Monday, April 23, 2007

The cats. The dog.

It is raining cats and dog at my house.

So as you know, I adopted a dog that has heartworms. Two months of treatment and several hundred dollars later, she should be well. In the meantime, she's on bed rest. A two-year-old dog on bed rest...riiiight. So at about midnight every night she goes ballistic and begins herding furniture. I kid you not. She discovered the cats wouldn't take to being herded, so she just runs in circles around the furniture in my house. I'm convinced she thinks she's actually getting somewhere.

I discovered that Janie also had giardia, a gross disease that involves loose stool and vomiting. Swell. And humans can get this too. Really great. So the same week she got put on heartworm medication, she was put on anti-giardia medicine.

In the meantime Zorba appeared one morning having lost significant chunks of fur. Now, before you say, "serves little Satan right," keep in mind that I love this cat and I'm asking you to hold your collective tongue. I freaked out about the huge bald spot on his neck and the ones I kept discovering under the long fur of his right side. So I whisked him off to the vet's office. My normal vet wasn't in that day, so Zorba saw another one who told me the cat was fine and I just needed to comb him more. The man charged me $42 and told me to COMB MY CAT. When a strange goo appeared on the bald neck spot the next day, I called and left a message for my cat's personal vet, Dr. B. This time, I went ballistic and sure enough the next day Zorba was back at the vet. Now I love my vet who is very thorough, a friend of a friend, and also Jewish. Love him. He shone the black light over Zorba and mused at the colors that appeared. He listened to his heart, considered the introduction of a dog and stress into the house, and finally decided to put Zorba on allergy medicine since cats between the ages of 3-5 years old sometimes develop allergies. My vet didn't charge me a dime even though that was a prognosis I would have been happy to pay for. Comb my cat. Give me a break.

The next week, Potter came flying through the kitty door so loudly and swiftly one night that out of instinct (or being paranoid even in my subconscious) I woke up. Instantly he was on my bed panting like mad. I tried to check him out for bites or injuries, but he took off to the couch for the rest of the night. The next day he didn't purr once and I finally found an incision on his left side. Wondering how in the world he would incur one incision, I peroxide-ed it and neosporin-ed it and tried not to pet him on that side of his body.

On Easter, I went next door to visit my neighbors Clarence and Tommie. They told me the "craziest story" from the week before. Clarence had started his car and heard a chopping noise. He stopped it and out ran a grey cat with hair flying everywhere. "It hopped over the fence into your backyard," they said, "but it wasn't your cat." Oh but it was. "That cat could have died!" they exclaimed. Thank God he didn't. So I called the vet to inform him Zorba did not have allergies or undue stress, rather that he had lost his hair while napping underneath the hood of my neighbor's car. "Fan-belt kitties," said my vet. "That's what we call those cats."

In the meantime, Janie was still throwing up as was one of the cats now (hard to tell which one since I didn't catch them in the act). And none of them had (as my grandma used to call it) a good BM. So I mentioned this to the vet and we figured one of the cats must have initially had giardia and the dog had given it to herself by eating out of the litter box (ew!) and the damn animals were now just passing it back and forth to each other. So I went and picked up a new prescription for giardia for all three pets who are now finishing up that medication and I took Zorba off the allergy pills.

But I'm not finished yet.

Last night I was petting Potter and discovered a clump of hair all fastened together by goo. With further investigation, I discovered to my horror that I had missed the second incision, which was now oozing yellow mucus! I grabbed the peroxide and used five cotton balls pressing on his skin and wiping up the snot-like substance that just kept coming out. When it was finally all gone, all that remained was a deep red hole. I put Neosporin on it and tried not to think of Staph infection symptoms. I felt horrible and of course called the vet who is probably grimacing now at the sound of my voice on his machine, "Dr. B? It's Ann Pittman again..."

On the other hand, I came home today to two cats laying together asleep on the couch and a dog jumping up and down to greet me. Three times today I had cats snuggling up under my arms purring and cuddling until the dog chased them off with jealousy. On our short walk tonight (Janie isn't allowed long ones yet because of her heart), I met about 8 or twelve children excited about seeing the "snow dog" out and about.

When it rains it pours, but sometimes to our surprise the most effective medicine of all is the one that warms my heart.