Saturday, January 16, 2016

Outsmarting the cats — or so we think

The cats have had their flea treatment. They're supposed to get it once a month but we're usually not quite so conscientious.

It's not a pleasant procedure although there are plenty of things that are a lot worse. Taking the cats to the vet, for example, is a nightmare. Every time we do it, I swear, "I'll never do that again! Someone else will have to be responsible!"

They're both big and they're both ornery — when it comes to the vet — and they have to be transported in separate carriers. Unfortunately, getting either one of them caged up can't be done in secret so someone has to catch and hold one of them while the other is being wrestled into the carrier. Once one is confined, the other — by now in a state of extreme hostility — knows his fate but he doesn't surrender easily.

Oh, it's awful.

Look at those faces. It hardly seems possible to believe what they put us through.

These are rare pictures from last year. Because they don't like each other much, it's unusual to catch them together like this.

Doing the flea treatment isn't nearly as torturous but it's no fun. First of all, those cats are smart and they have long memories. The treatment is kept in a small drawer in the dining room, a drawer that isn't opened often. When the drawer is opened, four kitty ears perk right up and suddenly, in a streak, they're gone — upstairs or to the basement or somewhere out of reach. We know that now so we outsmart them by taking the treatment out and unwrapping it the day before we plan to use it. No auditory clues.

We do Junior first. He's younger and in some ways, more easily handled, but he really minds this procedure. He takes it as a personal insult and he holds it against us for a day or two. This treatment is administered by breaking a small vial and letting the fluid make contact with skin on the back of the cat's neck. If you could see the amount of thick fur on the back of Junior's neck, you'd understand the challenge of finding skin under there.

It's my job to hold the respective cats because I have the stern resolve. No, you're not getting away and that's that. I hold the front paws and the back paws together tightly and that does seem to render them immobile. Dan parts the hair on the back of the neck and administers the fluid. William was here this time so he was available to talk soothingly and be reassuring. You can tell the dose is complete when the cat can taste the medicine and that's almost instantly.

Grizzly was pretty good this time — he accepted the medicine and acted almost normal. Junior disappeared. He reappeared briefly when he heard me dispensing kitty treats but he declined to take part in the late evening ritual. He stood in the hall scowling at me and made it very clear that he did not want to be friends.

However, things are getting back to normal. We had a snowstorm today so the cats didn't go outside. I had a cozy fire burning and they both happily curled up near me and every now and then, one or the other would start to purr. Just long enough to remind me they were there and then back to dozing off. They feel good.

The treatment they get, recommended by their vet, is called Advantage.

1 comment:

  1. I have learned to administer this to Malcolm by myself, but 2 people are required when he goes to the vet, as I cannot get him into a carrier. My friend Mary does the driving honours. I am sure Malcolm thinks of her as "that blonde bitch", as a trip to the vet is pending when he sees her. L