The prodigal cat returns. We are now the home of the Cone Club.

Sh*tty K*tty managed to have three urinary tract blockages in the space of two weeks. There is a "three strikes and you're out" rule for male cats; after the third blockage, they get a surgical procedure.

Being practical, I asked for it when he was diagnosed with the second. The vet advised waiting and since Sh*tty was FluterDude's cat before I knew either of them, I got outvoted. Three catheters, two weeks, over a thousand dollars and a lot of stress later, he's had a perineal ureteroscopy.

For those of you who might not be into anatomy, here is an artist's rendering:


Or, as the vet tech put it so succinctly, "We're going to make him go like a her."

I'm not sure if I convinced myself it was a minor surgery because I was trying to be strong for one very distressed husband, or if I was trying to keep extra stress from my poor, overwhelmed psyche, but guys: I was convinced it wasn't a big deal. Newsflash: rerouting pee is totally a big freaking deal.

Sh*tty came back with a bald rear end, some Frankenstein-type stitches, and has stopped leaking pee (but occasionally leaves a little dribbling blood trail instead. Funsies!) Husband promptly went to work and I got left at home with the Conehead Twins.

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Things are tense between the furries on a good day, so imagine FluterDog's distress when Sh*tty has sprouted a new, plastic head. (And imagine Sh*tty's when the dog would not stop sniffing his sore bits!)

Then came the litterbox. Apparently, it's key to look where one is going before one goes there. Sh*tty kept looking down then jerking up because the weight of the litter was pulling his head down. The result was basically a litter box scooping, with all the scooped materials dumping onto his face. (Insert pun about Sh*tty K*tty earning his moniker.) Then he couldn't go, so he'd just flop onto his side and let out the most pathetic yowl.

Seriously? A thousand bucks later, he's still straining to go. The vet assures me he'll figure it out eventually but we got off to a rough start this morning.

There also seems to be the issue of the psychological distress. Keep in mind, there was a wedding and we weren't home much. Then he got stuck with the catsitter from Hell (one of these lovely ladies), who clearly wasn't spending time with him, and immediately after we returned, he spent two weeks in the animal hospital.

So when we make eye contact, our normally sh*tty cat erupts into a purr four times its normal volume. He purred so hard and so loud he literally wet himself a little, I suspect from the purring.

When I left the apartment for forty-five minutes to get groceries and some gauze for his bits, he became overwhelmed with anxiety and started howling. He was still howling when I returned, and now, even though it is difficult for him to walk, he will not let me get out of his line of sight.

I am being stalked in my own apartment by a bloody, still vaguely leaking cat. Got to pee? Bloody leaking cat. Want a snack? Bloody leaking cat. Need to walk the other pet? Bloody leaking cat.

WERE YOU THINKING OF LEAVING FOR AN EXTENDED TIME? HYSTERICAL BLOODY LEAKING CAT.

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Keep in mind, I am not his primary caretaker. We weren't even friends until February. I'm not sure he really likes me, beyond my possession of thumbs to open the food.

Trying to keep my sense of humor, here, but I ask you: when does this saga end? And does it end with pee in the litterbox where it belongs? Or did I recently become FluterDale: That Cat Lady?