Thursday, May 14, 2009

Part Two: Boris and the Big Yellow Pills

This follows yesterday's post of our visit to the vet....

Part Two

I tried to explain that Boris doesn't DO pills. The vet took a semi-smug tone and began to explain how to give a cat a pill, see, hold his head back like this, and then push the pill with your fingers right to the back of the throat...At this point, I held up my hand to stop him.

Yes, yes, I knew all this, but Boris is a trickster and can not only hide a pill in his cheek or under his tongue, he can spit it out a few feet, sometimes several minutes after I've given it to him. The vet clearly didn't believe me, perhaps thinking me a wuss. So he smiled at me, benignly, and asked if I'd like him to do it.

Sure, says I. Give it your best shot.

While I held him from behind (the cat, not the vet) we got Boris to open his mouth and the vet quickly slid the pill down his throat, and looked at me with a satisfied smile. See? Easy as...whoa. Hang on there sport. Boris started to foam and salivate like a rabid animal. And he spat the pill onto the examining table. Saliva was now pouring out of his mouth, and before the vet could soak it up (eventually using THREE paper towels) Boris shook his head sending a thick arc of cat goober into my face, the vet's jacket and, to my daughter's horror, across the room onto her bare legs. Oh, that's normal, says he. Those pills are quite bitter.

More attempts, and after several tries we finally got Pill Number One to go down and stay down. However, there was still the issue of Pill Number Two. Boris, naturally, was wise to us now and was getting quite a bit more feisty. The vet pulled out a secret weapon. A long syringe with a rubber cup to hold the pill which in theory allows one to both give the pill and avoid injury to soft tissue like fingers.

The vet picked up the second bitter little pill. Boris didn't move, but as I held him I could feel his muscles tensed for fight or flight, or both.

Well, sadly, that state-of-the-art syringe was no match for a large cat in a bad temper so reinforcements were called in, in the form of a lovely assistant with a blue sparkle gem imbedded in her canine. (Her canine tooth, not her dog. I have no idea if her dog has jewelry encrusted teeth, it's just that since this is taking place in a veterinary office, I could see how one might be confused.) So again, I held Boris from behind, gripping his front legs firmly, the sparkling assistant pried his mouth open after some effort, and the vet took aim with the syringe. Well, Boris didn't take too kindly to that approach either, and he exploded in fury and panic, using his back legs to claw his way free, his head a paroxysm of gagging and spitting yet more saliva and the second pill.

I was beginning to think that the only way we were going to get him to accept this pill was either under general anesthetic or if he was encased in cement with only his head showing, and even then, my money would be on The Boris. After several more attempts and the odd scratch, we got him to "accept" Pill Number Two. As we mopped up the room and our brows, the vet revealed that he and his wife, also a vet, had a cat for 13 years and not once, in all those years, were either of them able to give him a single pill.

"Be careful driving home," were his parting words. Oh, and also, "these pills often cause vomiting so watch for that." I couldn't bring myself to ask what we were supposed to do if the pills made another appearance on the way home.

Boris has recovered, although this morning, as he was peacefully eating his breakfast, I accidentally rattled the door of his crate and the sound made him tear across the room to the back door in a blind panic. I've given him post dramatic stress disorder and he's not a forgiving boy. Time to open a tin of tuna to make it up to the old man.


dykewife said...

boris sounds quite unique :)

nightsmusic said...

Just as hysterical as the first part LOL You need to keep a diary of this stuff for those days when you mistakenly think your animals are nice, quiet, loving little things...