September 26, 2005

The Sunday Night Through and Through

Warning: This is probably an over-complicated story filled with way too much information that will, by its end, have very little payoff. But it is one aspect of life I don't believe I've described before.

If you've been reading for a while (longer than two months because, as you can imagine, they've been displaced from the limelight since Mia's arrival), you know that we have two cats. There's Pixel, the 13 year-old monster cat we adopted in an emaciated state one icy winter. Then there's Callie, the 18 year-old who's lived with Beth since she (Beth) was 12. Callie is exactly half the size of Pixel. Callie suffers from faltering kidneys.

Because of her less-than-reliable kidneys, once or twice a week we have to break out what we call "The Callie Bag." It's essentially an IV bag like you'd see in the hospital. It's filled a saline-like substance delivered through a long line and a needle. Before anyone says anything about how cruel this is, Callie is a happy cat. Otherwise we wouldn't do this to her. She's quite healthy, kidneys aside, and regularly kicks Pixel's ass.

It takes two people to hydrate the cat. Yes. Two people for a 7 pound cat. Typically, I sit on the couch with Callie in my lap. She assumes the position - hunkered down, relaxed or just plain resigned. Beth inserts the needle around Callie's tail area at which time it becomes my responsibility to hold the needle in (while still holding the cat in place) while Beth squeezes the bag and keeps an eye on the amount of stuff that we've pumped into the cat. Once complete, Beth removes the needle and we hold on to Callie for a while to make sure she's alright.

When all goes according to plan, we fill the cat like a waterbed, she sloshes upstairs and takes five minutes to get over the trauma then heads back down to take a nap. When things go wrong, though, several things might happen.

The Blockage. Sometimes, whether its by physical blockage or just sheer force of will, its impossible to get any fluid into the cat. Like the Bermuda Triangle, the location of socks gone missing after a spin in the dryer and the continuing appeal of Jerry Lewis in France, it's just one of life's little mysteries. The needle must be removed. We try again.

The Callie Fountain. Occasionally, when the needle is removed, even after the area has been monitored, the cat, well, the cat springs a leak. Sometimes this leak is constituted by a mere trickle. Sometimes, however, its more pronounced leaving a little trail of saline on the carpet or, perhaps, the wall. This is easily rectified by applying a bit more pressure to the ass of the cat near the point of entry.

The Through and Through. Like Briscoe and Curtis, sometimes Beth and I encounter the ďthrough and through.Ē In this arrangement, and unbeknownst to us, the needle has both entered and exited the cat. Weíre all quickly brought up to speed on this situation as a cold spray of saline exits the cat and douses my nether regions. Composure, in my book, is being able to hold on to a pissed off cat with a needle in her ass while your crotch gets a bath in cold saline.

Last night, and for the second week in a row, we had a Through and Through.

Me: Eoowww!
Her: What?
Me: Through and Through! We have Through and Through!
Her: Oops. Sorry. Okay. Fixed.
Me: Thanks.
Her: Whatís that look for?
Me: Christ, my balls are cold! That stuff is freezing. Oh. Oh no.
Her: What?
Me: Itís made its way to my ass crack. Oh, thatís not comfortable at all.
Her: Have you realized youíve got the only balls in the house? You're the lone ball-bearer of the family.
Me: Iím painfully aware of that right now.
Her: Then why are you laughing so hard?
Me: I just picture a bunch of people in tuxes carrying two little boxes.
Her: What?
Me: Ballbearer...pallbearer. Oh, and dibs, by the way.
Her: What, youíre going to tell the Internet about this?
Me: Of course.
Her: Do you think the Internet is really ready to hear about cold balls and wet ass cracks?
Me: Probably not. Like thatíll stop me.

It's a glamorous life we have, no?

Posted by Chris at September 26, 2005 09:04 AM

Wow. I, for one, am envious of the titillating and interesting life you lead!!!

I hate cats. To me, this is entirely too much trouble for one cat. My roommate was gone for 2 weeks and I thought it was noble of me to let the cats into the house and feed them occasionally.

And no, we weren't prepared to hear about your balls and ass crack. Next time have a better warning!

Posted by: Grace at September 26, 2005 09:25 AM

Woohoo. I don't know why I'm happy but I'm the first person to comment!!! I shall go down in some lame history book now for sure.

Enjoy the week!

Posted by: Grace at September 26, 2005 09:25 AM

What is Mia doing while you guys are having such fun?

Posted by: jen at September 26, 2005 09:29 AM

And how cool are you that you remembered to call "dibs" on that one?! Outstanding.

Posted by: Pammer at September 26, 2005 09:33 AM

oh so glamourous...rehydrating cats has got to be right up there with my sunday night of studying neuroscience. we're a bunch of glamourous ones, we are ;)

Posted by: suze at September 26, 2005 09:34 AM

ROFLMAO Wow, and I thought it was a pain wrapping Hunter's heart worm preventatives in cheese and trying to coax him to eat it.

