Erik Quinn: The Heart of a Family: Gracie Update

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Gracie Update

Poor Gracie-Cat. She dozed in a fat curl on the love seat this morning while I tortured myself doing an exercise video of almost purely squats. Brian even approached her, and she didn't open her eyes at all, although she was undoubtedly aware of his presence. She always knows when he is in the room. Seeing this, I was glad she would be going to the vet.

After my shower, I retrieved the plastic cat carrier from the attic. Upon glancing inside, I saw handfuls of cat fur from my neurotic kitten's last trip to the vet seven years ago. Luckily, Gracie's memories don't seem to include this particular item. She sniffed at it when I placed it beside her, and I was able to basically pour her into it without any trouble at all. I snapped the door shut and loaded her into the back of my Jeep. She read me the riot act the entire way to the vet, and I cranked up the stereo to nearly full blast as we headed down the parkway to muffle her yowling. Surprisingly, Steven Tyler and Gracie sound remarkably similar.

The animal hospital here is a small building nestled up against a car dealership one block off the main drag. Inside the front door was a window in which a young girl wearing medical scrubs sat looking pathologically bored. On either side of this window were waiting rooms lined with padded, brown, vinyl benches and racks of expensive pet food. The place hasn't been updated probably since 1970, and it felt dark and creepy inside. The wood paneling definitely didn't help. It reminded me of a cross between a ski lodge and a porn set. After I checked in, I chose the deserted waiting area to my right. The magazine rack held one worn copy of Working Mother. Gripping. I talked to Gracie's eyes, which were visible now, yellow and wide, behind the plastic cage of her pet carrier. Something about this place made me wish I had a gallon of hand sanitizer, although I did note that air fresheners have come a long way in seven years. The smell of sick, frightened animals was much less noticeable. A technician opened a door, interrupting my thoughts, and announced Gracie's name. I stood and hoisted the plastic box, hoping the cheap, aging handle would hold. We walked down a dingy hall into an examining room with a window overlooking the car lot.

The technician asked me to get Gracie out of her box, and I dragged her out by the scruff with no resistance whatsoever. I felt just dead cat weight. She sank and widened into a large black and white puddle on the examining table. I was instantly covered in her fur, and as her feline follicles released handfuls of her coat before my eyes, the air became saturated with floating fuzz. I was asked to hold her scruff while a stiff plastic spike on the end of a thermometer was inserted into her backside. Gracie stared blankly ahead, any fight in her long evaporated. The technician withdrew the spike and wiped it off with a paper towel. She asked me to deposit Gracie on the scale. It read: 15.15 lb. Holy Friskies, Batman.

The technician left us, and I leafed through an issue of Cat Fancy. I was immediately entranced by the velvety faces of strange looking, beautiful animals that likely cost as much as my vehicle sitting in the parking lot. As I flipped the page, I spotted a photo of a cat sporting a jaunty, red bandana triangle around its neck. My eyes rolled in an involuntary gesture as the door opened to reveal the doc. She was a very athletic blond with no visible trace of makeup. Her body looked angular and sharp underneath a white lab coat. I explained Gracie's skin problems and bowel disorder. She listened closely as she palpated the marshmallowy contours of my cat for swollen organs. Gracie was then taken into the back room for a blood draw and emerged with a completely shaved bottom. She was diagnosed with irritable bowel syndrome and a very matted backside. We were given Flagyl, a drug most commonly used in humans who believe drinking the water out of a mountain stream or eating the ice out of their margarita in Mazatlan is a wise idea. It was packed into five plastic syringes and looked like peanut butter. I was instructed to store it in my fridge and shoot one dose down Gracie's throat once a day. I was given a small bag of low-residue cat food and challenged to feed her a mere three-quarters of a cup a day. We'll see how that goes.

Gracie seemed to feel hugely better when we arrived home. She found a spot in the sun next to my desk and was lying beached on her back looking like a dead but happy penguin when the vet called to report her blood work was normal. I think Gracie is good for another 10 years, although we may have to subject her to a vigorous booty shaving here and there.

