December 04, 2021

Just Can't Focus

This is another not-so-happy post. I'm sorry that it's all I seem to have been writing all week, but I am unable to concentrate or focus on anything but Duck.

I updated yesterday's post, but if you didn't see that, here is a brief recap:

Duck made it through surgery just fine; the vet said that all went according to a best case scenario. The blockage was caught early so that his intestinal tissue hadn't started dying and they removed all the yarn he'd ingested with two small incisions. I was told I could pick him up today as long as he continued to do well through the night.

Last night, I was dying for it to hurry up and be today so that I could go get him. It sounds absolutely ridiculous to people who aren't this close to a pet, I know, but I miss him so much I can't think about anything else.

This morning, I called as soon as they opened to ask about him and find out what time I could go get him. It turned out that Duck had developed a fever overnight and they had to start him on an extra antibiotic and fluids to cool him down. They said they wanted to keep him until Monday. Two more nights!!

I asked about picking him up tomorrow (Sunday) if his fever comes down and he's doing well today. They said that they are closed on Sundays, so they don't allow pick-ups. I begged them to please make an exception, but they wouldn't. I think I could probably handle him at home, but I don't want to risk him getting an infection--that would cause SO many more problems.

It's not that I don't trust he's getting good care there--I'm sure he is! But they don't know Duck's personality and they can't give him the same love and attention that I can. To them, he is just another patient. To me, he means as much as a family member.

My biggest concern (other than his healing from the surgery, of course) is that he's scared that I've abandoned him. He's in a place he doesn't know, with all sorts of noises he's not used to (he's the very definition of a "'fraidy cat"--he startles by any noises or movement that is sudden and unexpected). I just keep picturing him in a tiny little sterile-like cage with nothing to do or look at and feeling startled by every little movement.

They sent me this picture of him today after I called asking about him. I'm sure they thought it would reassure me that he's okay, but I just think he looks sad. That is not his normal look at all.

Duck loves when I pet his face and pat his back right above his tail, he loves when I brush him with my hairbrush (he jumps up on the bathroom counter every morning to be brushed). At night, I make a little nest for him on the couch in my bedroom for him to sleep. In the morning, he jumps without warning onto my bladder to wake me up. Then he meows until I give him treats.

I just have a special bond with him and I've never done anything for him not to trust me; which is why I feel so bad about all this. All he knows is that I took him for a traumatizing car ride and dropped him off with strangers to be put in a cage and have a painful procedure. And now he's all alone. He's used to me talking to him all day (I talk to him like he's a person, basically--I love the way he watches me talk, like he actually understands me).

I'm afraid he's going to come home and I'll lose all of that with him: He won't trust me anymore, he won't like me anymore, he won't think of me as "his person". (Yes, I know I'm talking about a cat--but he's more than a cat to me!)

Anyway, I just feel really sad. I've felt sad all day long and whenever I think about him too much, I start crying again. I know things could be worse--he could have had several complications during surgery, or even have died during surgery, so I'm glad things went well. I just really hope that his fever comes down tonight and he starts eating. (The fact that he won't eat SHOCKS me--he loves to eat!)

I haven't gotten anything done today or yesterday. Each time I try to focus on any sort of task, I just can't stop thinking about Duck. I imagine that tomorrow will be the same. I'm going to take some of my anxiety medication tonight which usually helps me to sleep, so I'm going to sleep as long as possible and then try my best to distract myself tomorrow (not that it worked today).

I'll try to think of something different to write about tomorrow, I promise! Jerry wants to make Christmas cookies, so maybe I'll post some pictures of that. Light-hearted stuff!

Thanks so much for thinking of him. I've really appreciated the kind words. <3


  1. Katie - please write about Duck all you want! You allow us to be in your daily life and we are grateful you are honest. Pets are like our kids, you do anything for them. You would feel the same way if Noah or Eli were in the hospital. I am happy he is in good care but understand the heartache you are having. Once he is better you will have lots of snuggle time.

    Hugs to you during this stressful times.

