Shadow: 5 of 9 left to go

Poor Shadow is really not the lucky cat, I tell you. Or I’m not the lucky owner, or something. Or maybe it’s that we both really ARE lucky, since he may have survived yet another life-threatening crisis. It seems we’re doing this far to often though, and he’s burning up those nine lives faster than the norm, considering he is only three years old.

He’d been vomiting since Saturday evening, and I took him in to the emergency vet on Sunday for meds. We’d been through this back in September, and the symptoms looked rather the same, so I really thought that it was time to do some more serious testing in the way of bloodwork and x-rays to try to figure out what is really wrong, instead of just calling it gastritis and moving on.

The vet didn’t want to do bloodwork and x-rays on a Sunday because she said it was so expensive, and that since he looked in very good health despite the vomiting, we should try medication first anyway. So after far too many hours in the clinic, an antibiotic shot and a shot to stop the vomiting, we head home with anti-acid tablets as well. Unfortunately, there wasn’t much improvement, if any at all, and he was still vomiting Monday morning.

Back we went to the vet clinic. This time, bloodwork and x-rays commenced right away, and the results weren’t pretty. The bloodwork was just fine, but the x-ray showed that he’d swallowed a needle, of all things, and it was somewhere in his digestive system, but the vet couldn’t really pinpoint where. Surgery was the only option at that point.

He had the surgery very late Monday afternoon, and was home Monday night. It seemed to take forever for the anesthesia to wear off, and I was really worried that he’d take a tumble down the stairs on top of everything else, so we were all on cat watch by turns while we tried to get dinner. He did finally settle down a bit, but after a while I figured that what he really wanted was his heater, so I took him upstairs and he crashed for about three hours, soaking up the heat.

Shadow post op

His incision is 4-8″ long; I haven’t really had the heart to look too closely, but they did have to just go in and look around until they found the needle, so it’s got to be pretty big. They also found that the thread was still attached to the needle, and the thread was actually wrapped around the back of his tongue! Considering all that, it’s amazing that he’s lived over it.

I’m sure that the thread was the major part of the attraction for him, as he just has this “thing” for threads and strings and things like curling ribbon, and we’re always very careful to keep these things away from him, but obviously not careful enough this time. I know where he got the needle and thread; the needle was a beading needle with nylon bead thread attached so it had to come from my beading table in the back room. So I’m feeling the guilt about all this, that I wasn’t diligent enough, though ITMan was kind enough to say that if it hadn’t been a needle, it most assuredly would have been something else at some point, because that’s just how this cat is.

His recovery is likely to be long and demanding. Trying to sleep last night was no picnic for either of us, and he actually looks worse today than he did last night. I’m beginning to think that I should just plan on sleeping when he does really, so that I’m awake when he’s moving about, or trying to anyway. It will probably be quiet on the blog for a bit. He’s really not out of danger yet either, I suspect; after a major surgery like this, I know that there are so many things that could still go wrong, but I’m hoping for the best. I’m sure I don’t have to tell you to be diligent, and keep track of your needles and threads, right? Wish us luck, and keep us in your thoughts.

11 thoughts on “Shadow: 5 of 9 left to go

  1. So sorry you are having to go through this trauma. It is horrible when a pet is seriously ill and can’t tell you the problem. And the guilt!!!! Hope the healing begins soon.


  2. Oh Dear ! I am far far too slack with all those things – I will take heed and clean up after myself.
    I hope he improves really quickly.


  3. Poor Shadow – hope he is feeling better very soon. Don’t blame yourself – you’ve done everything you can for him and he’s obviously just a very curious kitty! Hoping for more positive news soon.


  4. Thank you all so much for your kind thoughts and well wishes for Shadow (and me!). I really appreciate it! He’s on the mend, and I’ve added an update on his progress to the blog.

    With heartfelt thanks,



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