Lately I’ve been thinking about all the crap I’ve cleaned up in my lifetime, and it’s a lot. And while cat vomit is not technically crap, it falls into the same category of things I’d rather not touch with my bare hands, which puts it at the same level as doo-doo.
No one ever said there would be this much cat vomit.
Dini, our 13 year old cat, was stung by a wasp this past spring. I posted this update on Facebook after it all went down:
Last Sunday Maddie and I were having lunch when Dini the cat started to hock up a furball. Dini was on the porch at the time so I just shut the door and let her get it out of her system while we finished lunch without having to hear and see the whole thing.
Except it wasn’t a furball. When I opened the door a couple of minutes later Dini was lying on the ground, all flattened on her side and breathing rapidly. She was clearly in distress and unresponsive.
Dini was in anaphylactic shock.
We scooped her up in a towel and got her down to the Animal Emergency Hospital where they immediately gave her some epinephrine. They weren’t sure if she was in shock or had thrown a clot because both presented similarly but the epi wouldn’t make the clot worse (and a clot had a really poor outcome) so they hedged their bets and were right.
Her breathing regulated and she was given some steroids which I was sent home with in pill form. 4 days later and a shredded arm from giving pills to her and today she finally ate some real food (instead of the baby food I was using to giver her crushed up pill in.)
The doc thinks she ate a bug on accident or got stung. It happened so fast and thankfully we were home and she was near us. If she had been in the basement we wouldn’t have known what was going on. She didn’t make any noise.
Cats don’t present with a swollen face like dogs do, they just go down. If you see your cat suddenly vomit, lose their bowels and start panting rapidly get them to the animal hospital as fast as you can.
It was scary, and I wasn’t sure we’d be bringing the cat home. Dini is pretty much an outdoor cat. She has been going outside at night since we got her, at least during the warm months. In the winter she stays inside and just skulks around the house hating on everything. Dini isn’t a cuddly cat. She hates Zelda and tolerates the dogs. She does not like to be picked up and only wants to be pet in one place, though that place changes as she sees fit. Basically I feed her and stay out of her way.
At least that’s how it was until she got stung. Ever since that time she hasn’t been able to hold down most food. I had been feeding her dry food, but she couldn’t hold that down at all. I switched to wet food, but soon found that any texture to it would make her vomit. I started buying wet food, not really paying attention to the brand. I purchased Fancy Feast because it was in a smaller can than the other cat foods, but I also knew she liked the Friskies shreds so I picked up some of that, too. At first she could only keep it down if I pureed a mixtures of the two in my Nutri Bullet.
Pureeing cat food in the Nutri Bullet isn’t really pleasant. Cleaning it is even worse. So, I started pureeing several cans at a time and storing it in a container in the fridge. The problem was unless I planned it right I’d run out of pureed food in the middle of the night, not something I wanted to do half asleep. I gave some Fancy Feast because I had half a can opened in the fridge, leftover from Zelda who will and can eat any kind of cat food. Turns out Dini could keep it down! She can only tolerate the Fancy Feast Classic recipes, not the grilled, chunky, roasted or other variations, just the classic. I started buying Fancy Feast in bulk when it came on sale at the pet store and at Sam’s Club.
If she just ate the Fancy Feast, all of our problems would be solved. Well, most of them anyway.
If she were to work with me and just eat the Fancy Feast, I wouldn’t be writing this post. She doesn’t do that. It doesn’t matter that now Zelda has to eat canned food, she doesn’t care. It doesn’t matter to her that now I have to feed the cats like 12 times a day because you can’t leave wet food out for too long and they only eat a tiny portion of their food at a time and then the dogs eat it.
The dogs, specifically Stanley the Bassador, actually eat more cat food than they do dog food.
I’m in a constant state of feeding someone, putting up gates and then enduring the dance that Stanley the Bassador does when he knows there’s food leftover on the floor with his name on it.
But I’m getting ahead of myself. Because you see, even though Dini can keep down the Fancy Feast (and I am grateful for Purina for making the one food she can keep down), she still tries to eat other things like the dog food and small rodents she kills outside.
This morning I woke up to a bloody mess of vomit in front of the back door. I only noticed it because I smeared it all over the floor when I went to let the dogs out.
I know I’m supposed to be empathetic to this cat. It has to suck that she can’t keep food down, but dammit she needs to work with me on this. I either need to get those pet food bowls that close when the wrong animal is using them or get everyone on a schedule of when they have to eat and take the food away when the time is up. No more put-everyone’s-food-out-and-let-them-sort-it-out, because Dini will crunch up the huge dog food kibbles (and then puke them up on my window ledges, on the couch, dining room chairs, in the laundry room where the light is really bad and have I mentioned if you are barefoot and you step on it you can literally glide across the floor and if planned properly do a triple lutz?). She could care less if I tell her not to, she’s going to do what she wants.
Because she’s a cat, dammit.
I’d be cool with the cat vomit, I actually said to a friend – “I’ve gotten used to the cat vomit, it’s just something I do before my morning coffee” the other day, but Stanley has been leaking a lot lately too and that’s just more than I can stand. Twice this week, I’ve had to take apart the couch and wash it because he got on it and must have sneezed or laughed too hard at something on TV (wait, that’s me). I don’t know why he leaks, he’s 13 or 91 in dog years. Either way, it’s a huge pain in the ass to clean up all of this crap. This afternoon, I noticed some dirt on the kitchen floor, it looked like the dirt that comes out of my sneakers – mud that gets caught in the tread and then dries and falls out onto the floor. There were some chewed up dog kibbles as well so I swept it up. Except it wasn’t dried and it wasn’t mud. Someone’s butt leaked poop. I don’t know who it was, and I don’t care, I’m just sick of cleaning it up.
If someone had told me there would be this much cat vomit I might have never had kids. You see my kids are the cat lovers, not me. I’m a dog person or a cat-who-thinks-she’s-a-dog-person. It’s been 10 years since my youngest kid was in diapers, and it’s also been 10 years since I had to change my mother’s diaper (thank goodness she’s in a wonderful care facility), I thought I was done with all this crap. I don’t think it ever stops. I have come to understand that life is just about cleaning up crap from those you love.