Monday, 15 December 2014

The Cat Who Thought He was a Cow

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You know him as WaMu (click here) or the serious resident hydrologist (click here). But what I have hidden from you all these years, my dear reader (if there are any of you still out there!) is that he also thinks of himself as a cow. Or may be goat. Or sheep considering his size, but, that's just splitting hairs.

How do I know, you ask? Well, what other reason would there be for a cat with access to the best cat food in the universe, go seek out backyard grass? I mean, the dude would sit in the backyard, sunning himself, chewing on stray leaves of grass till, you know, the cows came home!

Sadly his stomach never did get the memo on Mr. WaMu's species reassignment plans for himself and so, every so often, his innards would rebel in the grossest possible way, by evicting the inappropriate non-food back the way it went in. (Clean up on Aisle 2, human!)

Things got really ugly recently when inappropriate elimination of inappropriate food happened for the second time in as many months, but was followed by Mr. WaMu going on a hunger strike. Was he pulling a Gandhi when his attempt at vegetarianism was not being recognized by his own body?

The vet ordered a full blood work to see if there was something a lot more sinister going on, involving things completely removed from the digestive tract. "If the blood work turns out normal, we will have to do an x-ray" she said. We waited while the blood work turned out normal and he was taken back in again for an x-ray. Another 40 minutes later the vet called us in and said, "well, the blood work turned out normal. But there is nothing in the x-rays either". Then, looking at us with barely concealed compassion (we had after all just lost both our dogs) she said, "there are only a few things that can be causing problems like this and not showing up on the blood work and all involve the GI tract. It could be pancreatitis, or an irritable bowel syndrome or", and here she hesitated, "intestinal cancer. Only an ultrasound will let us know for sure. It can catch subtle thickening of the intestinal walls". She offered us a choice of what we could do beyond that. Of course we opted for the ultrasound.

The emergency ultrasound meant that we had to leave Mr. WaMu in the hospital to wait his turn. Finally the call came, "his intestines are pretty badly inflamed. The best case would be a foreign object. Or he could have accidentally poisoned himself chewing on some plants he was not supposed to eat. Or he could have intestinal cancer". Great. The C-word again. And I am not even talking about the bovine one here. "He is already being rolled into surgery, we can't keep him waiting any longer. We will call you once we have finished up."

Did Mr. WaMu turn to suicide? Did he deliberately poison himself? Or was he poisoned by... Oh! Wait. Sorry. We are not doing the "Unsolved Mysteries" here.  Let's cut the theatrics and get back to the story, shall we?

We decided to go with the C-word. No, not that one. The bovine one. Our theory was that he had swallowed an all-too-long blade of grass that had twisted up in his intestine. We made stories up, one more ridiculous than the other, whiling away time, waiting for the phone call. "I am sure he ate that stupid poisonous plant." said one person. "I am going to throw all those plants into the freezing cold" said the other, glad to have something to vent his fury on. We talked about how he used to use both paws to pull the grass out of his mouth like a magician pulling out the endless knotted handkerchief-rope. We laughed. We fumed. We made plans to mass destruct anything green in the house.

The phone rang and the doctor said, "The surgery went well. He is waking up now. We pulled out a piece of styrofoam."

"Styrofoam?!!" I yelled.

Well, you see my dear reader, I have held back one more piece of information from you about Mr. WaMu. He is also the most environmentally friendly paper shredder.

Is WaMu the Cow-Cat, trying to become a donkey? We will have to ask him when he gets back! Until then, there are some plans underfoot to destroy all traces of paper and packaging material in the house.
Waiting for the Ultrasound: Chairs are Invisibility Cloaks!

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