Because I Am Meaner Than You
As time will do, when it passes by it takes little chunks of me with it. I know I wake up in the morning a lot creakier than I used to and there is swiss cheese where my remembering parts used to be.
This problem is true for both humans and animals.
And so it has come to pass that my fourteen and almost fifteen-year-old feline is having a few health issues. It’s not good, but it’s manageable.
What this means, however, is we have to give the fuzzy three different medications.
Now, this animal of ours, she does not like to be messed with. At all. The survival instinct is strong with this one, and fight not flight is her main mode.
This cat stands her ground and then some.
Many of you are probably saying, “nah, that’s just how cats are” and think about how squirmy your cat may be.
Be advised, our vet is scared of this cat. Let me drive that point a little farther in. A woman whose job it is to deal with animals in all forms day in and day out, and has been doing so for almost thirty years, has told us “you know your cat is especially wiggly, right?”
Wiggly. That sounds cute.
So back to these three medications. One is a drop we can put on a piece of food. Fine, that happens easily.
One is a pill. This involves prying her mouth open, which then invites a lot of biting, clawing and hostility. Occasional growling and meowing too. Once the pill is down many hostile looks are sent my way as I watch an animal plotting my death in her mind.
The third is an asthma inhaler. Delivering this medication is, to put it mildly, a rodeo. We watched videos online to see how to do this and every person who said “my cat fights it” or “my cats is extra squirmy” was the owner of the kind of cat I would love to have.
These people who think they have a wiggly cat have not wrapped an arm around Satan incarnate and tried to get the great horned creature to inhale and exhale a minimum of ten times with a rubber mask over its snout.
There have been times The Good Man and I have both tried to hold this feline beast down and administer the meds and haven’t been able to do so.
To be fair, my handsome and adorable Good Man is also a kind man. He’s a gentle soul, which is probably why he is able to put up with me.
He hates seeing his own cat suffer this much. He and that damn feline have been through a lot together, they are like survivors of the wars and he feels it is a betrayal to do this to her.
So the wet work, as they say, falls to me. May I point out the many scratches on my arms, legs and chest?
But I seem to have sorted out how to get the meds into the beast. I have tried many approaches and for the moment I have something that is working. I’m sure that smart cat will figure out a counter attack, but for now, I’m doing it.
Last night as I held that damn asthma mask on the cat and she was actually kind of still (because I had her in a wrestling lock that Rowdy Roddy would be proud of) and breathing, The Good Man looked on in amazement.
“How…how did you do that?” he asked, perplexed. “I don’t understand how you can give her the meds and I can’t?”
I replied simply, “It’s because I’m meaner than you.”
And it’s true.
As a woman of New Mexico, I have worked cattle, horses, sheep and pigs (and on one weird day, turkeys).
When you work livestock you learn more than a little about giving meds to an animal who would rather you didn’t. And how to do it without hurting yourself or the animal.
And how to grit your teeth and be a little mean about it because ultimately it’s being kind. I hope we can get this feisty cat to feeling better.
I have to admit, I admire her survival instinct. Now pass me the Neosporin.
Photo Copyright 2012, Karen Fayeth, and subject to the Creative Commons in the right column of this page. Taken with an iPhone5 and the Camera+ app.
Beth in Taos
Wow, I’ve never heard of an asthma inhaler for a cat. I’m impressed that you’re able to do it. Several years ago our cat Shadow was in kidney failure, which meant we gave her sub-Q fluids once a week. I held her down while my husband stuck the needle in her (I never could have done that). Poor Shadow was so good about it once we caught her and got it started. I think she realized it made her feel better, but getting it started each time was the hard part. I hope you never have to do sub-Qs with your cat.
Hi Beth – When I first met The Good Man he had an old boy cat, a fabulous orange tabby whom I loved very much. That old kitteh had kidney issues and The Good Man had to do sub-Q for a while. That poor kitteh took it very stoically. Tough stuff.
So far so good on asthma inhaler. Yes, I had no idea such a thing existed either but I guess it does. The Feline hates it but she’s slowly getting calmer for the process.