January 30, 2012

...Back Again

Today, I was very busy. I had a lot things that had to get gone now.

So of course, Kitten decides to act like he needs to go back to the vet (missed that? go here).

Starting mid-day yesterday and continuing into this morning, Kitten started doing exactly what he was doing before I took him to the vet: he would climb into his litter, not do much, jump out, meow to himself, and generally lie there looking depressed. He would do this on repeat every half hour or so.

When I spoke with the vet on the phone yesterday, she had told me that this might mean he was "clogged up" again and that if it continued into the next day that I should bring him back in. So this afternoon around 12:30, I dropped everything I was doing and hauled Kitten back to the vet.

As it turns out, Kitten was perfectly fine. 

Though it would probably be unfair to say that his behaviour was "faking it," since the vet informed me that he is probably still in a lot of pain from the infection. She suggested an anti-inflammatory along with some pain mediation.


I am so poor. 

I wish I hadn't taken him at all, since realistically, the trip and the two new mediations were not necessary. I know I could have turned the new prescriptions down, sucking up the cost of the actual visit only, but (a) I didn't want to look like the worst pet owner alive; and (b) I really do want to help Kitten feel better.

So another $158.25 later... 
I labelled them to keep track of when Kitten gets what.

How am I suposed to make this work?

I already lost THREE doses of antibiotics this morning trying to: (a) jam one down Kitten's throat (he foamed at the mouth... again); (b) crushing the failed-pill into wet food (that he wouldn't touch); (c) crushing a new pill into milk (that he wouldn't touch); and (d) crushing a third pill into peanut butter (that he licked once and quickly realized was tainted).

The vet suggested that I coat the pills in butter before jamming them down his throat to help them slide down.


Luckily one of the new medications is in liquid form and I have been informed that this is often much easier to administer to a wary cat.

Well, I'm off to grease up some pills in hopes that they will just shimmy right down Kitten's throat.

January 29, 2012

Uh Ooooooh!

Yesterday morning I took Kitten for an emergency visit to the vet. 

I'll start from the beginning:

You might remember from one of my posts this past spring, that Kitten has, from time to time, displayed some rather odd toilet etiquette. He also has a penchant for using the bathroom sink in lieu of his litter. I had always thought that this was just his way of getting payback for the times I tried to toilet train him.   

A couple of days ago, Kitten was doing his sink thing again. I didn't think much of it until I was heading to bed and stepped in a sizeable puddle. This has never happened before. While Kitten may be a jerk in many ways, he has never straight up peed on the floor. 

I began to worry.

I called Ex-Boyfriend (oh, did I forget to mention that?) in a panic. He did some quick research and let me know that it was probably chronic Feline Lower Urinary Tract Disease (FLUTD), which is actually very common in male cats of Kitten's breed. 

Though I was worried, I tried to remind myself that this was simply a chronic condition that is best treated with a change in diet.

Well, two days later, Kitten was still using the sink. When I woke up yesterday he was in this weird squatty position and was clearly in some discomfort. I went on the internet, did my own "research" and was immediately convinced that Kitten was about to drop dead at any second.

I called my vet, booked an appointment for half-an-hour later, stuffed Kitten into his carrier, and power-walked right over.

Once there, Kitten and I had to wait in the room alone for probably ten minutes. 

Kitten did not like this. 

Anytime I take him to this place, bad things happen.

[In fact, he had actually been there just a few weeks ago for his first grooming. An experience that I will tell you about another day; suffice it to say, Kitten hated it.]

At first, Kitten kept trying to hurl his pathetic, flailing self off of the table. But after several attempts, he came to rest with his face in the crook of my elbow and stayed there until the vet came in.


The vet, bless her soul, listened very intently as I wove my story of Kitten's UTI into something probably more akin to a Spanish soap opera than a feline bladder infection. 

She told me that I was actually (somehow) probably right, but that she would need to do a few tests to confim.

Unfortunately, my hopes of a simple UTI were shattered when she started poking at Kitten's bladder: "Oh, this is much worse than I thought" she said.

I won't bore (disgust) you with the details, but essentially Kitten had a condition on the severe end of the FLUTD spectrum, where he was literally plugged-up with crystals. He needed to have a few procedures done to clear him out and an x-ray to make sure all of the crystals were gone.

I care about Kitten a lot, but I am not going to lie, all I could see was dollar signs adding up with each  word out of the vet's mouth. This is undeniably one of the major downsides of having a pet when you are a poor student.

As I suspected, $663.73** later, Kitten was all fixed and now has a very crystal-free bill of health. 

Well, relatively.

He is still recovering and because of the recent trauma his litter bladder has gone through, the vet said that he will probably have a few "uh oooh" moments; when he's gotta go, he's gotta go. 

The vet prescribed some medication along with Kitten's antibiotics to help with these "uh oooh" moments, but I have been having quite a difficult time administering both.

If you have never had a cat, you probably will not understand how utterly impossible it is to get a cat to swallow a pill, let alone two.

Dogs are easy. You roll it in cheese and they swallow it whole. Cats, are tricky. They investigate everything before they eat it, so sneaking it into their food is next to impossible. The only other option that I am aware of, is this contraption on the right.

Basically, you put the pill in the end, jam the thing in the cat's mouth and plunge 'er in.

