Cats Really Do Have Nine Lives
It was a nightmare of a day. I’ll tell it to you from my (Alana’s) perspective. It’s Monday. I just finished with my last client and had a few hours to get some paperwork done at work. I come back from a great session and look at my phone. I find a string of horrific text messages. Most of them didn’t make sense due to the combination of rushing and the iPhone’s autocorrect. From “Nymeria is dead” to “at petsmart” to “they think there’s something wrong with her abdomen, going to another hospital.”
My hands start shaking, I’m not really sure what’s going on. But from the succession of texts, I know she’s alive. Go ahead and click the link on Nymeria’s name to learn a little more about her. At the humane society, she jumped on my lap at 2 months old and basically adopted me. She’s my baby. Back to the story. So I know she’s alive, but I have no clue what’s going on. My co-worker is very worried, she’s standing next to me (she was with me when I found out Misty died), making sure I’m okay. I don’t get service where I work (call-wise) so I use the work phone to call Chris but he doesn’t pick up.
I rush and collect myself, lucking out with no more clients in the day, grab my stuff and get out. I’m extremely worried, confused, and completely terrified. I can’t lose another kitten. I text him saying I’m coming home. He texts me back the address of the hospital that they’re at. At least she’s alive, I keep reminding myself. That’s all that matters right now. Once I get in a better service zone, I get two voicemails. Both from Chris. The first one, like the texts, was horrific. It was when he thought Nymeria was dead. I don’t think I’ll listen to that one again. The second one was him carrying her to the hospital on foot.
I finally get there and find him in a waiting room. We’re both very shaken and upset. He has pee all over his shirt and blood on his arm. I finally get the story of what happened. Nymeria ran into the bedroom to pee on the cat bed (naughty girl), so Chris grabbed her and put her in the litter box. He’s in rush because he’s behind schedule, and as he’s running (top speed for in the house) out of the bedroom, Nymeria is running her fastest into the bedroom. Bam. They collide. Her head and his foot. It would’ve knocked out a human.
She slumped over and stopped breathing. He immediately started performing CPR. All the urine and feces came out of her and she began to get stiff. He called me, but I didn’t pick up since I was with a client. He then went back to it, chest compressions and mouth to mouth. After 10 minutes of resuscitation, she woke up and coughed up blood. She was alive. He saved her. Quickly, he put her in his shirt (I have the car at this point) and goes as quickly as he can to a pet hospital. The first one he finds does an X-ray and is worried about her abdomen and sends him to another hospital.
He gets to Alpenglow Emergency Center and they take her in. I’m with him by the time a doctor comes to talk to us. From the collision, Nymeria suffered head trauma (with swelling in the head) and pulmonary contusions (bruised lungs). Her pupils were different sizes and she was having trouble breathing, but she was doing okay. They had an estimate for costs and all they were going to do for her. It could be up to 48 hours of intensive care. I was still in shock of all this happening. But the doctor explained everything very well and the nurses made sure we were comfortable.
Nymeria would be put in a oxygenated little room (like a cage, but comfortable with bedding and warmth), given medicine to make the swelling go down and get her pupils back to normal size. She was also put on an IV to stay healthy and hydrated. We were there for two hours. We got to see her before she left. She was pretty out of it and tired, and couldn’t see us properly. The staff there was wonderful and let us know we could call whenever we wanted, no matter what time of day or night. I felt very thankful for that.
I called every few hours, and the updates kept getting better. She soon started eating “like a champ,” being rambunctious, and her pupils returned to normal size. The next day she was walking around without swaying or falling. They said that she would be ready to pick up at 4 that afternoon, because she was off oxygen and doing well.
I got there at four to pick my girl up and talked with a nurse who had kept good care of her. She said she was probably tired because she didn’t get that much rest because all the staff in the hospital, fell in love with her because they never get babies and, well, Nymeria has that effect. She was well taken care of with lots of TLC. The whole thing actually cost less than their initial low-ball estimate. And I was sent home with lots of information and the assurance that I should call if I have any questions. The staff there really made me feel that they cared and they were there for me and Nymeria.
Nymeria was pretty exhausted that night, I stayed home with her and just held her while she slept peacefully like she did when she was a baby baby. She’s still a little slow reaction-wise, weak, and quiet, but she’s doing alright. She still gets excited about food and today she even jumped up to lay on the window sill. She will probably be out of it for a few days and probably has a massive head ache. I just feel so enormously lucky to have her here. She is 8 months old now.
True to her name, Nymeria is a fighter. And I hope she will continue to be with us for many years to come. Never take anything for granted and feel grateful for what you have, every moment you have it. We are so so happy to have her with us. It has also made me think about stepping into the animal health career. They are amazing people.
New Rule in the House: No Running