There’s Something out there, in the dark…

As of late, Trouble has been afraid to go outside.

I’ll hold the door open for her, call to her, and count down from 5, which lets her know I am closing the door and if she wants to go out, she should go now… but she sits a distance away from the door, looking out but refusing to go.

Tonight, I carried her out onto the deck. She instantly ran to the door and started pawing to go back in. I thought I could hear rustling in the bushes down below. I opened the door and she scooted back inside.

I don’t know what it is… a neighbor cat, or a skunk perhaps, but something seems to have muscled in and claimed her territory.

So lately, she’s just been sitting on the carpet in the middle of the living room, for hours.

Dazed, Drugged, and in Pain

That’s pretty much how Trouble exited the vet’s tonight.

Early this morning, I dropped her off, signed a consent form saying “if you happen to kill my cat while sedating her, I understand, these things happen”, and was off to work.

They said they’d call me if they had accidentally done something horrible to her, but said “it’s pretty rare, don’t expect a call,” and told me to call at 2pm to find out how things went, and when to pick her up.

I called, they said it went ok, and to pick her up later in the day. I left work early and picked her up around 4:30. “Trouble didn’t give us any trouble!” beamed the assistant.

They offered me a mini dixie cup filled with the remains of the teeth they had to pull, five in all. I peer into the cup at some bits of white and brown, mostly unidentifiable chunks of brown, which I am told were once roots, teeth that had broken off in the past but stayed on as broken roots. I decline the offer to take the cup home with me. The vet holds the cup over the trash, and pauses. “Throw them out?” he asks. I consider an intricate plan of reconstructing the broken remains, making casts, and having kitty false teeth manufactured, either in some third world factory where they will do anything for a modest sum, or in the gleaming white rooms of an American niche lab devoted to feline dentistry. I snap out of my reverie. “Yeah,” I say, “toss ’em.”

I pay the bill and drive home with Trouble in the carrier in the passenger seat. She is meowing, but much quieter than her yelling this morning. Her soft cries now sounded more like sobbing. I assure her that we are nearly home, while on NPR the Hillary and Obama camps each claim to have netted more delegates than the other on Super Tuesday.

We get home and I let Trouble out of the cat carrier, onto the cold basement floor. She walks out of the carrier with a funny diagonal gait, and thumps into a workbench leg. It obvious she’s still pretty drugged and out of it. She’s also stopped meowing, I think it causes her too much pain. Her walking is the same zigzag path of the guy who’s been downing vodka all night but insists he’s fine, even though it’s plain he isn’t.

The vet explicitly mentioned “no stairs for the first day,” which if you’re familiar with my house, is a bit of an issue. Trouble stays in the basement while I’m at work, and when I’m home and awake, I unlock a cat door on the basement door, giving her access to both the upstairs and basement at will. For now, I’ll leave the door locked, and carry her down the stairs when she wants to go down. I watched her go up the stairs ok, but with how wobbly she is, I don’t know if she could make it down without falling.

Upstairs, I give her a small bowl of water. I took away her food at water at 9pm last night as instructed, and I’m not sure if she had any at the vet’s. So she’s probably gone almost a full day without water. She takes a tentative lick at the water, but apparently that’s too painful, she abandons the dish and wobbles down the hall. Her tail is droopy and she is walking low, keeping her center of gravity low so she is less likely to tip over. I look at her face. She isn’t about to open her mouth to meow, let alone show me her teeth, but I notice the fur around her eyes is wet from crying.

Hopefully by tomorrow the drugs will have worn off and she’ll be fully mobile again. I just gave her a dish with a little moist cat food on it, she licked the gravy up but didn’t try to eat the diced meat. Probably be a while before she’s back on dry food again.

sad Trouble

On cats and Eyedroppers

I’m taking Trouble to the vet tomorrow to get her teeth cleaned.

Leading up to that, I’m supposed to give her an eyedropper full of antibiotics twice a day for three days.

The first time, I got most of it in her mouth by catching her by surprise.
The second time, I caught her waking up, and got it in her mouth before she was fully awake.

The third time, she was wise to what I was up to. I wrestled her so she couldn’t move, but she *would not* open her mouth. It was like a scene from the exorcist, me over her with the eyedropper, saying “the power of antibiotics compels you!” while she spun her head around wildly.
I only managed to get half of it into her mouth, and called it enough of a win.

The fourth time, I figured “why not try it in her food?”
I was afraid she wouldn’t eat it, but mixed it in with a little moist catfood, and nom nom nom, she ate it all.

Easy. I’m supposed to take away her food tonight, I’ll give her the last dose in a small amount of moist catfood, and then take away her food and water.

Then I bring her in to the vet at 8am tomorrow, and pick her up later in the day.