Posted by: dragonlady474 at September 26, 2005 09:40 AM

"Like thatíll stop me."
How true that is. You're not afraid to share anything! (Much to our enjoyment.)

Posted by: Kitty at September 26, 2005 09:42 AM

OMG, I am laughing my ass off. Poor kitty and poor you to have wet nether regions. Our cats think it's the end of the world to get their nails trimmed - I can't imagine how they'd handle being shot up with saline weekly. Brave pet owners, you are!

Posted by: donna at September 26, 2005 09:50 AM

You are so lucky. My wife would not be pleasant if I spoke of cold balls and wet butt cracks on my site. I have to keep it rated pg at worst. And I don't mean pg by todays standards but by the ones they used when I was a teenager.

Posted by: Jeff A at September 26, 2005 09:50 AM

If that's what you call "very little payoff" I'm curious to read what a "big payoff" story would be!

Or... maybe I shouldn't be quite so curious. Yowza.

Posted by: SpaceCase at September 26, 2005 09:53 AM

Oh dear - cats - aren't they fun? I've given up giving Beavis his "calmative." It doesn't seem to affect his behavior and I can think of more fun things to do with my time than stick a cat syringe down his throat to deliver the anchovy flavored goodness. Blech!

Posted by: carrster at September 26, 2005 10:04 AM

My God, hairballs and enemas and reverse enemas, very sharp claws. Right about now I'm glad I'm a dog owner.

Posted by: dragonlady474 at September 26, 2005 10:07 AM

balls & ass crack...I can't think of a better way to start a Monday!

Posted by: VirgoJen at September 26, 2005 10:21 AM

Oh yes, we had to do that for our cat, although he was a Maine Coon and pretty compliant about it all. But we injected it around the scruff of his neck. The vet said that anywhere you could get it in him was ok. Uh, not sure I would have gone through all this if it had to be in his ass. Not sure he would have been so compliant either!

Posted by: Jon in Michigan at September 26, 2005 10:36 AM

Oh, my!!! I had forgotten that how much fun rehydrating a cat can be! We did that for a couple of years with ours. You described it perfectly.

Posted by: Cathy at September 26, 2005 10:41 AM

wet crotch? are you sans pants during this procedure? :)

Posted by: loon at September 26, 2005 10:52 AM

Oh no! Poor Callie. Also, poor you. You'd think the only balls in the family would get a little more respect than a weekly dosing in cold saline, no?

Posted by: Dawnie at September 26, 2005 10:58 AM

Ha, that's priceless.

Posted by: A.K. at September 26, 2005 11:15 AM

EEWW I just don't have the balls for that, thank goodness..


Posted by: soniclibra at September 26, 2005 11:16 AM

Wait... a "through and through" is when you puncture the cat all the way through and the saline sprays you or it is when you push the needle so far up her ass it comes out her mouth? I am confused... and a little icked out.

Posted by: zeno at September 26, 2005 11:17 AM

Great Monday morning story.... I was totally thinking ball/pall bearer too!!

Posted by: ::c:: at September 26, 2005 11:22 AM

Cracking me up -- and I thought you had your hands full with Mia. You two are so dedicated to that cat and I am sure it's been a good kind of prep for taking care of your daughter, being so devoted to someone else's care. Not that you're going to have the Through and Through with Mia... no, I just can't imagine a situation when that would happen.

Posted by: Laura GF at September 26, 2005 11:38 AM

Laughing my ass off here... just spit potato chips all over the keyboard... THANKS A LOT :)

Posted by: stephanie at September 26, 2005 11:44 AM

OMG... If I was drinking milk, I'd snort it out my nose! You cracked me up! (And I really needed a laugh!)

Posted by: mooalex at September 26, 2005 11:45 AM

Coffee came out of my nose, HOT coffee! Callie has awesome owners and I bet she gets a kick out of the 'through and through' herself!!!

Posted by: Kelly M. at September 26, 2005 11:47 AM

I just want to say that is one of the funniest things I've read!! That happened to my cat, we don't know what happened, but he got really sick and we took him to the vet. They pumped saline into his neck-that scruffy part you can pick them up by when they are kittens-AND HE LEAKED TOO! I wasn't there personally, but my Mom said he was like a fountain with this stuff trickling out his back..Norman (the cat)was not happy the days after that-we had to give him this nasty medicine that was brown and thick. It made him gain weight and had vitamins and stuff for his kidneys b/c they got hurt a little from him being sick. But great story...nice to know we're not the only ones with trickling cats!!

Posted by: Michelle at September 26, 2005 11:50 AM

Am trying desperately and not very succesfully to hold in laughter. The looks on my face must be amusing. But you guys really love your kitty!

Posted by: Sue at September 26, 2005 12:01 PM

One of our cats has kidney issues too. He drank/ingested something as a kitten. We've had to pump him up numerous times too, so I feel for you. Not literally of course, as we use TOWELS and avoid the ickiness :) Laughing too hard to type more.

