You are here

Freya 2.0. The End and the New Beginning. Part 11

continued from part 8 and part 9 and part 10

I was so tired I was loopy. I didn’t know what to do with myself so I took a shower. The flow of water was meager, but hot enough. I really wanted to blast my back pain away, but it wouldn’t work. Resigned to this being an affordable (meaning zero frills) hotel I couldn’t expect much. It was very clean and I was grateful for at least that much.

I put my pajamas back on and closed the drapes. I laid in bed but I couldn’t sleep. I shut my eyes, listening to the whoosh of cars as they passed by my window. My body didn’t want to let me slip into dreamland. It was the wrong time of day to sleep, regardless of how little I'd had over the past few days. My phone continued to chime with a call or email and I felt compelled to answer. I had to leave my ringer on in case Dr. Pavletic called me, so I gave up and just sat in bed. I ate more of my stash of deli chicken salad, hoping the refrigerator in the room was keeping the food cold enough. I just didn’t have the energy to go out and do anything. I kept expecting to feel happy, but I couldn’t feel more than shock that it was over. Freya was okay. It wasn’t going to be her last day.

First Freya after Surgery copy
©2014 Kitten Associates.

There was another update about Freya, she was up, walking around, eating, followed by a photo texted from Jen. There was Freya, tiny Freya, sporting the dreaded cone-of-shame, looking a lot worse for wear. Dr. Pavletic felt she could go home but I urged him to keep her overnight, partly for selfish reasons and partly because it was just too soon. I wanted her to have one night under observation and to let the sedation wear off. I’d rather pay for a night of hospitalization than try to drive home in the dark. I just couldn’t do it. In fact, I was so tired I wondered about staying an extra day. If the room had been quiet, I probably would have done just that, but the traffic was picking up again and I suddenly longed for the quiet of my own bedroom.

I couldn’t believe how awful I was feeling and then I realized why. I got my damn period. I swear to God I get my period it seems EVERY time I travel. Every time it is the worst time for it to happen, that’s when I get it. My back was sore from carrying all the luggage, from stress, from not sleeping, from being in the car too long and now this. Shit. Really? Cramps? Yet another price to pay?

I’d packed a few naproxen even though I’m not supposed to take them. I popped two in my mouth then realized I didn’t have any tampons. Great. Just great. The hotel wasn’t near anything other than hospitals or plain red brick brownstones. Shit.

Thankfully I’d planned to meet two of my friends for a celebratory dinner. They're private people so I won’t name names, but I will say THANK YOU to them because they were the ones who found Dr. Pavletic and who urged (nagged the crap out of me) to go see him (even though I thought going out of state for surgery was insane). You were right. I was wrong, but in my defense I was beyond stressed out. I guess that’s another theme of this trip and maybe of my life as of late; woman on the verge of a nervous breakdown. I knew they could swing me by a drug store before we went to dinner, so I didn’t have to worry about yet another thing to do.

Inpatient Ward
©2014 Robin A.F. Olson.

We went to visit Freya first since visiting time is a single hour from 6 to 7 PM. I think we were all a bit apprehensive about what we were going to see. I imagined her in a steel cage in ultra-luxe surroundings, but was stunned she was in a long, concrete brick walled room with no windows and garish florescent lighting. Not only were cats in this room but there were many big dogs. There must have been 20 animals in the space that looked like it was built in the late 1960s. There were vet techs milling about, checking papers, cleaning out cages. One brought in a gurney with a huge dog on it who appeared to be dead, but we saw him a few minutes later being walked out of the room by the same tech. I guess he was sedated and she was getting him to wake up.

Cages at Angell
©2014 Robin A.F. Olson.

We looked for Freya and didn’t see her right away. She was on the lower level in a large cage pressed against the back wall asleep. She looked like she’d shrunk in size somehow or maybe it was the grand scale of surroundings. There was a paper plate ripped in half with most of the food eaten from it. There were blankets for her, but she wasn’t on them. I called to her; “Monkeypants!” and she looked up. I called again and she wobbled over to us, still drunk-walking from the effects of the sedation. She was still wearing the cone-of-shame, the tiniest one I’ve ever seen. She looked completely pitiful, but there she was, alive.

First look at visiting hours A
©2014 Robin A.F. Olson.

I waited for her to turn and involuntarily took a sharp breath as I saw what looked like a very large, freakishly large hole full of stool on her back end. Where was her silly tail stump? All her fur had been shaved away and it looked like her skin was bruising, turning dark blue all around her lower back. I was shocked. I didn’t like what I saw. I wondered what they’d done to her. This looked ghastly. My poor baby!

Freya cage sign
©2014 Robin A.F. Olson.

We all took turns petting her. I’m not sure my friends were comfortable with what they saw either. Clearly Freya was doing very well considering the invasiveness of the surgery she’d just had. Her fistulas were repaired. What was once a “pouch” just under her skin where her rectum should have been, was now close to a proper rectum. Whether or not she could pass stool correctly would not be known for up to a few months. The healing process would be slow. There’d be a week having cage rest, then another week being careful. After that there’d likely have to be an enema, with sedation, where they would massage out some of the backed up stool if she couldn’t pass it during those first two weeks. They hadn't magically emptied the stool out of her as I'd hoped and it hadn't shot out of her like a fountain as I imagined once it has a proper escape route.

Freyas new bum
©2014 Robin A.F. Olson.

I’d have to get to know Freya all over again and adjust to Freya 2.0 whatever that meant. I had no idea what her care would entail or if she would be messier or less messy than she was before. What other changes were in store? Was she still the sweet kitten who couldn't get close enough to me the night before?

Feeding Freya
©2014 Laurie Thomas (used with permission).

There was so much going on around us and with Freya still wearing a catheder in her leg, I felt it would be better for her to rest. As she was I couldn't hold her. I didn't want to go near that dark scary void and I'm sure it would have hurt her if I tried to lift her. I told her I loved her and I’d see her in the morning and to get some rest. She seemed hungry so I scooped up some food on my fingers since the cone made it hard for her to eat. She licked and nipped at my fingers. Her teeth stung me but I was glad to see her interested in food so soon. I was still in too much shock to know what to feel and in fact I was somewhat scared. This long road we’d been on was really only the first leg in a much longer journey.

Sad after surgery
©2014 Robin A.F. Olson.

I had a lot of doubts about my ability to keep going because I realized I'd put everything into these last months, not saving any reserve for later. I was like a swimmer who miscalculated how far it was to shore after swimming too far out to sea. I didn’t have the strength to make it back. I could only hope the tide would carry me or else I feared drowning.

---------------------- to be continued in a final chapter next.


Oh poor baby. Her poor little bottom! It does look so swollen and sore. Theres no sign there was ever a tail! She looks so tiny and vulnerable I want to cry whenever I see her photo. I can see why you were upset and shaken. Im hoping her bottom is improving every day and that she feels OK. Wish she could tell us.

You are so brave dealing with all this

Barbara UK

I know the feeling, and I'm on the other side of it.  You will be, too, before you know it.  Soldier on. *PRAYERS* and continuing best thoughts and love to/for Freya! 

Add new comment