Delenda Est Carthago

Why not delve into a twisted mind? Thoughts on the world, history, politics, entertainment, comics, and why all shall call me master!

Location: Mesa, Arizona, United States

I plan on being the supreme dictator of the country, if not the world. Therefore, you might want to stay on my good side. Just a hint: ABBA rules!


Have you ever force-fed a cat?

That's not a rhetorical question. I know there's the joke that circulates in every office environment via e-mail about pilling a cat, and, as Homer says, "It's funny because it's true." Well, force-feeding a cat is much the same, only worse.

My cat has malformed kidneys. About a week ago she stopped eating and drinking, and became listless and somewhat depressed. We took her to the vet, and they took blood, which was enough for them to order an ultrasound. So yesterday she was at the vet all day, and they shaved part of her belly and did the ultrasound. They're still a bit mystified about why she's not eating, but they did find out that she has malformed kidneys. It's congenital, and will probably kill her eventually. If she starts eating again, she could possibly live for another ten years, but she has to eat. This is, of course, where it gets tricky.

They gave us an antibiotic to help clean out her intestinal tract in case there's anything wrong with it. This is also supposed to be an appetite stimulant. We also got some food that is much mushier than usual, and we're supposed to put it in a syringe and plunge it down her throat. Easier said than done, as you can imagine. We have some experience with syringes, since Mia gets her medication through it, but this ... Sweet Fancy Moses, this is hard.

First, the pill. We get it in her mouth and she immediately begins to try to expel it. Luckily, it's kind of powdery, and it dissolves quickly, giving her a quite rabid look to her face. Then, the food. For some odd reason (probably because she's an inscrutable cat!) she would rather, it seems, die than eat, and she does not like having food shot down her throat. About half of the syringe's contents end up on her face, my clothes, Krys's clothes, and the floor. The rest, we assume, goes down her gullet. I have a nice scratch between my index and middle fingers on my right hand (ever had a scratch there? Jesus it hurts), a long scratch on the top of my left wrist, and one on the outside part of my left wrist. I look like a stupid suicide attempter. We wised up and wrapped her in a towel the second time we did this, but it remained incredibly difficult - anyone with cats knows they can be slippery little eels when they want to be. Meanwhile, our other cat is milling around like this is the coolest thing he's ever seen and he hopes his turn is next. He'd be even crazier if we tried this with him.

This is the chance you take with shelter and foster home cats. We got Zoe when she was about three, and we had no idea her kidneys were deformed. There's nothing we can do except hope she eats and drinks, because a kidney transplant (yes, they do feline kidney transplants) cost 15000 dollars. You read that right. Our other cat, Smokey, was feral and has no teeth because no one ever took care of them, so they were removed. He's also bulimic (I wish I was kidding). He loves dry food, but can't digest it because he can't chew it, so he pukes it up. He also pukes up plenty of canned food, and we're probably going to have to medicate him because he may have intestinal tract issues. We love both our cats dearly, and it's tough, as they get older, to have to deal with these health issues. Evil people (like Krys's grandmother) would tell us to get rid of them (she wanted us to when Mia was born, since, according to her, cats see the baby's pulse fluttering in its neck and attack - I am totally not making that up), but they just don't understand what it's like to have a pet. We'll just keep wrapping Zoe up in a towel and hoping her claws don't find any of my major arteries. Isn't that love?


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