Murray threw up a couple of weeks ago. That’s not normal for him. It was alarming because it really shot out. I made a few phone calls and decided to keep a close eye on him before bringing him to the vet. I regret that decision now.
One of the things I tried was giving him fiber pills. I figured that maybe he had a blockage and maybe I could help move things along. I gave him a couple of pills with each meal and he stopped throwing up. Then we went away and Lisa took over. He made it through the weekend without incident. I thought we were in the clear.
While Em was napping last Thursday, Murray walked below my chair, stopped, and projectile vomited all over the floor. It was horrible. It scared the hell out of me. He began making a deep crying sound—he was in pain, the poor baby. I was positive he was dying. I’ve never seen a cat vomit like that! I felt horrible for him. He walked further into the apartment and continued to throw up. I knew there was a big problem.
I called the vet. She told me to bring him in immediately. I gathered up Emory, the diaper bag, his stroller, the cat carrier and Murray and headed down to the car. It was raining. The cat was howling. Em was confused. And if it weren’t for the adrenaline rush I got because of Murray, there’s no way I would have been able to pull off the next five hours.
We sat at the vet for an hour, watching dogs come and go. I tried to amuse Emory who continued to get more and more antsy. His quest was to destroy things. I can’t say that a blame him. We were sitting in a waiting room after all. I fed him lunch and read him a book. Murray sat there quivering the entire time. He was terrified.
When it was our turn, I told the vet what had happened. They immediately took and x-ray of his midriff and discovered two foreign bodies in his tummy. I felt so badly for him. I knew for a fact they had been there for a while. He was also running a fever. (Cats have an excellent way of hiding pain or sickness. I always act naive to this fact because I hate putting them through a vet visit. But there’s a good chance Murray was in pain for a while, or at least not feeling like his normal goofy self.)
We were told we had to go to the ER, which is in Cobble Hill, a section of Brooklyn where parking becomes a distant memory. (I’m going omit all complaining from this point forward about how difficult it was keeping a restless toddler from freaking out while dragging my sick cat all over Brooklyn. Sufficed to say, it was a really long day. But I won’t carry on about it. It happened, I had no other choice but to deal with it.)
The doctor was pretty sure, based on the projectile vomiting (as well the number of cases he’s seen like it), that they could extract the objects with an endoscopy. If they found the object had actually left the stomach and made their way into his intestines (was out of reach of the scope), he’d have to have surgery. (For those who wonder how much this costs, the scope ran into the thousands, surgery would have cost at least double what we ended up paying.)
Tobyjoe arrived in order to help out. I needed it. He took Em off my hands for a while so I could talk to the doctor and get our finances in order. We said our goodbyes to Murray and left for the night.
An hour later the doctor called to say that they had successfully removed the items—that one of the items was lodged in between the stomach and the small intestines and was almost just out of reach. Thankfully, they managed to get it out. Thankfully. Murray would have to stay overnight to be monitored, but we could get him the following morning.
I was happy to hear he was OK but I was a little sad as well.
You see, Murray is a shy boy. I’m not sure if I’ve ever really shared that side of him. He doesn’t act shy around us. But he’s shy. Whenever strangers stop by, he hides for hours. He buries his head in whatever pillow he can find. The most difficult part about his ordeal now that the item had been removed was knowing that the happiest and most naive cat I’d ever met (and also the happiest) would have to spend a night by himself and surrounded by strangers. I kept wondering if he’d be returned to us scathed and slightly more cynical than he was before—less happy.
When I picked him up late Friday evening, the woman who released him said that he refused to eat because he was one very scared little boy.
She said, “I went back there to talk to him and he was shivering.”
But he’s not cynical or forever scarred. He’s fine. He’s shaved, but he’s the same Myrtle Man. About 15 minutes after we arrived home, he was playing with Emory who managed to crawl inside the cat carrier.
Within an hour or two he was jumping up onto my lap begging for scritches. And he didn’t miss a beat when it came to stealing our food.
Yeah, everything is back to normal. Everyone is happy.
I think the hardest part for me (now that it’s all said and done) is that I can longer ignore the fact that our cat is overweight. They shaved him for the ultrasound and people, he’s fat. That’s all there is to it. Murray is fat. The fat rolls are so obvious, I’m almost embarrassed to put up a picture of him. (There are two photos that are just downright embarrassing. If he were human, he’d kick my ass for putting these online, so I’m going to upload the lesser of all the evils.)
Murray simply must go on a diet, and no more plastic either. Here are the actual contents that were removed from his belly.
To be honest, it’s not nearly as bad as I though. I would have guessed an entire baby rattle or squirter, a roll of paper towels, something much, much larger.
I imagine we’ll never be in the clear when it comes to Murray. He will continue to eat everything. We just have to be extra cautious. To some degree I think he prepared me for having a baby. Em tends to put things in his mouth as well. Needless to say, I’m constantly chasing creatures around our apartment wondering if they’ve eaten something other than last night’s floor pretzel, or a week old loaf of bread.