Poor Mollie — For Animal Lovers

I got a toothache!

I got a toothache!

Yesterday, sweet Mollie cat went in for dental surgery. I am not good at that sort of thing. I took her food away at midnight as instructed. When I did my potty run at 3 a.m., she was all chipper and wondering where her food dish was. I had to tell her that there wouldn’t be any.

She’s 11 which means she has to get blood tests (just like people) prior to surgery. Off she went for an 8 a.m. appointment. Bloodwork first, then if all was well, surgery. The staff called when she woke up. Two teeth were pulled. They were loose and most likely giving her a toothache.

When Hazel saw Mollie go into the carrier, she skedaddled leaving a half-full dish of cat food. I don’t think she ever abandoned food before. Usually when I take Mollie, I take Hazel too. They get their annuals together. Don’t tell me cats aren’t smart. (Hazel is getting a dental procedure at the end of January! Wait until I scoop her up for the carrier!)

My cats have great health care. Better care than many people. I’m grateful that they don’t need braces or a college fund (or winter coats or boots!).

A few years back my friend’s dog died after a surgery that wasn’t expected to be life threatening. That incident took away my confidence. Now I worry. Even over dental procedures.

I'm better now!

I’m better now!

Mollie wasn’t good when I picked her. At first I thought she was walking like a drunken sailor from the anesthesia. For the first hour she lie prone on her side without moving. Not even her eyes. I had to keep touching her to hear a heartbeat. (I needed to touch myself to make sure I was alive!) Cats aren’t like dogs. They prefer to hide when they are sick.

The vet said to watch for seizures. So I kept checking. When I wasn’t checking I was worrying. It wasn’t a great night for either one of us.

It made me think about pet ownership. I have friends my age (let’s say the 60s) who have given up pet ownership completely when they lost their pet and other friends who have embraced it, replacing furry friends that died. Is the decision physically or emotionally based? I don’t mind the physical work near as much as the worry.

I’ve had a heavy dose of “furry worry” this year. The “feel good” part is still greater even when I’m dosing myself with Mylanta. The ownership decision has many components but I just can’t imagine not having a pet.

 

58 thoughts on “Poor Mollie — For Animal Lovers

  1. Glad Mollie is okay, Kate. Having a pet is a big responsibility. They’re like our children and need all the basics like, food, water, love and exercise. And like babies, they can’t always tell us if something hurts, but you can usually tell when something is not right.

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    • I’m with you on that. She’s better today but still not there yet. Tomorrow should be good. She’s had more trouble with the anesthesia than the surgery (I think). Although she wants me to rub her jaw all the time. Guess that feels good.

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  2. I am so glad Mollie is showing signs of recovery and hopefully you can relax and enjoy her “old self” again. Our last pet, Rozie-the-dog, died after an abscessed tooth took over in spite of surgery. When I think about her I still sob so I know your feelings well and all the worry that goes with animal loving.

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    • Losing a pet over a tooth! Yikes! Mollie had been more quiet the past few months. At her annual the doc said she had some bad teeth that were likely bothering her. I am hoping for a return of my chipper girl.

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  3. I’m glad she is ok, and I sure can relate to the stress and anxiety THEIR issues cause US. We had many go-arounds with Frankie, and lying on the floor with him afterwards was often the only thing we could do. I did it, and so did Hubbs and the boys, and we all went to work/school looking (and walking) like Zombies. Totally. 100%. Worth it.

    I miss my furry friend, hope you are taking it easy today!! MJ

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    • She is recovering ever so slowly. The anesthesia did a number on her and I spent my share of time on the floor with her too. Right now she’s napping UNDER the bed so I don’t think she wants to be disturbed. (I keep thinking how I can crawl under there just to check her…..)

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  4. I sure hope sweet little Mollie is feeling better now. Surgery is no fun but neither is dental disease. Walt, our red tabby, had so many teeth extracted that, by the end, he probably had three teeth left. But no worries ~ he could still gobble up his dry food. “Furry worry” ~ haha!! Love it.
    I can’t imagine being without pets, despite the work, expense and worry. I’ll always have cats as long as I’m able to give them the proper care they deserve.

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    • My husband is kind of like that too. When we married (late in life) the deal was that the number of cats equaled the number of guitars. He has 4 guitars. Since Jake’s death I’m down a cat. I remind him of that periodically. As long as I can physically and emotionally handle it, I will have a pet. After that I will spend lots of time at people’s homes who have pets.

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  5. Blackie was at the vet last week. She mentioned that he might need a teeth cleaning. I about fainted. Putting an almost 17 year old cat under? However, we do now finally know what is wrong. Something about kitty irritable bowel. I really understand your anxiety.

