Turns out we are bad parents...
I figured cat food followed the duff beer principle. There was one enourmous vat of slush with different pipes coming off it to say 'wiskas' 'dine' 'snappy tom' etc... But it was all pretty much the same.
Turns out it ain't so. Loki had the runs, so we took him to the vet. The reason he had the runs: shit cat food.
So lesson learned. Aldi catfood is not a very good idea. Although according to the vet, most supermarket stuff is pretty poor...
Of course they could just be trying to sell cat food. But we'll see. If Loki's dihorrea stops, it's worth it.
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I noticed him having trouble breathing last night when I got home at about 9pm. I watched him until it was time to get Chris. He was very still, and was sitting there with his ribs visibly heaving away.
I patted him, and he didn't seem to have the breath in him to purr.
So... He got better by the time I arrived home with Chris. When we fed him this morning he was fine, then we went shopping. But by the time we'd come back he was in the same state. So, after a short discussion, it was off to the vet! I couldn't stay because I was working all day.
Anyway the tall and short of it was: The vet went "Oh bother, I think his hernia may have come back - which is silly because it's not supposed to happen. Or there's something else wrong with him, which is also a bother".
So after an X-ray... there it was. It was back. And he needed to go back to surgery for basically the same operation. I was being relayed this information while working the circulation desk at City Library, where I'm not supposed to use my phone. So it wasn't a pleasant afternoon. We were faced with the prospect of another $2k+ bill for surgery, and apparently it's riskier a second time around. It was literally last week when we finished paying back the money for the first lot of surgery. The GE card we got to cover it was cancelled 2 days ago. But other options (which we were given) were not even considered because my beloved and I are certifiably crazy cat people.
So.... Next I heard Sam (who's part of these guys ) had agreed to do the surgery at cost. It was either because he'd stung us enough the first time, or because he took pity on our boy.
Suddenly it was all manageable. Loki just had to get through round 2 with his own digestive system.
So work finished, and I made my way down to Kensington to collect the boy and my girl - who due to time constraints was making her own way down to the clinic on foot. When I arrived Chris was waiting at the desk. Sam came out and went on about how interesting and unusual the case was, and explained what seemed to have happen. It was different to last time (the abdominal material hadn't gone up through the old opening, but it had made its way through regardless). Strictly speaking, it wasn't a complication from the earlier operation - and Sam even thinks it might be worth lodging an insurance claim for it. There is a very real chance it will be knocked back, but there is no harm in asking - we insured both the boys with this mob after last time.
So.... Sam told us about how he had re-arranged Loki's insides, had put things were they were supposed to go, and this time had stitched his stomach into place to ensure that it stayed put. His prognosis was good, we could take him home. So home he came. There was one tense moment when he was sitting very still in the cat carrier while we were in the car. His head was sitting on the little water bowl thing that's built into it, he was perfectly still. He gave us both a fright because he looked, for all money, like he might have left us.... But when we opened the door, he perked up. It was like he nodded off with his eyes open.
He's been keeping to himself. Staying quiet and he's been highly disoriented and still very very high. Occasionally he's been letting out a yelp - but that's probably because he's moved something around the surgical site that must still be a bit ouchy. He'll be fine. He's a tough cookie. He's sleeping in our room tonight.
So I've been patting him. He has the breath to purr again.
They're like macros for the brain.... I am socially intelligent enough to be able to move on from them eventually. It takes a very long time though, so my social intelligence is somewhat limited. They are usually 'group specific', so for example if I started to say 'HELLOOOO' in my Melbourne Model the Musical voice to MUCAAS I'd probably get strange looks. Do it with the cast there and everyone cracks up. I also get people egging me on.... which is a shade disturbing. It's why I like the theatre experience so much - the idiotic in jokes that get repeated again and again, and keep their impact for far longer than they deserve.
I've had cats since I was 3. With an exception of about 4 years of my life, I've always had cats. I like them. They are amusing, and kind of distant companions. They don't try to impress you or suck up to you. They are also hours of entertainment because they have the stupidest reaction to stimuli I think you can get from a creature. So in summary: yay! Cats.
3. Multidisciplinary background (for some reason I keep feeling surprised whenever I remember that you did physics)
I did do physics! I keep feeling surprised by that too. I didn't get very far. But I've got a fairly decent old mechanical analytical brain in my noggin... I'm also a very curious creature, and I like problem solving. I really do. I liked physics because it tries to take reality and make it make sense. And while it usually fails to do so (yay for first year physics pracs that NEVER have the 'right' results), it still does a decent job in making you understand the principles of the physical world.
Having said that I find people the most fascinating of machines.... And you can't treat them like a physics problem (well not yet, maybe one day in the future!). So I think my facination with humanity stems from a similar kind of curiosity/child-like-ness....
4. Rock climbing (if no-one else has said that one)
Rock climbing is the most awesome blend of problem solving and exercise there is. I love that it engages brain and body at the same time, and it's something where you're not trying to 'outwit' an opponent, you're just trying to overcome a set obstacle.
Whenever I did play soccer or similar I'd also be the one that would be all tactical, looking for open spaces and thinking about 30 seconds ahead, and not just focussing on the ball. My skill level meant that my cunning plans were always poorly executed and invariably failed, but my mentality was very cunning I assure you! So I like rock climbing because it's the most cerebral form of excercise I know. And it's hard. Good lord it's a workout.
5. Quiet in the face of social babble
Am I quiet? Well there you go!
Actually, my level sociability varies wildly.... And I don't really know why. There are times when I very very much like to be left alone. I like being quiet sometimes because it's easier to listen, and other people are invariably more interesting than me. I think that I tend to gather information rather than volunteer it - in a social setting that is. I don't know if that's a view other people share or not...
So all in all he's pretty normal. Very quiet, very dopey. The scars are muchos impressive. And I don't envy him.
Oh, and by the way for all interested watchers: http://www.petplan.com.au/
Loki's treatment was in excess of 3 grand all together. And this particular pet insurance costs between 180 and 250 a year (depending on the kind of cover you want). We've signed both boys up, and if you're the 'I'm not putting my cats down unless it's on humane grounds' people we are, it'll pay for itself one day....
He's okay, the operation was successful, they're keeping him overnight to watch him. Apparently it was quite complicated. His stomach, spleen and some other digestive organ that humans don't have had wormed their way up into his chest cavity via the hole in his diaphragm that his oesophagus goes through. I assume that means the hole wasn't properly sealed around the Oesophagus or something....
He's got it all out, is certain it's congenital and not caused by trauma, and now he's recovering.
His prognosis is good, provided there aren't any complications from the surgery tonight.
Menelaus caught the bad end of a car. It happened just as I was heading in to Chris' gate. Heard a thump, saw a limping cat dart into someone's front yard.
Made the decision to look at what had happened....
Checked the fur - white. Phew.
Went around into the front yard....
Ginger cat sprawled out not moving.
Checked the tail - shaved with surgical marks....
mstakenidentity's cat was there.......
So I brought him in and told her.
Nothing else to do.
Now he's wrapped in in a towel. I'll help her bury him tomorrow.