I was working the latter half of a double when Bill texted me to say that Scratchy’s tube was out.
No one took it out, mind you. At least, none of us humans. We were all at work or at school, so somehow…the tube came out. It had been stitched in place where it went in through his throat, mind you. Stitched in place; it wasn’t just free-floating like some sort of flexible drinking straw.
Scratchy’s been eating like his old self for a while now. We stopped feeding him through the tube days ago and just continued to flush it with water as instructed back at the beginning of this saga. Scratchy had grown impatient with the whole feeding tube nonsense, too. He’d suddenly dart away while we were trying to feed him, leaving us holding the syringe and his uncrimped tube flapping in the breeze.
And he’s grown pinker and pinker in the tell-tale spots: inside his ears, his eyes, his gums, and his shorn (for the ultrasound) belly.
He’s been quite himself lately.
Anyway, Bill ended up bringing Scratchy to the animal hospital so they could make sure the tube was entirely out (it was) and to take his stitches out. Turns out there was no need for that – the stitches were gone, too. Apparently Scratchy borrowed some scissors and snipped them himself.
The final word? The holes in his neck will heal on their own, he looks great, and there is no need for another visit.
That huge hurricane-force gust of wind that rattled your house earlier this evening? That was Bill and I breathing a collective sigh of relief.
At this point, we just need to make sure the healing hole in his neck doesn’t get infected (he’s got a much smaller bandage thingy around his neck now – and he’s already chewing on it, trying to get rid of it) and to make sure he keeps eating.
I think we can handle that.
I made these the other day and if I don’t make them again my family will kick me out.
Well, okay, full disclosure, Julia won’t kick me out. She didn’t like them. But Bill and Alex? Oh yeah.
And they really should be called “Because I need to go to the grocery store” cookies. Why? I was out of several things in the original recipe, so I just subbed this and that and ended up with something unexpectedly fabulous.
*Out of respect for my friends who are easily freaked out by eyes and eyeballs (Hi Beth J, I’m talking to you), I have posted the picture for this post well below the fold and the text.*
Actually, there’s not much text for this post.
Alex came home from playing the other day and I noticed something on his eye.
I had a message on the answering machine this afternoon from Scratchy’s veterinarian – his blood work came back and while he’s not back to normal, his numbers have improved remarkably (the Dr’s word).
I’d had a long day, I was tired, headachy, and verging on weepy-for-no-reason. Then I got that message and suddenly I felt better about things.
That’s Julia’s work.
She’s got this hideous blob of silly putty that she’s had for I don’t know how long, and lately I’ve been finding it wrapped around plastic tigers on the small table in the living room, or in a blob on my kitchen work table, or – the other day – right there on the arm of a chair.
I’m a terrible housekeeper – I left it there. And I took a picture.
Yesterday morning when Alex came downstairs, he sat in that chair and put his arm on the silly putty. “Julia’s silly putty!” he announced with an older brother sigh.
“I wrote your name!” Julia told him. “It was for you!”
“Oh!” he said, in a much kinder voice.
Found this in my drafts folder. I’d written it on August 10th, but never posted it. Don’t know why. Anyway, figured I’d share….
I haven’t been sleeping well.
There’s a lot on my mind, and it gets kind of hushed during the day when I’m busy with other, more immediate things, but then at night it senses the silence, the lack of motion, and, like a baby in my belly, it starts kicking. Hard.
So I woke up sometime after three this morning. Couldn’t get back to sleep, so I got up in a feeble attempt to flee the babble in my brain.
I didn’t escape them, of course. They came along for the ride.
I went downstairs and switched on the tv more as an aural distraction than because there was anything to watch…and I puttered. I folded laundry, started another load, wished my cousin a happy birthday on facebook, read stuff online, added a rosary posting to my etsy store, and tried to feel like I was accomplishing something good. Something to make getting up worth it. Not sure if I accomplished that or not.
I did get drowsy again, though, and at about quarter to six, when I couldn’t form intelligent sentences for another etsy upload, I figured I could go back to sleep for an hour or so.
So up I went. I fell asleep, wrapped in a blanket (the fan was on in the room because Bill and I have different air temperature requirements to sleep well, at least in the summer), and dropped deeply into a dream.
Bill and I had gone…somewhere. To something festive, it seemed…a wedding, a party…somewhere away. And during the course of the festivities, whatever they were, Bill ended up hanging out with a bunch of guys that were there and I ended up heading back to whatever room we were staying in that night. The next morning, I texted him because I didn’t know where he was, and then somehow I was home, in the basement, and I found his cell phone there, plugged into the charger.
So he didn’t even have it with him. And I didn’t know how to get in touch with him, or where he was, or anything. I worry all the time. Even in dreams, apparently.
And then, I heard his voice.
It was saying “Jayne! Jayne! It’s trash day!”
I swam up, up, up through my unconsciousness and emerged, still wrapped in a blanket, still foggy-brained. I opened an eye and looked at him.
“I heard the trucks,” he said urgently.
So my body rolled out of bed, dragging my sluggish brain with it, and we hurried downstairs to get our trash and recycle bins to the curb so we wouldn’t be stuck with smelly garbage fermenting in the sun for the next week.
I tilted the gray garbage bin back on its wheels and started rolling it toward the street. Bill was behind me, hopefully planning to carry the lawn bags, which were still wet from recent rain. I hate carrying wet lawn bags – I’m always expecting them to break, and I really don’t want to have to deal with that.
Anyway, I’m also thinking, which week is it, green or blue? Green is paper recyclables, blue is bottles and cans and metal things. I’m pretty sure last week was green, but I scan the street to see what the other, more organized, neighbors have done.
I see one gray bin over there. But nothing else anywhere.
It crosses my mind that everyone else on our street is SO efficient that not only did they put their bins out the night before, but they also ran outside IMMEDIATELY after the trucks ZIPPED THROUGH and returned the bins to wherever they keep them the rest of the week.
But that made no sense. More foggy thinking…it IS Wednesday, right?
And then just as the dim bulb in my brain was starting to glow a bit, Bill said “Monday holiday!”
Rhode Island is the only state still observing “Victory Day.” It used to be VJ day – Victory over Japan – but then a lot of states stopped celebrating it and then I guess the name got changed to sound more PC.
Anyway. Aha. Monday holiday. That meant our trash pickup would be…tomorrow.
I just looked at Bill, who kind of smiled and said “Sorry.”
I wanted to glare, but I laughed instead and headed back inside, up the stairs, and back into my blanket cocoon.
I figured it might make for a good story later.
You know all those jokes about how many (insert group/religion/occupation/nationality/gender/etc. of your choice here) it takes to change a light bulb?
I’ve got my own version now.
But you need to read the other stuff first. (Or you could skip ahead, but that would lead me to believe you’re the kind of person who reads the end of a book first, just to see how it all turns out. Tsk tsk.)
This morning when I opened the bedroom door I was greeted by a white and gray cat who meowed cheerfully at me before brushing past my legs to inspect the premises.
I was so surprised I knocked on the bathroom door and hissed at Bill to open the door. He came out, brushing his teeth, and I pointed delightedly at Scratchy, who was meandering around the laundry baskets.
“He hasn’t done this in so long!” I said happily.
It’s a good sign.
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.