Hi friends. Been a minute. Sorry this is so long.
Went to visit my parents 2 weekends ago, with my in-laws watching our cats. Our oldest (cat tax, he's on the left) developed some bad urethra/bladder/kidney issues from the stress of us leaving, although we have left many times before and it's never been a problem. Poor little guy went to the kitty hospital on a Sunday night and spent 4 days there before coming home. When he returned, he was still acting strangely. On Friday morning (my partner was at work), I called the vet...
"So he keeps going between litter boxes but isn't successful in peeing, won't eat or drink, is lethargic, and extremely moody. We thought he was just uneasy about being back after so long away, but something definitely seems wrong. Oh, also, his ears are hot. I'm not sure if that's relevant."
"Oh, his ears are hot? Do you have a thermometer?" Dr. L asked.
"What, like a mouth thermometer?"
"Yeah, something you wouldn't mind shoving up your cat's butt."
As I dig through my partner's bedside table (sorry, love): "So...what's the average temperature inside a cat's butthole?"
Dr. L: "Probably about 102.5 on the high end. If it's up over 103, he's definitely gonna need to come in, because it's an infection. I hope you have Vaseline."
As I balance Rhett on my knee, the vet on speaker phone, a tub of lube next to me: "Uh...should I call you back?"
"Yeah, you're gonna need two hands."
So I hang up, tell my cat I love him, and do the deed. Once it's firmly in there (he's really not a fan), I push the button, but don't get a reading. I try again. Nothing. Yup, dead batteries.
I pull it back out (he liked THAT even less), call the vet back and explain the situation, then call my partner and ask her to pick up a new thermometer on the way home. When the vet saw the cat, they determined that he still had a slight urethral blockage. To fix that, they "applied light pressure to the abdomen and were able to express the bladder, removing the blockage in the process," or, in layman's terms, "we squeezed the fuck out of kitty cat till his massive piss rocks cratered our floor and he saw God."
All's well that ends well. He's recovered nicely, and work was very understanding about me missing large chunks of the day (just like the vets missed large chunks of kitty's urethral blockage ayyyyy). The first few days in hospital ran us just shy of 3k USD, which is far from ideal, but a small price to pay for an alive cat, and also we probably would have paid anything for treatment given how obsessed we are with him. When we brought him in the second time, they didn't charge us for anything except his new antibiotic, which was good of him. I love veterinarians so much. They're good people.
That has obviously been pretty all-absorbing. On other fronts, a moment of personal pride this past week (setting aside my reservations against evaluating your "worth" and the advantages I had to get here, namely living with in-laws and not paying rent for a full year) as I crossed from a negative to a positive net worth. I did work hard to get here with aggressively paying off debt and saving/investing, and despite $5,000 or so in unexpected expenses. My goal was to reach the black by the end of the year, so it was nice to be 2.5 months early.
I have also decided to go to law school, so I'm studying for the LSAT, and we'll go from there. Again, I have personal reservations, but I'll get over them and/or figure them out.
If anyone in the Northeast US would like to meet up to ski this winter, I would love company. I bought a pass before my cat couldn't piss. Discounted tickets are a possibility, and I would be able to borrow some of my in-laws gear if needed. I love teaching new people!
Oh, and since I never post without tagging galen, I ended up in a game of TF2 yesterday with one of my favorite players, something he has also experienced.