The Night I Thought I Killed the Cat

Last Thursday night I had a bit of a scare with Matty, a.k.a. The Handsome Turd Who Poops on the Floor and Torments His Sister.  As you know, my parents were in town for the week — a wonderful visit, truly, but also exhausting as most all visits are — and I finally had a moment to sit in front of my computer in the bedroom and take a deep breath when… I heard it.  This awful, guttural, fear-inducing yowl.  A yowl I’d never heard before, but immediately knew was coming from Matty.  A yowl that grew louder and louder as Matty somehow managed to drag himself to our bedroom, the place where he feels safest, and fall to the floor, seemingly paralyzed.  He was breathing faster than James Gandolfini after a 10K race.  His mouth hung open, drool oozing out the side.  My heart in my throat, I dropped to the ground to check him out and offer words of comfort.  Marcy, who instinctively knew something was wrong, joined us.  She gently sniffed him a few times and backed away, frightened.  From the blank look in his eyes, it was clear nobody was home.  I felt like I was going to be sick.

Oh my God, I killed the cat with Prozac, I thought.

That’s all I could think, over and over again.  That Matty was having a fatal reaction to the medication I’d insisted on getting for him, and that I’d never get to wake up with his twenty pounds of fluff sleeping on my feet again, or get to rub him under the front leg as he so loves, or hear him purr like a motorboat whenever I get within ten feet of him.  THESE are the memories that crossed my mind when I thought the end was near.  Memories of my affectionate, funny foot fetishist who loves to sleep on smelly shoes.  Not the “asshole” with poop and territorial issues.

I started crying.

Mr. Candy was still in the air, returning from yet another business trip, so I ran downstairs and yelled at my mom:  “There’s something wrong with Matty!”  She followed me to the bedroom, where Matty continued to heave and drool.

“Looks like he’s having a heart attack,” Mom said, confirming my fears.

I cried even harder.

“I thought you hated him,” Mom smirked.

“Yeah, well… love/hate.  More love, I guess.”

Thank goodness my parents were there to keep an eye on Skye, who was sound asleep and blissfully oblivious to the kitty drama unfolding next door, while I tended to Matty.   I ran all the way down our three flights of stairs — what a lovely time to have a four-floor townhouse — and to our storage shed in the garage so I could grab the jumbo-sized cat carrier.  Yes!  JUMBO!  Then I ran all the way back up (I should note that I am NOT the running sort… I even refused to finish the requisite one-mile run in high school gym class and got my first-ever C because I HATE RUNNING THAT MUCH) to find Matty, well, breathing normally and just hanging out.  Pretty sure he was also holding a freshly-opened Budweiser.

“He’s better?”

“Seems to be,” my mom nodded.

Weird, right?  Well, I’ll be damned if I’m going to RUN for nothing, so I decided to get Matty checked out anyway.  Also, truth be told, I was still shaken to my very core and convinced I’d somehow hurt the cat.  I opened the door to the cat carrier and tried to push Matty inside.  And pushed.  And…

Um, yeah, he wasn’t going anywhere.  Claws firmly dug into the carpet, he just looked at me like, “I don’t THINK so, woman.  Now get me a sneaker to sleep on.  The smelliest, sweatiest one you’ve got!”

It’s a little scary — and embarrassing — when your cat is stronger than you.  Maybe I should have worked out more in gym class.  (Nah.)

I had no choice but to unscrew all four bolts, take off the top of the carrier, drop the cat in there and screw the top back on — yes, all of this, while my mom watched and I worried that Matty might have another episode in the meantime.  Awesome.  Even more awesome was CARRYING that ton of fun from our third floor down to my car in the garage, paranoid that the bottom of the carrier was going to come crashing off and my Prozac-medicated drooling cat would run off, scared, and get lost in the gay dance clubs of West Hollywood.  Perhaps the poor thing would even get stuck in the bubble-filled booth with the go-go dancer at Mickey’s.

