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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.
“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.