Side Note: As for the comments I received regarding my last post, I was tickled to hear so many great cat stories. Thank you for brightening my day. I think the prize for the scariest cat, however, goes to Kim's cat Harold. By a landslide. An appropriate prize in this case may be some Bactine and some gauze bandages. Just a thought.

9 Comments:

Blogger Lizard Eater said...

Glad to hear it was something fairly simple and solve-able.

I had a cat named "Sam" growing up. Whenever he got mad at my father, he'd go pee in his shoes. Never did that to anyone else. Just him.

6:57 AM  
Anonymous Aspen said...

So glad to hear everything went well. Vet visits aren't fun for anybody! Glad its over, now good luck with those syringes!

8:02 AM  
Blogger Michelle said...

Good to hear the your Gracie Mae is doing better.

Your post and all of the comments from it had me laughing out loud. Cats are funny little creatures!!

9:37 AM  
Blogger kathi said...

I'm so relieved that she's good to go. Good news! I always have the hardest time trying to get them in the cat carrier...worst part of the trip.

3:23 PM  
Blogger THE PASLAY'S OF IDAHO said...

HOLY SMOKES!!! I WILL NEVER GET A CAT AFTER READING ALL THESE INSANE STORIES IN YOUR LAST TWO BLOG COMMENTS SECTIONS AND JUST KNOWING GRACIE... NO KITTY FOR THIS GIRL!

GLAD TO HEAR THAT GRACIE IS ON THE MEND! TRULY...

IT WAS FUN CHATTING WITH YOU THIS MORNING GIRL! I SOOOOOOO MISS YOU AND WE WILL ALL HAVE TO HOOK-UP REALLY SOON! WE NEED A PASLAY'S OF BEND FIX! :)

BIG HUGS TO YOU NANCY!!

3:35 PM  
Blogger THE PASLAY'S OF IDAHO said...

HOLY SMOKES!!! AFTER READING THIS BLOG ENTRY AND COMMENTS AND THE LAST POST AND COMMENTS... THERE IS NOOOOOOOO WAY THIS GIRL WILL EVER GET A KITTY! I WILL JUST GET MY KITTY FIX WITH GRACIE... IF YOU WANT TO CALL IT THAT! HAHAHA

TRULY THOUGH... GLAD TO HEAR THAT SHE IS ON THE MEND... NOW, PERHAPS SHE COULD GO SEE A SHRINK FOR ANGER ISSUES! SHE REALLY DOES NEED TO WORK ON THEM HOSTESS SKILLS. heeheehee

I MISS YOU SOOOOOOOO VERY MUCH AND IT WAS FUN CHATTING ON THE PHONE WITH YOU THIS MORNING AND HEARING ERIK'S SWEET VOICE! YOU BETTER OF GIVEN HIM A BIIIIIG AUNTIE CINNAMON HUG TODAY.

WE NEED TO GET OUR FAMILIES TOGETHER AGAIN REAL SOON! REAL SOON!!!

BIG HUGS!
DAWNITA

4:01 PM  
Blogger THE PASLAY'S OF IDAHO said...

OH GREAT... TWO COMMENTS! I SOOOO NEED TO TAKE A COMPUTER CLASS! HA! I THOUGHT BROGAN MESSED UP MY FIRST COMMENT SO I DID ANOTHER!

OH WELL, I KNOW THAT YOU CAN NEVER GET ENOUGH OF ME! HAHAHAHAHA!!!

D

9:16 PM  
Blogger Kerry said...

SO relieved Gracie is better... I was worried since that sounded like MY day before I brought my Shelby in to the vet and she never came home. Good luck with the syringes... I feel a funny story coming on about how you got the medicine in her :)

3:18 AM  
Blogger Rosemarie said...

Good news for Gracie. Keep us updated on the meds and new food. She's looks healthy so she could even forgo a meal. :)

I celebrated my cat's birthday Wednesday. It's officially this Monday...when she found us.

Snickers hates the cat carrier and it's always a challenge. I've been known to call my husband at work to tell him the difficulty. Never helped!

7:38 AM  

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