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20 February 2007

Poor (Animal) Husbandry

Lately, Loki has been acting more needy than usual. This is saying a lot, because, for example, Loki’s favorite way to eat his kibble is for one of us to be standing beside him and brushing him as he munches away. He also feels that after the girls are in bed, when I typically settle down on the couch with a blanket and my laptop (or a book), is the perfect time for some neck scratching (on my part) and lap kneading (on his part).

This neediness started (I think) last Thursday, and I attributed it to the frigid weather (which made it nearly impossible for even a furball like him to want to spend any time outside, hence: intense boredom). All weekend, he insisted that one of us be in the bathroom with him whenever he ate. We’d walk in, give him a quick pat, and walk out (we do have better things to do than be our cat’s personal slave, y’know). At first, he tried to get us back in there—by walking out to us, whining, looking pitiful, and taking a few steps back towards the bathroom, all the while looking over his shoulder to make sure we were following. By Saturday, he felt that maybe surfing the Web would give him an answer to his troubles:

By Sunday, he figured a change of scenery would cure his ennui:

On Sunday evening, Trixie said, “Mom, I think Loki cries when he eats.” Sure, sure, the poor pitiful unloved cat. Whatever.

Monday morning, I happened to be in the bathroom while he was at his food, and—ohmygoodness!—he was crying; not whining. Something was wrong. I scheduled an appointment at the vet’s, and found out Loki has sores in his throat. The vet implied this can be common in cats. He got a shot of steroids, which should help the inflammation for about a month (although he hasn’t eaten anything yet; even when I put some kibble in my hand, he turns his head away like a poor pitiful soul). If this is a run-of-the-mill virus, then the sores should be gone by then and everything is peachy. If the inflammation comes back, then we’ll have to discuss the two treatment options. Which are: (1) Monthly steroid shots to keep the inflammation down. Side effects: It might induce diabetes, which would resolve as soon as we end the steroids (when would that be?!), but in the meantime would need to be treated (she implied diabetic cat care is a big pain in the butt). (2) Pulling out all his teeth. She says it’s amazing how quickly this tends to resolve the sores in the mouth problem. Side effects: No teeth! And .. No teeth!

Poor kitty, I sure hope this goes away on its own in the next 4 weeks…

And if this story hasn’t provided enough cat-ness for the day, then I will end with the following YouTube link:
Nora, The Piano-Playing Cat (2:48)