Trigger alert: This post describes a sick kitty cat, including symptoms.
THE TRAGIC ORDEAL OF BETA CAT
Ordinarily you might be a tad annoyed if your cat relieved herself on one of your hoodies (albeit left on the floor all day). But if that hoodie had some wine-colored spots on it, you might look at it as a great way to find out your itty bitty kitty is ill.
Beta came to my back yard as a feral kitten, 16 years ago. She grew up feral and produced a fine litter of kittens before Olivia tamed her. We took the kittens to the shelter (they were adorable and adoptable), but we kept Beta. She's a plain Jane, getting grizzled with age.
EXHIBIT A: INSEPARABLE SINCE 2001
Long story short, I got home from work Thursday evening, and Beta was clearly sick. The vet gave me a 6:30 appointment.
(I'm sure you've noticed that even if a cat is on the Grim Reaper's doorstep, they can still fight going into that cat carrier.)
Off we went to the vet, and the first question they asked was, "Is she under stress?" Apparently stress causes the scary illness she had developed.
I said, "I can't think of anything that's out of the ordinary in our house or our routine." And there isn't. Beta gets her cans and her cot, she pushes Gamma around even though he's literally three times her size, and she is adored by her people.
Beta's treatment at the vet took quite awhile. We were there two hours -- so you can imagine the $$$$$.
At the end, as I was whipping out the Care Credit card, the vet gave me a flyer about Beta's illness.
When I got home, I read the flyer.
One cause of stress listed is construction outside.
Two years ago, my neighbors across the street sold their house to a developer who plans to build two houses on the lot. Maybe I've mentioned this before. Well, nothing at all happened for the first 18 months, but just last month a gigantic machine arrived and demolished the 90-year-old house in three hours' time. Since then the builders have poured a foundation, and the property is a mad mess.
One day about three weeks ago, I saw Beta cross the road to the construction site. (She would never cotton being an indoor cat ... I didn't even try.)
It never occurred to me until I read that flyer: The property across the street is part of Beta's territory. There hasn't been another cat or dog on that lot for about six years. The place was probably even more inviting when the house stood empty and was the same as always. And now it's gone, replaced by huge mounds of dirt, piles of gravel, and noisy men with noisier machines.
Damn! It's causing me stress! Why wouldn't it stress poor Beta?
I feel like I ought to send the vet bill to the developer, but Mr. J disagrees. He thinks I should send it to the neighbor who sold the property in a hurry, knowing that a lovely old house and a two-car garage with a full apartment above it would be razed. Who does such a thing? Those people raised five kids in that house!
Anyway, someone should pay for poor little Beta. Who owes me money?
I'm still waiting to hear back from the vet about Beta's blood work, but I'm considering that a good sign. She seems better today ... a little bit on the nod from the opiates, but she ate her vittles and purred while I told her not to worry, our house will not be demolished.
I'll keep you posted on her progress.