It’s All Fun and Games Until

Until what?

What? When is anything all fun and games?

I mean, even at a party, it’s not all fun and games. Sometimes there is cake and what if someone drops that cake? Is that fun? Is that a game to you? No. No, it is not. Because it’s wasted cake and that is just sad.

But I digress.

Last week wasn’t so much fun or games as it was weird.

You know the weird, swimmy feeling you get when someone you love gets really sick. Like seriously sick? Like they could die?

That happened with Alfie last week.

Here’s the thing. For those of us that have animals living with us, we love our pets. We do. The thought of losing one is unfathomable.

Let me tell you what Alfie means to me.

In December of 2016, Randy told me that he wanted to get me a kitten for Christmas. This is after over a decade of me saying “Hey, you know what would be great? If we got a kitten.”

I did not give him a moment to think about this. There was a pet adoption event a few minutes from our house. I was going to get my goddamn kitten.

When we got there, I held a few and they were adorable. But I wasn’t their person. I thought maybe it would take awhile. But thenalfie the cat this little black kitty, a little ball of floof, came to me and I picked him up. He purred and fell asleep.

I knew I was taking him home. I knew it.

On Saturday, December 17th, 2016, we brought Alfie home.

On Monday, December 19th, our granddaughter, McKinlee, was born.

She couldn’t stay. Her heart was broken and all of our hearts broke with hers. Months after she was born, we had to say goodbye.

I’m in no way comparing the cat we adopted to our granddaughter. I would have sacrificed the moon for her to stay with us. I’m just saying that right after we brought Alfie home, we entered into a months long journey of learning how to love and lose a grandchild.

Randy stayed at his daughter’s house, many hours away, and took care of McKinlee’s older sister, Madelyn for weeks at a time.

While he was gone, Alfie and I kept each other company.

My little ball of floof kept me company while Randy was away.

No matter what happened, he needed my care. He slept with his ass curled up into my armpit at night. The same way he sleeps now.

McKinlee has been gone for over four years. She has a baby sister, Mae, who is two year old. Life continues. We love and laugh and mourn and cry.

Then last week, something happened. Of course, it happened right after I piled up a bunch of purple and blue dye on my head.

Alfie had a blocked urethra.

I didn’t know he had a blocked urethra.

I just know that after spending an evening cleaning house because we were hosting an overnight guest soon for the first time since the apocalypse started, that something was wrong with our cat.

I had purple and blue streaks of tinted conditioner on my face and had decided that it was about time to wash it all out, when my son Joey said that Alfie was being weird.

Joey: I tried to pick him up and he hissed at me.

Which is weird, because Alfie hates everyone except the people who live in this house. He loves us. He never hisses at us. 

Me: Okay, that is weird.

Alfie walked into the bedroom and started meowing without stopping. He’s not a vocal cat. Something wasn’t right. Joey tried to pick him up again and this time Alfie lashed out at him and left a long scratch on Joey’s arm. 

I didn’t know what was wrong, but sensed something was terribly wrong.

Our vet was closed at the time, so I started calling around to other vet’s who were open. I found one on my first try and they asked if we could be there in 15 minutes.

I have no idea how we managed, but we coaxed our freaked out cat who was obviously in pain into a cage. I had no choice but to go to the vet with purple and blue dye on my head. And my face.

It’s all fun and games until you have to go out in public looking like you belong in a Dr Seuss book.

The vet determined very quickly that Alfie’s bladder was rock hard. He was blocked. And in grave peril.

She had to stick a needle into his bladder and withdraw urine. You know, to keep him from dying.

I was so proud of Randy. He stayed in the room. I learned that I will leave a room crying rather than watch something like that happen.

The vet told us that he had immediately go to the emergency room.

She gave us three options. Two options that had animal hospital sounding names and then another one. She said “If cost is a concern for you, then I could send you to Grady’s.”

Fucking Grady’s?

I have no idea what goes on at Grady’s. I am reasonably sure I don’t want to know.

After a vomiting incident, we left for the kitty ER. Alfie vomited, not me. 

The animal hospital follows COVID protocol. We sat in the parking lot with the car hatch up. I talked to Alfie while he cried.

We had to leave Alfie at the hospital for a few days.

I was reasonably sure he would be okay.

But I didn’t know that for sure. Alfie came into our lives just 48 hours before our granddaughter was born. I know these are not related incidents, but he’s been with me the whole time.

