Let’s Play a Little Game of Outwit the Cat (She’s Winning)

I (tentatively) promise that this will be the last cat-drama update. In fact, I’m working on a post for tomorrow and it has absolutely nothing to do with sick cats at all.

When last we left this little saga, Petunia was using her litter box as a place to be alone with her very deep thoughts and little else. No pee. No poop. By Friday, after a day or two on the antibiotics, she was peeing, but still unproductive in the other area, so back to the vet she went. This entailed much hissing and spitting on her part, and more tears on mine. And a saint-like amount of patience on XFE’s part overall.

When we arrived at the vet, there was a bit of a miscommunication misfire. I had specifically called to make sure that Petunia would be taken in to be treated immediately, but the vet, I was told, was still in surgery and might very well be there for at least another 45 minutes. XFE and I abruptly turned into Tiger Mothers and basically threatened to tear apart the whole practice unless someone took care of our cat immediately.

A vet tech we’d previously dealt with was called out of assisting surgery to come out and assure us that (1) it wasn’t likely that it would be 45 minutes, and (2) our princess would be kept in her carrier until her procedure and NOT put into one of the holding cages. This was particularly important to me because she was impossible to get out when they put her in there last time.

We reluctantly left her and went home to work (remotely) and wait. Finally, they called and said we could come get her and leave a good portion of our paychecks for the privilege.

The upshot is she’s mostly fine and there isn’t anything wrong with her other than just a confluence of bad luck. One ailment (UTI discomfort) led to another (not wanting to go to the bathroom at all) until we arrived to Lack-of-Poop-Topolis (population 0.)

The vet gave us a whole bunch of stuff, including more antiobiotics and some gel that’s supposed to help expel/move hairballs. This led to this weekend’s primary preoccupation: Mind Games with a Cat.

First, there are the antibiotics, which, of course, she will not take willingly. We spent the entire weekend figuring out ways to trick the cat into taking her pills, only to have her one up us at every turn.

The vet gave us this stuff called Greenies, which I thought were the cleverest invention ever (at first). They’re little treats with holes in them that you can put a pill in. To further trick the cat, we cut the pills in half and squished them deep into the holes of two treats, and then mixed them into a little mountain with her regular treats.

This worked exactly one time. The next time we tried this tactic, she ate all her regular treats but left the imposters. So we took away her normal food and left just the drug-treat fakes. Reluctantly, she ate it.

Next we come to the hairball gel, which purports to be “tuna-flavored,” but it is apparently laced with Satan’s spit because Petunia won’t have anything to do with it. In fact, she overreacts completely when we try (unsuccessfully) to give it to her.

We were told by the vet that if she doesn’t eat it on her own, we should put it on her paw where she will lick it off. This is a total lie. The first night I sidled up to her with it, she sprinted away. XFE was sure I had gotten a tiny fleck on her, which we did not see later. I looked at my gel-covered finger and saw only failure (I really don’t think I even made contact).

Then she almost went into cardiac arrest last night when I daubed the tiniest little spot on her paw. Obviously, she did not lick it off and in fact ran repeatedly through the house with it still on her paw before hiding behind my toilet. When I caved in and tried to wipe it off with a damp towel, she snarled and wiggled away from me. And now, there it sits, a streak of dried brown, supposedly tuna-flavored gel, just making her angrier and angrier.

So now we’re back to the complete and utter distrust stage in our house. Well, that’s not entirely true. XFE has made some headway. He hid some of yesterday’s antibiotics in a spoonful of wet cat food, which she suspiciously ate, right out of the spoon. He held that stupid spoon in front of her for about a full three minutes. I thought his knees were going to go out from squatting in front of the cat for so long.