Hi friends, today I’m going to tell Arnie’s accident.
It was a couple of months since he went to our household. The staff was thrilled with him, he’s a cuddle bug and purring machine – the opposite of me (for those who don’t know… I’m a diva 😎) I was not too happy with him around using MY toys, using MY bathroom and stealing MY food. The staff was smart enough do give me a special feeder and also feed us in separate rooms for fresh delicious food. The only good I saw on him is taking the hands off me – especially the lady staff.
Arnie is very mischievous, loves attention and is fearless. Not a good combo. He used to walk on the ledge of the staircase to be in front of the TV (NYC living… studio duplex, spiral staircase). He also loves seeing his mice go down the steps. On one dreadful night, lady staff was going to the dungeons to sleep saying good night to dude staff that was watching telly. Arnie was playing with his mice on the edge of the steps. I was sleeping on my recliner. All the suddenly, there was a thud. Uh-Uh, I thought… The staff ran down the steps, picked up Arnie (who hates being picked up), he fought his way out and ran around very hyper for a minute or so. After that, he recoiled to a corner and started leaking from “behind”.
They rushed to the emergency vet – Blue Pearl Mid-Town Manhattan (BP) – where the technician that saw Arnie said: “He’s fine”. The staff did not believe that but there was nothing they could do. They were asked to keep monitoring and paid the bill (bill#1). In the following day, he was still leaking for behind, haven’t eaten and haven’t moved. Off they go again to BP, where they saw another veterinarian that could see that Arnie was not fine by any stretch of the imagination. After that, it was all a blur.
Arnie was seen for a couple of specialists (BP is a very amazing practice with amazing professionals!) and they decided to keep him overnight for a battery of exams and to check if there was any internal injury – as he had no broken bones (an amazing feat)
Fun fact: Arnie was not able to land on his tiny paws because the length of the fall was too short. Cats are able to land on their “feet” when they have enough space/time to turn their bodies around.
Then bill #2 came – here’s how it works – BP staff will show our staff a bill with the minimum they can do, the mid-range and the maximum. In order to start any procedure, our staff must pre-pay the mid-range. Cha-ching they say. If this is what we need to do to get Arnie back together, so be it. Also, out staff need to sign a paperwork stating that they are aware of all and any side-effect of the procedures – what option do they have? They signed the paper and paid the bill. They said bye bye to a scared and sad Arnie.
Exams came out that he didn’t have any internal damage, which was great meows! But not so fast… when staff went in to get the details, they were told that the anesthesia didn’t wear off too well and that they recommend Arnie to stay another day or so in the emergency care to check his vitals – they were too low for the young cat he is. The consequences of bringing him home? If his vitals get too low and his temperature too high, there might not be enough time to save him. So off staff goes again to pay bill#3. They are told of the visiting hours and recommended to call before going to ensure Arnie will be set for visitors.
One day, turn into two days, that turn into 4 days (and bill #3) Finally, Arnie’s vitals are stable and he’s recommended to go home. He has an abscess in his behind (between poopoo and peepee). It’s hard to keep clean or make a bandage, so just make sure you keep an eye on it. And keep him in an enclosed space. Off Arnie goes to the bathroom. At that time I felt bad for the little guy. They had to change his litter, his food and he was confined. I confess I had my paw under the door a couple of times.
A couple of days later, staff noticed something off with his behind, the skin was getting dark. Instead of going straight to BP, staff went to our primary care vet, Dr. Arnold Plotnick from Manhattan Cat Specialists – if you, dear reader, is in the NY area and need the best vet and best technician for your beloved kitty-cat – this is the place to go (We LOVE Gil and Gina!). That was the best decision staff made that week. Dr. Plotnick seemed surprised to see Arnie’s condition and immediately called BP and connected with Dr. Kyles – which happened to be in NY that week and happens to be the best soft tissue surgeon ever *drop the mic*. Then we pay bill #4.
Staff and Arnie rushed to BP – again – and met with the pawsome Dr. Kyles. He’s an Irish beast – on point and clear with all “the situation”. He had his assistant to pick up Arnie and take for preliminary testing. After a while, Dr. Kyles come back, with no Arnie and explain “the situation” to our staff. You might be asking: “what was the situation?” Oh well… the situation was: the fall created an abscess on Arnie’s behind – right in between his peepee and poopoo. That generates an infection – which could be new or something dormant inside of him (we assume the later as he was extremely stinky). Problem 1: his skin started to necropsy around his peepee and poopoo – that’s very bad because if could cause further problems where he’d need a new peepee and poopoo hole. Problem 2: there was no way to clean up the area and make a bandage – anytime he’d pee or poo the bandage would need to be clean and changed immediately to avoid another infection – and still the likelihood of another infection would be very very high. The solution: a surgery. Where Dr. Kyles would make a graph to Arnie’s behind from his belly. The risk of the surgery: 40/60 (as his history of unstable vitals). The risk of no surgery: 5/95. The cost of the surgery: $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$
At this time, the staff is left in a room with a piece of paper, again, with the low, mid and high range, paperwork on side effects and a decision to make – whether or not to we can try to save Arnie’s life. This is a position I hope none of your staffs has to endure. The cost is high, with no security, and then it’s your baby. They just went for it – “we have savings” they said, “we can eat mac&cheese and canned soup for months” they also said, “we’ll cancel visiting lady staff family in Brazil” they said.
