Tell me this experience won't make it into the book. For the past couple of weeks Blair and I have noticed that Olivia has some very small scabs on her skin. We first thought maybe Lucy had swiped her. But the scabs stayed and showed up in different places. They didn't seem to hurt or bother her but we wanted to get them checked out. So I had the vet look at them yesterday when I took the cats in to get their nails trimmed. (That's right, my girls have a standing every 6-week manicure appointment. They're more girly than I am.)
"Flea allergy," said the vet.
"I thought of that," I said. "But I've checked her for fleas and there's nothing."
"Doesn't matter," said the vet. She went on to explain that just one flea can bite a cat but the cat can have a reaction to the bite which spreads through their system. With the complete lack of winter we've had here for the past 4 years, our flea/tick/mosquito problem has been huge. Since the cats are indooor only, chances are Blair or myself carried a flea inside that had the audacity to bite my baby kitten.
"So what do we do?" I asked.
Here's where the fun starts. We need to give Olivia a PILL every other day for the next month. Have you ever tried to give a cat a pill? There are jokes about it on the Internet. My vet showed me how. With Olivia on the exam table, she cradled the skull in one hand, prying the upper jaw away from the lower with a flick of her fingers.
"Do it like this," she said demonstrating. "Then take your finger and stick the pill way back in the mouth. If you think it will be a problem there is a pill gun available."
Yeah, like I'm really going to aim anything, no matter how much it's meant to be helpful, at my baby's throat. No, I told the vet, we would forge ahead.
When Blair got home I informed him of the situation. He looked depressed.
"A pill? Seriously? For a month?" He sighed. "Well, at least the vet gave her the first one."
"Hey, that would have been a good idea," I said. "Only I didn't think of it. So it's you and me and a cat and a pill tonight."
Suffice it to say that our attempt to give Olivia her medication did NOT look like the vet's easy-as-pie demonstration. I held her while Blair shoved the pill in her mouth. We didn't see it come back up so we're hopeful we did it right.
Meanwhile, both of us are concerned Olivia is going to start avoiding the sight of us. She didn't sleep with us last night for the first time in weeks. Maybe it's not related. But maybe it is.
More to follow, I'm sure...