How to Express a Cat Bladder: Thoughts on Surviving Winter

I’ve found, as a writer, that two things are very important. They’re fundamentals. They’re building blocks upon which everything else rests. They are: 1. Consistency. And 2. Relevancy. 

Which is why, obviously, I’m writing here for the first time in four months and also why I’ve picked the topic of Kitten Urine to discuss. Because what’s more timely than dropping off the face of the writing world for Many Months and picking it back up for Essential Topics? The answer is nothing. Northing is more timely. And since I care deeply about optics and search engine optimization–the tools by which one Looks Good on the World Wide Webs whilst reaching the Largest Audience Possible–I shall bring you here, to talk about pee. I give and I give. You’re welcome.

First, though, let me change the subject completely so I can tell you that I’m oh-so-slowly, sluggishly, with focused determination matched only by my abiding innate reluctance, surfacing after the annual months-long marathon of premeditated joy known as the Holiday Season. Imagine me with only my eyeballs above water, scanning the horizon warily for anything that might try to pluck me from the comfortable familiarity of drowning. I mean, I kick occasionally and dully to allow my nose to breach the surface because I remember that Functional Me requires air but I’m also not quiiiite convinced oxygen is really the element for me. Or, at least, air-based oxygen. Like, why can’t I just choose to mix my oxygen with hydrogen so I can live beneath the surface of the ocean like all the other creatures of the depths? Who decided I have to consume my oxygen with nitrogen and that air is the appropriate elixir for humans, and where do I demand a recount? It feels like we should at least have been consulted. 

All of which is to say, I’m still here. If “here” means eyeballs only. Eyeballs and half a brain and occasionally my nose wicking air to my lungs which buoys me in tiny bursts and small starts. But the mismatch that is entering into the winter season, meant for long darkness and hibernation, combined with the frenetic pace of Holiday Greetings and Gay Happy Meetings, and Parties for Hosting, Marshmallows for Toasting, and Much Mistletoeing and Hearts That Are Glowing is just… phew! Exhausting, you know? Like only running marathons at midnight after working overtime. Or hosting a party under general anesthetic. 

I told a friend this week it’s felt viscous. Like trying to move through sludge, progress snagged on all sides.

In the midst of the viscosity, I have a very sick kitten who’s recovering from cluster seizures brought on, we think, by encephalitis. Which has also affected her ability to use her back end. Legs. Butt. Bladder. Which is, in turn, why I found myself at the vet this week, learning how to brace a kitten under my arm, feel for the bladder balloon between her back legs and gently-but-firmly express her urine for her lest she pop. It’s a skill I never anticipated acquiring, but I believe I shall add it to my resume. “Beth Woolsey: Cult Leader, Mafia Donna, Writer, Speaker, Cat Bladder Expressor. Always Reliable. Eventually.”

And I know it can seem like Too Much. Tackling bouts with mental illness. Leading the charge on Gay Happy Meetings and Holiday Joy. Having a house perpetually full of juvenile humans, whether in age or in maturity. Fostering seven kittens, one of whom is rather desperately ill. But it’s those kittens and the humans that keep me going some days. Because I refuse to make them go it alone. I need, more than hiding under my covers, for them to know they’re not alone. And that bladder isn’t going to express itself, ma’am, so I best hoist myself from my hidey hole and wade through the sludge and flutter my feet to lift my nose above the surface, you know? Which I share because I’ve made a pledge to Tell the Truth, as best as I understand it, even if it’s just about Survival and Pee. 

Sending love to you, friends, and reminders you’re not alone. And hoping for your health and happiness and easy-to-void bladders. 


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6 responses to “How to Express a Cat Bladder: Thoughts on Surviving Winter”

  1. Thanks for sharing this! I absolutely sympathize with you. I’ve been having some issues with a sick kitty too. Poor thing has been all out of sorts lately. She has the opposite problem where she is peeing too much and I’ve had to have a carpet cleaner out on multiple occasions this month alone to remove the stains. Hoping to get to the bottom of it soon!

  2. Considering my own lethargy in these winter months and the fact that I follow another blog with the tag line of “Kids! Vomit! Mice! Now with Menopause…” there is no doubt you are both my speed and my cup of proverbial tea. (Hold the urine… er, rather, don’t hold it.)

  3. It was worth checking your blog obsessively for four months to finally arrive at this masterpiece of a post. The post is, if nothing else, expressive.

  4. I’ve missed you (and I say that in the least pressure-inducing, you-should-write-again-soon kind of way. Seeing a post about cat pee in my inbox made my day!

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