Wednesday, February 13, 2008

You think you're putting 'that' in my mouth?

Writing this all down will be my stress reliever for the day as the saga continues for me and my cat. I'm not sure why this affects me so much, but it does. I keep trying to tell myself that he is only a cat... only a 'cat'. But he is a living and breathing creature and I want to make sure that he is ok. Makes sense, right?

So the pilling was a 'no go' for me and my husband. I called our vet requesting help via a vet tech (for a fee of course, similar to a pet sitting service). At the same time, we also ordered up some flavored liquid (tuna) just in case that might be a better option , even though in the past it has been a catastrophe. In the meantime waiting for the liquid, we had the tech stop by. Now, this was amazing to watch. This woman was so competent and didn't futz around. She was almost like an animal trainer in that she really knew how to manage an unruly animal. (Thank god!) Our hope was that after a couple times with her help, we'd learn and get the hang of this necessary pilling skill. We had her come for 3 days, morning and night (12 hours apart). Preparations were always required prior to the ring of the buzzer. Close all the doors to rooms where he could hide (such as under the bed in the bedroom), remove his food ahead so he wouldn't have a full stomach while being wrestled and mentally prepare myself. (The thought of the pilling stresses me out). When she'd come in, I'd chase the cat down the hall, scoop him up and hide his face in my armpit. I'd set him on the kitchen counter and he would bolt no matter how much I tried to hold him down. Do you know how strong a cat can be? After using the gentle method once through, the tech would gingerly talk to him while grabbing him by the scruff and wrangle that cat up on the counter. In the other hand she'd take the pill popper and agressively get the pill in the back of his throat and close his mouth shut. She was excellent and so quick and able to do this as a one woman act. I tried it twice with her help, but always managed to take too long and the cat would freak out and become unmanagable. The longer you spend thinking about doing it, the more the cat just won't have it. He doesn't want anything jammed down his throat (nor would I, so I completely understand).

After 3 days and $75 later, we decided we had better figure something else out since we had 18 days to go. Pilling was not in our future, so we attempted the liquid medicine. This actually went better than we thought it would. I was so happy the first time through. Only a small amount of foaming and running about. Now, I must say since the first time it is getting harder to do this each time. He knows what is coming and struggles so. My husband does his best to hold him but a cat's body is so flexible. He always manages to manuever himself away, spirting some of the medicine into the air. But once he hits the ground, I think he actually ingests most of it and maybe even likes it better than he makes it out to be... After all, he is licking his chops sometimes afterward.

Cats are funny. Once you do this horrible thing to them, they love you again each and everytime. Rub up against your legs and want to be petted, meow softly (or loudly in our case) for food. They are so forgiving and look up to you to be their entertainment, master chef and caretaker. They need us to help them stay in good shape for their next sneak attack and maybe secretly know that we're only medicating them for their own good. I suppose we humans need to look at life that way too - sometimes what seems bad is really only for our own good. Until next time...

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