Off they go… off they go to pay for bill #5. They’re allowed to say goodbye to Arnie. And they left BP, a bit poorer and a bit hopeless. Interesting enough, that day was the rehearsal dinner for dad’s best friend wedding. Lady staff almost didn’t go. But it was a welcomed distraction (they also saw Leo DiCaprio on the subway! #bonus). Staff went home, got ready and went to the dinner. With their phone’s ringer on. The call came. They run outside of the restaurant. The surgery was over. Arnie seemed to be fine. They’d know more in the next day. “Can we visit?” She asked. “Of course!” the doctor said. The next day, staff went to visit. Arnie seems down. Arnie seemed sad. Off they go to the wedding. In the meantime, they hug and kiss me all the day – and drop me veterinarian for boarding.
They come back – they visit Arnie. He seems a little perkier. BP staff seemed to love him. He has a catheter on him, he’s not really eating but is drinking water. He purrs everytime someone walks by his cage and demands to be petted – that’s the Arnie we know. But still, his vitals are a little unstable. He’ll stay in the intensive care for another day or so. Staff picks me up and we go home.
Home feels empty without Arnie – he has a light and energy that we came accustomate to. Who would I hiss at, who would I blame when stuff went wrong? The rescue that we adopted Arnie from, the staff is friends with the founder and president – and she has a soft spot for Arnie. She was aware of all the situation and said: “when Arnie goes home, he’ll need a cage, come here and pick up the one I use for fosters”. They went, cried and picked up the cage. We had a cage in our living room!!!
Day in and day out, the staff visited Arnie twice a day. Every time the nurse would say how lovely Arnie was and how everyone loved to tend for him and he’s so grateful to them all. Eventually, Dr. Kyles requested a meeting with the staff. For once, it was a good meeting. Arnie was almost “out of the woods”, he was healing well, recovering well. They also recommended moving him out of intensive care for cat care – intensive care are doggies and kitties, sometimes gets loud and Arnie would get stressed. They believe with a quieter environment he’d heal better. At that time there was only one other resident on the cat care. The staff would monitor fewer times a day but that shouldn’t be an issue. It was cheaper too – so the staff was like “heck yeaaahhh” – and then came bill #6!
Then comes the day where one of the BP veterinarians said: “Arnie is good to go home”!!!! Great meows! But…. there’s always a but! “Here’s the medicine you need to give him – we’re still processing the culture for antibiotics – but here a broad spectrum one, make sure to schedule a visit for a week from today, and we’ll see you soon”. So staff got some pill pockets, the medication, Arnie, some new litter and they came home!
Arnie was happy to be home, even though he was in a cage. He was in the living room, hanging out with the staff and me. He was eating well, sleeping well, and getting back in shape. His follow up was great – but then the results for the culture came back – he had some super strong stuff in him so he’d need to change to 2 specific antibiotics. One was given as a sub-q once a day, the other, is very toxic to humans so the staff needed to wear gloves and ensure they’d not touch it at all – this one was 2 times a day. This regime was for a full month!
When Arnie was sick and tired, the regimen was easy. After a couple of weeks – he was stronger and happier so he’d bite the staff when given the sub-q BUT he’d eat the pill pocket with the toxic pill in a second! Then came the appointment to remove the stitches – what a little celebrity that little guy was! Most of the nurses went to say hi to him and how much they missed him – one even mentioned that we should bring him there often to be their mascot!! Only if the bills would be refunded!
After the month, they requested to be given for another 20 days. By the time staff had a routine: they’d come back from work at 5 pm sharp, pick up Arnie from his cage and put in his transportation box and walk to the vet. There, staff would give him the sub-q at the waiting area. They noticed he was afraid of the vet ambiance so they took full advantage of that. Also, Dr. P and the staff would see Arnie and comment on his improvement. After that, the way was only up.
He was allowed supervised time out of the cage – staying in during the night and when staff is at work. Another month or so the cage was gone and Arnie was officially “out of the woods”! With an enlarged butt with a nipple on it! That only makes him more special. He’s a fighter, he’s courageous, he’s, still, fearless.
One thing we all can learn from Arnie is the resilience, power of support, of friends, of paw-circle, pawsitivity, healing purrs and the will of an Arnie.
What we learned from the situation is that accidents happen, if we can, always have some cushion for it and don’t be ashamed for ask for help and say you’re scared.
We want to thank all our family, friends and out twitter family and gave us all the support we needed to go through! Big thank to Blue Pearl staff and our beloved Manhattan Cat Specialist staff – without you guys our family would not be completed.