A little while ago, Byron stopped holding down his meals, and we’d consistently find chicken parts scattered about the house shortly after he ate. A visit to the vet, along with the usual blood tests, came up empty. It was only an x‑ray at the ER that showed a small object lodged at the start of his small intestine, blocking the path of digestion.
It didn’t come as a huge surprise. Byron was a relentless cat when it came to searching for food. I couldn’t tell if he’d roam the house for things to eat cause he was hungry, or if his hunger came from the constant roaming. Sometimes we’d find chewed up toys passed through his system, but more often than not they came up the other end, covered in bile. It was only a matter of time before something got stuck.
I try to have a pragmatic view about my cats. Operations of this scale on any single one are hard for me to justify, when I could use those resources to save several more (especially when I wouldn’t love a new cat any less). So I left the decision up to Heather, considering the fact that she’s the breadwinner now, and she’s had a stronger connection to him ever since she started taking care of the cat’s meals.
It wasn’t a difficult choice for her, and she gave the vet approval to operate without a second thought.
After leaving Leonard at the hospital for an emergency operation, then finding out the next day that he was gone, I was terrified that I’d never see Byron again, but he soon came home with a new collar and a shaven belly, weak from not having digested a proper meal in so long.
It’s been a few months since, and he’s rebounded quite well, though a lot more cautious when it comes to the things he decides to put in his mouth. I suspect he’s learned a very painful lesson about not eating something just because he can, which means by now he’s at least smarter than most puppies.
I could tell Heather loved my kitties, cause she obsesses over their health, projects their personalities onto other animals, and talks about them ceaselessly (whether it’s to me or people she just met). She even role-plays as them in Guild Wars 2, her favourite part of every season being the chance create a new costume. But after seeing the how much effort she put into saving my little boy, then nursing him back to health with delicate patience, I’ve started to understand that love goes deeper than I realized, for both them and me.