Thursday, Oct. 04, 2007
Dear Diary:

It would have been cheaper to outfit the cat with some pimp daddy grillz.

When we took the fuzzbutts in to the vet for their shots, the vet said Enid had a serious plaque problem and needed dental work. There was one evident cavity and probably more. She estimated the bill would start in the $150 range and climb $30 per cavity.

Well, Eeny had several cavities and her teeth were much harder to clean than expected. By the time we paid for her operation, pain killers and antibiotics the bill came to a nice round $250.

I was also handed a sample bag of special cat dental food, crumbles that help clean their teeth as they eat, which runs, oh, say, $2,421 a bag. As an added bonus I also got a small tube of feline toothpaste with detailed instructions on how to start brushing Eeny's teeth in about two weeks from now.

Oh yes, not only do I now have to buy shockingly expensive food for this cat, I also have to brush her teeth. The illustrated "how to brush your cat's teeth" leaflet we got made it clear that this will involve lifting the lips and manoeuvring around the mouth of a cat who associates all contact with her mouth with pills.

Hated, hated pills.

Oh bliss. Oh joy. And a couple of raptures.

Last night we gave Eeny her first antibiotic pill. She was groggy from the anesthetic for her operation and so it was relatively easy to rocket the pill down her throat.

This morning she was no longer wandering around like a drunk on a four day binge. This morning she had all her wits about her. So when I lifted her up into the pilling position, she steeled herself for a mighty resistance.

Since she'd eaten, we decided to go with the pain pill first. It was large and actually went down on the first throw.

Spousal Unit - 1 : Eeny - 0.

The next pill was the antibiotic, a much smaller pill. I lifted the cat so she couldn't get purchase to struggle with her paws, used my fingers to gently hinge open her jaws and the spousal unit tossed the tiny pill down her throat.

"Did she swallow it?" I asked.

"I think so," the spousal unit said. I set the cat down, praising her lavishly. The cat dribbled out the antibiotic.

Spousal Unit - 1: Eeny - 1.

The spousal unit picked up the pill, now sticky and slimy with cat spit. Yum. I hauled the cat into pilling position, hinged open her jaw, and he tossed in the pill again. We stroked her throat gently, forcing her to swallow. The spousal unit and I exchanged a look. We decided that the pill was gone.

I set the cat down, praising her lavishly. This time the cat didn't let the pill tumble from her lips. Nope, this time the cat spat the pill out several feet.

Spousal unit - 1 : Eeny - 2.

Okay.

Fine.

The spousal unit again picked up the antibiotic, now even slimier thanks to an additional dose of cat spit. I hauled the cat into pilling position, hinged open her jaw, and he tossed in the pill again. We stroked her throat gently, forcing her to swallow. The spousal unit and I exchanged a look. We decided that the pill was gone.

I set the cat down, praising her lavishly. She purred as I petted her. Then I happened to glance at the spousal unit's finger. And there, on the tip of it, was the antibiotic pill, firmly cemented there by the wonders of cat spit. Although there has been some controversy about this ruling, I have given it to the cat.

Spousal Unit - 1 : Eeny - 3

The fourth time, the pill went in.

Spousal Unit - 2 : Eeny - 3

This leaves Eeny ahead by a whisker. Tonight we get to do it all over again. The antibiotics run for ten days. If I was a betting woman, I'd put my money on the cat to pull to a major lead.

Eeny is on soft canned food for the run of the antibiotics. Soft canned food is a treat that everyone of the feline persuasion gets at breakfast and after that they get crumbles. Eeny is not supposed to eat crumbles until her mouth heals.

The other cats are not supposed to eat all her soft food. So of course this morning I came downstairs to find Binky happily cleaning up the rest of Eeny's food and Eeny up on top of the freezer where I'd put the crumbles for Binky and Miss Banana.

I had figured that Enid was too lazy to make the climb to the freezer to get the crumbles.

I figured wrong.

So now I have the joy of forcing pills down the throat of a cat that hates pills, and all sorts of complicated logistics with food wrangling. Realistically, I should be ticked off as heck about this. These are major bills for us and we could well be facing a decade of bills and dental hassles with this cat.

But I'm not.

My vet does a lot of emergency work. Last week when we brought the cats in for their shots, a guy came in with a badly torn up dog who'd tangled with a barbed wire fence and lost. As I was walking out of the vet's with Eeny in her carrier yesterday, a woman was rushing in with a cat in her arms, a cat that looked as if it had cashed in one of its lives. There was blood coming out of its mouth and its eyes weren't focussed.

On that woman's face I read everything I would feel if this lump of black, orange and white fur snoring softly beside me here went to the Big Catnip Field in the Sky.

So now I get to add the words "Feline Dental Hygienist" to my resumé.

You never know where life is going to take you, eh?

--Marn

Mileage on the Marnometer: 360.59 milesTen percent there rubber duck.Ten percent there rubber duck.Ten percent there rubber duck.Ten percent there rubber duck.Ten percent there rubber duck.Half way there

Going Nowhere Collaboration

Goal for 2007: 500 miles


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