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07 March 2016

From Tumour Head to Frankencat Trilby is back home after his surgery and all is as well as could be expected! Details inside for the interested.

Last night the vet's office called to confirm Trilby's surgery appointment for today and to warn me not to feed him for 12 hours before that. There was some discussion as to how I could manage this during which the vet's receptionist repeatedly and blithely told me I "didn't need to feel guilty" and I tried to explain that the issue was not guilt but my dread of the prospect of having to listen to non-stop FEED ME NOW YOU SPECIEIST COW squawking for hours on end. In the end we agreed to move the surgery from its original time of 1 p.m. to 9 a.m., and I resolved to feed Trilby an extra large supper.

I gave him three times his normal supper at about five last evening. He ate it all and licked his bowl clean as he usually does, then seemed remarkably quiet and contented and purry all evening. I thought that whatever happened the next day at least he'd gotten to enjoy what he would consider a perfect evening.

The next morning he seemed puzzled but unresentful about the lack of breakfast. Shortly before nine I got him into his carrier (more difficult than usual as I could not use treats as bait as I normally do) and walked to the vet clinic with him in hand.

I had imagined that I'd be able to remain with him until he was under anesthetic, that I would wait for perhaps an hour or so until the surgery was done, and then take him straight home. Instead, I was told that Trilby had to be kept under observation until he regained consciousness, that this would take until four or five in the afternoon, and that they'd call me when it was time to pick him up. Poor, trembling, saucer-eyed Trilby was borne away in the arms of the vet, looking as though he thought his last hour had come, and I came forlornly home without him. It felt very strange not to have him here in the house with me for the first time in over six years, though I must admit it was nice to eat my lunch in peace for once without having to fend off a covetous pussycat.

At two the vet clinic called to say that the surgery had gone well and Trilby was awake and that I could pick him up at four.

Accordingly at four I arrived at the clinic and was taken to the back of the clinic to see poor Trilby in a cage, looking like a feline Frankenstein with a line of sutures across his partially shaved head. I was given some instructions as to his care and some pain medication tablets for him, made an appointment for a check up visit on Thursday, paid the bill, and brought Trilby home again.

Trilby is acting somewhat traumatized (i.e., very quiet, skittish, and shying away from me). However, he's moving freely about the house, seems alert and energetic, and is anxious to stay within sight of me, though he doesn't want me touching him, so it seems all is well and he'll be fine. I'd like to get a picture of his Frankencat look but he's too upset to allow that at present. Maybe I can take one tomorrow when he's more settled.

Thank you all again for making it possible for me to have Trilby's medical issues attended to. You can't imagine how big of a relief this has been for me. Now I will no longer feel helplessly anxious every damn time I look at my cat. Instead, he will soon be his handsome, healthy, cuddly, playful usual self.
I forgot to mention -- the tumour was actually a cyst, which is good news, and the vet only had to remove three teeth of Trilby's teeth, which is fewer than I had feared.
posted by Orange Swan 07 March | 17:40
I was so glad to see this on your fundraising site! Well done, OS and Trilby!! Happy recovery from Frankencat state, T.
posted by bearwife 07 March | 18:41
Tiny love you and the boy cat.
posted by Stewriffic 07 March | 20:12
Whew! Great update.

Big hugs to you and gentle scritches to Trilby.
posted by mightshould 07 March | 20:22
posted by sperose 07 March | 20:28
posted by ThePinkSuperhero 07 March | 20:36
Heal up fast, kitty!
posted by brujita 07 March | 22:34
That is wonderful news, I am so pleased Trilby is doing well!
posted by msali 08 March | 08:38
Such good news! Rest up, Trilby!
posted by gaspode 08 March | 09:29
Great news! Skritches and pets!
posted by initapplette 08 March | 10:07
That's such good news. A word of warning though - a big supper plus an anaesthetic might well result in kitty constipation. Keep an eye on his litter box and if he doesn't poop for 24 hours, check with the vet for something to move things along.

Also, we await pictures of Frankencat, which will, I'm sure, be equally cute, sad and hilarious.
posted by Senyar 08 March | 11:21
So glad things went well!
posted by Pips 08 March | 14:02
Yay! I was reading the update last night, and had to read it out loud to the family, as they have been following Trilby's story with interest.
posted by needlegrrl 08 March | 14:12
He looks very hard core. 100% street. Oh yeah.
posted by JanetLand 08 March | 15:26
Wonderful news! Heal up fast, Trilby :)
posted by ARobotNinja 08 March | 16:01
Awww, that picture, bless his little heart.
posted by Senyar 08 March | 16:20
Great news. Yeah, it will take him a while to feel fully better. I always think the hardest part with pets is that they haven't the faintest idea why they are going through this painful indignity. Often they can't connect the trade-off of one kind of pain for another kind of short-term pain. But in the end, I have a feeling they know you're taking care of them and it's for the best. Hey, you'd be grumpy too. So glad he came through so well! The ladies will love his interesting scar.
posted by Miko 08 March | 23:46
The ladies will love his interesting scar.