If he left us, then that chapter is truly closed.

I’m not ready for that.

I don’t think I’ll ever be ready for that.

Even though one day I will have to be. But that day isn’t today.

He’s home now and he’s fine. He’s in danger of relapse, but so far he seems to be fine. He’s clingy and won’t leave my side, but I don’t mind that part. I’ll give him all the love he needs.

I washed the dye out of my hair at nearly 11pm that night.

My hair looks fabulous.





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  • I can’t express how grateful I am that Alfie is doing better. That little fur baby is worth so much more than the sum of his parts! Thank you for sharing your sad and happy story!

  • My heart skipped when you mentioned the dates. I hadn’t realized the two events happened so close together. I do understand that part about you not being ready to close that chapter, and I pray that it’s a long, long way away. My Blaze is 14 and has already had 2 strokes. Hopefully, there’s such a thing as minor stroke in cats. But she still misses Ken and as old as she is, I’m worried because I still pretend that he’s in another room sometimes, and if she goes, so does my pretense. Long live felines!

  • Poor kitty. There’s nothing scarier. I hope Alfie makes a full recovery. I remember when you lost your granddaughter several years ago. I’m so sorry, how it must hurt.

  • I am sitting here crying… because I remember well the day I had to take Flame (Flameregard Heart) our first pet acquired together to emergency. He also had a crystalized urethra and was screaming in pain. He did not lash out at us, but the screaming sounded like he might. He also had to have emergency surgery. He was 4. We rescued him from the pound. He survived, but I spent the whole day crying worrying he wouldn’t. The vet said it was a 50/50 chance and it wasn’t cheap either, and those are not good odds when you’re shelling out dough. Thankfully he lived a long and happy life. He passed when he was around 14. We are not sure of his age because we don’t know for sure how old he was when we got him. The vet said that ash content in pet food causes that primarily in male cats. I had never heard of it, but because of that when we got new kitties we got females. Hang in there. I’m glad you still have your baby. I hope he lives a long and happy life. 🙂

  • Sara’s cat Charlie had that same problem, and Sara had to “help him go to the bathroom” for a week after he got home.
    Our cat is getting used to using the litter box again because he’s still on lockdown because of him not getting along with the other cats who have lived here much longer than he has. Briana put his harness on him and took him out for a walk this morning, and he was like “What’s up with the goddamn bondage gear, are you getting weird on me?”
    II signed in with my old screen name so I could post a link to this Aimee Mann video about a cat who had to go to the vet:

  • My heart feels for you. I too had a male cat with the issue. His shelter name was Tiger (no, not acceptable), then Gabby because he talked so much. Then Little Guy because at 8 weeks old, he was smaller than the 12 week old and the 6 month old. Then he grew and we called him Dude because he walked like he was a cool dude. He developed the problem shortly after neutering.

    He had attacks and we tried altering diet, etc. And when he felt an attack coming on, he would search out something light, scream for my attention, squat and pee. So I could see the blood in his urine.

    The day we loved into our house here, he blocked again. We didn’t even have a vet here, so we hauled him 30 back to his vet where once again, he was catheterized. He ended up having his penis removed and urethra shortened. Very expensive. But it bought him another 10 years. It did eventually get him in the end when the accumulated kidney damage caught up. But he was my baby. And 14 years still wasn’t enough time with him. And he’s been gone 25 years and I’m still crying as I type this.

    PS can’t wait to see your hair in all its glorious color.

    • Oh..that poor baby. Saying goodbye is never easy and the pain just becomes a part of us.

      I hope hope hope this will be okay and Alfie won’t have any more issues. He seems fine now. He has a follow up visit with his new vet on Thursday. We’re switching. I was so pleased with how they cared for him and his old vet just retired, so it’s a good time to switch.

  • I remembered that the two events came so close together but had completely forgotten why Alfie was so special. Aside from the fact that they’re all special. All children, I mean, and I realize I didn’t need to type that out because you knew what I meant too.
    We had a cat named Hugo–after the Les Miserables guy, but funny enough there was a Hurricane Hugo a few months after we got him, and several people thought that was where we got the name, and in some ways that was appropriate. He was very special and he had a blockage. We got him treated and he lived several more years.
    Here’s hoping for the same for Alfie.

By Michelle