Oh peeps. What an evening. I don’t know whether to tell it the long way or the short way, so I will preface it by saying that Sprocket appears to be okay. But I had such a scare and my heart rate still isn’t normal.
So I got home around 4-ish and noticed that something was off with Sprocket. Sort of sprocketty, but not fun-sprocketty. I reached for him and he eeeped and ran to a cardboard box, whereupon he began grooming himself with vigor. I was suspicious so I checked him over and found nothing stuck to him. Fast-forward two hours to dinnertime, and he didn’t show up! Highly unusual, but not unprecedented. I went upstairs. He was lying on a bed and he sprocketted away from me into the closet. He didn’t want me to catch him, but it didn’t feel like we were playing tag. I noticed that his back was twitching and his tail was swishing back and forth intensely. He is usually intense, so unusual intensity is quite alarming. I scooped him up and took him downstairs. He had two bites before dashing upstairs again.
I truly got alarmed when, after running around in the same agitated manner, he sequestered himself in the back of a linen cupboard, the same place Prince Tweets went when he was really sick a couple years ago. Sprocket laid on the bottom shelf, twitching and grooming vigorously, and biting at me when I petted him. I found a little scab on his back and it looked like it was healing, nothing raw, fur growing back. I thought I remembered it from a few weeks ago. He was clearly agitated and uncomfortable. Papa Miao was worried too. I called my brother, got some advice and moral support, and then I called the emergency vet place 25 miles away and talked to them. They thought it sounded like an allergic reaction, which is what I thought too (Lotus had a reaction from a bug bite when he was little, but then his paw was obviously swollen). I called my mother. Being car-less, I had to get a ride to the emergency clinic, and I am definitely and infinitely grateful for the family support.
I have to mention that all the while, Chun was sitting by us watching, concern and care evident in his beautiful blue eyes.
I was getting paranoid seeing Sprocket. I knew I could “wait and see” but I couldn’t. So we went to the vet. They took Sprocket and I waited in the waiting room trying to stave off some sort of anxiety attack by texting my brother every two minutes. It worked. Finally, I talked to the doctor, who confirmed that it was probably an allergic reaction and he should get an anti-histamine shot and steroid shot and then some Benadryl at home for the next few days.
What could have caused the reaction?
– the new can of Lotus cat food, pricey stuff that I got on a whim because of the brand name. LOTUS! And it is grain-free and looked about the same as the grain-free stuff they usually eat (Dave’s). The vet doesn’t think it likely that this food would have caused it, but it was a difference.
– a basement filled with skeery creepy crawlies. the only limit is your imagination, and when it comes to bugs, my imagination knows no bounds. He is always rooting around in the dingy, dust-bunny infested corners of the basement.
– something parasitical or contagious? Kemi has a raw spot on his back that the doctors didn’t think was from anything contagious, but it is taking a while to heal since he keeps on scratching it. Today, our regular vet suggested I use hydrocortisone cream on it and have him wear a little mini t-shirt, and trim his back claws really, really short. Again, it doesn’t seem likely that it is related, especially since the only spot on Sprocket’s back looks like it is mostly healed, but nothing can really be ruled out. I am almost 100% that there are no fleas, but there is some margin of doubt because negative evidence is always inconclusive. What if they are really clever fleas?
– seasonal allergies. apparently cats can get itchy skin from seasonal allergies.
– the bee from yesterday?
Yesterday, I found a bee the size of a quarter (including its legs, I think) belly up on the kitchen floor. I covered it with a jar. Chun tried to uncover it. I checked everyone, made sure no one was swollen or in agony or anything obvious like that. Everyone, Sprock including, seemed fine. So I slid a piece of cardboard under the jar and tried to pick it up. The bee buzzed. It took me a bit to gather my wits. By the time I was carrying the jar outside, the bee had righted itself. It was gradually reviving. I took it to the far end of the yard, set the jar down, and ran.
Someone told me that bees survive for a while after stinging. Papa Miao wasn’t around to tell me if it was a queen bee or just what kind of bee. I think it was a giant bumble bee.
Even though we didn’t notice anything wrong with Sprocket until later today, the vets think there is a possibility that his reaction is from a sting.
On the way to the vet, he was sort of lethargic, no longer twitching. That made me even more worried. Apparently he didn’t itch at the vet’s either, but he wasn’t his usual relaxed self. It wasn’t the same place or people from all his kittenhood amputation experiences, so I suppose his nervousness is normal, but it worried me anyway. I was a real basket case this evening and as I waited every worst case scenario went through my mind.
But the vet people were helpful and encouraging and positive. They said he looked healthy. They didn’t even chastise me for overfeeding him. They said he looks like a cat who has a good appetite but he isn’t obese. I don’t want him to hurt his hip because of carrying extra weight, so I am particularly self-conscious about this issue. Sprocket-conscious. Or maybe it is projection. Regardless, he has a barrel of a belly but he is a big boy and he is growing to be a giant kitty.
So, he got his two medications and they sent him on his way. He was purry on the ride back. He sat up and looked out the window (his carrier opens on the top). He rolled around to get comfy. He encouraged me to skritch his chin. He wasn’t twitchy or itchy or agitated. He didn’t pull away from touch. First thing when he got back, he had a big snack. Now he is napping. I noticed him a tiny bit twitchy at one point but now it looks like he is comfy in his teeny box.
So that is the end of my Sprocket scare, hopefully. Maybe I overreacted. Maybe it would have resolved on its own. But I couldn’t bear to see my normally happy bouncy kitten in so much discomfort and I doubt if I would have slept all night.
Could it have been the bee?
Or something nasty hiding in a dust-bunny?
He’s in my lap now, supported by one arm, and I’m typing with my free hand. I think some Doctor Who and toast and chamomile tea are in order.
And, three minutes later, just when I was starting to relax, he scrambled out of my lap and dashed over to the wall, where he started grooming his tail again and twitching his back. So maybe it’s not over. I know anti-histamines aren’t 100%. But I can’t help but worry what if something else is going on that we just haven’t figured out? Maybe I won’t sleep tonight after all.