Pixel’s big adventure

Perpetrator last seen vandalising perfectly innocent rugs in inner suburban Melbourne. Approach with care as known to projectile vomit hairballs at the unsuspecting.

A.K.A., Hairballs are bad

This is Pixel. He’s my cat. I’ve had him since early 2010, when he was delivered to me as a kitten in a yellow towel.

Five minutes later he’d disappeared. It took me an hour to find him, after making sure there was absolutely no way he could have escaped the house. It turned out he’d found a hiding spot beneath some Ikea Billy Bookshelves I had at the time.

The bottom of the shelf is hollow, making it ideal for a kitten to hide in and scare the pants off its new owner.
The Kitten Hide

He’s been a good cat, with occasional illnesses (male cats have an unbelievably tortuous urinary tract, which can be prone to blockage. Further proof of the nonexistence of God, or that God doesn’t really like male cats), but this week he had a doozy.

Hairballs are the nemesis of cats everywhere. Because they groom themselves and have tongues which presumably were the inspiration for Velcro, they ingest quite a bit of hair.

Not Pixel’s tongue

Sometimes that hair balls together in their stomach and makes its way into the large intestine. And that’s all fine and dandy until it gets to the small, upon which, the ball may become lodged. And of course, because the patron saint of cats is the Egyptian god “Bast”, presumably short for “Bastard”, all this happened on the weekend.

Pixel’s weekend began with a nice breakfast, followed at some point during the day by the deposit of vomited hairballs on three out of four of my rugs.

He began deteriorating from there. The first inkling I got that something was really amiss — because he’d had hairballs before and shrugged it off — was the absence of the now traditional 5.30am wake-up call.

In fact, he felt more like lying around and doing very little. He managed a little sun on Sunday, but gave up and hid under a bedside table. Disinterested in food and water, he gave the impression that he was very ill.

He managed a couple of unhappy “Yowls” on the way to the tram, and the short walk to the Johnston Street Vet Clinic, before being examined in full by one of the vets.

Pixel hide
Pixel hide

There were several issues, none of which at the time were extremely worrying, but they were of concern. Rather than leaving him overnight with no supervision, I brought him home. But in the morning, he was still the same.

So back to the Vet we went. X-rays suggested a lot of fluid in his stomach but no clear indication of what was going on.

The dark spots are apparently air. The light ones, depending on where they are, are bones, bits of skin or other assorted cat.
Transparent cat

I should note at this point that the vets actually called me twice to check-up on Pixel, the first time I’ve ever had that experience. This in my book makes them the best vet I’ve ever been to (and I’ve been to quite a few).

So we went home and returned the next day. And this time he was admitted.

This is his mugshot.

Perpetrator last seen vandalising perfectly innocent rugs in inner suburban Melbourne. Approach with care as known to projectile vomit hairballs at the unsuspecting.

Surgery occurred on Wednesday. The news was there was a rather hard hairball lodged in his small intestine. They kept him in overnight on fluids and he began recovery.

Today I went to pick him up. The Vets noted he seemed unhappy, which was a far cry from when he was admitted, where he was docile to the point of being mistaken for a mink stole.

The vets said he was getting bolshy, suggesting he was getting better.
Not. Happy. Jan

He’s to go back again on Friday for a check-up and next week to remove the stitches.

Thanks to Cai for the use of her car. The icing on the cake was I got a f*cking parking ticket today in Northcote.
The journey homeward






four mounds of hairballs, strategically placed upon three of my four rugs.

Author: gotheek

Sometime writer, full time human.