Scenario 1: I'm sitting in my office, diligently working away, when the phone rings. I pick up the receiver with a cheerful greeting, to find that the caller is Max's new vet/dentist/surgeon. She gently tells me that there were complications with Max's surgery, and that he didn't make it. She asks if I'd like to pick up his body or have them dispose of it. I burst in to tears with the realization that I don't even have anywhere to bury a cat, unless I want to go digging in Patterson Park, which I'm pretty confident is not legal and also not sanitary. I vow to wear black for a year.
Scenario 2: I'm pacing around my office (which is a feat in and of itself, for my "office" is quite small and cluttered with extraneous furniture), chewing on my lovely french manicure, waiting for the vet to call with an update on Max's surgery. The phone rings, and I snatch it up with a frantic "Please tell me he's alright!" The vet assures me that Max is doing just fine, and that the surgery went well. However, they discovered that all of his teeth were completely rotted, and had to remove them all. The surgery thus took much longer than expected, and Max will need kitty dentures. The price of this will be approximately nineteen bajiillion dollars, which comes to only a few million dollars a month for the rest of my life if I'd like to utilize their convenient payment plan. I faint and am brought across the street to the emergency room when my body starts going into spastic convulsions. For the rest of my life, I have a mortal fear of dentists and the number 19.
Scenario 3: Minutes after I arrive at work, sweat dripping down my back from driving for an hour in a car with no air conditioning on a day when it's 86 degrees and muggy at 9am, I have an ominous premonition and dash back to the car. I speed to the vet's office, darting in and out of traffic and barreling over smaller cars with Joel's truck. Just as they're about to cut Max's mouth open, I burst into the room, snatch him up in my arms and spirit him away. After my psychotic break is complete, I live out the rest of my days in the homeless park on President Street and spend the days making up long, detailed stories that will convince people to give me money and taking Max for walks on a leash.
I could go on. That is how worried I was that something would go horribly wrong yesterday. The guilt that I felt for not taking care of Max's tooth problems earlier was NOTHING compared to the guilt that overwhelmed me when the vet tech carried him away yesterday morning. Why am I doing this? Max certainly doesn't want to have this surgery. I certainly don't want to pay for this surgery. So why are we here again? Gah!
Fortunately, the actual events went something like this:
Scenario 4: I'm surfing the internet during my lunch break when my cell phone rings. I toy with the idea of not answering it, since I"m not expecting updates on Max or my car until later in the afternoon, and I hate talking on my cell phone at work. Curiosity wins out, and I answer the phone and hear the sound of the vet's soothing voice. I brace myself for the worst, but it turns out she is calling to let me know that the surgery is over and Max is ready to be picked up any time after 3pm. She assures me that everything went fine. I buy myself a Diet Coke in celebration.
After work, I got back into Joel's truck and drove to the auto repair place (another story for another day, but the car is not fixed and I will be going to the dreaded dealer next week). I dropped off Joel's truck near his office, picked up my car, and drove through the rush hour traffic to the vet's office. I waited for about 40 minutes for him to be ready, and I can only imagine that he was putting up his usual fight over getting in to the carrier. While I waited, I found an "autographed" picture of Happy, the dog from Seventh Heaven, on the wall. And that made my
The ride home was horribly hot. My car is black. My air conditioning has been broken for 2 years. It was 90 degrees out. I only had the sunroof open because Max is terrified of the highway sounds. And yet, Max did not make a sound on the whole trip home. Either he was just too hot to cry, he was still doped up from the anesthesia, or he can sense when the destination is his beloved rowhouse. I took this picture with my camera phone when we were at a stoplight, which I think supports the "doped up and thinks he's flying on a magic carpet" hypothesis:
Look Ma! No teeth!
Usually he's too busy bashing his head against the walls in a desperate attempt to escape to enjoy the scenery.
When we got home, I was expecting Max crawl under the bed and sleep for a day or two -- which is what he usually does when he is recovering from a traumatic vet visit.
Instead, he hopped out of the carrier and proceeded to wander around the house, leaning against the wall like a drunk old man. Then he ate an entire can of cat food. And then he rolled around on the floor and rubbed himself against the chair so hard that he actually moved it about a foot.
It appears that the pain medication he's on is somewhat similar to ecstasy, and that Max does not miss those three teeth at all. He is equally happy to lie in the middle of the floor or maniacally rub himself against every surface in the house. Since I have to feed him a "soft diet" for the next week, and I only have one can of wet food left, he's been eating nothing but chunk light tuna since he got home. Rather than putting on the regular "I've been violated" act, he seems to firmly believe that he has died and gone to heaven. Thank goodness for kitty vicodin.
And the best part? The cost for the pre-op visit and the surgery combined was actually less than the estimate they gave me when I first called.