the pilling of two cats
Pics taken yesterday morning of the two “patients”, clearly on the mend.
(look how much Loki has grown!)
So it turned out pretty much as zoomer had warned about back in February. Loki does indeed have feline herpes and this past week, in spite of getting Azar vaccinated, I’ve had two sick kittehs at home. I’m more than a bit annoyed that when I first went to see the kittens the cat shelter volunteer said that what Loki had was “just a bit of a cold” and assured me it was nothing contageous. And later the vet also talked about Loki’s “cold” as if it were nothing to worry about, though she did say I should get Azar vaccinated and wait two weeks before bringing Loki home. Which I did. But in fact, feline herpes can be quite dangerous in kittens and older cats … so again, I am kind of pissed off that both the vet and the volunteer seemed to care more about finding a home for Loki than the health of my 15-year-old Azar. Because a week or so ago Loki had another outbreak and Azar got very sick as a result.
Anyhow, the boys are now taking anti-biotics – in pill form! – and they couldn’t be any more different about it…
Loki is a lot like Sunny, though perhaps less doggy. But he will eat absolutely anything put in front of him, especially if it’s smelly tinned kitteh food! So it’s very easy to crush his 1/8th of a pill into a teaspoon of paté and watch him gobble it down.
Azar, on the other hand, has never been easy to fool. Even when he was a kitten he could sniff out meds in his food and then turn up his nose at it. As for pilling him – imagine trying to pill the Tasmanian Devil. He would squirm, spin and twist so much that it was impossible to hold onto him if he didn’t want to be held. Which was why I scoffed when the vet suggested force-feeding him during his “mystery illness” in February, but I was very surprised – and pleased – to discover that the old slyboots has mellowed with age. Getting him to take food or his vitamin supplement via a syringe turned out to be a piece of cake. So I was hoping to use the same technique with the meds. No such luck. There actually has to be a lot of mushy food in the bowl for the syringe to suck it up, which I discovered wouldn’t work when there had to be a specific food/med ratio. And so … I am now having to crush the pill into a small amount of paté and then INSERT MY FINGERS INTO AZAR’S MOUTH while Nog holds him, three or four times until all the spiked food has been swallowed. So far I have remained unscathed but there are still five more days to go.
The good news is that Azar seems to be perking up. He never went off his food this time, but he was clearly unwell. At first vomiting, then doing a lot of gagging/coughing/sneezing. And as older and younger cats have a higher risk of a serious respiratory infection, a course of anti-biotics was recommended. As with human herpes, once a cat has the virus they have it for life, though it could remain dormant for years. Also like human herpes, the first bout is usually the worst, accompanied by fever and more serious symptoms. And so, let’s hope this is the last one for awhile and that Azar doesn’t suffer any more because of this. Loki doesn’t seem to be bothered at all by his symptoms (weepy eyes, sniffles and sneezes) and is in full throttle kitten mode all day long. But as with Azar, the anti-biotics are a precaution.
If the vet and the volunteer had been honest with me about the herpes I doubt I would have taken Loki in. And since then a couple of friends have called to tell me about other new kittens available. But now it’s hard to imagine life without Loki, and I know Azar loves him too, at least when he isn’t chewing on his tail. Now if I can just manage to keep my fingers…