I Had To Take Hannah To The Veterinarian This Morning

In yesterday’s blog post article, titled “Is There Something Wrong With Purina Dry Cat Food?”, I was complaining that after buying Purina Kitten Chow for my seven month old cat named Hannah Lee Duggan, my cat wouldn’t eat anything for the past three days. My cat wouldn’t eat the Purina dry cat food, another brand of dry cat food, sliced turkey, or sliced ham.

This was very troubling and hard to believe, because this cat named Hannah, she was a stray cat that I had been feeding at the job site where I work for the past five months. Hannah, her brothers, her mother, and her father were voracious eaters. They were always very eager to get whatever food was put out for them.

About three weeks ago, I caught Hannah Lee Duggan and took her home with me, because I thought that I was going to save her from something bad happening to her. One by one, her three brothers had disappeared, never to be seen again. Myself and my co-workers, we didn’t know if an owl, hawk, or coyote was getting them.

When I got Hannah home, I kept her inside the house and I wouldn’t let her outside because I didn’t want something to happen to her, she is still a small cat. Within a couple of days, Hannah would come and sit beside me on the sofa. She liked to be petted, scratched, and held. She liked to sleep beside me, on top of me, or down beside my feet.

For the first two weeks of having Hannah at my house, I had to clean her litter box about twice per day, because she pooped and urinated so much. After she hadn’t eaten for the past three days, the amount of feces in her litter box dropped off significantly.

This morning was the fourth day that Hannah had not eaten. When I checked her litter box, not only was there not any feces, there were not any litter clumps from urination. Hannah had quit drinking water too. For the past week Hannah’s disposition has been very pleasant and affectionate, though she has lost some weight.

When I called the veterinary clinic in Dickinson this morning at 8:30 a.m., luckily I was able to get an emergency appointment for Hannah at 10:00 a.m. this morning. I hated to have to catch Hannah and fight her to get her into her cat carrier, she had been in such a pleasant and affectionate mood all this week. She didn’t understand why I was trying to catch her and take her somewhere, she thought that this was her home now.

The vet check-in went smoothly. Pretty soon we were taken to an examination room. The young veterinarian woman was able to take Hannah out of her cat carrier, hold her, handle her, examine her, and do a blood draw without Hannah panicking and struggling too much. This was surprising to me, I had warned this young veterinarian that Hannah had been a stray feral cat.

From the physical examination of Hannah, feeling her belly and organs, taking her temperature, taking her heart rate, examining her eyes, ears, mouth, and throat, the vet could not find anything wrong. The vet said that Hannah looked and acted healthy. I had to wait about twenty minutes for the results of Hannah’s blood test.

It turned out that Hannah tested negative for Feline FIV and everything else that they tested her for. When the veterinarian technician began talking about possible “hospitalization”, then possibly “surgery”, I was beginning to picture a $2,000-$3,000 vet bill. I was getting ready to have to explain to them again that this was a stray feral cat that I had taken home with me from a job site, you people are getting the wrong idea.

I didn’t want to leave Hannah at the vet for “hospitalization”, because I couldn’t see spending $100 per day or more for keeping her in a cage where she would be frightened, confused, and probably be even less likely to want to eat anything. I explained to the vet technician, and then to the veterinarian that I didn’t want to leave Hannah, she would not understand, she would think that I was abandoning her, she thought that she had had a new permanent home with me.

The veterinarian said that if Hannah did not eat anything by Monday morning, that I would need to bring her back. She would probably have to be hospitalized for them to try to get her to eat. Then if she didn’t eat, she might have to have surgery.

I asked how much did this hospitalization cost? The veterinarian said $38 per day, which I was relieved to hear. I thought that they were going to try to charge me $100-$150 per day. The veterinarian said that most cats do well with their stay at the hospital. I don’t know, I thought that Hannah would feel that I was abandoning her and not ever coming back, when she thought that she had a new permanent home with me.

The veterinarian gave me five cans of Science Diet cat food, which is supposed to be a better and more appetizing cat food. The total bill for this visit was $275, which I thought was fair.

I can’t believe this though, this is ridiculous. I took a stray feral cat home with me, that just as easily could have stayed right where it was at the job site. Now, a few weeks later, this cat is needing emergency vet visits, and possibly hospitalization and surgery, WTF? I don’t know if I will pay for any surgery. I can see paying for a week of hospitalization, but how much will a surgery cost? Is this cat going to have continuing health problems?

Update 11/21/20:  When I got Hannah home from the veterinarian on Friday at noon, I opened a can of the salmon Science Diet cat food that the vet had given me.  Hannah did not eat this salmon Science Diet cat food when I put it out for her, nor later that evening, nor that night.

At about 7:00 p.m. I put a small piece of cooked chicken breast out for Hannah, but she did not eat it then, nor later that night.

At about 8:00 p.m. I put a small piece of raw beef out for Hannah, and she ate this small piece at about 11:00 p.m.  So I put out five more small pieces of raw beef out at 12:00 a.m., and Hannah ate them.

Between 6:00 p.m. and 12:00 a.m. I saw that Hannah had consumed about 1/3 of a bowl of water.

At 6:00 a.m. I put out six small pieces of raw beef, and Hannah ate them within about 1/2 hour.  At 7:00 a.m. I put out another seven small pieces of raw beef, and Hannah ate them within about 1/2 hour.

At 9:00 a.m. I put out eight small pieces of raw beef, and at 5:00 p.m. Hannah ate these eight small pieces, plus another four small pieces that I gave her while she was eating.

At 7:00 p.m. Hannah ate another eight small pieces of raw beef.

Hannah has been in a good mood all week.  She is behaving well and is acting very friendly.  She does not appear to be in pain or feel sick.  The only indication that she was sick, was that she went for four days without eating anything.  Her bowel movements and her urination became much smaller and infrequent.

I am beginning to believe that Hannah has some kind of intestinal blockage, that makes her not feel like eating, and makes her bowel movements very small and infrequent.  I don’t know if she has a hair ball, swallowed some foreign object, or if the Purina Kitten Chow plugged her up.  She is not coughing or throwing up.

I don’t know if Hannah is going to get better on her own or not.  I don’t want to take her to the veterinarian hospital because I think that she will be less likely to eat there and poop there, due to being confused and frightened.

Update 11/23/20:  By Monday Hannah was eating, drinking, pooping, and urinating normally.  On Sunday she passed a couple of very hard, dark stool, with a small piece of fiber, like a carpet fiber in them.

I am not sorry that I took Hannah to the veterinarian, it’s probably better to err on the side of caution, or find out sooner rather than later if your pet has something wrong with it.  However, I am glad that I held off on the hospitalization and surgery, especially for a cat that was behaving fairly normal, other than not eating.

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