Back in September 2011 my cat, Mickey, had a medically necessary penis enlargement to vagina surgery. I was in Hawaii for a wedding when one of his many kidney stones decided to block his urethra and mostly ruin my life financially. I mean, it’s fine, but we had been through hell between dick stitch removal and the on going every other day dosage of subcutaneous fluids.
Really. It’s fine.
A few months after Mickey’s largely successful, medical necessary sex change operation, I went to check on his new vagina and noticed something wasn’t quite right. I will spare you, for the moment, exactly what that something is for now. Back to Mass Vet Hospital for what I assumed was anal trauma somehow related to the original penis surgery.
The vet tech lifted his tale and gagged. “Um, have you looked back here?”
“Yes. That’s why we are here.”
“It looks like…something bit into it? Do you have any other animals at home?”
“No. This is enough.”
If she saw what I had seen the previous night then a tiny gash in my cats anus squirted puss out at her when she lifted his tail. After noticing this before going to bed the night before I wrapped him in a blanket and made sure he stayed in my arms all night. It was like I thought that blanket had some type of magical anal healing powers and, yes, I was surprised when I woke up that Sunday morning and there was more puss coming out at me. I should mention that my insomnia was in full swing most nights during this period of my life so I wasn’t thinking clearly. In case that wasn’t already glaringly obvious.
After consulting with a bunch of other grossed out docs, the vet tech eventually concluded that Mickey had an impacted anal gland which, apparently, “just happens” and that in order to relieve the pressure he bit into his anus.
My cat. Bit into. His own anus.
I really want to drive this point home. My cat bit into his anus. With his teeth. He punctured his butthole. HIS TEETH. HIS ANUS. THEY MET.
Thankfully, no harm was done to his vaginapenis, but don’t think that I didn’t try to sway their investigation into these two incidents being related. They did the ol’ drain n’ stitch and sent us on our way with more pain killers and another cone. I fell back into a routine I had come to learn so well. Spoon feeding him, holding his cone up when he went up the stairs, and examining whatever was immediately under his tail multiple times a day.
We went back to have his anal stitches removed about a week before Christmas. His kidney failure was causing the wound to heal slower than expected and I was given another weeks worth of antibiotics to administer. So far this experience had been slightly less traumatic and far less expensive than the previous one, but I would need to administer the antibiotics two times a day and my plans to travel home for Christmas were in jeopardy. I was bummed.
As I stood in line at the pharmacy I became lost in my own thoughts. I was exhausted. In addition to the insomnia and all the cat related running around I was working two jobs, preparing for my stand up graduation show, and checking things off my Christmas to do list. I always tend to take on too much which is why emergency situations like this become more stressful than they need to be. Sometimes there is just no time. I looked down at my feet and noticed that Mickey had somehow unzipped the top of the cat carrier and was ready to jump out any second. I shoved his head back in the case, secured the toggle, and placed it between my feet hoping that I would feel him try to struggle to get out if he attempted it again.
And that’s when I heard two sentences simultaneously that confused the shit out of me.
“That’ll be $435,” said the pharmacist.
“Ma’am…is that you cat?” said some stranger.
It took me a few moments to realize that “Ma’am” was me. Then, I looked over to see Mickey tip-toeing past the first set of sliding glass doors towards the second set leading to the outside. Everyone looked at me like I was going to run towards him, scoop him up in my arms and scream “MY BABY!” but I just stood there. Go ahead, asshole. See what happens to you out there, I thought.
We locked eyes. Mickey slowly lowered a front paw at the vestibule doors triggering the automatic release, and he walked outside. I still stood there. I figured that maybe he’d freak out and run right back in realizing the error of his ways or a bear would come by, eat him, and I wouldn’t owe anyone any more money. One of the vet tech’s scoffed at me and chased after him. He was so drugged up that it didn’t take her long to catch him. I thanked her, paid my bill, and left. I needed a burrito.
“Meow. Meow. Meow.”
“SHUT UP!” I pulled into the Qdoba parking lot.
“Stop!” I parked the car and got out while staring at the cat carrier that is rocking back and forth in my passenger seat. “Listen to me, asshole! You have cost me [REDACTED] dollars in three months because you are DISGUSTING! If you got sick when I was home you wouldn’t BE here right now! You would be DEAD! You wouldn’t be able to bite into your anus!” A crowd started forming. “YOU HAVE RUINED CHRISTMAS!” I slammed the car door and made eye contact with a man about 50. “I’M YELLING AT MY CAT!” Even I was surprised that I was still yelling.
When we got home I was too tired from my nervous breakdown to spoon feed him and didn’t feel like cleaning out all the wet food that always made it’s way to the bottom of the cone. I put a plate of dry food on the floor thinking that it would be easier than a bowl for him to eat from. He dragged the cone across the plate and all the food fell to the floor. He looked at me wondering what the hell had just happened. I scooped up the food and put it back on the plate. Again, the cone scraped all the food on to the floor. I put the food back on the plate again, slowly lowered my body on to the dirty kitchen floor and cried as dry food pellets fell from the plate, yet again, and rolled around my body.