Thursday, January 11, 2007

Confessions of a Broken Cat

Cordy cried during the whole trip.

She was in the back seat of the car, in our kitty carry-all. We were driving her to the Animal Emergency Room. If you've never heard a cat cry, it sounds eerily human, like sobbing, but without the overdramatic gasping they do in telenovelas.

The drive to the Animal Emergency Room was only about 20 minutes, but it seemed like hours. Brian drove steadily, while I sat silently trying to calm myself down, trying to ignore the cat's mewling. My mind raced ahead, envisioning various scenarios, each getting more horrific as time passed by. I tried to distract myself by thinking of other things...


When I first moved to Chicago, I didn't know a soul.

"Get a cat," my mom said, "Cats are clean and it'll keep you company."

Actually, that's not what she said. She said, "Cats are clean and if you ever get trapped in one of those terrible Chicago snowstorms, you'll have dinner in a pinch. Just sauté with a little soy sauce and ginger," but I didn't want you to think she was a barbarian. She really isn't, despite the chainmail and battle axe.

But just in case I was snowed in, I followed mom's advice and got a cat. And some soy sauce.

Cordy, my calico, is a bit dim, I'm afraid. She's doesn't sit on a window ledge and contemplate the world outside, she prefers to sit on the couch and stare at the TV all day--while it's off. She's also quite vocal, but most of the time, you can't understand a thing she says. And when you do, it's always meow meow meow meow meow. Sometimes I wish she would just shut up. It's quite annoying really. Pick another topic already.

She likes to make her opinion of my taste in décor known by grabbing knick-knacks with her mouth from around the house and leaving it outside my bedroom door. She can also be quite belligerent, like a drunk Lindsay Lohan. Cordy's much like gay men that way: when we are threatened, our manicured claws come out, nail bling and all.

Cordy is a celebrity in her own mind. She parties all night and runs around like crazy and it's not unusual to find her passed out in the morning, a pile of vomit nearby.

Cordy vomits a lot. I think it's because she eats too fast, but sometimes, I think it's because she's bulimic. She'll scarf down her food and a few minutes later, you'll hear the gah-gah-gah, the beginnings of another purging session. Then, a chunky pile in the middle of the floor. I wondered why she couldn't throw up in the toilet like other bulimics. No mess to clean up.

She does have a teensy bit of a weight problem, and no matter how much she denies it, her hips don't lie. But you know what cats don't have to worry about? Cellulite. The fur covers up the ripples.

The last couple of days however, there were more piles of vomit than normal. I noticed because I stepped into a couple of them while I was getting ready for work. Let me tell ya, suede and vomit don't go together, unless vomit comes in mauve.

There would be three chunky piles in a row, in varying degrees of dryness. I thought, well, it is a stressful time for her, she had not been able to get anyone interested in her tell-all book, probably because it has been recently discovered that the tom she's been dating had been neutered. Even that bottom feeder Perez Hilton wouldn't give her the time of day, even after Cordy e-mailed him photoshopped pics of herself with coke smears on her snout.

Then last night, the vomit piles were just frothy, like a latte--no chunks. It worried me because as far I remembered, we didn't have a barista living in our home. She must not have eaten at all. Why is she still throwing up?

It's a cry for help. I thought, I did what anybody does when confronted with cries for help--I ignored her.

But within the hour, she threw up a couple more times, all frothy messes. Brian and I began to worry. We weren't heartless. We weren't going to wait for Cordy to make a music video like LiLo in "Confessions of a Broken Heart" before we took notice.

It was 10 p.m., the vet's office was closed. We called anyway, in case the vet was in the shithouse with his wife and had to sleep in his office. No answer, but the message gave the phone number of the local animal emergency hospital.

We called.

A cheery voice answered, much cheerier than I expected from an emergency room. Either they are really good vets or the receptionist had gone crazy from all the harrowing things she's witnessed. We assumed the former. I copied down the directions to the hospital and went to find the kitty carry-all.

I found Cordy lying on her side, her head down on the floor, as if she didn't have the strength to hold it up. I could no longer make light of this. Horrible images of what might happen at the emergency room went through my head.

What if what seemed like a small digestive problem turned out to be much worse? What if they had to open her up? What if they found something horrible inside? Tears threatened, burning embers in the back of my eyes. I couldn't help imagining scenes of doctors rushing, clipboards in hand, the theme song of E.R. playing in the background...


NEXT: The Longest Ride

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