Ebony had a cyst growing on his neck on the right side.  This started growing several years ago.  We have been monitoring it.  The vet took a sample and it was not cancer. They have drained it on occasion over the last several years. Each time they drained it it would come back even bigger.

Ebony and his cyst

Ebony and his cyst – see the white area on the left

About May, we both felt that the cyst was getting bigger and if they drained it again it would just come back even larger.  So we decided that it needed to come off.

This would be no easy task to remove the cyst from Ebony’s neck.  He is not the bravest cat and when he is traumatized he hides.  I have little cubicle areas for him to retreat to but my biggest concern was that he would end up under the bed and we could not be able to monitor his recovery.

Closer to Ebony's cyst

Closer to Ebony’s cyst – the size of a golf ball

Fortunately, Ebony has been with us now almost six years.  We adopted him and Sneakers in November of 2009.  He has changed and become so much more friendlier. He is still quick to run, but we can pet him more and he asks for us to pet him and feed him. He has come along way from the scared depressed and sick cat that we brought home.


I therefore, I set about planning his surgery experience.

1.  Survey of Vet Hospitals in the Seattle and Shoreline area: I did a survey of the kinds of vet hospitals in the area and what type of services they offered and their costs.  My thought was should he stay overnight at least the first night?  This would keep him safe and quiet.

A new vet hospital would mean bringing him in for a consultation and then returning for the surgery and possibly a follow up.  That means going three times to the vet for this procedure. It is hard enough getting him into the cat carrier to take him to the vet.  So doing this several times would damage all the care and love I have been giving him over the years. He remembers how I grab him.

Some of these vet hospitals required the vet to refer you to them for procedures. Which I could obtain from Cascade Pet if I decided to.

2.  Crate options:  Could we rent or buy a crate to keep him quiet the first night in our home?  I started to look at them online at rental stores like Aurora Rents, and Petsmart for the cost and sizes.

I was talking to my sister about Ebony’s cyst needing to be removed and I asked her about renting a crate or cage because she had done that herself for other cats. She offered a large dog crate she had for me to use and she sent me a picture.

So I decided that the dog crate, although small, might work long enough to keep him quiet the first couple of hours after he returned home.  I made arrangements to get this dog crate.

So I decided against the new vet hospitals because of the number of visits was unacceptable to me.  The cost was also a factor.  The Dog Crate was free and available and I knew in my heart he would not like it.

So the next step was talking to Cascade Pet Hospital about the surgery.

2.  Negotiating with Cascade Pet about the surgery:  I was near Sam’s Club so I went into Cascade Pet Hospital which is on Aurora in north Seattle.  I talked to the receptionist attendant and told her my problems with Ebony.

My goals:

1.  To reduce the time bringing him back and forth to the hospital to a minimum of two times is not just once.  This is very traumatic for him.

a.  No consultation appointment because they had knowledge of the cyst in his medical records.

b. Could they use stitches that dissolve.

c.  So he would only need to be brought in once for the surgery.

2.  How much would the surgery cost?

3.  Time he would need to be at the hospital.

3.  The vet attendant could not answer all my questions, so she said she would talk to the doctor about Ebony and she what they could do and call me back.

So she called back the next day to tell me what the doctor would do:

1.  Ebony would only have to come in once for the surgery.

2.  They needed him to come in early so they could do in-house blood work on him because he is an older cat. To make sure he is okay for anesthetic.

3.  I would bring him home by 4 pm.

4.  Cost would be about $450.00.  Total cost with a senior discount $415. Amazing.

4.  Schedule the surgery for June 25, 2015 and I would bring him in at 8:15 am.

So the plan was to take him in on the day of the surgery in the cat carrier, leave him till 4 pm the same and come and get him.


The 25th of June came quickly and I managed to get Ebony trapped. He was lounging on the Futon.  He was digging in to the Futon with his claws.  With hubby’s help we got him into the cat carrier really quick and with as little trauma as possible.

The day before I brought the carrier and the dog crate into the house.  I wanted them both to be use to the sight of them and smell.

We were a little early with the cat carrier so Ebony YEOWLED and that upset Sneakers who kept going over to the carrier to check on his buddy.

My hubby placed the cat carrier on my lap in the car and we drove to the vet hospital which is not too far from our house.

About 1 pm the vet assistant called to tell me that the surgery was successful and he was done and doing well. I was to come and get him a 4 pm.


I was at Cascade Pet Hospital a little bit before 4 pm.  Paid my bill and talked to the vet assistant who went over the post surgery rules.

Post Surgery rules:

To keep eye on his wound for any infection.  He had been given a 14 day antiobiotic injection.

He could not eat till 6 pm but he could have water and he should resume eating by the next day.  I was to give him food and water in small amounts to prevent nausea.

I was to keep him quiet, calm and restrict his activities for a few days.

Keep and eye on the wound for any problems. Since I did not want a collar I needed to be diligent in watching him and making sure he did not scratch his wound and cause it to tear or bleed.

No Collar:  I did not want a collar put on him although the assistant felt they could use a soft one. I had a bad experience with Ciara my big dog regarding one and didn’t want it at all.

Just remember you can negotiate with the vet about the care of your animal.

Dr. Snyder the new doctor was smart and very intense.  She was concerned about his blood levels indicating kidney issues.  I told her that I had tried prescription food for both cats but they would not eat it and it was costing me a lot of money. She realized I knew about the problem. She told me to have plenty of water and I said we did. Both cats are doing well and have good quality of life.  So I am making a big decision based on their age and health at this time to not use prescription foods.

She also said he has a cyst on his chin, that we are to monitor.


Both cats are heavy, so carrying the cat carrier requires I be very careful and hold it tightly even though it has a handle at the top.

I placed Ebony on the passenger seat and drove us home.  He was complaining all the way.  I could see inside and note that he was groggy.

At home, I opened the cat carrier and he was out in a flash but I had positioned it in from of the dog crate so he went right into the dog crate. WHEW!

An unhappy Ebony in the Dog Crate

An unhappy Ebony in the Dog Crate

I had a small kitty litter container in the crate, a towel for him to lay on and got him some water.  He was YEOWLING the hole time.  He wanted out. He spilled his water and messed the kitty litter around trying to get out.

I sat next to him and Sneakers did too. He kept YEOWLING, let me out! My sitting next to him seemed to calm him some.

Hubby came home about 5:15 and took over trying to calm Ebony down and laying next to the dog crate.

We kept him in the crate from about 4:15 pm to 7 pm and he YEOWLed most of it. I think the 2.5 hours gave him time to wear off the anesthetic.

Hubby opened the door and let him out.  We immediately got the dog crate out of the house and the cat carrier gone.  I was not going to have to take him back for the stitches they were dissolving.  YIPPEE!

He was pretty wired but I think he was happy to be home and able to go to the kitty litter and his hideaways without being to silly from the medicines they used.

I was surprised to see that his surgery site was as large as it was.  The surgery cut was a good 2.5 inches.  Apparently the cyst was bigger than we realized.

Taking pictures of the surgery site has not been easy because he is so dark and he is not cooperating.

About Tuesday following, Cascade Pet called to see how Ebony was doing and I gave a good report.  Ebony was doing great.  He was healing well and not scratching his wound and each time I look at it it is looking better and better.  It was a little puffy in places and I was told that would go away in a few weeks.  I checked this morning and wound was even better.

I am so very proud of my little Ebony. He is asking for food, catnip and petting.  He even likes me again and wants to hang out with me.  I am so glad that is over.