Last week I had all-day trainings on Thursday and Friday. They were super awesome and helpful, and half the people there were from my company, and 75% of those were from my specific location. The first day I was ultra crabby and tired from having been kept up by Grim all night, and I fully intended on being antisocial and spending the lunch hour sleeping in my car. Somehow I ended up with the MHR clique, and then life got better from there. On Friday after the training, I had to drive home from Minneapolis in rush hour, pick up Steve, and drive back in WORSE rush hour (because of the omgsomuch construction), and then wait in line outside to get into the venue because they were running a half hour late. The concert itself was amazing, and Lights is adorable. I fell more in love with her at the concert. She has a very cute stage presence and is clearly there because she enjoys it. The venue was really small and cozy. Afterwards we waited outside in the cold for 45 minutes so we could get an autograph. We were almost at the front of the line to begin with, so the majority of the waiting was just her changing and getting prepped for a billion autographs. She came out in an adorable winter coat (many people were in t-shirts and even I was just in a thin, zip-up hoodie) because it was DEFINITELY cold by 10:45pm in Minnesota. I got a signature on her album, and Steve and I each got to give her a hug! Yay! We're pretty much BFFs now ;)
On Saturday Steve and I went to Nick's sister's for a Halloween party, like we have done since we started dating. I was Catwoman, Faith was Supergirl, Steve, Nick, Scott, and Pat all went as characters from Final Fantas'y tactics. We mostly sat around and talked, and Nick's sister tried to set him up with a girl she worked with who went as a "retro zombie teacher." She came only knowing Megan, and was able to tolerate like 20 people she didn't even know. She was funny and cute, and shares similar interests, and now we all want her in the group regardless of whether Nick dates her. XD Everyone added her to Facebook but we can't Facebook stalk her because she either just got a Facebook, or doesn't put a lot of information to the public (even her pictures are only from Halloween, and she untagged herself in everyone's photos, leaving only ones she took!). Frustrating, but workable, haha.
On Sunday we ran some errands and then went to dinner with my family for Paul's birthday. It was pretty fun.
Yesterday morning after we got out of the shower I noticed Grim standing kinda funny in the corner by the bookshelves. He looked pretty stiff and his tail was shaking like it does when he's straining in the litter box. I pinned him down and felt him all over to see if he'd yelp, and he didn't. Then he walked around a little and made a couple sad meows before laying down, super-stiffly. He did this like 4 different times over the next half hour - he kept laying in positions that he must've thought would trick us into thinking he was comfortable. Like, on his back or side for tummy pets, curling his front paws to be cute, etc. I was not fooled! He was sooo sad and stiff. He was not pleased to get put in the carrier.
The vet said he was blocked but that his bladder wasn't full (aka I'm ridiculously in tune with Grimmy). She said when she went to unblock him that she was shocked at how small his pee hole is. Which is because of the scarring, and was always my worst fear/knowledge. When I clean the litterboxes it has always been very clear which pees were his and which were Nero's. Nero pees grapefruits and Grim pees... like prunes (and Grim used to pee grapefruits). She also said she had thought there was a stone in there because there was so much grit. Poor kitty :( We had a very serious talk about surgery vs putting him down. Actually we had a couple talks about the surgery throughout the day. Lucky for me I didn't have any work appointments yesterday (and I was able to move my Depo appointment to the afternoon) because I spent over 2 hours at the vet and then spent much of the rest of the day crying. I burst into tears at some point while waiting at the vet, started crying reading a magazine at the doctor's office, and pretty much any time I imagined a life without Grim. He's MY AGE in cat years. He is NOT going to die. I cried when I thought about the cost and how I was going to pay for it.
Steve and I talked it over via text all day, and in the end I asked for a personal line of credit from the bank that covers such things as "consolidating debt, tuition expenses, home improvements, and unexpected expenses". I was approved for far more than the surgery will likely cost, and the interest is 11.75% right now vs whatever like 29% on a credit card (or 3). I started to cry when telling the banker about my situation. But I was able to get it under control and she smartly waited until that point to express sympathy or else there would have been for real waterworks and comical inability to understand me. lol.
I spoke with the vet again and she stated that she talked to a surgeon that she trusts very much with the surgery. He works just down the street from the emergency clinic and said he might be able to swing the surgery for almost half the original cost (though I'm not sure how and will find out tomorrow - I am not willing to compromise Grim's pain for cheaper expenses). I am also transferring all of the cats' stuff to that clinic, because I don't trust Banfield and never want to go there again. I scheduled a consult + surgery for tomorrow morning before my appointments, and Steve is working his hardest to get at least a half day so I don't have to do it alone. I could have left Grim at the vet for the next couple of nights for less transportation trauma, but I think he is less traumatized overall by being home. I had to go in the back to get him into his kennel because he wouldn't let any of the techs touch him, and he had the "bad animal" towl over his cage :( I always feel bad because he's so sweet generally. He was VERY hissy and had stuck himself into the corner - for a minute I actually thought he might bite or scratch me, he was so upset. But he didn't and I got him into his carrier with little issue.
He's currently taking antibiotics to prevent infection, buprenorphine for pain (we're good friends with it by this time), and instead of the muscle relaxant he's had in the past, they prescribed him a small dose of an actual tranquilizer usually used to prep for anesthesia, to prevent him from straining and reblocking over the next two nights. I moved all of the cats' items (water, food, litter boxes) to our room. Well, the litter boxes are technically in the hallway but I can see them at all times. I also took away all dry food and give Grim treats after taking his medicine. He has made a permanent residence between the catboxes and the food, and hasn't drank ANY water that I've seen, but at least he is happily eating the wet food. The medicine is an appetite suppressant and can upset kitty tummies so I imagine he just isn't feeling it. He's been high ever since we got home - rubbing on EVERYTHING in his little zone, purring like a maniac if I pet him, wanting lots of pressure-intense pets. He also has spent a lot of time just staring blankly at everything, but not in the listless way as when he was doped up in the past. I would guess he's having some sort of hallucinatory effects, to be honest!
All this has pissed Nero off a great deal, as always. He's only used the litter box once and I haven't seen him eat or drink. Though he often drinks out of the bathtub because there's always water dripping from the faucet. He's mad because Grim smells funny and appears to be "guarding" everything. It's quite amusing to watch. Every so often Grim will get this crazy idea to taunt Nero, so he'll run super-enthusiastically over to him (but not even touch him!), and Nero will freak out and hiss and stumble backwards like a doof and get all offended. But mostly Grim just lays on the ground, perking up if you pet him.
I spent the night just moping in bed, not motivated to do anything but watch Steve play Persona 3 and Tumblr. My dad called me, all concerned because of the most recent Hyperbole and a Half
, which I "shared" on Facebook. I explained to him that I HAVE been struggling a lot with depression over the past 2 months especially, but it's nothing new. I just really thought that was an accurate portrayal of what depression feels like. If I didn't have guilt, and the very real knowledge that if I were to allow myself to succumb like Allie and so many other people, life would only get that much harder. I'm a functioning depressive, but that doesn't mean I don't wish with all my heart that I could just lay in bed for weeks or months. I've done it before. But now I am accountable in different ways and it's not really an option right now. So I sulkily continue to sort-of function. But it was adorable that he called and wanted to talk about it. He admitted that he's coming to terms with these types of issues (finally! Around a decade ago he referred to Pam's medication as Quack Pills and scoffed at the idea of counseling), and encouraged me to seek help if I need it. I've been considered medication again, but I don't remember it really helping in the past, and I just don't have time for counseling. It was a pretty good talk, and I swear I like my dad more and more as we age. He's a pleasant man these days.