I know this next statement is a total boner shrinker—but I love my cat more than most people love their spouses. She is my baby and I have an impossible degree of unconditional love for her, which is terrifying considering she’s actually only a cat. Can you imagine how much I will smother my children?
This Monday night I woke up to find my cat puking, which was startling for several reasons; the least of which being that it was louder and more violent than one would expect from a 6 lb kitty. Being a logical human being, I of course scooped Gracie up and held her like a baby while trying to make comforting noises. After composing myself, I put her down and went to look for something I could use to clean up the carpet. I stayed up most of the night listening to see if she would get sick again and typing the keywords “cat” “vomit” “diarrhea” and “why” into google. Feline leukemia was presented as an option, which I wish they wouldn’t have even mentioned. That’s like saying that a headache probably means you have a brain tumor. By morning I was bug eyed from lack of sleep, terrified with worry, and repeating, “it’s going to be ok, baby” over and over to Gracie. Which I’m sure she appreciated.
I ended up taking Gracie to the vet on Tuesday morning, but not without incident. Firstly, Gracie hates her car carrier. I recently bought her a soft sided one with fur lining, thinking she would like it if it felt more like a bed, but regardless, she made a stroke-inducing mewing sound every second she was in the carrier. Every second. It got so bad that as I was going down the road I thought I would open the zipper a little and stick my hand into the carrier so I could scratch Gracie behind the ears and calm her down a little. I opened it just wide enough for two of my fingers, but somehow, I still don’t know how this happened, Gracie shawshank-ed her way out of the carrier and got loose in my car. Of course, the first thing she did was dart under my legs and curl up on the accelerator. So here I am, like Sandra Bullock in “Speed” darting in and out of traffic one-handed while trying to scoop my cat up with the other. I succeeded in getting her off of the accelerator, but then she attached herself to the roof of my car, spread eagled and hissing. I pulled over and tried to wrestle her back into her car carrier, but at that point her heart was pounding so hard I could hear it. So instead of soothing her, I ended up terrifying her, so of course the incessant mewing did not stop.
I had to leave Gracie at the vet while I went back to work, and I can’t tell you how guilty I felt walking out the door as my cat let out her distress cries in the vet’s office. I found out later in the day when I picked her up that she didn’t have leukemia, or even anything very serious, just a bacterial parasite. Which required two pills twice a day. As the vet tech showed me how to give my cat the pills in one graceful movement, I was filled with a false sense of security, “that doesn’t look that hard,” I reasoned. “I could probably do that.”
Incorrect. The past few days have been miserable. Gracie hates taking the pills every bit as much as I hate giving them. I fumble with my fingers while I try to restrain her. And basically I have all the finesse and competence of a thirteen year-old boy unhooking his first bra. I tried restraining her by squeezing her in between my legs, but that only resulted in a three inch scratch mark on the back of my thighs. Gracie’s never so much as snapped at me before, and all of the sudden I have angry marks all over my hands and body.
This morning marked the first time I was able to give Gracie her pills on the first try without her biting or scratching me, spitting out the pill, or gagging. Still, I can’t help but assume that by the time this is all over my cat will either develop battered woman syndrome and kill me in my sleep, or just hate me forever. This is the worst.