This morning, we woke up with Castiel snuggled between the two of us. He was purry and lovey. We nuzzled him and kissed him all over. In fact, we kissed him so much that he had that look that said, “blech… too much hooman kissing.” He quickly caught on that this wasn’t going to be a normal morning when breakfast didn’t arrive on time. He’s naturally suspicious of any change in meal times and quickly sought out a hiding place behind the wicker chair.
At 7 a.m, we scooped him up and into the carrier and headed to the vet hospital. We were told he had to be there by 7:45 am and with rush hour traffic this meant an early start. On arrival, we sat in the car and phoned in our check-in. While we were waiting for the nurse to take him in, I wrote out a little message to be sent in with him. “Please take good care of our parlor panther Castiel. He is our sun, our moon, our stars — our everything. We love him so much! Thank you, Michelle and Brian.”
When the nurse came to pick up Castiel, we petted him through the carrier, told him we loved him so much, and gave the note to the nurse to show the doctor and others. I was crying and heaving uncontrollably and trying to catch my breath between sobs. The nurse said she would give Castiel a sedative when he went in, and she said that, she wished she had one for me too. I wished she could give me one too.
At home, we collapsed on the couch physically and mentally exhausted, committed to this path, but still unsure if we were doing the right thing or if it would work out. We just hoped right now that he would do well during the surgery. One step at a time.
The surgeon called around 11 am. Castiel was in recovery. He said the surgery had gone well but taken longer than he thought it would originally take due to the need to avoid the previous surgical suture. The surgeon said he normally would have made a Y-shaped incision but because of the previous suture and the need to get wide margins, Castiel had a crescent moon shaped incision. I guess, he didn’t want us to be shocked, although I’m sure we will be anyway. Castiel’s vitals stayed well throughout the surgery, including his temperature. The surgeon said it didn’t drop below 100 (Cats have higher normal temperature than humans). He said that during the surgery and afterward that Castiel was placed on a warming pad. He told us that he was resting and that he was receiving injectable pain medicine (Fentanyl and Ketamine) and fluids. He said that Castiel was being monitored closely. He said when Castiel went home, that he’d have a Fentanyl patch for a few days, followed by Buprenex and Gabapentin for pain control.
We called again later in the afternoon for an update. The nurse said that Castiel was recovering well. She said that he was a bit groggy when he came out of surgery and that this was to be expected. She said that his vitals were good and that he was warm and comfortable. He was receiving pain medicine and fluids. She said that he had moved around in his recovery cubicle napping here and then elsewhere. She said he was napping now, which was normal after a big surgery. Normal for him regardless. I reckon he naps about 16 hours a day on a regular day. She said he would be monitored 24/7. She said that he would be offered food this evening, but not to be concerned if he didn’t eat because sometimes cats don’t feel hungry after the anesthesia and pain medications or because they are nervous. She said he was a little hissy before the surgery and that he had some diarrhea. Apparently, he gave her the flattened ear look. We told her, he was scared and both the hissing and pooing were typical of a nervous Castiel. She said she understood and that the nurses and doctors were used to nervous and scared patients. She said that he hadn’t peed yet but explained that this is something cats are often hesitant to do at vet hospitals. She said if he was well enough, he could go home tomorrow afternoon. She said the nurses and doctors had shared the note I wrote asking them to take good care of Castiel. She said it was now taped to his cubicle. This brought a smile to my face.
The nurse said that we should call again for an update tonight before we went to bed so that we wouldn’t worry and could get some rest. We’ll worry anyway. It’s what we do. We will definitely call though. We hope he has a good night. Fingers crossed.
In the interim, we did what someone suggested – we got everything set up. We received a new ramp today and assembled it and placed it by the bed. We moved another ramp down by the sofa and set up a step so he can get on his favorite chair. We have two low wide litter boxes, a balancing step, two onesies, several raised dishes and two cat calming diffuser plug-ins. I don’t know if we are ready but we did prepare for his return home. Much of the house is now ADA-cat accessible.
Now, if I could just get his tiger (adopted) siblings to eat. They are looking for him. I wish I could explain and prepare them.