I'll try to keep this brief. Santiago is ok at the moment but we are not certain what is ailing him today.
the full story:
I fell back asleep after seeing Santiago throw up and seemingly feel a bit better, but when I woke up at noon he looked like hell: eyes dilated, walking with his haunches low, and growling when i touched him--which he has only ever done when he had his first urinary blockage.
I felt his bladder and it was moderately large and soft, which is not a bad thing necessarily but the fact that it was large was alarming to me combined with the growling, so I called the SFSPCA and just my luck they were closing early today. crap!
so we took a taxi ride across town to Fillmore and Washington to Pets Unlimited, where they have some tolerance (and financing) for people with little money. they took him in the back immediately and his bladder felt empty to them, so I guess he snuck off to the box while I was running around like panicky young mother putting on clothes and getting addresses and finding the carrier etc.
they drew a blood sample and they run their own labs there so we got the results in half an hour: one kidney value was slightly elevated and the vet said he seemed tender on his left kidney, so we are a little worried about what might be going on there. he is too young to be in kidney failure--or that is, he is young enough that it is rare--but there are nooks and crannies in this old apartment where detritus from many past housemates has collected: under the sink, for instance, where no one has been in years as far as I know. I don't go in there. occasionally I see Santiago trying to open that cupboard because he is bored or looking for mice or something. so we are hoping he didn't get into anything toxic. I scrupulously pick up my pills on the occasion that I drop one, but I don't really know what all might be on our vast, crowded floor. and he is little and so goes places where we cannot reach.
so now I have a rent check out that will barely get paid with tomorrow's last deposit from SFAI and I am looking at monthly payments to get this bill down. they were able to extend me a small charity grant to take care of part of the charges, so although the bill is not overwhelming, I now have zero $. well, there may be a little left over from tomorrow's paycheck. dunno quite yet.
it's like he knows.
I am supposed to take him in for a recheck tomorrow, which I cannot afford, so I will go to the SFSPCA or at least call them in the morning and ask if I can bring him in for charity care. if anyone wants to be so kind as to try to defray some of this sudden expense, small and large donations through my blog's tip cup are more than welcome. by "large" I mean, like, if you can spare more than $25 you are my hero. I need to pull together a few hundred to cover this bill and whatever the SPCA might charge me tomorrow--charity is never a given--and keep myself fed until.. well until I can figure out what to do from here.
I do go see my disability lawyer in the morning and I will tell her of our plight. I have heard that CA SDI can kick in quickly, but I am not going to count any chickens in that basket until they are there and predictably laying golden eggs, or at last copper.
so. now he is up on top of the shelving complex again. the pilot light went out when I turned the heater off to leave this afternoon so something is not right there but it is relatively easy to light the heater when one wants heat so I'm not eager yet to call the landlord about it. really the hard part with that was burning off a year's worth of dust and cat hair while blowing the smoke out the window with a small fan and using the broom to blow it away from the smoke detector. that took about an hour yesterday of trying to move smoke out of the house and fresh air in. the fresh air was cold, of course, but eventually the smoke alarms stopped going off and heat was possible.
I am starving. I have some burritos in the freezer, fortunately. cold cereal has not been on the menu for a couple of days, as cold food has been contraindicated.
I'm going to go light the heater now.
this cat in five years has put me through more wringers than I thought a single cat could. why did he have to go and make me fall in love with him? I would take a bullet for the little guy, seriously. well, I'd take a bullet for Jackson too, but he rarely costs me large amounts of money. yes I took proper precautions after typing that. I don't know if he is so secure in our relationship that he doesn't feel he has to test my devotion or what.