Took Athena into the vet today. She’s generally as healthy as a little Siamese horse, but there was some blood in her stool this week, and it’s been two years since she’s had a check-up, so I took her in. (It’s the same local vet that did exactly the right thing when I found the cat hit by a car, and they were very nice. They did have to break off my appointment, however, when an emergency came in, which I quite understand. Athena will wait, the dog who just ate a dozen roach traps won’t.*)

Athena, because she has been extremely healthy her entire life, has never gotten used to the vet. She likes the new people that will come and pet her, but she has never had to acquire Loki’s patient resignation with being poked and prodded.

The vet went to palpitate her stomach. Athena did not like this. And then the vet went to express her anal glands, and Athena went batshit insane.

Every vet I have ever experienced has had one tech who is built like Rosie the Riveter and who can wrap a cat like nobody’s business. This is an archetype. This tech got her wrapped, and Athena, denied the ability to claw her attackers, began making some really extraordinary noises. An angry cat can yowl with the best of them, but this went past yowl into a sustained scream of pure rage. I’ve never heard the cat make THAT noise before.

“In the future, you might want to drug her before you bring her in…” said the tech, putting the cat in a headlock.

The vet went to work. Athena lashed out with the only weapons at her disposal, and voided bowels, bladder, and anal glands onto the enemy. “AHA!” cried the vet, quite delighted, “we DID get a fecal sample after all!”

They took her off for blood work. The tech returned with Athena and said “She’s really sweet! She didn’t care if we took blood, she just didn’t want us fooling with her butt.”
I cannot blame the cat. This strikes me as a sensible attitude.

The end diagnosis, pending blood work turning anything up, is that she’s got Inflamed Bowel Disease. It’s hard to get a confirmation on–you need elaborate surgical biopsies–but it’s the most likely culprit. Since she’s quite healthy otherwise, and it’s a very minor expression of it, the vet doesn’t really want to put her on any drugs, so we’ll try controlling it via diet.

At a healthy nine years old, she is likely to have many more good years ahead of her, but she IS a geriatric cat now, so it’s good to catch this stuff early. Even if it does put me out $260 bucks. (Uf da!)

*His prognosis is good.

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