Yesterday, Jamie and I took kitten Jack Sparrow for his first vet's appointment with our vet. It was his well-kitty visit to have him checked out by our doctor and receive his rabies shot. Turns out Jack has conjunctivitis, a fever, and the real kicker... a heart murmur.
When the vet was listening to his heart, she took an exceedingly long time and kept moving her stethoscope around. I am quite familiar with that look of intense concentration and listening on her face. When she finally pulled her stethoscope out of her ears, I said, "He has a heart murmur, doesn't he?" Shocked, she replied, "How did you know?" I answered, "Because my daughter has heart defects and you had the same look on your face that her cardiologist does when she's listening to my daughter's heart." The vet was concerned because Jack's heart rate was high as well. She explained that a fever can cause a murmur in a cat, but his heart rate made her think it was something more. So it's another waiting game. We're going to go for a follow-up in two weeks to recheck his temperature and heart. If his fever is gone, but the murmur remains, then Jack will have an echocardiogram. In the meantime, we are going to be watching him for signs of trouble - labored breathing, panting, excessive sneezing.
After I loaded Jamie and Jack Sparrow back into the car, I sat for a moment before I called Shawn to explain our extra-long vet appointment. I just couldn't believe what had just happened. My first thought was, "I can't go through this again. This is insane." And over a cat!! Our roller coaster ride with Clare has finally slowed down somewhat. And I would do it all over again because the end result of our beautiful, happy little girl is absolutely worth it. I love our new little kitten, but I am so wary of going through this roller coaster of emotions, worries, and challenges again with a cat. I can't even believe I am writing all this about my cat. It's horrible deja vu.