Sick CatAs Thanksgiving draws near, the thought of stuffing ourselves silly with heavenly roasted, lightly steamed, colorful, savory and sweet-smelling foods typically comes to mind – or did – until our cat had an explosive reaction to turkey.

File under: WHAT’S UP WITH BREAKFAST?

Yesterday, I opened a fresh can of cat food and fed our cats in separate rooms, as usual. When Tim opened the door to clear Jackson’s plate, Jackson hadn’t eaten. Food refusal is absolutely out of character, so I thought he might be sick. Not so. I switched out his turkey with chicken and, obviously hungry, he ate at his usual breakneck pace.

What was up with the turkey? We checked on Jed. He had licked his plate clean. Hmmm.

LUNCH IS SERVED – OR NOT

Several hours after breakfast, lunch was served – all across the dining room floor. Jed was obviously not feeling well and he was the one who ate what the other refused. By dinnertime, Jed worsened. When I served both cats from a completely fresh can, Jed walked right past his food and into the closet where he laid his little head down and closed his eyes.

WELCOME TO THE INSIDE OF MY CAT

Jed's Insides

This image is the result of the pool of spew I hopped over on the way to an emergency visit at Nassau Vet. This pile, which I scooped into a Zip-lock on my way out the door, contained some interesting foreign objects including two 1-inch squares of Styrofoam pipe insulation and the severed foot of a favorite cat toy.

EAT THAT!

After making Jed swallow something akin to Barrium,  strongly suspecting the need for surgical foreign object extraction, conducting a billion dollar intestinal photo-shoot that went straight on ’til dawn, we are finally in the clear. Thankfully, it all came out okay – quite literally.

What isn’t clear is whether Jed ate bad food and then foreign objects to make himself regurge, or if he ate the foreign objects first which then hindered digestion. (Jed, sadly, has a long history of eating small, inanimate objects.) Because Jackson didn’t like the food, I first thought the former. The brand, which I have always had faith in, kindly took a full report, offered an immediate exchange for piece of mind, and said there were no other reported instances on file. That, of course, made me think Jed might have experienced the latter.

NOW WHAT?

Since this event is likely the most memorable portion of this year’s Thanksgiving experience, we’re hoping that Jed doesn’t dine next on led pipe braised in anti-freeze. We’ve already dismembered the feet, ears and tails from his collection of stuffed toys and removed the last of the Styrofoam pipe insulation. Still, he’ll probably find something we’ve overlooked – or create it. Like Jed’s vet, the wonderful Dr. Sanford, said, “The biggest danger to Jed is Jed himself.”

And then Jed rolled down the hall, still in his carrier, as all the hospital staff came to laugh at what they swore (some with more than 22 years experience) they’ve never seen a cat do before.

MOVING ON

In an effort to stay ahead of the game, we’re strategizing now on how to safely decorate the cats’ first Christmas tree. Visions of sugar plums aren’t dancing in my head. Rather, I’m envisioning diagrams, pullies, counterweights, heavy bolts and large, indigestible baubles.

Cheers to hoping our “star” cats don’t become tree toppers …