People who like cats reeeeeally like cats. We love 'em, pure and simple. But they certainly aren't simple; those sometimes-cuddly, sometimes-aloof critters can be downright complicated. Their favorite food on the planet can suddenly become disdained for no good reason, especially if you're foolish enough to buy an entire case of it from the wholesale store. Yet, their nose-in-the-air pickiness over what we put into their bowls is evidently no longer in play when they're in hunt mode and looking to supplement their diets. Then, they'll eat... or try to eat... damned near anything. Bugs, plants... even the plastic and silk ones... paper, plastic, unidentified blobs they find stuck to the kitchen floor, whatever... and let us not forget how terribly much they enjoy licking each other's bottoms. Not just sniffing, like dogs do, but eyes-closed, blissful, all-out licking. Go figure. Or not. Maybe we shouldn't even try to figure out their quirks and over-the-top personalities at all; maybe all we have to do is love and enjoy them.
Last month, I shared some oh-so-helpful tips with you about how to bathe a cat. (Final decision there: best to take them to the groomer, and fork over hazard pay.) Now we're gonna consider how to give a cat a pill, which is something I hope to never have to do. With a dog, it's easy. They'll scarf up anything if you stuff it into a wad of liverwurst, cheese, bacon, or about a million other possibilities. Cats are a whole other story. They require much more finesse, along with some handy dandy directions from me, courtesy of some more Internet searching. Ready?
Okay, first you're gonna have to get into position. Cradle that sweet little kitty in your arms, as though you were about to feed him a baby bottle. Our cat Dash puts herself into my arms like this quite frequently; Dot, not so much. Let's hope your cat likes to be held in this position. Otherwise, all bets are off.
Now, position your forefinger and thumb on either side of your cat's mouth, while holding the pill in your hand. Apply gentle pressure to your cat's cheeks, forcing his mouth open like a delicate little snapdragon. Then. (ta-DA!) pop the pill into his poor unsuspecting mouth, and allow your precious to close his mouth and swallow.
You may encounter a slight set-back at this point. Don't worry about it. It's perfectly normal. Simply retrieve the pill from the floor and drag the cat out from under the sofa, and try again. You might want to use the other arm to cradle the cat this time, especially if your first arm is bleeding too profusely.
Retrieve cat from the bedroom, and throw the soggy pill away.
Get a new pill, while resisting the urge to get a new cat. This time, cradle the now-agitated cat in your left arm, while holding his rear paws tightly with your left hand. Force his jaws open, and (ta-DA!) quickly push the pill to the back of his mouth with your right forefinger. Now, hold his mouth shut for a count of ten.
Kneel on the floor, and hold the cat in a vise grip with your knees. Grab and hold his paws. (Yes, all four of them... of COURSE you can!) Just ignore the cat's growls, you big sissy. Okay, have your helper hold the cat's head still while forcing a wooden ruler into his mouth, and then easy-does-it drop the pill down the ruler and into the cat's mouth. One of you may need to rub the cat's throat to encourage him to swallow. And then... ta-DA!
What? Still no ta-DA? (sigh) Okay, retrieve the cat from the curtains, and get another pill. Make a note to buy a new ruler and repair the curtains. Carefully sweep the shattered figurines and vases from the hearth, and set to one side for gluing later. (Assuming you're better at gluing than you are at giving a cat a pill.)
Okay, time to get serious. Tightly swaddle your cat in a large towel, leaving only his head exposed. Now have your less-than-enthusiastic helper pin the cat burrito to the floor with his body, with the yowling cat's head held in place, and just visible, below your helper's armpit. Put a pill in the end of a drinking straw, force the cat's mouth open with a pencil, and (ta-DA!) blow the pill into the cat's mouth.
Okay, calm down. Check the label to make sure the pill isn't harmful to humans, and then drink a beer to take the taste out of your mouth. Better? Now disinfect and bandage your helper's arm, and clean the blood from the carpet with cold water and soap.
Find and retrieve the cat. Get another pill, and open another beer. Put the cat into a cupboard, and close the door on his neck, with his head showing. Force his mouth open with a spoon, and (ta-DA!) shoot the pill down that sucker's throat with a rubber band.
Grab the cat while you're in there, and take out the last pill. This is your last chance, so you'd better get it right this time. Tie your cat's paws together like a roped calf, and secure your helpless little feline heifer to the dining room table leg. Push that pill into his mouth, followed by a large piece of steak. (which you just happened to have handy...) Now pour a couple pints of water down his throat to wash it down.
Have another drink of booze for medicinal purposes, before having your helper drive you to the emergency room. This allows you to sit quietly while the doctor stitches your fingers and arm, and removes the pill remnants from your eye. Call the furniture store on the way home to order a new table.
Arrange for SPCA to collect that mutant cat from hell and call the local pet shop to see if they have any hamsters.
Natch, this whole post is in jest. No way I'd ever attempt to give my little angels a pill. If they need a pill, their vet can jolly well administer it. That's why he gets paid the big bucks...
Until next time, take care of yourselves. And each other.