There are some Scenes From Life that you hope you never encounter. I encountered one of them today.
Zack and I were on the couch in our pajamas this morning when our neighbor knocked on our door. She asked, “Do you guys have an orange tabby cat?” She told us that there was a cat beside her house, and it was injured. She didn’t know what happened or how bad it was, because she hadn’t wanted to scare him away. She just recognized him from afar, and came to get us.
It was Cruizer, half-buried in a pile of leaves between two houses. He didn’t move as I walked up to him, and as I got closer, I could see that his face was crusted over with a mixture of body fluids, including dried blood. Both of his eyes were crusted shut. He hadn’t come to the house for two days, Zack told me, as I reached down and scooped him up. I was sure he was dead. He looked dead, but I could feel him breathing. He moaned one sad meow, letting me know that he was alive, but he was badly hurt.
We thanked the neighbor for coming to get us, and I walked, barefoot and in my pajamas, straight to the car. Zack grabbed the keys and I held Cruz as we drove to the vet. Cruizer, who is notorious for moaning during car rides, was silent the whole way there. I cried, and my tears beaded up on his fur, as I petted him over and over and told him that I was so so sorry.
The vet said that he looked bad, and prepared us for the worst. But the X-rays were, in his words, “surprisingly good considering his condition.” The vet thinks he was hit by a car, and survived the ordeal without any broken bones. His lungs showed signs of bruising, and he was severely dehydrated. The vet said that they needed to keep him overnight, (“hospitalize” was the word he used,) to give him IV fluids and try to get his pain under control. While we were standing in the room looking at the X-ray, Cruizer picked up his head from where it was resting on the table, and turned it the other direction. That was the most we’d seen him move since we found him. We watched him and petted him while the vet explained his concerned for Cruz’s kidneys, because of the severity of his dehydration.
When I called this evening to check on him, the vet said that Cruz was comfortable, and that he seemed to not be in pain. He had slept all afternoon. I asked about his lab results, and he said his blood draws had indicated some liver problems. We’ll know more tomorrow, he told me, because he had to send out for special labs that they can’t do there in the office. He told me to check back in the morning.
I just wish I could bring him home. I feel so helpless knowing how to take care of a human in his condition, but being totally lost when it comes to taking care of a cat. I feel so bad for him, staying the night there, alone. I hope he’s comfortable. I hope he has something soft to sleep on. I hope he makes it through the night.
I really hope he makes it through the night.