Posting day: Sunday, and, sometimes, maybe, extra bits in between.
Sunday September 8th 2019
It’s Thursday and Isis, Daisy and I are off to RSPCA Newbrook Farm, Isis for the second part of her vaccination (accidentally missed last year) and her regular anal gland procedure, Daisy because she needs a new thyroid prescription and weight check.
Isis is very good as usual. Today, for the first time, she has her treatments without a muzzle. That’s a first.
Well, she never yowls on the journey. She just vomits or poops, or both. We even have a regular pit stop for cat carrier change over.
She’s a good-natured little cat, and always behaves with decorum in the consulting room. The only evidence of her anxiety are damp little paw prints on the examination table, and her tendency to crawl into one’s sleeves or under the hem of one’s jumper.
We can deal with these idiosyncrasies. What, of course, as all cat people know, is frustratingly difficult to deal with is when kitty says “Shan’t.”
Although Daisy’s diarrhoea has been treated successfully, she refuses to eat her renal and gastrointestinal wet food. When I don’t offer her a replacement, she nibbles half-heartedly at her renal/gastrointestinal dry food.
Instead of achieving the weight gain the vet and I are hoping for, Daisy grows steadily thinner. Her shoulder blades feel like fur coated bone, and I can literally count her little ribs.
I give in and feed her Sheba alongside her special dried food. That’s more like it! Yes, she’ll eat some of that.
Not enough, though.
The vet and I talk again. He is fine with the Sheba: eating must take precedence. He also researches an appetite enhancer tablet which can be prescribed for cats with thyroid and renal problems.
The tablets are quite small, she only has to take a quarter of one every other day, and I have a pill cutter. Surely Daisy, who happily helps herself every day to a thyroid pill covered with sardine or pilchard, will not notice that her fishy ball contains a different med.
No problem there then, right?
Daisy is horrified that her pilchard ball is tainted with appetite enhancer, and refuses point blank to even consider eating it.
What’s more, she suspects that sinister things might be happening to her thyroid pill, and refuses to eat that, too.
There’s nothing else for it but to dig out my old, pink, polo-necked jumper again, usher the annoyed feline inside, close the entrance and open up the polo-neck.
As soon as her cross little head pops out, I grasp the neck tightly enough to prevent her from thrusting out a furry paw, and loose enough to avoid strangling her …… although, on second thoughts. (You cat people will know exactly what flits into my mind.)
I struggle to open her tightly clenched mouth with my other hand and to poke the pill into her mouth before she closes it on my fingers.
Tonight – just a few minute ago, in fact – deciding that it would be nice to take a snap of her with her head poking out of my polo neck, I pop upstairs to give her her med.
This time, naturally, she turns round swiftly inside the jumper, so that her rear end is now facing the neck of the jumper and her naughty head the hem.
Point to Daisy: fifteen love.
Just as swiftly, I allow her head to emerge, then wrap the hem end of the jumper round her neck. Ah, I can now sit on the extra length to preempt an escape bid, and use two hands to feed her the pill.
This is much easier: fifteen all.
Isis came from the Aeza cat and dog rescue and adoption centre in Aljezur, Portugal. For information about adopting an animal from the centre, contact firstname.lastname@example.org or www.dogwatchuk.co.uk