When did my life sink so low that my normal reaction to a cat with a cold is to massage his butt. I am so out of touch with reality that I don’t know what normal pet owners do when their cat gets sick.
I’m just guessing here, but I don’t think the conversation goes like this:
Statement: “Honey, the cat has a cold.”
Reply: “Whose turn is it for Cat Butt Massage?”
There is a veterinarian-ly sound reason for Cat Butt Massage. Really I swear.
A few years ago our cat, Lil’ Punkin Snowball, caught a cold. This could be serious. He wouldn’t eat. I laid out a cat food buffet that was so inviting I was going to eat it. No luck. I talked to the cat and encouraged him. This is the first danger signal. Some people think talking to yourself is the first sign of mental illness. They are wrong. At least when you talk to yourself there’s a chance of an answer. I’m talking to a cat here. I’m asking him about his emotional and physical state. He’s just dripping mucus on the floor.
I’m pleading with the cat to eat because not eating translates to a trip to the vet. A trip to the vet translates to pills he won’t take, liquids he’ll hurl back in my face, and a bill I can’t pay.
Don’t get me wrong our vet is great. Just ask him. He’s the oldest practicing vet in Texas. He actually may be the oldest practicing vet in the world. This guy was Noah’s vet. He did spay/neuter on the Ark. Which pissed off Noah because it really ran counter to the whole idea of the Ark.
Our vet actually invented spay/neuter while he was at University of Strasbourg (Oklahoma City campus) with Albert Schweitzer. They would have long philosophical discussions about human and animal rights until one day Schweitzer told him,
“I’m really getting sick of listening to you. I want to get as far away from you and your lectures as I can. I’m moving to Africa!”
So indirectly he’s responsible for Schweitzer’s founding of his hospital at Lambaréné in French Equatorial Africa.
So I take the cat to our vet and tell him he has a cold. (The cat, not the vet.) He gives me his usual look that says I’m an idiot. (The vet does, not the cat.) I explain that the cat won’t eat. The vet replies, “He won’t eat because he has a cold.”
“I know he has a cold, that’s why I brought him.”
“Well you need to get him to eat. If a cat goes three days without eating it can lead to liver problems.”
“I’ve tried everything,” I whined.
“You obviously haven’t tried everything, or he’d be eating,” he said. “It reminds me of the time I was showing Dr. Schweitzer my solution for…”
I ran out of the clinic before he could trap me into another Schweitzer story. It was making me start to hate humanitarians.
I arrive back home with the sniffling sputtery Mr. SnottyPantsFace and drop him in front of a fresh bowl of wet cat food. He sniffs at it and starts to meander off. In desperation I grab him and slide him back in front of the bowl. I’m holding his haunches in place and he pushes his butt up against my hand. I push him gently back down and squeeze. He gives a little push back and starts to eat. Hurray, I silently scream. He stops eating. So I give his haunch another little push. He begins to eat. I see a pattern. Squeeze- he eats. No squeeze- he stops. I move my fingers around the base of his spine where it meets the pelvis. I find what I think is that magic “eat your damn food” spot. I am relieved, I am proud, I am one footstep closer to hell.