Esperando got on a lengthy conference call and I watched Winnie. He kept drooling and trying to throw up. I finally decided he might have something caught in his throat and went over and opened his mouth. His tongue was bent funny in the middle; I stuck my finger down his throat and encountered a sharp object protruding from his tongue. So that was it, he had a huge splinter stuck in his tongue, which was swelling and causing him to drool. We would have to wait for several hours until the vet opens, now that we could see it was something the vet could treat.
Waiting to feel better
In the meantime Winnie went into the guest bedroom and curled up on the bed to sleep. By 10 we had buttoned him up in his cat carrier and were beating down the vet’s door. Since I knew the vet had been in Tijuana and it struck me that maybe he had not returned yet. He came out of a room, and when he saw us he said, “I have your medicine.” “Oh,” I said, “great. We have a sick cat here, too.”
He ushered us into the clinic room and said, “What is wrong?” “He has a palito (a little stick) stuck in his tongue,” said I. “Show me,” he said. We pried Winnie’s mouth open and he said, “Oh will have to put him to sleep.” “Yes,” we said. By now Winnie was getting impatient, his mood was not great anyway because of his problem and he starting growling and sounding annoyed. The vet slammed some drugs in his behind and said, “This works very fast. He will be asleep in two minutes.” And so he was.
The girl came in to assist the vet in keeping Winnie’s mouth open with a pair of scissor handles. The vet picked over his tools and found a forceps and some tweezers. They tried to pull his tongue forward and then decided the problem was on the back side and twisted his tongue over, rapidly extracting a threaded needle. Both of our eyes bugged out and our jaws dropped open. Poor kitty had his tongue impaled on a needle this whole time. If I hadn’t decided to poke my finger down his throat, we might not have taken him to the vet and he probably wouldn’t have recovered.
Is this what a dead cat looks like?
This morning when I let him out of the crate he was doing much better but was still somewhat wobbly. This afternoon he is still not quite himself. The vet said some cats are very sensitive to anesthetics and we should tell any other vet of the experience if he needs to be put under again.