Who says “care-giving” is for humans only?
At the present time, our family cat is dealing with an issue that the doctors have not quite figured out as of yet. He’s not a very big cat to begin with but to lose almost 23% of his weight in a year’s time is not a good sign! We brought him to the vet who provided a pill (yes, we purchased the pill pockets to “trick” him into eating the medicine) and asked us to watch him over the weekend. The vet gave us some baby food to give our cat as a way to get him to eat more (we always feed him dry food so you can imagine his delight in eating the mushy baby food).
As it turns out, my wife went away for a weekend women’s retreat but showed me “how” to administer the pill in his mouth as he won’t eat it willingly (if you know what I mean). The vet advised me (through my wife) to give him the pill last night. Talk about an ordeal (for both me and our cat)!
Where shall I start….
I fed him the baby food and he loved that meal so I knew I had a backup plan for the pill. He doesn’t mind me carrying him like a baby (as I have seen my wife do a few times already). I told myself – “How hard can this be?”
First attempt – the pill pocket!
I molded the pill pocket around the small white pill and put the brown ball on the floor in front of the cat. He bends down to take a sniff (this will be very easy). His head was blocking my view but in two seconds, he walks away and the brown ball is still on the floor! ARE YOU KIDDING ME???
So I picked up the pill pocket and put it in my hand (he likes licking his treats from my palm). He sniffed my fingers and was moving towards the pill pocket but NO, he turns his head as if to tease me. Grrr….
Second attempt – force feeding!!
OK – onto plan B. I picked up our cat and cradled him in my arms. My left hand opens his mouth (boy, those are some sharp fangs!) and my right hand puts the pill dead-center in his mouth. Like watching the Matrix movie, I could see the pill launch out of his tiny mouth and onto my stomach in slow motion! Strike One!
I picked up the pill in my right hand and once again, I pry open his mouth with my left hand (maybe I put it in the wrong spot in his mouth the first time). I placed the pill in the side of his mouth as my wife demonstrated to me the other day. He began to move his tongue and voila! The pill appears back on my stomach! It’s magic! Strike Two!
One more time (of course he is now trying to squirm out of my arms but I catch him and position his body back into my arms). Again, prying his mouth open with my left hand, I placed the pill deeper into the inside cheek of his mouth and closed his mouth. I think it worked this time!!! He became calm in my arms and looked at me in an expression that seemed to be surprised that I accomplished the task! I looked at him with a feeling of conquest! After thirty seconds of staring at each other, I noticed that his mouth never moved (he probably swallowed it by now). I placed him on the floor as he takes a few steps away from me. His body is convulsing and before I could get out of my chair, the pill re-appears on the floor!!! That clever kitty cat – he held it in his mouth like I used to hold vegetables in my mouth when I was a kid (I seem to recall that I spit out the vegetable as well). Strike Three!
Third attempt – smash it up!!!
OK, now I’m irritated! The saving grace was that with all the saliva from those failed attempts, the pill seemed to have eroded a bit. I knew he would enjoy the baby food so I smashed the pill into the teaspoon-size portion of his serving and plopped it into his food bowl. He came over and began to eat the baby food (laced with the crushed pill). He ate most of it but his keen sense of smell and taste exposed my evil plot to feed him this much-needed medicine.
In the end, he finished the dosage but it took me half an hour to accomplish this feat. Of course he had the last laugh as I tried to replicate my clever plan this morning in crushing his pill into his morning serving of baby food – he smelled the plot and decided to skip his breakfast!!
Oh well, the vet will see him on Monday morning. One way or another, he will receive the medicine his body needs. In the meantime, I’ve been outwitted by a feline who loves me but is stubborn as can be.
Score one for the cat!