How my cat saved my life — just last week

I have to give credit where credit is due — even if it is to a self-centered beast who walks all over me. That’s right: my cat. By walking all over me — specifically my stomach — she alerted me to pain I didn’t know I had.

I exaggerate. Deep down in my gut, seriously, I knew something was wrong with me. I’d felt uncomfortable all day long. Earlier in the evening, I had even mentioned the possibility of appendicitis to my husband, who had said I’d be doubled over with pain and vomiting if that were the case. (I’d heard so many stories of atypical symptoms for appendicitis attacks that I only partially had believed him.)

But when my Tori cat’s heavy paws made me cry out in pain, he noted the vicinity of her “catwalk” and relented.

“Hmmm, lower right quadrant,” he said. “Well, if you need me in the middle of the night, just wake me up.”

Wake him up? This could be serious. Scary. Prior to that moment, I hadn’t been sure which side should hurt if I did have appendicitis, but his matter-of-fact invitation to mess with his sleep had me worried. Did I have a virtual bomb of an appendix about to blow in my belly? Still, I aimed for sleep, figuring if it got worse, I’d know (or Tori would tell me with her feet).

Of course, I didn’t sleep well because my stomach ached and my mind worried, and when I left my bed at 4 a.m. to not work out or go into work, I decided I had better bake the caramel brownies I was making for a friend’s wedding that weekend — just in case I had emergency surgery that day and wasn’t able to bake later.

Yes, I am that faithful.

I then went on the computer to see what this pain in my stomach could be. WebMD symptom checker seemed a good place to start, but when I entered my information I got this alert.

appendicitis

Scary. Maybe this was serious.

But because I wasn’t having additional severe symptoms, I decided to try to see my doctor rather than the insides of an ER that day. Besides having a painful gut, I had maybe a slight fever, was unable to walk at my usual fast clip (I know because I tried), and had failed to add pecans to my caramel brownies.) When the doctor’s office only offered me a mid-afternoon appointment, I cried.

What if my appendix was about to explode? To comfort me, my dear husband expounded on all the other things that could be wrong instead. A bowel obstruction? Diverticulitis? Kidney stones or gallstones?

With these pleasant images in mind, I made my way through the morning. I drank mostly water and refrained from eating — just in case I had to have surgery. It was good that I did. Because the doctor determined that I did have either appendicitis or diverticulitis. She sent me directly to a radiology lab to get a CT scan, and I couldn’t have had food or beverages for two hours prior to the exam.

The lab personnel took the scan and wouldn’t remove my IV until they’d viewed my images and knew I didn’t need an ER. (The lab was housed in a hospital, conveniently.)

It turns out that I have diverticulitis. Instead of surgery, I have a heavy dose of antibiotics (and I’m thinking I’d have preferred surgery about now). Even diverticulitis is serious stuff, and so I give credit to my dear, life-saving cat.

Or more specifically, her catwalk. (Photos below.) 🙂

tori 3
A few days after the catwalk, I made sure I had my camera in bed so I could capture Tori’s typical ways. Here she is on the cedar chest, scoping out the softest spot on the bed, probably my stomach.
tori 2
Tori in her catwalk mode made her way much closer to the camera… right across my belly.
tori 1
The picture of a life-saving cat. Please ignore her snaggle tooth, as she’s a bit sensitive about it. Who wouldn’t love this face — life-saving kitty or not?

10 thoughts on “How my cat saved my life — just last week

  1. Your kitty is adorable! Glad she gave you an early warning that something was wrong. Our cats walk on us too, and even on a regular day their paws hurt. I have diverticulitis flare ups, too, and they are awfully painful. Hope you’re feeling better now! 🙂

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    1. Thanks! I rather like her too. Can’t say I appreciated her heavy paws at the time but thankful now. I am feeling better but hate taking antibiotics on so many levels. I’m sorry to hear of your struggles with diverticulitis. If you have any tips, I’d love some advice!

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      1. I don’t like taking medicines, either, but if it helps I sure will. I didn’t get much information from the Dr. It was take antibiotics when you have a flare up, or get an operation to remove the bad place. Well, don’t want to do that! Mostly they said don’t eat any kind of seeds or nuts, because they could get caught and cause inflamation. So, I avoid all seeds and nuts now. I crave nuts, and popcorn (the hulls are hard, too) That is about all I know. Hope you keep feeling better! 🙂

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      2. Thanks for passing that along to me. I hear the “avoid seeds and nuts” advice — and then hear that it includes strawberries and tomatoes and foods I love and think that I’ll just chew really thoroughly… I return to the doctor tomorrow… so far she has said nothing about diet, but I plan to ask questions! Since almonds have been a staple in my diet, I hope that not eating seeds and nuts is “old school.” I’ll share what I learn, if anything!

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      3. Hi! I haven’t seen my doctor yet, but a friend recommended I find Dr. Weil’s articles online regarding diverticulitis. This one discusses nuts and seeds: https://www.drweil.com/health-wellness/body-mind-spirit/gastrointestinal/diverticulitis-dilemma/. But he also has a whole diet plan he recommends: https://www.drweil.com/health-wellness/body-mind-spirit/gastrointestinal/diverticulitis/. I’ll have to see if my doctor agrees! (I hope so because I love nuts and seeds and mostly follow Dr. Weil’s suggestions anyway!) Have a good day!

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    1. Thanks so much, my dear mother-in-love! I’m feeling better, still hating the side effects of the antibiotics, but better day by day. This too shall pass. Thanks for the prayers!

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