Charlie has had recurring issues with FIC for years. Like a good owner(So I thought), every time I found blood in her urine I would bring her to the vet, have her urine checked for bacteria and crystals, and bring home a round of medication, usually prednisone and/or clavamox. Over the years I've put thousands of dollars into this...the last time she had a flare-up she was hospitalized overnight and sent home with fluids, antibiotics, probiotics, a steroid AND a painkiller. Administering all of those to her over the next weeks has totally RUINED our relationship. It was over a year before I could even touch her again, and only in the last few weeks has she been willing to sit in my lap and cuddle like she used to....even then, it's only occasionally, and if I shift my weight at all she panics and flees.

Last night she peed on a plastic bag, and it was blood tinged. I panicked remembering the last time, and I cried thinking how she would never let me near her again if we had to go through all of the trauma we did before.

Then I talked to my current vet. He looked at her records and noted that I've run her urine six times, and none of those times has she had any bacteria or crystals present. He told me that for kitties whose FIC flares up like this regularly with no discernable cause, signs tend to resolve within 7-10 days regardless of whether you treat them or not...and furthermore, the stress of pilling/giving fluids can exacerbate the he doesn't recommend any treatment unless the flare-up doesn't subside in the next week or so. I got the impression that he thought the vet who hospitalized her and sent her home with five meds was nuts, though he didn't say that outright. He recommended lots of wet food on a regular schedule, clean litterboxes, and lots of one-on-one playtime to help keep her from being stressed.

I'm so....I don't even know. Furious, feeling like I was ripped off at the last hospital, and my relationship with Charlie ruined for nothing but their greed. Elated, that we don't have to go through it again and she's going to be OK. I was even thinking this morning that it might be kinder to put her to sleep rather than force a gajillion meds down her throat for weeks. Frustrated, I felt like I was doing the right thing for her by putting her through that whole mess over and over, only to find out that it was all unneccessary.

This evening she is playing with me (yay!) and refusing her wet food (she's a kibble lover and will only eat wet food if she's ravenous and there's nothing else available) and seems to be feeling well. When it's painful she gets antisocial and hides, so I think she's not too uncomfortable.

I feel like I failed you Charlie-Bear, I promise I'll do better from now on!