UPDATE 9:41 a.m. 7/16/2021 - Theodore cat is home! With all of your incredible generosity and help, my little Theo guy is back from the vet sore and tired but his mood is completely turned around compared to when I was worried about him dying. He's extremely lovable and alert. He seems extremely happy to be back with his family again. His doctor recommends a couple more morning checkups to get a feel of how his bladder is healing but we're hopeful we won't need to install a catheter again.
Theo has already eaten a bit of his new prescription food and had a little trouble holding in his liquids but that's ok! As long as things are flowing, things are good. He still tries to use his litter box which is clean and will be closely monitored, but after dealing with a tube for so long, it's normal to experience some control problems. We have new running water fountains coming in the mail and we're just so grateful to have our little Theodore back. I cannot thank everyone enough for their amazing support and for giving Theo a chance to live.
UPDATE 1:51 p.m. 7/14/2021 - Theo's doctor called and informed that Theodore is back to his normal Theo cat ways! His kidney levels dropped dramatically overnight and have completely normalized. The catheter has been removed and all blockages or crystal formations have been flushed away. Theo should be able to pee on his own and if he does before the end of the day, we'll be bringing him home tonight! There's a small chance that he doesn't and will have to stay for one more night and receive medication to help shrink his bladder, but the doctor says that's unlikely. Thank you again and stay tuned for more updates and pictures from Theo's recovery due to your generosity!
When I noticed that my youngest cat, Theodore, was not moving, eating, or drinking on Sunday morning, I had a mild panic attack. I had never seen one of my pets in such agony and felt so powerless to help. I did the best I could for him throughout the day and kept a close eye on him as much as possible. This caused me to put off one of my skankcore64 streams but the life of my little guy was hanging in the balance.
I resolved to take him to the veterinarian on Monday morning as soon as they opened. As long as Theo was holding on, I would hold on with him. That morning I found him struggling to drink water, with his head just plopped into his water dish, causing it to tip and spill all over the couch and himself. He was in so much pain that he didn’t care about being covered in water. I placed him into his carrier and walked over to the vet. Thankfully they had the capacity to take on another urgent care animal.
After a short wait, the doctor explained that Theodore is outside the normal bell curve for digestion in cats. The high-quality cat food that we use is good enough for indoor cats to lead a healthy life, but if they are outside of this curve, then crystals can build up in their bladder. This was the case for Theo, his urethra was blocked and his bladder had swollen to the size of a baseball. This was causing incredible strain on his kidneys, naturally, to the point of near renal failure.
Thankfully I was able to bring Theo into the vet in time for them to sedate, medicate, and install a catheter for my little guy. His condition requires at least 48 hours of overnight care and I was then presented with a low and high estimate for his needed treatment. Despair quickly set in again when I realized I would have absolutely no way to come up with the $800 to $1000 in order to pay this bill. Luckily my partner and I were able to secure a small loan for the down payment required to start treatment.
After walking back home, I was faced with limited options. I don’t have a lot of family members left in this world, and the only one I could approach for a favor like this is my father. He explained that he did not have any extra money at this time but texted me back shortly after with $100 that he was able to scrape together. Any amount, large or small, at this point would help so I figured maybe a Go Fund Me could be the donation drive that Theo needed.
After quickly creating the donation page and posting it to my meager Twitter following and on Shacknews chatty, all I could do was wait and hope for some generous souls to help. I had very low expectations being that this was the first time I had ever asked for help in this manner. I felt embarrassed but I was out of options. I figured that if Theo could get at least $300-$500 of the $1000 total, then we would be in a good place to pay the rest of his bill and then work on paying back our loan in the future.
The outpouring of support from Shacknews Chatty was completely overwhelming. The 300 dollars I had hoped for was reached in a matter of minutes. Replies to the thread in support of Theodore started popping up with greater frequency and before an hour was up, the goal was already halfway covered. I immediately started thanking everyone for donating, I could barely believe the generosity and good will that was coming my way, and so fast too. While I was in our weekly Shacknews Slack meeting, I was constantly averting my attention to the donation thread and the replies within.
Just shortly after two hours after making the post to ask for help, the donation goal of $1000 had been reached. I was beyond overwhelmed at this point. I had to hurry to turn off new donations as money was coming in faster than I could have ever anticipated. The Shacknews community showed me that they could rally together and help out a small animal friend that they’ve never met, all because a fellow member was in a bad spot. To everyone that donated or left kind words for me and my Theo cat, we can only say one thing.
Thank you so much to all of you. I cannot express the feelings of camaraderie and community that were overflowing in order to provide support. You have given my Theo cat a chance at surviving and shown me, again, that Shacknews is the best place on the internet. This is not an opinion or subjective statement. Shacknews is objectively the best and my little Theo cat will be living proof of that point.
This Cortex post and thank you letter will also serve as a recovery diary for Theodore. I will post pictures and updates on his status as soon as he is back home. For now I can tell you that his kidney levels have dropped by half of their extremely elevated values compared to yesterday. The doctor would be a little more pleased if they were even lower, but progress is being made. Theo’s electrolyte levels have returned to normal which is another sign of positive kidney function. He needs at least 24 more hours of flushing out his bladder through the catheter and we’re hopeful that there won’t be any permanent damage.
Please keep an eye on this post for updates soon. Again, from the bottom of my heart, thank you for saving my cat’s life. Theo and I are in your debt and I hope my work here at Shacknews can go towards paying that back, at least a little bit. Thank you.