At this point you’re thinking he’d be better off.  At least he’d make good tips.

Sorry to disappoint you, but I managed to safely transport Matty to the vet.  (Matty’s too soft around the middle to pull off the go-go dancer’s ensemble, anyway.)  I also got a hold of Mr. Candy as soon as he landed.  Our conversation went something like this:

MR. CANDY:  Hey!  How are you?

ME:  *SOB*  Matty… *SOB*  Collapsed… *SOB*

MR. CANDY:  I’ll meet you there.

Two hours, one chest X-ray, one set of blood work, one clueless nighttime veterinarian who inappropriately punctuated all of his sentences with a nervous giggle and four-hundred dollars later… we knew nothing more than when we walked in the door.  Could have been a seizure, could have been a reaction to the Prozac but not likely (I’ve taken him off of it anyway), could have been constipation because — there is no delicate way of putting this — the X-ray revealed a massive poo just waiting to come out, or could have been Matty’s dramatic interpretation of the ending of “Hamlet.”   The only thing we could do is slap the giggling vet silly (in my head) and monitor Matty closely for the next 24 hours in the event he had (another?) seizure (he did not) or felt inspired to tackle another Shakespearean performance (he did).

“If you prick a cat do we not bleed?  If you tickle us do we not purr?  If you poison us WITH PROZAC DO WE NOT DIE? And if you wrong us, shall we not REVENGE?”

*Gulp*  Let’s just say I’m sleeping with one eye open these days.

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Candy Kirby

Candy Kirby is the founder of The Laughing Stork and a professional fun-maker who will never stop chasing her lifelong dream: to find the Pomeranian or porn star after whom her parents must have named her. A humor columnist for Disney, Nickelodeon, Scary Mommy, Reductress and Redbook, she also used to be a staff writer for the soap opera, The Bold and the Beautiful, where she penned many scripts featuring prolonged heated stares and countless “Who’s the Daddy?” story lines. Candy lives in Los Angeles with her husband, two young kids and three rescue Persian cats, the latter of whom are the real brains behind this operation (so send all complaints to them).

9 CommentsLeave a comment

  • Awww Glad your cat is ok! We had a similar thing happen to our 5 yr old cat Moxie 4 yrs ago. My husband came home from work on his lunch break (which was rare) and Moxie started howling and trying to drag himself up the stairs. My husband said it looked like he lost use of his back legs so he threw Mox in the car and drove him to the vet all while screaming to me on the phone “Moxie is dying!!!”

    So some sedation, anti shock medication, x rays and 24hr observation later the doctor said he had a heart issue and we should put him to sleep unless we wanted a second opinion. We opted for the later. After taking Moxie home (where he promptly went pee in my lap on the ride home) and seeing a specialist he was ok. The doctor did a ultra sound of his heart, lungs and abdominal area and blood work and said he might have had a seizure. Its been 4 yrs and we havent had a problem with him.

    We no longer see that vet who told us to put him to sleep though.

    Hopefully Matty will stay just as healthy and continue to poop on the floor (as Moxie does too.)

  • That’s scary. 🙁

    I hope Matty will be okay and continues his Shakespearean endeavors. Isn’t there a Renaissance fair coming up in West Hollywood?

  • Erin,

    When you started talking about sedation and anti-shock medication, I thought you were talking about your husband.

  • El hub really needed some sedation but the vet said he didnt have any hard liquor on hand. It wouldve came in handy though. The grown man cried!

  • Thanks for your support and kind words, everyone.

    Eize — I’m totally looking into that. We’ll put his thespian talents to work to cover the vet, medicine and cat behaviorist bills! Brilliant.

    Erin — What is it with cats whose names start with “M” and pooping on the floor? Yes, here’s hoping our mad poopers stay (relatively) healthy for a long, long time. (And you should have known the vet was a quack when he didn’t have any liquor on-hand. I mean, c’mon!)