Well, I suppose first I should tell you what FLUTD is. Cornell defines it as the following: "Feline lower urinary tract disease (FLUTD) describes a collection of conditions that can affect the bladder and urethra of cats. This syndrome can have many possible causes, but cats generally exhibit similar, recognizable signs. Cats with FLUTD usually show signs of difficulty and pain when urinating, increased frequency of urination, and blood in the urine." I, of course, know it better as the fucked up death-disease that tried to kill my baby on Sunday.
Some backstory: I have been incredibly ill recently. I was scheduled for a diagnostic endoscopy for Monday morning. I'm not going to go into all of that, because it's a whole other issue in and unto itself. This matters because of the timeline. Sunday night, I noticed that Ollie wasn't feeling so well, and he wasn't using the bathroom. Now, he did that from time to time, usually when the weather changed (as it had this weekend), so I resolved to keep an eye on him in the coming days to make sure he didn't get worse. And then he got worse, much worse, and fast.
I woke up around 2 a.m. to him mewling piteously and attempting to urinate on his scratching post in the bedroom. Now, to know how shocking this was, you have to understand: even as a kitten, Ollie has not once, ever gone to the bathroom anywhere outside of his litterbox. I knew right away that something was enormously wrong. I scooped him up, and saw immediately that his little penis was horribly red and swollen, so much so that he wasn't even able to retract it. He also seemed completely unable to stop himself from sporadically straining to pee, even as I held him. I threw on whatever clothes I could find, bundled him up, and then raced to the emergency vet clinic.
I'll skip over the details, but id got home around 5 a.m. after having to leave him there so they could catheterization him and empty his bladder. He was completely blocked. Luckily, I caught it fast enough that there was no organ damage. People, this could have killed him by morning. I've never been so thankful to be such a light sleeper. Fast forward a few hours, and I'm drunkenly trying to issue instructions to his vet from my hospital bed (with my father's help- I've never taken for granted what amazing parents I have, but damn if this didn't just bring it home for me in a brand new way).
As of today, Ollie has had a perenial urethrostomy (ironically called a PU for short), which is essentially a surgical restructuring of his penis to create a shorter, wider urethra. For lack of a better way to describe it, it's very similar to a sex change operation. His bladder has been flushed to remove all of the debris, and he's finally urinating clear and on his own again. I may be able to bring him home as early as tomorrow, after which he'll be spending the next few weeks confined to a bathroom to minimize his movement. I'll be spending my nights on an air mattress in the adjoining room so he won't try to get out and get to me at night. And I want you all to know, I have never been so overjoyed at the prospect of several weeks worth of cramped muscles and poor sleep. I need my little boy to be ok.
I'm not sharing this for sympathy. I want everyone to know about this shetbag of a disease. It is the number one killer of neutered male cats, and folks, it is horrific. If you have a neutered male, please, please, please follow this link, or simply look up FLUTD. Know the symptoms. And if your cat starts showing signs of it, don't wait like I did. It's a miracle that Ollie came through this so well; most cats don't by the time they're at the point he reached. And, again, I cannot stress this enough: it got that bad in a matter of hours.
So, in closing, fuck FLUTD. And also, fuck this week so far. Jesus Christ. I've included a picture of Ollie for your appreciation. I hope you're all well, and that your week is being so much better than mine so far.
UPDATE: I get to bring him home today!!!!!!