Our Cat Sent Us to the ER on the Day We Moved Across the Country

3 years ago

H and I have relocated to Los Angeles from Chicago and it went the opposite of smoothly.

When good cats attack

We decided to fly instead of drive.  We thought it would be one day of stress and hassle versus three days.

We thought wrong.

It turned out to be three days of stress and hassle with a two night hospital stay, thanks to Magoo.

Magoo is our cat ... our cat who never leaves our place except to go to the vet, which is always stressful for him.  I think he thinks he is abducted by aliens when he has to go to the vet.  Loud machines buzzing, people walking around in white coats, an anal probe!

So, our normally loving animal who gets nervous while outside of our home went ballistic at airport security when he needed to be taken out of his carrier to go through the scan machine (TSA rules).

We had given him a dose of triptophan beforehand but, needless to say, it didn't work.

He tried to escape from H's arms.

We had him in a harness but, needless to say, it didn't help.

He bit and scratched H as H tried to prevent him from running away.  When I went over to help get him back in his carrier, he jumped on me and scratched my hands and neck.

We got him back in his carrier but there was blood everywhere.  The Chicago EMT were called.  H thought he might need stitches.

Still, we knew one thing - we were never taking Magoo to an airport again.  So, we either had to get on the flight to L.A.  One way and bloodied.  Or we could go to the hospital in Chicago and drive the next day to L.A.

We got on the plane.

Blood and Bloody Mary's

No longer jumping and hissing, Magoo sat between us in his carrier under the seat.

Still bleeding and in shock, H ordered four vodka on the rocks and I had three bloody mary's.

Earlier, as we were boarding the plane, I wondered: Will we ever laugh about this? Maybe a year from now.  Maybe ten years from now.

Turns out, we were peeing our pants after two drinks and so was the flight crew.  After all, we had to explain the blood and the drinks and the laughs and the initial tears (mine).

Welcome to Marina del Rey ... Hospital

We landed, postponed the rental car a day and hopped in a cab to our new home.

"Hi! We're moving in today. No time to talk though. We got mauled by our cat and need to go to the nearest hospital.  But, first, can we drop off Killer and our bags?  Thanks."

We were both seen by the amazing staff at MDR Hospital (Hi Betty! Hi Eric!). We both received tetanus shots.

MDR Staff: "So, how long have you lived here?"
Me/H: "About two hours."

H didn't need stitches, after all, but he did need: an X-Ray of his left hand, an MRI of his right hand, a once over by the orthopedist and intravenous antibiotics for three days and two nights.

Spend first night in new apartment ... alone. Oh and don't flush

So, I spent the first night in our new home alone with no lamps, no furniture, no bath towels, a bandaged hand and a catatonic cat.

In the middle of the night, I flushed the toilet and it overflowed.

You know, icing on the cake.

When bad omens are good

I am, like many creative people, always looking for signs, patterns, meaning.  It didn't take long to remember that when we left NYC to move to Chicago six years ago, we drove (smart!) and as we were heading out, we got stuck in the Lincoln Tunnel.  And we sat there for hours!  Over four hours, as I recall.  Some idiot had abandoned a bag or something in the tunnel.

I always feared it was a bad omen. Should we not be moving to Chicago? What if it's a mistake?
It's safe to say it was not a mistake. We had an amazing six years in Chicago.

So, if bad omens mean good things are to come, L.A. should be beyond our wildest dreams.


In the spirit of Roses, today, I am grateful ~

1/ that it wasn't worse.  And it could have been so much worse - our eyes or face weren't scratched or bit, Magoo didn't hurt anyone else, we were allowed to fly.
2/ that everyone is healing. Magoo no longer has blood on his fur.  H's hands are healing beautifully.  And I already finished my three day course of antibiotics. Woot woot.
3/ that, after being knocked down by our 13 pound meatball and spending three nights in a place that smelled like mildew, our building let us move to a new unit ...  a unit that smells clean and has a lot more sunlight!
Let the sun shine in.  We're here, L.A.


Thank you for reading!
Please be sure to follow me on Facebook here and Twitter @FernRonay to keep up with Stop and Blog the Roses L.A. Edition. 

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