Monday, September 14, 2009
Bits and Pieces: Cats
I think of my cat Sweetie Pie as still being a kitten, although she is 7 years old, the youngest and smallest of the three cats who own me. Sweetie Pie has been plagued with ear infections since she was about one year old, the cause of which is unknown; she just gets them. The other cats have had no such problems, at least to date, for which I am am truly thankful, as Sweetie Pie's visit to the vet this past Friday cost almost $100.
Usually, a week to ten days of a topical antibiotic squirted into the ear canal clears up the problem. This time, however, since Sweetie had a similar infection just this past March, the vet has prescribed an oral antibiotic in addition to the stuff in the ear.
For those folks who do not have cats, a note: cats DO NOT like to take pills -- or anything else given to them which is not to their liking! Sweetie Pie doesn't much like having a tube stuck down inside sore ears, either, but performing that task is "a walk in the park" compared to trying to give her a pill.
Gardening Daughter, who is also a cat person, said she would show me how to administer the pill, which is a bit smaller than a standard aspirin. Her process is as follows:
1. Place said cat on the floor and kneel over the cat (Note: one might want to say one's prayers while in this position);
2. Gently but firmly clamp said cat between the knees, cat's head facing outward;
3. Pry said cat's mouth open (all the while trying not to get one's hands ripped to shreds by cat's front claws);
4. Insert fingers, and the pill, between said cat's razor sharp teeth, placing pill as far back in the throat as possible;
5. Immediately remove fingers and clamp said cat's jaws shut;
6. Blow on said cat's nose (this part seems to be the key; for some reason it causes the cat to swallow);
7. Release a very upset cat.
O-K! Like eating a piece of cake, right?
Gardening Daughter demonstrated this intricate procedure for me on Friday evening, was cajoled into coming back here on Saturday to do the same, but was unable to be here yesterday evening when it was time for the pill. What to do? What to do? Sometimes I surprise myself with my foolhardy faux-bravery! Last night was one of those occasions.
My knees being in a somewhat less than desirable condition, I am not able to kneel on the floor (not if I wish to rise again without crawling to a heavy chair and pushing myself up with my arms), so I substituted the top of my higher-than-usual bed, where I could stand and just bend over to do the deed.
I placed said cat on the edge of the bed, rear feet hanging over the side, and gently leaned my body down upon hers to (Hah!) immobilize her -- I can think such foolish thoughts, sometimes! I pried open her jaws and threw the pill in, then clamped her jaws and blew on her nose.
There followed the immediate escape of said cat, with said pill lying nearby on the bedspread -- not even the least bit moist! Said cat was now sitting on the pillow on the other side of the bed sending stares at me that would melt the Polar Ice Cap! "Sweet kitty! Good girl! Come to Mama." Hah!!
After a small runaround, and much sweet-talking, said cat is once more under my control (Hah!, again!) This time I wrapped her body in a crocheted afghan in an attempt to entrap her feet. Once again I pried open her mouth and inserted the pill. I didn't get a chance to clamp her jaws shut before the pill, this time bitten in half and rather moist, was deposited on the bed and she was out of the confines of the afghan and gone.
Did I give up? Pat, the foolhardy? No, sirree!!
Ah! Enlightenment! A bit of information given to me by the vet tech who delivered the pills finally worked its way to my conscious mind. She had told me that the pills were "chewable" and I could break them up and put them in Sweetie's wet cat food. My cats don't eat anything but dry food, so that wasn't an option, or it would have been exercised with the first dose.
Chewable? That means they can be dissolved, right? So... I took the remaining portions of the pill, dissolved them in warm water and sucked them up into a small (needle-less) syringe that I had on hand. (No, I do not now have, nor have I ever had a drug problem. I think the syringe was a leftover from administering liquid medication to a long ago deceased dog. Thank goodness, in this case, that I am a pack-rat. It took me a while to find it, but I did find it!)
Said cat was captured, again; again wrapped in the afghan, jaws pried open, syringe inserted into mouth, and --- with one plunge, the now liquefied medication was administered, and swallowed.
Since there are seven more doses of this medicine she has to take, guess what system I'm going to use tonight?