The Amazing Atticus

So this week I noticed Atticus (one of our cats) puking a little and straining to use the bathroom, and thinking it was nothing more than some constipation I dropped him off at the vet first thing in the morning.

Atticus, a tabby cat, with IV lines hooked up and someone petting himHoly shit, was I wrong.

It turns out he’s had a blocked urethra and his bladder was completely full of bloody urine, to the point where his kidneys were shutting down. The cause? His run of the mill dry cat food. Our vet told us like, 80% of the cat foods on the market will cause things like this and play a direct role in why so many cats face kidney problems.

When I left work early to see him, he was literally on death’s doorstep, I had come to say goodbye because he was that far gone. He was on oxygen and totally unresponsive when I arrived, but after sitting for two hours just talking and petting him he started to come out of it a bit and respond. The amazing vet staff then cathed him and put him on IV fluids to flush the toxins that had been building in his teeny body. These people are like, serious. One woman stayed five hours overtime TOTALLY UNPAID to be there for him. They took shifts coming in at night to make sure he was okay. I have never seen a group of people bust their asses so hard and care so much for an animal. Seriously. If I could plaster their logo on the side of my truck and tattoo it on my face, I would.

They told me they thought he kept fighting because I was there, and that if I hadn’t of come when I did, he very well could have given up. He was fighting for us, to come home to us.

They had done all they could do for the night, so we put him in a kennel and said goodbye, not knowing if he’d even be alive in the morning.

He was.

I stopped at the vet after work to find him awake and upright. When I got there they’d told me he’d eaten just a little bit and offered to let me try feeding him. When he saw me, he started purring and I spoon fed him wet food until the aid told me he actually needed to stop eating. He was still on IV fluids and a catheter, but they said he’s doing better. At the absolute earliest he may come home Sunday, but that’s only if he can pee on his own when the catheter comes out. They said if I hadn’t of shown up the other night at the vet, he probably wouldn’t have made it, and the aid thinks he held on through the night because I was there. She asked me to come back in the evenings to feed him. They told me when they got there in the morning they were expecting to find him dead, and the woman who came in said she actually had to text a photo of him to the other aid so she’d believe her.

So while all this was going on I was sharing it with my friends on facebook, and something amazing started happening:
Black cat sitting next to a handwritten sign that says "Get well soon, Atticus."
People started flooding us with get well soon cards for him.
(Note: unless otherwise noted, the following images all contain pictures of cats, dogs, or stuffed animals with get well notes for Atticus. They're very sweet.)

People who didn’t even have pets started doing it:

There were so many it was absolutely amazing

Atticus, looking much healthier though still with an IV line attached, with a sign reading "Thank you for the loves. It makes Momma happy. (Heart), Atticus" These are people I know in person. These are people who live across the country that I’ve never met in real life. The absolute outpouring of love and support has been overwhelming. There are times in life where bad things happen, things even worse than this; but having people circle the wagons and show nothing but pure kindness and love, it’s too much. MY EYES ARE SWEATING SO MUCH. And you know what?  It worked. Atticus came home Monday, and while he’s still got a ways to go until he’s back to normal, we have him here with us.

Split image from Game of Thrones. First panel: Sylvio Forel, captioned "What do we say to the god of death?" Second panel: Atticus's head photoshopped onto Arya's body, captioned "Not today."

14 replies on “The Amazing Atticus”

So glad Atticus is home and doing well! Stoney knows how he feels; last spring we noticed him straining and going outside of his box. At first he was diagnosed with cystitis but his medications didn’t improve things, and when he was x-rayed we saw that his bladder was full of tiny stones and he could barely pass any urine (the rescue lady who renamed him Stoney from the less family-friendly Stoner apparently predicted his fate). He had to have surgery and spent months regrowing his fluffy tummy fur. Now he is doing great, loves his special urinary health food, and is getting kind of tubby because of it. I hope Atticus continues on the same path!

Kitty Face! That’s so sweet!
My bird was extremely ill back in May. He was very close to dying, but the vets and techs worked really hard to keep him going. For three days I was certain that I was going to get the call (I didn’t go and see him because he was too sick to notice, he was in small bird everything is going to eat me mode), when I left him, they had drugged him and he was passed out face first. It was heartbreaking. He might be small, but he is full of attitude. But they supported him and tube fed him and his stubborn little tiny self pulled through. He recovered and he’s back to his usual sassy self, though occasionally he seems a bit crooked and when he’s out of his cage he’s a bit less adventurous and more clingy. He’s making chirpy noises at me right now. :)

A few people said some stupid crap to me, and a lot of people were wondering about the time/energy/money spent on a little budgie (parakeet). I guess some people consider them disposable? But he is a member of my family, just like anyone else. Most people didn’t say anything at all, though.

I’m glad you got so much support and love and that your kitty pulled through!

A good friend of mine recently lost her cockatiel that she’d had for almost 15 years. She was devastated! I’ve known her for about 8-10 of those years and after seeing all of the photos and videos of her ‘baby’ over those years, there’s no doubt in my mind that she loved that bird the way other people love their cats and dogs. I can’t imagine thinking of any pet as disposable.

Aw, bebeh. I hope he’s feeling better soon.

My cat wasn’t as bad off when we discovered it, but he also developed bladder crystals. He was on a very strict prescription dissolution diet food for about six months, then transitioned to a bladder health maintenance food, which he’ll be on for the rest of his life (with no other foods or treats). It was rough going for a while, but he just was in for a checkup on Friday and is in great health. So fingers crossed for your little guy that he pulls through and is able to normalize.

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