Need challenge? Give medicine to cat.

Janice Lindsay

Kitty was sick. Acting normal, but losing weight. Vet said urinary tract infection. Liquid antibiotics, twice daily, two weeks.

Big, buff-colored, fluffy, floppy, kitty was easy-going, cuddly. Until medicine time.

Male Person (MP) sat on kitchen chair with heavy bath towel in lap. Female Person (FP) fetched kitty from couch, carried her to kitchen, placed kitty in MP’s lap. The two Ps quickly wrapped kitty in towel to immobilize claws. MP held kitty firmly. Kitty on alert, suspicious.

FP gently tipped kitty’s head back, wrapped hand around kitty’s head and squeezed jaws to open mouth (as vet taught). With other hand holding eyedropper, FP shot medicine into kitty’s mouth. Allowed kitty to close mouth. Patted angry kitty, saying, “Good kitty.” Kitty was having none of that. MP released kitty. Kitty shot away, opened mouth, shook head. Persons wiped antibiotic drops off floor.

Only 27 times to go.

After two days, routine was like this. Close all doors in the house. Otherwise, at sound of medicine bottle being shaken, kitty hid under bed or behind couch. FP fetched kitty. Stroked kitty. Said, “Good kitty, we want nice kitty to be well.”

Kitty not buying. Rather be sick. Struggled. But two persons stronger than kitty.

Two weeks passed. Tested kitty. Test required FP to get urine sample from kitty. Big challenge, not fun. Not subject for family newspaper.

Bad news: Medicine did not work. Try another.

On way to vet, prayed, “Please don’t let it be a pill. Liquid was hard enough. Please no pill.”

It was a pill. One a day for two weeks.

Tried simplest method first. Placed pill on lovely plate, placed plate on floor in front of kitty. Kitty sniffed, stalked off, seemed to say “Not in a thousand years and if you were the Queen of Sheba.”

Next, tried method suggested by vet: pulverized pill and mixed with spoonful of the canned cat food that kitty loved. Kitty stalked off. “Not in five thousand years and if you were the Queen of the Universe.”

Method three. Closed doors and fetched kitty as before. Wrapped kitty on MPs lap. Opened mouth (hers). Inserted pill as far as possible onto tongue (hers). Took care not to release jaws too soon, to protect fingers (FP’s). Stroked kitty’s throat to help her swallow. Kitty glared. Released kitty.

That tiny click was sound of pill dropping from kitty’s mouth on to wood floor.

Kitty smarter than two Ps. But Ps determined.

On second day, kitty swallowed. Two Ps followed her around searching for rejected pill. Didn’t find it.

By third day, kitty figured out how to maneuver tongue so pill couldn’t get past. Went gak-gak, out slid slimy pill.

Called vet. Said dissolve pill in broth and give with eyedropper. Thawed frozen broth from Christmas turkey. Became pharmacist. Placed pill in dish, pulverized pill, added broth, stirred, sucked into eyedropper.

Fetched kitty as before. Kitty hated process, but liked turkey broth. Eureka.

Two weeks passed. Tested kitty again.

Medicine did not work.

Try new liquid antibiotic. Once a day for two weeks. Fruit-flavored. Fruit-flavored? For a cat? Whose idea was that?

Fetched and wrapped kitty as before. Kitty hated medicine. Persons hated giving it. Everybody miserable. Couldn’t go on much longer.

Tested kitty again.

Hooray! Medicine worked! No more medicine!

Vet said continue medicine two more weeks, otherwise kitty might become immune and medicine wouldn’t work another time. Another time? Two more weeks? Persons decided, “No way. Will risk it.” Knew kitty would agree.