When Sachen came to live with me, five years ago today, I fell for him right away. However, I continued to use Scott’s last name. When I yelled at him, it was always prefaced with “Sachen T. Lawson.” I gave him a middle name because he didn’t have one, but I let him keep his last name.
It didn’t mean anything. I mean, Sachen was my cat from the first morning I woke up to find him sleeping at the end of my bed. (Seriously, if you struggle with anxiety and/or depression, try waking up with a cat sleeping at the end of your bed before you try drugs. I’m all for drugs, but the cat thing works, too.) I don’t know why I hung on to the last name, but it is gone for good now.
Perhaps a time line is in order before I proceed with my story.
July 28: I take Sachen to the vet because he has lost a lot of weight in the 10 months since his last checkup. The vet confirms the weight loss (from 13 pounds to 9 pounds) and diagnoses Sachen with hyperthyroid. He says this is common in geriatric cats (you have my permission to refer to Sachen as “geriatric” the next time you see him) and is totally treatable with medication.
July 28 (later that same day): We buy a new car.
Aug. 7: I do not go to the Michigan Womyn’s Festival. SAD FACE.
Aug. 8: Sachen has trouble breathing and we take him to the emergency vet where we learn that he has a heart murmur. This is likely caused by his enlarged thyroid since it came out of nowhere. I really can’t exaggerate the out of nowhereness of this event. It totally blindsides us, and we are a mess.
Over the course of the next couple of days, we learned that the vet had erroneously given us steroids instead of thyroid medicine, and while it didn’t hurt Sachen, it certainly wasn’t helping his thyroid. It did likely contribute to his unusually good mood, though, which in turn contributed to us thinking that he was doing really well and we needn’t worry about him at all.
After a treatment regimen involving an oxygen tank and a few medications, Sachen is doing much better. I knew he was going to be OK when one of the nurses at the clinic where he had an ultrasound responded to my question about how he was doing with “Well, he’s been crabby.” I was actually asking about his respiratory function, but the tech managed to answer two questions at once.
Sachen has been home for about a week and a half, and he immediately settled back into his regular routine. Unfortunately his new routine now includes several medications, which he takes with varying degrees of compliance. The vet doesn’t stock beta blockers so we had to fill that prescription at Walgreen’s, where Sachen’s name appears as “Sachen Pruitt.” The pharmacy clerk didn’t even ask me what my cat’s last name was; she just assumed it was the same as mine.
And I didn’t correct her because Sachen is my cat, after all.