Corbin's Hospital Adventure
Edit - The story was updated, but since it's being shared again it should be on the front page that Corbin did not make it. I am absolutely devastated - incredibly grateful for the friends and strangers who have been kind enough to help me, but still overwhelmed and miserable by this loss (and horrified it happened so suddenly and unexpectedly - he had been a perfectly healthy cat his entire life before this, and a few weeks before this had started appeared completely fine). I would have done anything to keep Corbin in this world, but knowing I still owe nearly two months of my salary and that my favorite creature on Earth isn't here is... a lot to take.
My name is Mindy. I live in Brooklyn and I work in books. This is Corbin, he's the love of my life. I've known him since he was a little kitten that. My best friend and I found him in a box with his siblings when he was three weeks old in Park Slope in 2009. She originally kept him, but eventually I was too attached and he's been mine ever since. He's been a healthy, if co-dependent and anxious little familiar for the last nine years. I'm anxious too, and have a host of medical issues over the years including endometriosis and hypermobility that have required multiple surgeries, and Corbin has always been my little empathy cat.
He started acting a bit off on October 1st, starting to hide in book shelves and not wanting to sleep in bed with me as he normally did. Then he stopped eating and got really listless, and it was time to go to the vet. I thought he had a minor infection from scratching his head (a nervous habit he has - he yanks out hair and scratches his skin when he's anxious, usually associated with me leaving and I just took a trip. He was in good care, but it wasn't me), and like all previous vet trips over the years - he'd get antibiotics and steroids to grow back the hair and he would be fine. But this time they said he was REALLY off. My vet told me had fluid in his belly, appeared jaundiced, and he needed to go the emergency room immediately. The symptoms kept growing more dire from there.
At the hospital, we were told he has hemolytic anemia, which means he's destroying his own red blood cells which explains his lethargy. He also is displaying a lot of symptoms of FIP, a fatal viral disease that attacks the cells of the intestinal wall (though they can't say for sure yet if he has that). He also has an enlarged liver, spleen, and gall bladder. Basically, internally - he's a mess and I had no idea. He's been in the hospital since Friday night and been subject to a litany of tests and diagnostics, but he's been a medical mystery so far.
I immediately took out Care Credit to handle the bills, but they're stacking up quickly and I work in book publishing so my salary is just... not up to snuff. The current hospital bill for being at the hospital for several nights, two blood transfusions, diagnostic tests (including biopsies) is at $6,616 (plus the $445 at the vet before we were sent to the emergency veterinary hospital) ... and he hasn't even begun any real treatment. That is well over three months salary for me at this point. I love this cat more than any living creature, but I am also truly not sure how I will pay these bills. Any little bit will help.
He was bright and alert in the end, and I think he had at least a few good days with us. But I'm a mess - I loved this cat more than words can say. I joked constantly about dying first (I have a morbid sense of humor) because I couldn’t handle a world without him. Now I am left with precisely what I didn’t want – a $7000 plus bill and I am without the love of my life.
He had the first full round of meds, including steroids, appetite stimulants, antibiotics, and a bile drainer for his gall bladder. He finally started acting more like himself a few hours after that and slept in bed with me for several hours, and woke up energetic and psyched about food. He still needed help eating this morning and I needed to finally go back to the office today. I’ve got CBD treats on the way to hopefully help with his appetite and stomach pain. We’ve got a follow up appointment on Sunday so we’ll see how he’s doing again, but feeling a smidge more optimistic?