June 20, 2013 | Volume 118, Issue No. 25

Tom Tom's road to recovery

Escape with Eddie

Anyone who has ever taken care of an ailing pet knows it’s a challenge. First of all, animals cannot talk; second, they don’t always have the reasoning power of us humans. Well, mostly we’re reasonable. From a cat’s perspective, reasonable human behavior is giving treats, not medicine. Tom Tom is now convinced I do not have his welfare in mind when I dose him with his liquid dose of Prednisone. There is no understanding of, “This is for your own good,” and, “I’m giving you this stuff because I love you and want you to get better.”

Cat’s are complicated. They have very firm ideas on what constitutes loving, kind, and humane behavior. All three of these definitions include many hours of soft petting, wonderful doses of catnip, and, for the sorely aggrieved cat, lots of kitty treats.

Cats in medical recovery, regardless of the type of surgical intervention, do not suffer infirmity lightly. They make rotten patients. Not only do they protest, yowling at the top of their lungs, but they have teeth which, regardless of dental work, they still use to inflict nips and bites of outrage. Then, of course, as a last resort, toenails, in the case of cats, talons, are used with specific sites of injury in mind. A well aimed claw, as you prepare to pry the jaws open for medicine, usually finds the target.

I am convinced I should have a special rider on my medical insurance that is for treating cat inflicted injury. It is a dicey business being the nurse in the animal recovery zone. I know if Tom Tom could speak, he would insist I try the Prednisone first and see if I like it. No matter how hard I explain that it is for his own good and it will help his mouth heal, he continues to reject the idea of compliance.

Tom Tom would remind me that we humans can disguise pills in chocolate pudding and make them more palatable. I know the last time I had to give the dog medicine, I was able to put it in peanut butter. She thought it was grand. The difference, as any cat would tell you, is that dogs try to please their masters and mistresses, and cats, on the other hand, could give a rip.

Needless to say, Tom Tom is getting special canned food from the vet’s clinic; this is to encourage his appetite and to make it easier to chew his food. Do you think the other house cats understand why they aren’t getting special treats of soft food? I have heard each of them complaining bitterly that I’m playing favorites. Personally, the canned food hasn’t got the greatest aroma for my taste buds, but the feline convention at Wolf Moon Farm is ready to go out on strike for better meals.

My son, Rob, tells me I can buy canned food by Friskies that cats are crazy for and it’s only 45 cents a can. The pressure from the cat horde is leading me to believe that to keep peace in the family, I may have to spoil everyone and invest in occasional treats. I just want to have Tom Tom get back in oral shape so we can cut the pampering to a minimum.

And, yes, he is getting better. Now I only have to worry about my scratched and battered fingers from those talons. His Prednisone bottle gives instructions: .7 ml two times a day for 10 days. Then, .7 ml every day for life. Do you think there might be a safer way to administer medicine? I’m open for suggestions.

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