Lula, My Sweet Lu Baloo, Is Sick

Today has been a battle. I was dealing with last minute client work, reworking and practicing my Power Hour talk for BlissDom Canada, running out to pick up my passport, and doing some last minute packing — the usual pre-conference hullabaloo — and then I walked into the bedroom to find that Lula, our little black kitty, had sprayed the bed and everything on it with puddles of pus. It was a horror show.

Lula at the vet
This is Lula in her carrier in the back of a taxi on the way to the vet.

She seemed a bit too quiet over the last couple of days. Normally, she hits anyone who gets out of line, bites you because three pets is perfect and four is just too much, and yowls at me to shut up when I sing. It's everything you would expect from a half-feral little beast I stole from a guy on the street who was trying to sell her for alcohol money. For the last few days, though, she's been quieter. Too quiet. She was almost nice.

That's not right.

While I was googling "kitty vaginal discharge flood", she trailed pus from the kitchen to the hallway to the bathroom and back to the bedroom. The pus puddles situation was suddenly so bad that I was shuffling around the house with kitchen rags under my feet, and I'm not exaggerating. It was pus-mageddon. There was so much of it that I didn't even have the luxury of being revolted. I just had to wade through it.

Because I always have so much unused time on my hands the afternoon before I am speaking twice at a major conference, I happily wrestled her into a cat carrier after restraining her with a towel and took her to the vet. My suspicions were confirmed when the ultrasound showed that her uterus was full to overflowing with infection, and we were going to have to rehydrate her, fill her with antibiotics, and spay her.

I know, I know. You're probably wondering why this cat that we have had for over five years isn't spayed yet. The thing is that both our males are fixed, they're all indoor cats, and her heats are fairly mild. It was just never an issue, and the vet didn't bat an eye at the situation. Of course, it would have been much cheaper to get her fixed at six months old than it is going to be now. We're spending $632 on a surgery that just might rupture her uterus before they can remove it. That is the worst case scenario, but there it is. The infection is bad enough that it may kill her before the surgery can save her.

As the vet was showing me the cost estimate and telling me all the things that could go wrong, I realized that I knew the exam room we were in. I had been in it before. The last time I had been in that room was when we brought in our rabbit, Gordon, to be put down. It was one of the hardest days I have had with a pet, and it hit me that this could really be it for Lula, too. Until that moment, I had been keeping it together, but I lost it when I remembered Gordon.

"I'm sorry I'm crying," I blubbered to the vet, "but the last time I was in this room, I lost my buh-buh-buh-buuunny." The vet was very patient with me and waited until I could speak in proper sentences.

I know how to play it cool.

I managed to steel myself enough to sign over my little sweetheart — a hissing, hitting, growling, bossy little freak, but my sweetheart nonetheless — and now she will be on IV fluids and antibiotics tonight, she will have her surgery tomorrow while I'm flying across the country, and, if all goes well, she will come home on Friday while I am still away at BlissDom Canada.

Now I am here on my couch, completely unable to concentrate on practicing my talk or doing client work or packing. My little kitty is on IV fluids and antibiotics across town, and this might be it. I hate to think about it, but there it is.

I swore that this would be a conference I would make it through without crying on stage, because that's a trademark move I wouldn't mind putting out of its misery, but it's not looking very likely.

Lula at the vet
This is Lula just before the vet took her away to hook her up to an IV to prepare for tomorrow's surgery.

I am hoping so hard that Lula will be here when I get back. I don't know what I'll do if that scrappy little beast isn't trying to beat me about my ankles when I come home. She's my little Lu Baloo.

Godspeed, little beast.