Friday, November 21, 2008

Felina non grata

Anyone want a cat???

THis has to have been THE most expensive cat adopted in the world. Besides the essentials of food, litter, regular vet bills that we all accept and don't mind, THIS MONSTER has had two surgeries in the past 3 years and has now cost me an ER visit!!! He's so lucky I'm too much of a softie to kill him. I've plotted a few ways this week and will never carry them out, but as soon as my mom gets back home from her vacation I will never feed him or do anything for him again!

I'd post his post-surgery pics, but then you all would feel sorry for him and I don't want that because he's an ungrateful brat. And I'd post my pics, but I don't have any because it's impossible because it's on my right hand and cameras aren't set-up for lefties.

Tuesday morning as I was about ready to leave for work - shortly after feeding him and giving him a treat for not harassing the kittens while they ate - I hear this blood-curdling scream and went to investigate (as did the kits). Tornado was giving a loud threat to a neighborhood cat who has been coming around since about the time Avalanche died (coincidence i'm sure). Tornado has never liked other cats, but this one really must bug him since he's never done that with any other neighborhood cats who wander about, just this one. Others, just a minor growl.

Well, I tried to bang on the window to scare the other cat away and it refused to move. Then I noticed Cash and Tango getting a little too close for comfort to Tornado to see what got him all riled. I thought that I should prevent something nasty happening to them, so I picked Tornado up to put him in a different part of the house. Apparently that was too much for him and he bit the hell out of my hand. It took a bit of restraint not to break his neck right then and there. Believe me, I thought about it! So I grabbed the back of his neck and dropped him on the couch and he ran off to hide from there.

I did all the right things after that. Ran water and soap over the injury to clean it out. Let it bleed another minute or so, and then cleaned it out with Rubbing Alcohol. It was painful, but I went on to work anyway.

About noon though, it started swelling up and hurting. I put some ice on it and made it through the rest of the afternoon. When I got home I continued to ice it to keep the swelling down. It started turning red, but I hoped that overnight the infection would have started clearing up. It didn't.

I went into work the next morning knowing I had to absolutely get some things done in the morning, but showed my boss and said that I needed the afternoon off to get this checked out. He said I should go right then, but I refused since I did have stuff that definitely needed to be done by noon or bills don't get paid that week and that wouldn't be good especially since the PG&E bill was one of them. By then it was bright red and quite puffy and the infection was from just above the wrist area to just below the knuckles. I was getting kinda scared about that. So about 11:30 the work was done and I drove straight to the ER. If you know me, then you know I had to really think it was possible I was going to die or at least have permanent damage if I didn't see a doctor, so this was a really big deal.

If ya need ER, go in the middle of the day in the middle of the week. I was the only walk-in. Anyway, in a reasonable amount of time I was seen by the doc and she determined I needed a Tetanus (of course), IV antibiotics, and then a prescription. But first to do bloodwork to check and be sure I don't have any immunodeficiency type diseases or high-blood pressure that would force them to admit me. (It's been years since I've had insurance, so obviously been years since I've had a checkup. But it turns out I'm fine other than the dang cat-induced bacterial infection.) And also because the wound was on the hand, I needed a consultation with a plastic surgeon. I thought that was really odd, but apparently when the bite is in an extremity like a hand or a foot, it can easily get into the bones and tendons. And a plastic surgeon would be an expert at things like that I guess.

The PS checked me out - oddly didn't touch my hand though - and told me to make a warm saline solution and dunk a towel in it, wrap my hand with it and then put a plastic bag around it and a heating pad on top of that and rest. I thought that was the strangest "prescription" I'd ever heard, but I did that anyway. He also said don't go back to work until Monday. I said ok, but totally didn't mean it. There was NO way that could possibly happen. Without me, there would be no bulletin for services on Sunday. (okay it's possible to have services without me, but still...) I stayed home the rest of the day with Pastor's full approval... it's not like I really had anything left to do the rest of the day Wednesday. I also had very little to do THursday morning, so I went in late too.

