Aby-a-Day – May 3: Today was brought to you by the letter “P”

When I woke up this morning, it seemed like a perfectly ordinary Tuesday.


Then Jacoby went to the bathroom and nothing happened.


(I took these photos to show the vet, not to post, but since I have them…) Poor Jake went from box to box, trying to pee in each one as though a change of venue might be more productive. Every time, only a few drops came out. He must have tried at least 10 times in less than an hour.

Being fairly well-read on the subject of feline healthcare (and having on hand both the most recent edition of the Cat Owner’s Home Veterinary Handbook and the Cornell Book of Cats as well as The Veterinarian’s Guide to Your Cat’s Symptoms because, for some reason, looking things up in books is so much more satisfying than Googling them at times like these), I knew that a cat trying to pee and not being able to – especially a boycat – is an emergency. It could be a blockage of the urethra (which is narrow in male cats), or Cystitis, or crystals or stones in the bladder, but whatever it is, it’s definitely not a “wait-and-see” situation. So, I bundled Jake up in his carrier and we went to see the vet.


We saw Dr. KC (who we saw when he had his escalator accident back in October), and she agreed that there was something going on, probably Cystitis since he was otherwise perky and eating well. She prescribed Clavamox (antibiotic), Tramadol (pain reliever) and Phenoxybenzamine (which reduces urethral spasms and increases urine outflow). However, I wasn’t to give him the Clavamox until I’d gotten his urine sample.


I’m sure you’re wondering (as was I), “how in the heck do you get a urine sample from a cat?” Why, with PlastiLitter, of course! You put the PlastiLitter into a small, empty litterbox and wait til the cat pees in there, then pour out the urine (which the plastic pebbles don’t absorb) and take it back to the vet. Easy peasy! Except, not really.

“Seriously? Seriously!?

Jake went pee surprisingly quickly, almost as soon as I’d set up the little litterbox, and I got as much of it as I could and ran back to the vet…but it wasn’t enough. I had a doctor appointment of my own during lunch (ironically, involving a urine test), and then I had to get back to work, so I had to leave Jake alone in the bedroom with his little red cat show pan and his PlastiLitter and hope for the best.

You know you’re a cat mom when…all the time you’re at work you can’t wait to get home and see if your kitty has peed. It was the first thing I checked when I walked in the door, before even taking off my shoes or jacket. And…he had not. Not at all. I stirred up the PlastiLitter and showed it to him again, and pretty much begged him to “please go peepee.”

Finally, he went in and gave me a good-sized sample! Hurrah! I think he was as relieved as I was; I know he was thrilled to see the little show box go away and the regular big box returned to the litter cabinet.

So now he’s had his Clavamox, and tomorrow I’ll take his sample back to the vet to see what’s actually going on in there.