Monday, October 25, 2010

The things we do for the furry ones.

My buddy Thor just went in for his yearly physical exam, and it turns out he has gingivitis. I wanted a second opinion, and the vet said, "OK, he's fat, too."
A year ago, when I brought him home from the shelter, he weighed 14 pounds. I thought he was big then. Now, he tips the scales at 19 pounds 13 ounces. That's a good meal away from 20 pounds. It's time for him to go on a diet.
I'm switching him from regular cat food to "indoor" food, which is cat food terminology for "lite." That, plus a little reduction in quantity should get him down from fat ass to big cat.
The gingivitis is the bigger issue. He can't eat if he doesn't have any teeth, and having bad gums could mean he'll start losing his teeth. But I'm not sure whether the treatment is worse than the disease. For me, anyway.
Veterinarians exist in a different world than the rest of us. They want us to give animals pills and other things that animals don't normally consume. They'll send us home with stuff and say "give this to him," thinking that the animal will understand. The big problem is that the cat doesn't understand what's going on, and the disconnect between what we know is good for him and what he thinks is happening is as wide as a canyon.
The treatment for gingivitis is to smear some gel on his gums once a day. The trouble is, the teeth he still has are really sharp, and cats don't like us putting our fingers in their mouths. Try smearing gel on a cat's teeth if you think I'm kidding.
God forbid they give me something to add to his water or food that he might actually - enjoy. No, here's a tube of gel for me to smear on his gums. Nice.
So, if you suddenly find that I've stopped typing or can't snap a photo anymore because I've lost a finger (or three) you'll know that Thor and his bleeding gums are to blame.

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