Saturday, July 19, 2008

Stories that remind us all why Terroni shouldn't have children

I'm cat-sitting. Which, of course is not to say that I'm actually sitting on a cat. Yet. But rather, I'm feeding, watering, and generally trying to keep from killing a cat. A kitten, actually.

Things went really well for about the first two hours. Graci left for Boston, and two hours later, I stopped by her apartment to steal some lunch and check on Scout.

Graci called about this time and said, "So, how's everything going?"

"Oh, it's all good," I said.

"Scout's doing okay?"

"Oh, you meant with the cat. Uh, well she's sleeping right now, but she looks okay. Oh, wait...she just woke up. And...uh...oh shit. I'm going to have to call you back."

"What's wrong?"

"Uh, there's something wrong with her eye. I think she might have poked a hole in it or something. Shit. This is bad."

"She probably just has a little gunk in it. That happens sometimes. Just wipe it out."

"No. This isn't gunk. I think part of her eye is coming out. I'll call you back."

Now look, I've never had a cat before. I don't know anything about cat eyes. Frankly, I don't know much about human eyes. They sort of gross me out. And, you know, even as a med student, I don't feel the least bit bad admitting that. This is why we have special people called ophthalmologists, people trained to look at eyeballs and say something other than, "Shit. This is bad."

Crisis has a way of forcing us to grow, though; and this ordeal has taught me a bit about cat eyes. Cats, like aliens and terrorists, have an extra eyelid. It turns out that what I was looking at on Scout was not a chunk of lacerated eyeball, but a folded piece of her inflamed third eyelid. As I ran around the apartment with her looking for the cat carrier and vet information, some of her actual eyeball began to peak through. This healing process may have been accelerated by the fact that I accidentally whacked her head on the closet door and then again on the carrier as I tried to load her up for med-evac. I may have knocked that third eyelid out of the way. Or, Scout may have just decided, If I don't show this crazy woman that I'm okay soon, she's going to kill me in her frenzy. Either way, she was looking a little better.

About this time, I called Graci back to tell her that her cat may still have two intact eyeballs. She was more than a little relieved. Now, I could call the vet and make an appointment rather than just showing up to frantically yell, HER EYE IS OUT. HER EYE IS OUT.

By the time we got to the vet that afternoon, Scout's eye looked even better. Eighty dollars later, she was diagnosed with conjunctivitis. Or a scratch. Or a sting. Or a spider bite. I was handed a tube of ointment to put in her eyes twice daily for seven days.

Seven days later, her eye looks great. And I look like I spend my recreational time wrestling a weed-whacker.

Investment tip of the day: Buy stock in Neosporin. My usage alone should boost their third quarter earnings 80%.


deboo said...

T, I am in hysterics reading this post. Too funny. Our cats have to be dying before we try to get them to the vet. Literally. I'm not too fond of the weed-whacker look, if you know what I mean.

You're a good friend. I hope Graci knows that! :-)

graci said...

You are my hero :)

And I promise to take good care of you if you end up with Bartonella bacteremia.

Maria said...

Gotta watch out for those blood sucking arthropods....

And, hey...parenting gets easier as they get bigger. When Liv was a baby, she woke up from her nap and as I was changing her diaper, I saw that her baby toe was slightly discolored. In a panic, I realized that a hair had wrapped itself around the base of her toe.

I um...took her to the ER. And I KNEW better. I knew that I just needed to get my tiny nail scissors and cut the damn hair, but I was so panicky that I feared that I would amputate her toe.

.j.william. said...

is it a nictitating membrane? wow that sounds dirty.

ah, yes. thank you wikipedia:

"In cats and dogs, the nictitating membrane is not usually visible, and its being chronically visible should be taken as a sign of poor condition or ill health."

and no worries: babies don't have those third eyelids.

Shan said...

Bahahahaaaaa! You're CR A ZY!
In your defense, that third eyelid IS entirely creepy even when it's not inflamed.

MmeBenaut said...

Poor little Scout. Showing the third eyelid is a sign of occular pain (or cat flu), Terroni. You did the right thing to take her to the vet. It helps if you stay calm during this process. :)

Anonymous said...

Thank for the laugh, I desperately needed it today.