In our home, we celebrate our kitties’ birthdays. If that makes us crazy cat-lady and cat-guy, so be it. We love our family.
Part of this love is investing in the vet visits. This is often a sore point for me since vet care around here is extraordinarily expensive for the average person. It always seems to leave you between a rock and a hard place. I try to be reasonable and keep the costs down by opting for only meds or procedures I think are necessary. It helps that I don’t like over-medicating myself or my kitties.
Every year, around their birthdays, we review our cat’s health and what the primary concerns are. This often means a visit to the vet. So… yesterday Cooper went to meet his new vet. It’s my first lady-vet – and frankly I like her already. She’s got a no nonsense approach and is reasonable to speak to. (Yay!) It’s a family practice where she and her husband treat all their clients.
Cooper was terrified. He ‘chirped’ all the way to the vet – about a 5min drive. It’s the most vocal he’s ever been. He still can’t meow but he really tries, and between our family we’re doing fine with the fact that he can’t verbalize. It’s amazing how you adapt your communication when one member can’t communicate back. It’s also amazing how much a pet owner has 2-way communication with your cat: you recognize distress, fear, happiness, laziness, hunger etc all from the sounds they make. I’m learning to go around that with Cooper.
This vet (now the second I’ve asked – just to see if there was insight better than I can come up with) said that it could have been his very early illness or he may have been born this way. She checked his mouth and throat – nothing visible. We know he has vocal cords – he makes some sounds – and it’s certainly not for lack of trying! And he purrs up a storm.
Cooper got his 1-year shots (I’m almost religious about all the shots in the first year) + rabies. I think he’d had rabies already. He was a champ – I’m the one who had to look away for the needle.
He also got weighed. I’ve been accusing him of being 14lbs… but he’s 13.5lbs of love. Or fear – he was so scared at the vets being weighed! We had to move him to and from the scale and he put out his claws and clung to the door frame. It was one of those hilarious-sad moments you want to laugh at but feel bad.
The other thing I brought up with the vet was the fact that Cooper has slightly-wet, very stinky poop. (Yeah- I know you needed potty-talk from me! Sorry) He’s had this since we got him.
I have long suspected that while he was treated for worms as a young kitten, it was also around the time when he was getting antibiotics for his FHV. If the two drugs were too close to one another, they can affect the effectiveness of each other. So the anti-parasites meds might not have gotten all the worms. Not that there have been other signs, but I feel I need to be careful and address this and I purposely waited until the weather was getting colder and I wouldn’t be taking him out into the garden nearly at all. (They can pick up worms from other species and other cats using the same garden)
Since they all use shared litter-boxes, if Cooper has any worms, he’s likely passed them on to one or both of the girls. It could be part of Nuala’s problems with the litter (still sporadically ongoing). This is my phase-one to address the situation: spend the money and have them all go through a course of milbemax for worms. (Disinfect or replace the litter boxes as well). At worst, it’s a gentle waste of my money. At best, it’s a problem solver.
The vet suggested that I consider a feline pro-biotic. I love this suggestion and will think of this down the road a few months from now. Yes… for all 3 kitties.
Does love have a price? Well, this vet visit and the pills for the kitties came to $170. Ouch. (But that’s average ’round here) It’s what I need to do to protect the little-big guy. And the girls.