Minister the cat has hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, a thickening of the heart muscle. He also has a bit of valve leakage, which is what caused the heart murmur. He’s been given the human beta-blocker, Atenolol. His first dose was this morning and it prompted him to throw up for five hours. I’m now waiting for the cardiologist to call me back, because this prescription is clearly not a good match.
I didn’t know until I went to his website this morning that the doctor is the heart specialist for the animals at the National Zoo. Pretty impressive. And even with his exotic credentials, he was down-to-earth and treated Mini like he was the most important patient he’s ever seen. He was even good with me, which is rare for a lot of vets–many focus so much on the animals that their people skills tend to go south.
What kills me about all of this is Minister’s unflappability. I drove him two hours for this appointment, pinned him down for twenty minutes as he had a sonogram, and then drove him two more hours to bring him home. When I finally let him out of the carrier, he ran out, went maybe five feet, and then circled back to stand up and put his paws on my leg like he does when he’s happy to see me. The week before, he’d had an ear infection and I had to jam gunk in his ears for ten days. Still, he didn’t get mad at me. Last night I gave him a bath to wash off the residual gunk from the medication that had crusted in the fur around his ears. Not only did he tolerate that, he sprawled on the floor and let me dry him with a hair dryer. And this morning, I jammed a pill all the way down his throat, and he swallowed it and then came back to sit on my lap like nothing happened. With our old cat, Elwood, it was a fight every single day to medicate him. Then, here’s this one who could care less what I’m doing to him. He’s probably the best tempered cat I’ve ever seen, and it makes me mad that he has to deal with this the rest of his life.
Anyway, the vet seems to think we’ve caught this problem early enough that with continual medication he should live for many years. And who am I to argue with the guy who treats the Capitol’s collection of lions?
There’s still no word on the literary agent, either. I was hoping this weekend would be the magic one, the one where the caller ID displayed the New York area code, but apparently not. Now I’m wondering if she ever got the submission at all. There’s no logical reason why she wouldn’t, but paranoia is a wonderful thing. At any rate, I think I’ll start getting together a bunch of new query letters this week. If I don’t hear from her by the end of the weekend (which is the official end of the ‘one to two months’ time for a response stated on their website) I’ll start sending off multiple submissions to the next round of lucky victims.
Remember when I said I was eager to move on to this stage? I take it back.