Pee and Perspective

It’s a vet day again.

Over the weekend, Opus came in to the (once living room and now) playroom, turned her back to the wall, and sprayed bright red pee all over. Now, not that Opus spraying is news, because as we all know, The Peeing Kitty has had kidney and bladder issues for years, so when the spraying starts, it’s usually a sign that she’s not doing well. Usually it’s a bladder infection, but sometimes it’s that her kidney stones are causing some irritation and she’s trying to make it go away.

(Well, plus now that she’s very old she’s also got an old lady bladder. And she’s got kitty alzheimers, so you know, sometimes she just forgets.)

But what surprised me was the colour. Usually she’s got a little trace of blood — kidney stones cause irritation, so there’s really nothing we can do about that. But usually it’s a little rust-coloured stain. This was not the usual thing. There was a significant amount of blood in her urine, enough that there were these big pink droplets everywhere. And so, since she’s due for her regular twice-a-year checkup, I thought we might as well go in and get her checked out.

Probably there will be nothing wrong. She’s certainly feeling fine — she’s playing and running and happy. But it could be that this much blood is making her anemic, or that her kidneys are getting worse, so we have to keep on top of things.

So Saturday was a bit of a crisis day for me. I had gotten little sleep the night before, because I can’t sleep when BDH is away. I was feeling fairly hormonal and PMS-ish. And then, to have her come in right in front of me and spray — and on investigation, find she had unloaded elsewhere — was more than I was able to handle.

I put her in her cage for the day, and went upstairs to clean. And I just started to cry from frustration and overtiredness.

I was at a crossroads, in that I was so frustrated at the prospect of cleaning up after her, that I actually began to consider the prospect of having her put down. I mean, with a baby coming, I cannot watch a baby AND Opus. It’s too much to clean up and watch both of them all day. Plus, there was the frustration that she is ruining our stuff. And she’s NOT going to get better. If anything, she’ll stay the course, and most likely, given her history, she’ll get worse. So I was really, truly considering it.

We’ve done more for her than most cat owners would ever dream of.

But then, I stopped to consider why: because she is a wonderful little cat, and we love her so very much. I mean, if she were truly sick or in pain and we could not fix it, that would be one thing. Of course, we would never have her suffer. But that’s not the case. Despite her myriad problems, she is happy, and as healthy as can be expected. She’s full of life and full of beans. And we cannot just discard those we love just because they are old and inconvenient.

She is so very old, and she truly needs us. She loves us with all that she’s got the capacity to in that little kitty heart of hers. And everyone who meets her — friends, family, veterinary staff — agrees that she is no ordinary cat. She’s a pretty unique little personality. She’s been an awesome pet. We struck the jackpot when she chose me as Her Person.

So, I sucked it up, did my cleaning (plus got a lot more done, actually), and called the vet. I took it as an exercise in patience. Messes happen. She doesn’t do it intentionally. Our child will make messes and break things, and he or she won’t do it intentionally. You just deal with it, and you move on.

I have to bear in mind that there’s worse that could happen in the world, in our little family, than a few material possessions ruined or a few messes to clean up. In the scope of things, cleaning up a little pee or a broken dish or even the proverbial spilled milk is not really that big a deal.

What matters is that everyone is healthy and happy, we have enough to eat and enough food on our table (or in our kibble bowls), and that we love one another.

So off we go again to the vet. And today, with some perspective, I am happy that we’re just going for a checkup and not something worse.

Our house may be messy, and there may be the odd pee spot to clean up, and in future, there will be spilled juice and Cheerios ground into the carpet… But it’s certainly not short on love.

Life could be worse, but it doesn’t get much better than that.