My poor buddy. Poor, poor buddy Tarzan.
For as long as we can remember, Tarzan’s been kind of an asshole about his litter box. He’d go in and pay a visit, and Trevor would scoop it, and – like clockwork – Tarzan would go dirty it up right over again.
And then there was the constant flinging of litter. All the damn time. Because we’re crunchy granola cat owners, we’ve always used “natural” cat litters, first one made from corn husks or something, then wheat hulls. That shit gets everywhere.
Tarzan had us swimming in cat litter, all over the house. We finally broke down and switched litters to a pellet type. He’d had a couple of what seemed to be UTIs, and pellet types are supposed to be more hygienic. Plus, the pellets are heavier, so no tracking.
That’s what we thought. A) Tarzan has monster paws that are capable of taking these pellets with him into another room; B) either because switching litters totally messed him up (if so, I’m SORRY buddy!), or because the timing was coincidental, not long after we switched litters, Tarzan started going in and out of the litter box, taking pellets with him around the house on his way out. Over and over and over again.
After first we were just annoyed. But then we started seeing little pink puddles outside the litter box. A sure sign of trouble.
The first vet treated him for a UTI and had me pick up a $40 bottle of compounded, fish-flavored Prozac.
A little bit of internet research had me worried we weren’t seeing enough progress, so I took him back.
He was almost blocked, which can lead to sudden death.
After attempting the least invasive procedures, they operated on his bladder and cleared out some weird squishy black crystal things. The vet was optimistic that was all we would need to do. But, after more time and waiting, she made the final call.
Tarzan’s penis would have to go.
I’d read about the procedure, and hoped upon hopes we wouldn’t have to resort to it. It’s an absolutely last-ditch effort, but it was his best shot at surviving, and it turned out he was so severely blocked, nothing else would have worked.
In all, he spent more than a week at the vet. After a couple of days, I started taking the girls up to visit him. At 15 years old, his risk of dying while under anesthesia was enough to make me worry each visit would be our last. And, if he did die there, I didn’t want the girls to get the impression that we’d just dropped him off to die.
His surgery went smoothly, and he came home the next day, albeit with an e-collar, which he had to wear for two weeks. We’ll have to keep him shaved baboon-bottom style from now on, which means we get to see his fancy new way of eliminating every day.
(I honestly don’t know what to call it… Pee hole?).
I told him he’s got to give me at least five more years of snuggles to pay off his medical bills, because Holy Cannoli, that was expensive.
We’re just glad to have him home and happy. And only tracking a few litter pellets a day.