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    • OMG! Your cat has IBS? Typically they don’t clean teeth after 12. My vet usually does it between 8 and 10 years and then not again unless there is a problem. Jake last almost all his teeth in his last 4 or 5 years. Not sure I’d be excited about putting a cat under at age 17 unless it was life threatening.

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      • We have been trying to figure out for about two years what was wrong with him. Finally, through trial and error, we think it is kitty IBS. She thought he had bad teeth, and that was causing the latest round of not eating. But, back on the pred, he is doing better. Poor guy.

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  6. I am so happy Mollie is doing well, but want her to start eating. After Z died in 2009 I thought we would get another cat but it hasn’t happened. It’s emotional for me… the “work” of taking care of a kitty would be good for me but the worry and what it does to my body, just can’t do it anymore. At this stage of my life I could not go through what we went through with Z Cat again. We have a kitty visiting us now… no idea where she came from but she comes hungry and then washes her face and wants back out. She has been a good test… I couldn’t do another pet.

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    • Well, you sort of have one! I had a diabetic cat named Magic in the late 90s and early 2000s. It was so heart wrenching that I didn’t think I could do that again. When Jake was diagnosed 8 years ago, my heart sunk. However, they had made a lot of advances in feline diabetes and it took a while but we were able to structure a med routine that kept him not only stable but without the side effects of diabetes. It was definitely worth it (although I don’t miss the scheduling of 2 shots a day). As long as I can manage my anxiety when they get sick, I’ll be ok.

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  7. Can’t imagine not having a cat. Even as I worry. But geriatric pets are exhausting, for sure. There’s stress, sleep-deprivation, and the financial burden.

    But nothing beats a cat who chooses to cuddle on your lap and purr. Unless it is a fierce dog who saved that cat from becoming a coyote’s breakfast. 🙂

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  8. Poor Mollie. Feel better soon sweetie.
    Maggie was due to have a tooth pulled as well when she had her op, but when they cleaned up her teeth, there was no need. This was her second descale and polish, and the vet in Lincolnshire had to pull a tooth, but didn’t charge us as it was loose anyway. She was pretty groggy from the anaesthetic, but we were allowed to stay with her until she came fully round and after some final checks were allowed to bring her home. This time, we rang at 2.30, all had gone well, and we were told to collect her between 5 and 6.30. I was amazed how bright and chipper she was, though she slept a lot when we got home. No accidents either at the surgery or here.
    We do worry about our pets, especially if they are sensitive or anxious. With Maggie’s tender gums, I scrambled her an egg, which she totally demolished! I don’t suppose Mollie likes porridge?

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    • Mollie won’t eat soft foods. Occasionally she’ll lap up the gravy from the other cats’ soft food but I couldn’t get her to do that. She came home still very groggy (the vet was closing) and I wasn’t prepared for that. Thought she was dying. She’s better today, all purrs and happy to see me but just not eating much. She is drinking water so I guess that’s good. I’m hoping Hazel’s round later in winter is less stressful. As a cat, Hazel is less sensitive to meds so that’s one less worry.

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  9. I’m so glad Mollie is ok and will be happier without those teeth. I wonder why she was still so out of it when you picked her up? Don’t vets usually like to keep them until they are more back to themselves? My cats get dentals periodically, and the vet always makes it sound so routine. Ugh, I don’t want to worry. Maybe I should. When Tiger was young and my son’s cat, we took her to a vet near our old house. She almost died because they gave her the WRONG amount of anesthesia. Then they tried to blame her–that it was an anesthesia reaction. Later, another vet noticed the amount listed on her chart was too much.

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  10. Feel better, Mollie! We always had cats growing up and I had cats when I went out on my own. My last girl was 15 when I had to put her down about 8 years ago and I’ve never wanted another one. I think the good outweighs the bad but I was devastated at the time. Now I love up my sister’s two cats (Fred and Wilma) and we dogsit Bill’s granddog.

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    • Cheaper yes but no less worry. Well, maybe a little less. I have had friends who have lot a pet and don’t want to go through the emotional rollercoaster again. I haven’t gotten there yet but we’re riding that coaster this week.

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  11. Well, we had cats, who I truly enjoyed when they were young. But the last one passed on in a dramatic ER way… and we just kind of never got another one. The beginnings were so fun, but it’s the endings that I remember the most. Just can’t go through that emotional pain again. But I applaud you for your inspiring love for your furry kids, who have the best kitty mama ever.

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    • They are like people always better at the beginning, interesting in the middle and very care-taking and sad at the end. Thanks for your vote of confidence. Mollie is better this morning but not eating so of course I’m worried. She’s 7 lbs. soaking wet. Not much cat there.

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    • I fell in love with pets as a child. Dogs, cats, canaries, chickens. They all had names and each one ripped my heart apart when they died. I lost one when I was around 13 and didn’t get another pet until I was working. Since then, I’ve always had at least one.

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