31 August, 2019


Don't worry: as of the writing, he's alive and well. But he scared the shit out of me last weekend because on Friday, he stopped eating, and this cat is all about the food.

I will spare you the drama of the weekend, calling the vet, getting the Monday AM appointment, watching him sniff his food and then "bury" it and then come back five seconds later, repeat, repeat, or sitting on the floor with him feeding him crunchy treats because that was the only thing he'd eat. He wasn't feverish, bleeding, his teeth were okay... it was something, clearly, but what I didn't know. And I do not do well with uncertainty.

Anyway. The point is that he is a very good boy, and today he is down to one medication from two, and eating solid food again.

Turns out he had thrown up a hairball with such force and acid--and it was an epic hairball, y'all, it was half the size of that circular pink wool rug and not a ball so much as a mat--that he burned his throat and gave himself esophagitis. No, I didn't know what that was, either, until Monday. 23 years owning cats, and never this.

So here are the other things I have learned this week:

  1. Meat baby food is gross. It looks like puke. It smells like--well. Anyway. Gross.
  2. Gerber and Beechnut make meat baby foods. The vet said anecdotally, the cats prefer Gerber and of the three choices, some prefer the ham over chicken or turkey. 
  3. Since Murdercat is a poultry lover, I got him the chicken and the turkey, which was fine. It was in fact the reason he came out from under the bed after the vet-visit. 
  4. The vet-tech who tried to give liquid antacid to him did not teach me anything about medicating a cat that I did not know, and did teach me how not to approach him. I have never seen an animal foam up like that. He even hissed, though with more bewilderment (WTF, lady-I-just-met?) than malice.
  5. He will eat pill-pockets until he discovers a pill, at which point he will distrust pill pockets forever, amen, find a new trick.
  6. Don't think about the pill gun, either. The vet tech did that to him, too. 
  7. It takes two people to get liquid carafate down his throat with a syringe, and that is without any fighting back except to escape. It takes an entire human folded over him like an origami coat to hold him down.
  8. BUT. He will take pills and syringes of medicine if you come at him from the front, one-on-one, give him a treat, show him one (or two or three) more on the floor, and then administer the medication. He will volunteer for this, and come to the kitchen when summoned. He will eye the syringe (or the pill) with resignation, and then permit the whole process. He will not run away. He will not hide. He will allow either of us to do this, and there will be no biting, hissing, scratching, or any resistance besides the reflexive paw-splaying when he's been scruffed. 
  9. He is a big, gentle, dorky boy. 

The manner of approach signaled to him the degree of response. We acted like it was a Big Deal, so it was. When it was just me on the floor with him, face to face and within range of those claws, no problem (other than the vice that is a closed cat-jaw).

So the biggest learning point for dealing with him is--ask, don't compel. He holds no grudges. Bribes of food accepted. 

(The first and third apply to me, too. As for grudges... well. Murdercat is a better person than I, in that regard.)