Whether it was the saline wrap or the anti-biotics or the combo, I don't know. But it's SOOOOO much better now. I was to see the plastic surgeon again yesterday to see how I was doing and he was quite pleased with the amount of healing. So I'm out of the woods. Yesterday the redness had reduced to about half the size it was 24 hours before. It was still pretty painful and moving the wrist wasn't going to happen without sharp pain. I'm to continue the wrap until tonight and then after that about 3 times a day put the heating pad on the hand alone for about an hour. I'm cool with that, it turns out I like that and wonder why I never had one before!

Today, the redness and swelling is limited to 1/4 inch around the puncture wounds. There might still be some swelling in my knuckles and wrist because they still are sore, but it's so much better. Actually, my upper arm where I got the tetanus hurts about the same now. Geez, I can't believe how much that had hurt. But it was FOR LIFE so I will never ever have to have one again!

Anyway, so far, out of pocket for that EVIL MONSTER known as Tornado, we've paid about $4000 for the surgeries and meds he required, and now for me over $600, perhaps more if I do require surgery on the tendons. Would have been more if I didn't have insurance now. Right now the tendons are are a wait and see, but it's looking good.

So, anyone want a cat??? He'd be a very happy only cat :) He is pretty good looking as you can see, and I figure he can't possibly cost much more because we've already spent a fortune on him. He's surpassed the averages. Oh, and he won't bite anyone else. Only me... he's always hated me. No matter how nice I am to him and no matter that *I* took him to the vet for his first surgery and *I* felt sorry enough for him as a kitten to leave Avalanche with him to keep him company. Too bad he can't read... he'd feel pretty guilty by now I hope.


Lynne said...

Oh, Red!! Your poor hand! You've got more patience than me with Mr. Tornado...
Take care of yourself.

Mary C said...

I was wondering if you were going to post something about it. I'm glad to hear your hand is doing much better. Chalk it all up to Tornado missing Dad and me. It's bad enough for him when one of us is gone, but he's trying to deal with both of us gone, and I still feel he hasn't gotten over losing his best bud. He's a lonely, miserable cat.

Lutheran Lucciola said...

Oh, girl, this is awful. I'm so sorry. What a pain in the hand!!!

We had an evil cat who looked like Tornado, who bit everyone of us growing up. Little bastard died of feline leukemia :-(

I hope you feel better soon, Red.

Red said...

Thanks Lynne! I'm glad you're back around and feeling better too!

Mom... no excuse... he's awful. I think he knows he's on thin ice with me. He's not being a vulture over the kitten food as much.

Thanks LuLu. I'm sorry you had an evil cat like that too. And I'm sorry you lost him to FL.

RuthieJ said...

Yikes, Red, that's quite a story. I'm glad you're going to be OK. I used to have a wicked kitty like that--she really liked Mr. Johnson and my dad and just barely tolerated everyone else.

Thursday's Child said...

Oh, yes, you never want to grab a cat who's upset at something else. They don't realize it's you and not the thing that's freaking them out. I always get the dog out of the way before trying to calm down the cat. Much easier (and safer) that way.

I'm glad your hand is better.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Red said...

Oh sure, now you tell me Thursday's Child! j/k lol! Thank you and Happy Thanksgiving to you too!

Ruthie, just a little more we have in common, lol. Crazy cats... like someone else told me, it's a good thing they are cute!

Happy Thanksgiving to everyone!

zhakee said...

Owwww, that sounds like a very painful bite. I once got bit by a cat and I sure wish I knew about that heating pad/towel wrap method. My bite only felt good when the wrist was submerged in a very hot water bath. It sounds like the heating pad holds in that warm moisture for a long time. I hope things are pretty much healed by now, and I sure hope your tendons are okay.

Red said...

Thank you very much Zhakee! Yes, the tendons turned out okay (I should post an update) and all pain is gone and I just have 4 scars that will eventually fade. 2 may just disappear.

The heating pad definitely holds in that warm moisture. It's a good thing you had that instinct to keep it submerged as you healed before.


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