Posted by: wavybrains at September 26, 2005 12:06 PM


Posted by: Angelia at September 26, 2005 12:20 PM

And I thought trying to bathe our cat was bad... he had kidney issues too, but his manifested a little differently. Fragrant leakage. Baths needed to be tolerable when an attack hit.

It's AMAZING how strong a cat can be and just how many claws they really do have.

And this is the first thing I've read in a while that made me laugh out loud!

Posted by: Bonanza Jellybean at September 26, 2005 12:44 PM

Thank you for sharing... (and for warning us at the beginning of the post) ;)

Posted by: ava at September 26, 2005 12:47 PM

Awwww, poor kitty and poor balls!

Posted by: Sweety at September 26, 2005 01:17 PM

Awwww, poor kitty and poor balls!

Posted by: Sweety at September 26, 2005 01:17 PM

Sounds gloriously similar to my own household, minus 1 baby and 2 cats, and + 1 dog.

Posted by: Carrie Jo at September 26, 2005 01:23 PM

That just cracked me up - you called dibs to tell the internet about what happened?


Y'all really ought to think about calling Mastercard and selling your stories for their commercials. Because seriously? There's a fortune to be made between you, Beth, and darling little Mia! (Plus the two cats, of course).

Posted by: Amber at September 26, 2005 01:36 PM

The last things I expected to hear about were your wet cold balls and ass crack. It was a good laugh for sure...

Posted by: Theresa at September 26, 2005 01:38 PM

Ha! Hilarious!! Makes my job of giving one our cats a butt wash every week look like a piece of cake.

Posted by: Dooneybug at September 26, 2005 01:54 PM

Dibs! That's rich!

Posted by: bhd at September 26, 2005 02:06 PM

Ya'll are absolutely the weirdest. It's all very entertaining though.

Posted by: Heather at September 26, 2005 02:14 PM

And the ass fixation continues at the Rude Cactus blog...

Posted by: Oakley at September 26, 2005 03:25 PM

Thank you for that fantastic laugh on a Monday! You ability to paint pictures in my mind with your words is odd, though. Eh, I like it anyhow. Sick, I know... but SOMEone has to be! ;o)

Posted by: ironic1 at September 26, 2005 04:08 PM

Indeed, verily! that is the definition of composure--- ye gods.

Posted by: bluepoppy at September 26, 2005 04:29 PM

LMAO!!!! OMG!!! That's too funny. I used to be a vet tech and I can appreciate the complexities of giving IV fluids to a critter. I'm embarassed to admit that I've even STABBED MYSELF with needles and it hurts like a MOFO.

I'm sorry about your coldballs by the way...did you notice any "shrinkage"? :)

Posted by: Colleen at September 26, 2005 05:32 PM

i lead such a boring life compared to you and your family, lol!

Posted by: tiffanie at September 26, 2005 05:50 PM

Out of all the stories you've told so far, I can't believe it's taken so long to tell this one. What an, um...experience! I think it's time you two switched places, and you get to stick the needle in for a while. :)

Posted by: Zandria at September 26, 2005 05:58 PM

I for one, think that is an entirely appropriate, ney, necessary, story to share with the internet. I'd have called dibs too.

Posted by: Sari Olsen at September 26, 2005 06:47 PM

Hahahaha! I'm glad i read this in my room and not in my computer graphics class.

I love how you guys have to call dibs on posting about something.

Posted by: Denise at September 26, 2005 07:45 PM

i think the internet can handle cold balls and wet ass cracks. i bet there are whole websites devoted to just such a thing.

Posted by: jodi at September 26, 2005 08:35 PM

I love that you have an accepted name for the situation. The fact that you can just yell "We have Through and Through" without any explanation is priceless.

Posted by: Fraulein N at September 26, 2005 08:57 PM

And I thought you had enlightened me enough with the asshat pic, now, yes NOW I can die knowledgable hee!!!!

Posted by: Nina at September 26, 2005 09:01 PM

I needed that tonight! Sure hope there's not another through and through any time soon....;)

Posted by: beanhead at September 26, 2005 09:10 PM

hahahahahahahahaha,now THATS funny ......oh please do post pics next time this happens, you know for posterior errr i mean posterity's sake, pardon the pun :)

Posted by: shaners at September 26, 2005 10:07 PM

Wow. Now we can all really feel like family!

Posted by: Queen Of Ass at September 26, 2005 10:17 PM

Loads of payoff actually, I even laighed out loud. But then I've had pets with failing parts and can totally relate. Of course, not to the freezing balls part, but maybe the wet ass-crack...

Posted by: Amy at September 27, 2005 12:05 AM

wow, god bless you for going through all that with your cat!!!! jeepers, thats tricky stuff, better luck next time...put a blanket on your lap and than the cat on top of that?

Posted by: lizabetty at September 28, 2005 06:10 PM