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Archive for March, 2012

Hannah

Last week, I bought my first legal weapon: a cat pill gun. I grew tired of chasing Hannah around with the food bowl, in which I’d crushed up her medication, which she refused to eat. Sam, of course, would eat her medicine whole if I let him (he’ll eat anything, including carpet). So, I went to the vet for a lesson on cat-pilling.

Hannah almost bit off the vet tech’s fingers that tried to open her mouth the old-fashioned way, so the pill gun was going to be my only option. Of course, the vet tech said she preferred to call it a “pill popper,” but I think that makes the cat sound like a drug addict.

Hannah & Sam

Without a significant other to help me hold Hannah down in the garret, I had to learn how to use my own two hands. As instructed, I first loaded the gun with the pill, coating it slightly with some wet food (to make it go down more easily). Then, placing it within reach, I wrapped Hannah in a thick bath towel, in the fashion of a strait-jacket, lowered her hind legs into my lap, clasping her between my knees, her back facing me. From the front (for a moment, I bent forward to check on her), she looked almost comfortable, actually, like a swaddled baby. She appeared mildly amused. Then, I used my non-dominant hand to hold the back of her neck, and pulled slightly so her nose tilted towards the ceiling. Finally, using my dominant hand, I stuck the end of the pill gun into the side of her mouth, which caused her to reflexively open, at which point I aimed, and pressed the plunger: the pill flew down her throat. After that, it was kitty reward time: dinner.

I’m shocked to say it’s been five days now of successful pill gunning. I’m hoping this medicine will help with Hannah’s liver inflammation, which has become a concern. However the good news is, with “medicine time” now shortened from two hours to two minutes, the stress level has gone down tremendously…. though I keep waiting to find a stash of pills hidden somewhere in the garret.

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In my last post, I was just starting Hannah on a liver pill, known as SAMe, a derivative of her little b(r)other’s name. I’m here to give an update:

Hannah has, over the past weeks, shown her smarts, eating the pill pocket all around the pill and leaving the glistening pink medication on the floor. I’ve had to lock Sam in the bedroom to block his ability, and desire, to go at the SAMe like prey, to gobble it up for himself. After all, it does have his name written all over it.

One evening, I spent almost three hours trying to cajole Hannah into taking her SAMe. She simply stared at the lump I left on the floor in front of her, shrugged her shoulders, then left the room. Finally, I opened a can of tuna. On a hypoallergenic diet, Hannah is not supposed to eat tuna, but I got the “ok” from the vet to douse the pill pocket with tuna juice. Hannah ate it up quickly. However, a few days later, the novelty of tuna juice wore off. After another three-hour session of pill-giving tries, I lightly dabbed the pill pocket with organic tomato sauce. Success: Hannah ate the pill in one swallow (I wonder, is this the cat’s equivalent of pizza?). Let’s hope this lasts for the rest of the pill pack. Later next week, I’ll be bringing Hannah back to the clinic to have her liver enzyme level checked. I’m hoping for positive news. If not, I will probably have to learn how to use a pill gun.

Meanwhile, Hannah’s little brother Sam has begged for his own daily treat. Since he has grown tired of his new mouse toy, I purchased a smiley-face laser light. Here’s a video glimpse of him (and, for a small part, Hannah) playing laser tag for the first time (click here). Be sure to watch until the end, when that frown turns upside down.

To be continued…

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