This end of the cat causes problems.
Thursday night we had an emergency trip to the vet hospital and our cat will be there through the weekend. During the third round of antibiotics for some sort of urinary problem, he got much worse. He was blocked and unable to pass urine. This leads to a back up in the bladder the kidneys will basically stop functioning because they have nowhere to send all the toxins from the blood. All the toxins will add up in the blood and kill the cat.
Treatment includes sedation (risky in cats that are already having issues with blood concentrations), catheters* and possible surgery to widen the urethra. The worst part of all of this is that it is an emergency! They need a decision RIGHTNOW! Sign this paper and they whisk the poor cat away.
So far, they say he is doing well. He pulled the catheter out yesterday despite the lampshade collar he was wearing. The vet had to re-sedate him to put it back in. He was blocked for a while so his original unblocking was difficult but he is expected to fully recover and come home from the hospital early next week. A closely controlled diet should help manage the problem in the future. Hopefully we won't have to think about surgery (or think about the alternatives to the cat having surgery) until at least one of us makes more than our measly grad student salaries.
"Having a urinary catheter is even worse than having to wear a sweater."
* If I spell 'catheter' wrong, the first suggested spelling is 'cat hater.' Have cats taken over Blogger spellcheck??