November 9, 2005

The Fuzzball and the Missing Pre-Molars

It looks like a cat exploded in our apartment.

A few weeks back the vet said one of the cat’s teeth had to go. We immediately confiscated her PSP and told her that if she wanted it back she would simply have to teach herself how to floss. She (as usual) played the “no opposable thumbs” card, rolled on to her side and started pulling herself along the carpet sideways (which is what she does when she’s trying to be cute).

Cute or not, she went into her cage last Saturday and was whisked off to the vet to be shaved, drugged, and relieved of her rotten tooth. Or so we thought. Upon return, she was missing not one, but both of her upper pre-molars (aren’t they supposed to clear additional extractions with you in advance?) and was wearing a rather dazed and dopey expression.

Along with the stoned, somewhat-more-toothless cat we got two forms of medicine and a series of instructions for how to administer it. In a nutshell, it’s a matter of squirting liquid into the cat’s mouth at just the right moment to make her involuntarily swallow most of it before drooling it out onto the linoleum. Only a precise hit will set off a chain reaction.

(Still with us? I’m impressed … and concerned. There are some really excellent weblogs which have nothing to do with feline dentistry or post-extraction pet care and yet you want to see this story through to the end? I will do my best to bring us around to the cat-explosion summary quickly.)

So I give her the pain medicine and the antibacterial stuff twice a day, shortly after her food. This requires me to crawl under the dinner table (her top-secret lair), act as though I’m only there to say hello, scoop her up and carry her to the kitchen, give her the medicine and then set her free so she can go feel sorry for herself.

For a little while in the evenings all is forgiven. She’ll come by for a pat and show me how far she’s gotten in SOCOM (at which point I usually grumble that if she can command a team of SEALs, she can floss her remaining handful of teeth). But each day the cycle of medicine giving repeats, and each day she’s getting a little more uncomfortable.

Her discomfort is manifesting itself in the form of significant fur loss. The first sign was abnormal amounts of fur on the carpet, then there was the appearance on the back of her neck a small area with no fur at all, and then tonight as she scratched her head you could actually see the fur flying off into the air.

It may be that she’s allergic to the pain medication and if that’s so then we’re in good shape because we’re out of it and she probably isn’t hurting anymore anyway. It may be that she’s stressed out by the trip to the vet and the tooth pulling and all the medicine giving and if that’s so then it will fade in time.

Hopefully, it’s not that delightful third category where you have no idea what’s going on so you have to bring the cat back to the vet and wind up being sent home with cream for her skin and rubber gloves. (Shudder.) We’ll be keeping our fingers crossed that we don’t have to go down that road. Keeping up with her demand for fresh Memory Sticks is expensive enough. :)

The end.

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