  2. I’m so sorry! I hope you get your sweet kitty back soon. I grew up with cats, but my husband is allergic. My kids want one so bad. They say if daddy dies we will get a cat. I know it sounds horrible. But it cracks me up. They tell everyone.

  3. I'm so sorry Katie, this all sounds impossibly difficult. Thinking of you and sweet little Duck.

  4. Poor Duck and poor Fosters, as I know you're all worried about him. ❤️ Sounds like he's in good hands, though, and there will be techs and assistants to keep an eye on him Sunday as well. I can only speak for our veterinary hospital and for our spca, but the techs at both places are fabulous and are animal lovers, so they do their best to try to make the animals as physically and emotionally comfortable as possible in the situation. I have a feeling your vet hospital is the same.

    I'm also confident that with a little extra love and attention (and maybe some ham once you get the OK from the vet), Duck will soon be back to his old self. Over the years, I've fostered several cats and dogs who have been terribly abused and neglected and they've all bounced back amazingly well into sweet, loving, and trusting companions.

    I will second the EPBOT t-shirt onesie. I've used it with both cats and dogs (t-shirt style nightgowns work wonderfully well for big dogs). You may need to try some of the different versions to see which one Duck will like the best.

    Hang in there. Sending lots of love your way.

  5. Awww I am so sorry you were not able to get him today, and Monday must seem like forever to you. You are always so honest about your feelings, and even though those of us who have been through something similar with beloved pets could tell you it will no doubt be fine, I completely understand your anxiety. Hoping Sunday goes quickly for you and you are able to find some distraction. Please keep us updated!

  6. This is so hard Katie, my heart hurts for you and little Duck. I hope and pray he recovers quickly!

  7. I am so relieved to hear Duck is doing so well. You are Ducks person. He knows it was you who rushed him to the doctor who was able to make the pain go away. And he is scared now, but is still in recovery so I am sure he is resting most of the time. When you go pick him up tomorrow you will see how happy he is to see you that you will know the bond you have cannot be broken.

  8. Cats are probably like greyhounds. They won't eat at the vet. We always say if that's the only reason they're keeping them, bring them home. you'll bring him home tomorrow and his recovery will improve 100% because he's home. And with you. It's awful you couldn't visit him. I didn't realize that was a thing when our first greyhound was sick. We went every day. Now COVID put a stop to that. Sending lots of hugs and good thoughts to get you through today.

  9. If only you knew how many times I came back to your blog for an update. We're talking stalker status here. Lol! We're all rooting for your little Duck! You are such a great animal mom, I'm sure he'll come back from his trauma. He might hide at first, but I'm sure he'll warm back up.
    Can you have someone drive you to pick him up so you can give him all the love on the way home? Bring his favorite blanket to wrap him in too!
    We are all on egg shells here waiting for Duck's homecoming!

  10. I understand this so much! Please don't feel you need to apologize. We pet parents get it. I'm sending more love and healing vibes to you both.

  11. I've never commented on your blog before, but I just wanted to let you know that I'm keeping you and Duck in my thoughts. It's evident that he's very loved and just a wonderful little guy, and I'm crossing my fingers for a speedy recovery and that he's back home with you again soon. <3

  12. Katie, I'm so sorry this is so hard. While I'm sure the whole experience is scary for Duck, when he sees you, he will see his "rescuer"! You will have come to bring him home where he is safe and loved. He'll probably act "off" for awhile, but remember that he's healing. Soon enough, he will forget all about the experience. It will probably end up bothering you more than him! All of our cats remember that they don't like the vet, but they never seem to remember that I'm the one who takes them there. They just remember that I bring them home! Best wishes for you and Duck!

  13. My mom's cat had issues with UTI's for a while. She had to take him to the vet at least twice. She never uses a carrier for him unless she's taking him to the vet. The second time it happened, she took his carrier out and went to do something and when she came back Cooper was already in the carrier. He knew that it meant he would feel better. I'm sure Duck will remember that he didn't feel well and you took him someplace so that he would feel better. Try not to stress about it too much (easier said than done, I know). He will be home soon.


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