He'll have four or five stories about it, and occasionally he'll forget which version he told to whom.
posted by tangerine 09 March | 03:17
Glad Trilby is doing OK.
posted by Obscure Reference 09 March | 08:34
How is Trilby eating? It made a huge difference to my kitties' eating (as in, they ate more and also seemed happier) after dental surgery.
posted by bearwife 09 March | 12:15
Trilby's appetite is as usual, which is to say it's a force of nature. He's the world's smallest bottomless pit.
posted by Orange Swan 09 March | 14:27
Good to hear. I often wonder how most of them can pull that off and stay svelte. Not all of them, though. For example our queen cat, who is a bit regal in size too:

≡ Click to see image ≡
posted by bearwife 09 March | 15:38
I feed Trilby a set amount in order keep him at the right weight, which is just over ten pounds. He, meanwhile, considers himself cruelly starved. I hate to think what a little porker he'd be if he was allowed to eat all he wanted. I mean, the night before his surgery I gave him a supper that was three times as large as it normally is, and he scarfed it all down and still wanted me to give him his breakfast the next morning.
posted by Orange Swan 09 March | 19:02
The above regal Queen cat, when not fed soon enough per her royal specifications, stands up on her hind legs by the counter where we keep her food. And she is tall enough to almost reach (though portly in silhouette.) And she meows decisively, in a strong tone of voice.

You may have greater ability to withstand the Kitty Will than we do.
posted by bearwife 09 March | 19:31
A giant cyst?

He might be weirded out from the drugs, esp. if he's never been under or on anything before. I missed the whole thing but sheesh.

The Bees just went to the vet and was so startlingly good it was unnerving and suspicious, like when your shitty kids are mysteriously well behaved. She's at peak weight from a constant svelte 9 to a point on 12 and it is completely my fault because my health has interfered with her rigorous play schedule. She seems way more relaxed being heavier though. Perhaps this is also suspicious. It's nearly her birthday. She could be gaming me, but for what...

Anyway, every day is Caturday for a while, so a merry Caturday to us all, Bast bless us everyone.
posted by ethylene 09 March | 21:36
Trilby had a follow up appointment at the vet today. He really did not want to wind up back in the carrier, and it didn't help that we had to walk through the rain to get to the vet clinic. Fortunately the whole ordeal didn't last longer than 45 minutes, including travel time both ways. He's healing well and showing no signs of infection but the vet decreed that Trilby must wear a cone until Monday as he's been scratching the top of his head (incisions get itchy when they're healing). I'm at my desk at the attic typing this while listening to assorted bashing and crashing sounds from elsewhere in the house as Trilby frantically attempts to rid himself of the Cone of Shame by knocking it against walls, cupboards, furniture, the banister, etc.

I really must get a picture.
posted by Orange Swan 10 March | 15:17
Yes. Yes you must.
posted by Melismata 10 March | 17:14
Did they do his teeth at the same time he was under for the tumour op?
posted by Senyar 10 March | 18:00
Yes! Picture! We will blackmail Trilby with it later.
posted by bearwife 10 March | 22:34
Last Thursday when I took Trilby in for his post-op check up, the vet decreed that Trilby must wear a cone until Monday because he'd been scratching his head (incisions get itchy when they're healing). I dreaded the expected tantrums, but actually Trilby tolerated the cone much better than I would have thought he would. He managed to get it off within an hour of our getting home, but I put it back on and he never succeeded in taking it off again, probably because I tied it on more snugly than the vet had. There were no tantrums, and for the most part, Trilby endured the Cone of Shame with what I can only describe as a touching air of patient resignation. (Obligatory photo.) I took it off Monday morning before breakfast and kept an eye out for signs that he was scratching, and happily, saw none. The incision is closed over, Trilby is off his pain meds, and he's able to eat treats again. It's just a matter of time now until his fur grows back and he looks like his old handsome self. The vet tells me his scar won't show, which is good because it would be a shame to have Trilby's looks permanently marred. Another happy bit of news is that Trilby is quieter. I thought at first that the pain meds must have been mellowing him out, but now I think some of that seemingly random yelling he was doing must have been because his teeth were hurting him, poor little guy. I'm going to close the campaign now as I won't have any more news to report. This has been a big load off my mind, and though Trilby had a rough week of it, he's happier and more comfortable too. Thank you all so much!
posted by Orange Swan 16 March | 12:49
Oh, and Senyar, yes, the vet cleaned his teeth and removed three of them as well as removing the cyst during the surgery. The vet said doing more than one procedure at a time wasn't recommended, but that she would do it to keep the costs down, and there were also benefits for Trilby in that he only had to be anesthetized once and take fewer stressful trips to the vet.
posted by Orange Swan 16 March | 12:52
Friday Question Not From the Book of Questions || Thursday 3-point update