Recently my Giuseppe, my 8 year old Ragdoll, was diagnosed with an irritable bowel.  

GuiseppeBeside the diagnostic testing and the trips to the vet he was also prescribed several oral medications including one that was apparently foul tasting and had to be administered twice daily.  

He began hiding all day, not eating and probably not drinking.  I couldn't find his hiding places for a day or two.  When I finally found him under a bed, I had to slide him out by his scruff.  I talked softly as I brought him out and then weighed him, brushed him and tried to soothe him. He had lost some weight (about 2 lbs.) and would have nothing to do with me.  

It was difficult for me because I'm a hands-on kitty mom.  I love to hold them and cuddle them and pet and brush them several times during my waking hours.  At night usually two or three of them (I have four) will sleep on my bed.  But Giuseppe would have nothing to do with me, hiding in hard to reach areas (under beds) and behind anything that would conceal his little body.  

So of course I called my vet (almost in tears) to tell her of my difficulties with the meds and ask if there were some tablets or pills I could give him instead.  She was very accommodating, but still he avoided me for a few days.  Then about three days after the pills were started he jumped on my bed as I was going to sleep for the night and settled himself on my stomach purring and rubbing his head into my hands and neck.  I was so excited and elated I almost cried.  I simply pet him and rubbed his head and talked soothingly to him.  When he'd had what he needed he moved over and stayed on my bed all night.

Because we love them, but can't really communicate with our animals it is difficult to do unpleasant things to them (that usually must be done), and even harder to make amends once the situation has improved.  I sort of expected my vet to laugh at me when I told her that giving him this medication was ruining my relationship with him, but she seemed to understand my eccentricities.  

GuiseppeHe is now on the road to recovery, still on some pills for a few more days, but he doesn't seem to mind that as much as he did the awful tasting liquid medication.  I actually tasted a drop of it and found it to be very sweet like saccharin.  He seems to have forgiven my transgressions and has continued to be friendly and affectionate.

When our pets are sick or in need of medical care and interventions we worry that they will not be OK, or that the meds will be unaffordable, or that it may be a chronic problem, or a painful solution, but do we worry about our relationship with them?  I think we all do, but I suspect many will not admit it.  I am happy that Giuseppe is not the type to hold a grudge.

Linda Gavitt



One Cat is Company

"One cat is company.
Two cats are a conspiracy. 
Three cats is an attempted takeover.
Four or more cats is a complete coup!"

Shona Steele (Australia)

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