trying to calm her down and equally distraught.

We caught her quite easily and got her in the carrier and I took her to the clinic. The staff at the St. Louis Cat Clinic are so kind and compassionate and took her from me and told me the vet would call to explain the procedure. I hate leaving the vet clinic with no cat and those pesky tears pricked at the back of my eyes as I drove home.

About an hour later, Dr. Howard called me to explain what would happen. She would be under anesthetic for anywhere between 1-3 hours, and as she’s an older cat, they take great care to monitor her and if she goes into any kind of distress they will stop the procedure. Dr. Howard told me she’d call me as soon as she was finished with Aggie and let me know how things went and that she would be 2nd in line for the procedure.

I kept myself busy all day to try and keep my mind off of it. The boys barely realized she wasn’t home! At around 1pm I got a call from Dr. Howard saying that Aggie did great and that they didn’t have to do any extractions, but they did have to do a gingivectomy on one tooth where they cut back the gums that made a pocket over some nasty tarter. They also did an EKG to monitor her, which was all within normal limits, and they drew 3 lots of blood to test her calcium levels which were slightly elevated at her last visit in October. She told me that Aggie was awake and alert and I could collect her between 4-4.30pm.

The clinic is doing curbside drop off and pick up right now while trying to keep the inside as people free as possible to reduce the risk of Covid infection, so by the time I got there to collect her, there was already several cars in the lot waiting to be helped and I had to wait a while. The procedure is that when you arrive, you call the office and tell them you’re there to pick up your cat. They will go through all the at-home and post-surgery care with you and again discuss her health and then take your payment over the phone and then they will bring her outside to a collection point and give you any meds needed and then you can take her home. When I finally did get through to them the process went smoothly.

Finally I got my little Aggie back and she was very anxious to get home. She was still a little loopy from the anesthesia but had recovered enough not to hurt herself. She was starving! Ravenous in fact! She is typically not a very good eater, which is why she only weighs around 6 ½ lbs (less than 3kg), but that night she wanted all the food – like all the food in the house!! The vet said to feed her about a quarter of what she usually eats to make sure she didn’t vomit from the effects of the anesthesia, but Aggie was having none of that. I emptied half a can of food in her bowl and left the can out so that I could refill it when she was done. She bounced from her bowl to the can and back to her bowl again several times so I just emptied the rest of the food in there. She wolfed it down so I opened another can and she ate more than half of that too. We gave her some pain meds at bedtime and she slept on the bed with me all night and slept hard, but at least her tummy was full and she was home.

The day after surgery she was hurting and stayed under the bed all morning and came out about mid afternoon to eat. She didn’t sleep with us that night, which was strange and 2 days post surgery she was still under the bed all morning, but seems to be in less pain. The trauma of catching her to give her meds is worse than her pain, so I’m just giving her treats and catnip (which she inhales) and letting her come to me when she is ready. This is typical Aggie behaviour so I’m not worried. Hopefully she will perk up soon else I’ll have to send Sylvester under the bed to flush her out.

Feel better soon, my little Aggie-poo! There are leaves to watch, squirrels to glare at, brothers to hiss at and laps to sit on!