I attempted this method this morning, after Kitten refused to touch his wet food that I had, oh so carefully, crushed his medication in to.

He started foaming from the mouth.

I think that part was for show, but let me tell you; it did the trick - I backed the F' off. 
So seriously, if you have any tips on administering pills to cats, please share them with me!

But aside from the fact that Kitten smells like pee and foams at the mouth when I try to give him his medication, there is really only one last chapter to this story:

Like I said, FLUTD is very common in cats like Kitten. The only way to prevent it in cats who are susceptible is to put them on a special diet for the rest of their lives. Lucky for me, I am already used to paying inordinate amounts of money for cat food. I have said this before: Kitten eats much better than I do.

While the change in food won't mean any change for my wallet, it will mean a pretty big change for Kitten, who is used to this:

And now has to eat this:
So far he hasn't touched his new food. Though I can't say I would want to eat something that has the word "urinary" on it either.

But I figure it's the same with children and their dinner; if you don't let them eat anything else, eventually they'll cave.

That's how you raise kids, right?

[** While I am less than thrilled with the price, I have only good things to say about my veterinary clinic, Downtown Animal Hospital. I have never been to pet clinic which such welcoming and helpful staff and such a warm atmosphere. The prices may be slightly above average, but in my opinion, it is worth it for the service and care that they provide.]

January 21, 2012

Mission Impossible

Remember that time I wrote about how Kitten destroys every living thing he can set his paws on?

Or the time I got Kitten some cat grass in hopes that he would stop trying to eat the only plant left in my apartment?

Well this is a story about that plant. That sad, sad plant. 

The plant lives behind my TV and is elevated by a small stool and a pile of old textbooks. The plan is to coax the plant into growing up the wall. But Kitten is thwarting this plan. 

Even though the TV is on an angle, essentially blocking off the corner that the plant is in, Kitten finds ways to jump up on the ledge of the cheap entertainment unit that supports the TV and eat that poor, poor plant.

First, I tried blocking both "entrances." I placed a wooden statue on one side and fully opened the kitchen door on the other:

Unfortunately, and to my surprise, Kitten actually learned how to open the door to get to the plant. This came as quite a shock since I still stand by the fact that Kitten is intellectually disabled.

I tried placing my backpack in the space, thinking that he wouldn't figure out how to jump over it and onto the ledge.

I was wrong.


Kitten learned how to open the door and manoeuvre around the backpack.

I started placing textbooks in front of the door to keep it in place. This seemed to work for a few weeks and I started to think that Kitten had given up on getting to the plant. I eventually removed the textbook and just tried to remember to keep the door closed.

Then, a few days ago, I was woken up by a large crashing sound. I often sleep wearing earplugs, so this sound was undeniably loud to have woken me up. I assumed the noise was just Kitten being a jerk, but figured I should get up just to confirm it was nothing serious.

I walked around my dim apartment looking for what had make the sound. After seeing that everything was in it's place, I headed back to bed assuming the noise had come from a neighbours balcony.

Then I realized something was, in fact, amiss.

Kitten was not at my feet, nor was he running around in circles squawking, nor was he crashing into things in the Kitchen. If I can rely on Kitten for one thing, it is that he will, without fail, assume that if I am out of bed any time from 6:00am onwards, it must be to feed him.

It was 7:00am, and Kitten was not in sight.

I began to call his name. He didn't come. It then occurred to me that I should take my earplugs out. I then heard a faint scuffling sound coming from under the TV. I pulled the kitchen door open, which had been slightly ajar, to find the plant lying on the ground behind the TV along with a pile of books that had once been propping it up.

I can only assume that Kitten missed the jump to the plant, pulling the plant and books down with him. Kitten himself had some how slithered under the stool at the bottom and was lying there in a pathetic mess of failure and plant dirt. Sadly, this image went un-captured since I was eager to return to my sleep.

The next day I reinforced the kitchen door with my old Income Tax Act and made sure the statue on the other side was in place.

Everything was fine until two days later when I came home to find that Kitten had been at it again, this time tracking his evidence everywhere.

There was plant dirt and debris all over the apartment, yet the Income Tax Act was still in place.

Though Kitten may have proven that he can open a door, I was unconvinced that he could move the book, open the door, commit his act of mischief and then replace the book.

No, Kitten must had found a way around the wooden statue and then also figured out how to escape from behind the TV.

This was the story that I sat down to write. But as soon as I sat down to begin telling you about Kitten's mission of plant destruction, I heard a thud. Kitten had jumped past the statue in my very presence and had become lodged behind the TV.

After watching him struggle for some time and taking a short video of his misadventure, I pulled him out by the scruff of his neck.

I thought he had learned his lesson.

He had not.

It happened three more times in a row. 

I am not sure what to do. I used another book to block the statue side, but feel like this is only a very temporary solution; even if Kitten doesn't figure it out, I should probably actually do my Administrative Law readings sometime...

But I think Kitten will find another way. After placing the book there, Kitten has just been lying in front of the TV with a melancholy look of dispair on his face. I can't tell, because his eyes are blank and they always seem blank, but I think he is planning his next move.

I should also note that anytime Kitten does succeed in eating the plant, he vomits shortly after.

It seems hardly worth it.

But I guess I shouldn't  expect much forethought from this: