Garrus’ Follow Up Vet Visit

As you may remember, Garrus (aka Gentleman Cat) underwent extensive dental surgery two weeks ago. Dr R wanted to check how his mouth was healing and determine the next steps needed to make Garrus a healthy and happy cat.

Aaron and I were pleasantly surprised that we were able to get Garrus into the carrier in under 10 minutes and with remarkably minimal fuss. He wasn’t too happy about it and there was at least one pitiful meow saying “I want to lodge a complaint with the management about this!”. He didn’t meow at all in the car but let me know he was quite alarmed when we were in the vet office lobby. “Excuse me but there are dogs in here and I do not like this at all!” he seemed to say. Thankfully we were put in a room lickedy-split and instantly the complaints stopped.

When a tech came in to ask me questions, I told her that he has been eating, hasn’t displayed any lethargy, and has not vomited or had any diarrhea. In general he eats about 1 can of wet food a day but frequently when we offer him more food during the day, he faffs about and seems anxious. While he expresses gratitude by being affectionate and sweet, he won’t always eat the food we offer him. We’ve experimented with how we present the food (finely chopped, at room temperature instead of right-out-of-the-fridge cold) and ensure that Charlie doesn’t come in and make him nervous. I reported that Garrus sometimes appears ill at ease around Charlie, who, in his desperation for a playmate, will occasionally get most persistent and end up pestering Garrus.

The tech took him in the back, where she weighed him and took his temperature, and brought him back to the room, where Dr R examined him. I was pleased to learn that Garrus gained 0.6 lbs in two weeks! Most of the sutures dissolved on their own but she noted that there is still some inflammation (stomatitis) in his mouth. The treatment for this is steroid therapy, and she wants to see him again in three weeks to monitor his progress. In response to the anxious behavior I reported, Dr R thought that Zylkene, a natural supplement that helps pets manage stress, might be useful. We had given the boys this when we first adopted them to help them acclimate to the house and overcome shelter shock. I hope that these treatments help Garrus feel better all around.

Dr R reported that Garrus behaved exceptionally well and acted rather calm, huge improvements from how withdrawn and skittish he was when we adopted him 10 months ago. Cat parent achievement unlocked! He didn’t fuss at all while being weighed or getting his temperature taken, and, while not happy about getting his mouth examined, did not freak out. We had no issue getting him back into the carrier either. On the car ride back I repeatedly told him that he was such a good boy. (Yes, cats need to be told this too, not just dogs.)

About an hour after I let him out, I found Garrus investigating the carrier on his own.

He moved his head up as I snapped this photo, showing me his vampy teeth.

“I am pleased to report that the carrier is clear of any dangers, madam. Thank you for your cooperation.”

This is one of his favorite sunning spots. Sometimes after he finishes a lounge like this, he comes into my office for a visit. I love petting his soft, sun-warmed fur.

Garrus’ Procedures

Yesterday Garrus was abducted by aliens! Of course I’m kidding but I’m sure he felt like that happened. He went to the vet, where he had an echocardiogram and extensive dental surgery. Good news: he does not have primary heart disease but has a slight enlargement in his left atrium. We will continue monitoring his heart, and if necessary, put him on heart medication.

I caught a snuggle in progress the day before Garrus’ surgery.

In order to treat his severe stomatitis and dental disease, Garrus had 17 teeth removed. Don’t worry–he kept his canines so he can still make his vampy smile. Dr R called to ask to keep him overnight since he was super groggy and a quiet place to recuperate on a heating pad. (Let’s be honest, Charlie would be all up in his business the moment he got home.) I was content to leave my dear Gentleman Cat in quite capable hands, where he could be closely monitored for any swelling and his pain managed by professionals. Since Dr R is amazing and super-helpful, she agreed to give him extra love on my behalf. (It’s hard to resist petting him since his fur is so plushy. The techs remarked that his fur is as soft as a rabbit’s, so naturally his new nickname is Bunny Cat.)

We picked him up this morning. He was bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, even in the carrier, but apparently forgave us for taking him to the vet. When we let him out of the carrier, Charlie rejoiced and trotted merrily over to greet him, then proceeded to escort Garrus as he toured the house to ensure everything was right where he left it. We noticed that Garrus moved with an extra jaunty bounce in his step and–surprise, surprise!–he started talking like a squeaky chimpanzee and asking for food less than five minutes after he got home! He hasn’t had any issues eating so far.

“Hi Mom and Dad! I’m happy to be home! May I have scritches please?”

Dr R said that, while his mouth heals, he needs to eat only wet food (no problem there) and after his sutures heal, we can transition him to kibble again, if he’ll take it, though he may prefer the texture of wet food. Since he lost weight over the last couple of months and remains underweight, Dr R recommended that we increase his caloric intake to two cans of wet food a day. Another option would be to give him kitten wet food. I expect we’ll have a very happy boy.

“Om nom nom” ~Garrus (in the most polite fashion, of course)

Garrus’ Checkup

This morning Aaron and I took Garrus to the vet’s office for his annual wellness exam and vaccines. We also wanted to get his nails trimmed (we have not had success yet doing that at home), check his weight, and investigate why he (1) abruptly switched himself from kitten kibbles to wet cat food and (2) lately he has become unusually finicky, seemingly nervous, and occasionally won’t eat the wet food we offer him. We suspected that he had lost weight and that his teeth were behind the recent behavioral and dietary changes, as he had dental issues before.

Getting him into the carrier was the first obstacle. He immediately suspected something was up so he hid behind furniture. Eventually we were able to coax him out and I picked him up, but he soon panicked and became a swirling mass of claws. He raked my shirt, tearing several holes in it, and scratched my chest, arm, and hand. Okay, my mistake, I should have grabbed and secured his front and hind legs so he would feel safer and couldn’t scratch. We ultimately used the towel burrito method, upon which he gave up and let us put him in the carrier. (He protested with one mournful cry-meow and a few sad squeaky chimpanzee meows after that.)

At the vet’s office, Garrus behaved quite well. Dr R and a tech put a towel over his head and placed him on his side in order to trim his nails. (Both remarked that his fur was “bunny soft”.) He didn’t protest or wiggle when his vaccines were administered or Dr. R examined him. He had indeed lost half a pound of weight since he had last been seen. She quickly determined the issue underlying his recent eating behavior: his gums and teeth were severely inflamed due to stomatitis. We first learned that he had this issue soon after we began fostering him in August 2017, and his dental pain then necessitated emergency dental surgery with five teeth resected. Dr R recommended resecting the rest of his teeth, with the exception of his canines. She also noted that his heart murmur may indicate heart disease, which would complicate anesthesia. We needed to determine with an echocardiogram if he had heart disease before we could do anything with his mouth.

Rather than bringing him back tomorrow for the ultrasound and again on Tuesday for surgery (Tuesday is set aside for surgeries), we opted to do it all in one shot. We scheduled an appointment for next Tuesday for an echocardiogram to check out what’s going on with his heart followed by dental surgery.

Dr R also explained the possible treatment plans for Garrus if he does indeed have heart disease. The usual treatment for stomatitis involves steroid therapy and antibiotics, but steroids could push his heart. None of us want Garrus to go into congestive heart failure or suffer complications because of heart disease or dental surgery. I am naturally worried about my Gentleman Cat but am hopeful that we can find successful methods of improving his quality of life and health.

After we brought him home from the vet’s office, Garrus settled down to a well-deserved nap.

Boudicca’s Recheck

Over the last two weeks, Boudicca has had intermittent diarrhea and bouts of appetite loss, and recently she had been straining quite a bit in the litter box. Aaron noted that she appeared to have lost weight as well. When I picked her up to put her in the carrier, she felt incredibly light. Since Tuesday was the vet office’s surgery day, I scheduled to drop her off in the morning so Dr. R could see her when she had a free moment (Dr. R is very popular). As usual, Queen B behaved herself in the cat ward, talking up a storm and making dancy paws whenever a tech stopped by to give her any attention.

In the afternoon I consulted with Dr. R. It turns out that Boudicca actually had been rather constipated, hence the straining. This isn’t the first time that this has happened but I had been caught off guard by the diarrhea. She had indeed lost a pound since February. While she responded well to the anti-inflammatory and the vitamin B-12 injections, she did not respond to the steroid, which indicated that she did not have inflammatory small bowel disease. So that leaves cancerous small bowel disease, such as small cell lymphoma. While of course I was incredibly concerned about this turn of event, I knew that this was a possibility due to our previous conversations.

Ultimately, I DO NOT have to say goodbye to Boudicca just yet. First, we have to deal with her constipation and find a balance there. Second, the anti-inflammatory improves her quality of life. Third, she is still perky, talkative, interested in engaging (i.e. snuggling), and demonstrates doglike traits like she has all her life. If she was lethargic, withdrawn, shuffling around, and recoiling from me, that would indicate that she was in pain and not herself anymore.

Following Dr. R’s advice, we gave her ¼ tsp Miralax mixed in with her wet food (apparently Boudicca is fond of Friskies Seafood Pate) and, after a couple of doses, she is no longer constipated. Her appetite increased and she is very vocal any time she thinks we are in the vicinity or preparing to give her food. Her Meower Mouthiness cues the boys, so then it becomes a party. (“Excuse me, may we have some of whatever Her Majesty is having too please? We would be most grateful!”) We distract them with toys and/or treats so they don’t come to investigate and inadvertently make Boudicca food insecure. (We have noticed that Boudicca prefers to not only eat in private but with me as her escort/bodyguard. She will often stop eating if she notices either Charlie or Garrus nearby, even if they are just walking down the hallway.)

Nevertheless, we will continue to monitor Boudicca’ hyperthyroidism, small bowel disease, and weight. Now that she is eating kitten kibble and small portions of wet food (we were encouraged to give her whatever she would eat), perhaps she will gain a little. I want her to be comfortable, happy, and as healthy as possible. I am cherishing the time I have left with my sweet, googly girl.

Update on Boudicca

This past week has been stressful. Boudicca became ill again, obviously having issues in the litterbox and, more distressing, her appetite noticeably decreased. She hunched over a lot and backed up when I tried to pick her up, something she has never done before. I took my girl to the vet for an abdominal ultrasound on Tuesday. She has intestinal/small bowel disease, which may or may not lead to cancer. One of the symptoms of this illness was constipation, which in turn led to the loss of appetite and abdominal pain. This is one of the challenges of responsible pet ownership: senior cats can develop more health issues and require more veterinary care. Thankfully, however, she is doing much better due to a cocktail of medications to stabilize her so that she has a healthy appetite and doesn’t have any litterbox issues (either constipation or diarrhea).

We have been able to mix her medications into wet food, which she eagerly awaits twice a day. Every time she sees one of us taking a small plate out of the cupboard she assumes it’s for her and gets very verbal about it. This, of course, alerts the boys and prompts Charlie to give his two cents in a number of ridiculously cute squeaks.

I know Boudicca is feeling better because she has been seeking us out for attention, especially when we sleep. Several nights I have woken up with a very purry Boudicca sitting on my chest or claiming half my pillow. Occasionally she has successfully executed stealth snuggles! I am happy to see Queen B feeling more like her usual sweet, lovey, and quite googly self.


After her vet visit, Boudicca happily reclaimed her box and spent a lot of time keeping me company in my office. She is an excellent supurrviser!

Recuperating

After spending much of the day at the vet’s office on Tuesday and feeling very crummy, Boudicca understandably needed time to decompress. After I brought her home late Tuesday afternoon, though, I was not sure if she would continue to have accidents until the antibiotic started to work its magic. One of the techs also noted that the boys might act aggressive or oddly around her because she smelled like the vet’s office, so that was something to watch for and prevent if it occurred. (Sometimes cats can pick on a sick cat or a cat returning from the vet.) In order to deal with this issue, I briefly separated Boudicca from the other cats and confined her in the bathroom, equipped with food, water, and a litter box. She had not eaten much that day and had been probably stressed out for much of the day, despite the techs and vet giving her assurance and affection when possible. She needed a break.

Although she did eat, drink, and use the litter box (no accidents), Boudicca was decidedly unhappy about being confined. She pawed under the door, and this action, combined with her persistent meowing, brought the boys over. I found the boys having a committee meeting in the hallway in front of the door, staring intently underneath the door frame and reaching their paws beneath. I’m not sure if they thought it was a game or not. Then Garrus–of all cats!–surprised me by pulling a Houdini move and springing Boudicca out of the joint. Jailbreak! I still have no idea how he opened the door because he has never demonstrated this talent before or since. Suddenly I had all three cats barreling down the hallway, with Boudicca in the lead, hissing her displeasure and her tail semi-poofed. When Boudicca tore out of the bathroom, Charlie thought, “Oh it’s time to chase! Yay! I love this game!” Boudicca promptly turned into Bette Midler a la Winifred Sanderson in Hocus Pocus, emphatically not game for such shenanigans. When I appeared to intervene, the boys scampered off to the bedroom, left Boudicca alone, and furiously repolished their halos for the rest of the evening.

The following day (Wednesday) was unmistakably calmer. We had no issues giving Boudicca her medication because we disguised it in a dollop of wet food, and the treatment seemed to kick in right away. She spent most of the day catching up on much needed sleep. She was so involved in her sleep that I could nearly see the z’s floating off of her.

Throughout the day I checked on her to see how she was doing. Every few hours she got up to nibble at her food, take a drink, or visit the Cat Genie, and I wanted to make sure she wasn’t having any problems or that the boys bothered her. Thankfully, both Garrus and Charlie figured out that Her Royal Highness had been under the weather and needed to fully recuperate, and in order to do so, she needed her space. They respected that like upstanding Gentlemen Cats that they can be. However, whenever I checked on Boudicca, Charlie would appear out of nowhere and squeak up a storm. Apparently he had a lot to say about something and wanted me to know! I made sure that both the boys got some attention so they wouldn’t get jealous.

On Wednesday afternoon I decided to sit on the couch and read one of my library books. I do this fairly often, and Boudicca is my dedicated reading buddy. She was already snoozing in her spot on the couch so I took my seat beside her. As I sat down–before I started petting her–she began purring in her sleep. It was so precious. Eventually she distracted me from reading by doing this:

I could tell that she was feeling less gunky when she turned upside down and slept like this. About an hour into my reading session, Boudicca woke up and, while quiet and polite, very determinedly insisted that I make my lap available for her.

“Maternal parental unit, I decree that it is lap time now.”

Boudicca claimed my lap and shortly thereafter I had to contend with feline paralysis. I was not allowed to move unless it was to pet her, give her kisses on her forehead (she asked for several so I had to oblige), hold her close, and tell her that she was a sweet, pretty girl and that I loved her. Cue copious amounts of purring (over two hours) and air biscuits. Very happy kitty!

Cat in Distress

All of yesterday turned out to be extraordinarily and unexpectedly stressful. All plans were derailed because Boudicca became suddenly quite sick. In one hour, she had one accident after another, and it immediately became apparent that she could not help herself. She cried as she had a big accident in my office and then threw up. Something was wrong, and it was my job, as the human mom, to do something about it. Queen B was clearly getting quite stressed, and the boys were also mildly alarmed, lying on the ottoman with big eyes and concerned faces. (“Mom, we didn’t make that mess but something is up with Her Royal Highness. Assistance please?”) I, of course, began to panic as I had to deal with a sick elderly cat while trying to clean up all the messes and sanitize everything.

In between sanitizing the floor, throwing various towels and blankets in the wash, and confining Boudicca, I called the vet’s office. Tuesdays are set aside for surgeries but pets can be brought in if they need medical attention. The vet was tied up and I could not wait for her to call me back so I insisted that I speak with a tech. When a tech came on the line, I explained what was going on with Boudicca. The tech, sympathetic to my growing alarm, offered me two options: bring her in as soon as possible so she could be seen before the office became very busy, or to make an appointment for the next morning. I opted for the former.

Then came the issue of getting a sick cat into a carrier. Sick cats can either be totally compliant, perhaps because they realize that you are trying to help them get medical attention, or, conversely, they become ANGRY because they feel so crummy (understandable). Because I was panicking, I wasn’t sure if I could wrangle Boudicca by myself so I called Tracey, my good friend and fellow ailurophile. She was barely awake but understood that I really needed help so she said she would come over.

Minutes passed; I did additional cleaning, cleaned myself up, and got dressed. In doing so I calmed down a little and began to think more rationally. I reasoned, albeit belatedly, that I could at least attempt to get Boudicca into the carrier by myself. I hauled the carrier out from under the living room end table (all the cats saw this and were mildly concerned but no one fled) and put it in the hall bathroom, standing it on its end with the door open. I gingerly scooped up Boudicca, who protested when I did so (another indication that she did not feel well), and, to my relief, managed to slide her into the carrier with minimal fuss. She meowed a bit once she was inside but did so with not nearly as much force as she usually does. I called a very sleepy Tracey back to thank her for her willingness to help early in the morning but I had Boudicca safely in the carrier.

I drove Boudicca to the vet’s office, which quickly became busy shortly after I dropped her off. I called Aaron to inform him what was going on, and later he texted me if I had any updates on Boudicca’s condition. That afternoon the vet called me. Apparently both of us had had busy, stressful days; I was relieved that my sweet girl had been in capable hands during the day and I told the vet so. In between surgeries the vet examined Boudicca, whom she noted was quiet all day with the exemption of making air biscuits for the techs when petted. Queen B had a very inflamed gut, which caused the diarrhea and multiple accidents, and the strain and stress of everything had prompted the vomiting. Oi. However, the vet was confident that this condition was treatable and she was not dehydrated because we caught the diarrhea early before it became severe.

The vet sent her home later that afternoon with an antibiotic and an anti-inflammatory with instructions to give her both for several days. We should see marked improvement within 24 hours. If we do not see improvement, we are to bring her back on Thursday for more intensive diagnostics, such as an abdominal ultrasound, to determine if she has small bowel disease, cancer, or another condition causing her symptoms. I sincerely hope it does not come to that.

The antibiotic is a liquid (with a syringe) and the anti-inflammatory is a quarter of a pill. How do you give a cat these medications? There are several methods:

  1. Liquid medication. This requires finesse and adaptability on your part. In the past, I have also employed fellow cat whisperers, Sam and Tracey, to help me medicate Boudicca.
  2. Pills. Depending on whether your cat is food-motivated or particularly clever, getting said cat to take a pill can be either pretty easy or a challenge. We have had success using Pill Pockets but smarty pants cats may catch on what you’re doing and may spit out the pill.
  3. Shameless bribery or trickery. Since we had to give Boudicca two medications, both had a bitter taste (you’d think that someone would have invented tuna-flavored cat meds by now), and we did not want her to fight us or not take her medication, we disguised them in a tablespoon or so of wet food. We crushed up the pill and mixed it in, along with the liquid medication, with the wet food. Boudicca was SO EXCITED to be given permission to eat such a delicacy and licked the plate clean. She has done this for two doses. Fingers crossed, this will be our routine for a while until she finishes the medication and fully recovers.

Oh, and the vet instructed us to give Boudicca extra TLC. Obviously, as a cat mom who loves her girl to bits, I have to follow the vet’s orders and oblige. TLC coming right up Queen B.


Boudicca presented her head for a smooch this morning because she did not get enough yesterday.

Necessary Hassle Part Two

After we bring our cats home from the vet, it’s normal for them to want to decompress and sleep. It’s also somewhat expected for them to feel a bit “off,” especially if they’ve been prodded or poked with needles, as they were when they were given their vaccines.

After we brought them home from the vet, their usual post-vet routine was thrown off. Since Monday was a holiday and Aaron had time off from work, we had scheduled our back door to be replaced. (We also scheduled the vet appointment for earlier that morning so that both Aaron and I would be available to usher cats into carriers.) We anticipated that the work would be noisy and, since the entire door would come out, we needed to confine the cats for their safety. We put Boudicca in my office with a litter box, food, water, and her comfy box bed. We put Charlie in our bedroom with access to food, water, and the Cat Genies in the master bathroom.

Our original plan was to confine Garrus along with Charlie since we knew that the boys enjoy one another’s company. We tried different tactics to catch Garrus or convince him to go into the bedroom but he was not having any of it. He planted himself in the lower cat condo on the tower and refused to budge. Rather than causing further stress by having to pry him out of there, we simply hung out next to the cat tower and made sure he did not venture out while the work was being done. Once the noise started, Garrus might have regretted not going into the bedroom. He gave us a mildly displeased face with some side-eye, but he gives us this same expression whenever his nap is interrupted.

Thankfully, the door was replaced in two hours. However, during that two hours, we realized that something was up with Charlie. We periodically checked on both Boudicca and Charlie and offered them comfort and love. Boudicca, although not happy about being confined in my office, was fine. Charlie, on the other hand, was on the bed giving me anxious, sad eyes. I checked in the bathroom and saw that there was a big mess to clean up. Charlie was definitely feeling gunky.

At first we thought it was a stress reaction in response to being at the vet and perhaps also by the noise from the door being replaced. As the day progressed, we noticed that Charlie was not acting like his normal happy-go-lucky self. He was noticeably subdued, quiet, and appeared to be ill at ease. It was also evident that his appetite had decreased. When he tried to eat in the afternoon, he threw up again. The next morning, we woke up to hear him crying in a Cat Genie, followed by an unpleasant squirting sound. He had diarrhea. More cleaning up and TLC applied to kitty.

I got worried. I had never seen this type of reaction in a cat following getting a vaccine. I did look it up and found that cats can have adverse reactions to vaccines. Sometimes it manifests as itching or sneezing. Other times there is swelling at the injection site. Still other cats react by vomiting or with diarrhea. This is what appeared to have happened to Charlie.

Compounding my worry is that on Tuesday, much of Central Texas was effectively immobilized by a strong cold front that resulted in sleet, ice, and, in some areas, hail. The storm began on Monday night. We had been strongly advised to stay off the roads. Schools from San Antonio to Houston were closed on Tuesday, as were many businesses and city departments. My vet’s office was open, however. As they always do after an appointment, a tech makes a follow-up call to check on the pet or pets seen at the office the previous day. While I was happy to report that Boudicca was fine, I described Charlie’s symptoms and the tech agreed that it was likely a reaction to the vaccine. She offered me two options: I could bring him into the office or I would wait and monitor him at home.

I, for one, did not want to venture out onto icy roads. I also did not want to submit Charlie to further stress by taking him back to the vet unless it was absolutely necessary. I decided to monitor him at home. He was not constantly vomiting nor was his diarrhea severe. We had seen him have a drink of water at least once. If he was not eating or drinking at all, or his vomiting or diarrhea was much worse, I would have reconsidered.

Charlie was quite happy to be reunited with his buddy after the construction on the back door ceased. Garrus did not seem willing to give up his spot in the condo so Charlie made do beside him.

Throughout this whole experience, Garrus often paced and seemed anxious. He kept giving me this reproachful looks, as though saying, “Excuse me, human parental units. There seems to be something amiss with my companion. Could you attend to his needs, please?” Since Charlie was not hanging out in his usual spot, Garrus apparently took it upon himself to save it for him and superintend things from his perch on the uppermost platform on the cat tower.

Garrus always sits so tall and regally but I felt here, especially in his expression, that he gave off a hint of sarcasm as well.

“Madam, why are you taking my photograph? I have important business to attend to while I am up here. I must get on.” –Garrus

I could not resist taking this photo because Garrus was being SO CUTE.

Later Charlie moved from the chair in the living room to our bed. We found Garrus being very sweet with him, grooming Charlie occasionally and snuggling with his buddy for hours. This seemed to help Charlie relax and feel better. We, of course, visited both boys and gave them love but we also wanted to let Charlie get enough sleep. The boys’ routine had been thrown off by Charlie being sick. Only Boudicca, who remained Miss Oblivious throughout this affair, was perfectly content to camp out on the couch and snooze without concern.

Observe Boudicca demonstrating the feline pinwheel position. Score: 10.0

The boys made a heart shape while cuddling. Cue the Aww factor.

Late Tuesday afternoon Charlie seemed to perk up a bit. He ate a little of his kibble and kept it down. That evening, when Aaron and I sat on the couch, I had Boudicca in my lap. This is our routine. Charlie asked if he could come up and sit on the pillow beside me. Of course I let him, and we had a lovely visit that involved many pets, polite snuggles, and much purring. I was quite pleased by this since I had not heard him purr all day. Garrus came up on the back of the couch for a bit then later enticed Charlie to play with him for a short while. We noticed that this play session wasn’t as vigorous as usual and did not involve much chasing or scampering. Garrus, who generally does not roughhouse, was being quite gentle but definitely persistent in inviting Charlie to move and play. This seemed to do Charlie some good. The boys did turn in early and resume their snuggling as they napped. Charlie slept at the foot of the bed for most of the night.

This morning the ice had melted and Central Texas started moving again. Both Charlie and Garrus wanted to visit us in bed and both purred loud. Not too long afterward, this is how I found the boys…

Look how cute they are. BEHOLD THE CUTENESS.

The vet’s office called to check on Charlie as well. He has been able to eat and hasn’t vomited or had any diarrhea in a day. (Of course I’ll keep monitoring him to ensure he’s completely out of the woods.) He’s perked up, chirpy, and noticeably relaxed. He is clearly happy to snuggle with Garrus and apparently finds his buddy to be the perfect pillow.

What have I learned from this experience? Cats and dogs alike can have adverse reactions to vaccines, and these reactions can vary widely. Getting your pet vaccinated in necessary and in many states required by law. However, if your pet appears to feel gunky after getting a shot, contact your vet. Do the right thing. The right thing may in fact involve a snuggle, as Charlie and Garrus frequently demonstrate.

Necessary Hassle Part One

Not long ago, our vet’s office reminded us that both Boudicca and Charlie were due to receive their rabies vaccines. Charlie had received his initial shots at the shelter, but since he had been adopted and returned a few times, his rabies tag had been lost at some point. We had also planned to test Boudicca’s T4 to determine if her thyroid levels have lowered to normal. Rather than schedule two separate visits, we scheduled them simultaneously. That meant the hassle of corralling two very different cats into carriers.

As expected, Charlie felt the world was ending and protested pitifully about it. Aaron was able to envelope him in a towel and scooch him into the carrier. We surprised a sleepy Boudicca and popped her into the carrier in under 30 seconds (!), although she subsequently emphatically meowed her displeasure about this perceived betrayal. Boudicca made many protests and continued to leave a running commentary about the whole experience.

In the end, everyone did well. Yes, the cats were unhappy about the situation but no one had to be sedated and no one peed, bit, scratched, or had a complete nervous breakdown. We were actually early to our appointment so that moved everything ahead of schedule (in a good way). The cats are up to date on their shots. (Garrus was already up to date on his.) Charlie is at a healthy weight and the vet is quite pleased with the progress we have made with him (and Garrus) since August. Although we are treating Boudicca for her thyroid, she is pretty healthy for a senior cat (one of the techs mentioned that she did not look 17) and she’s a happy girl. Cat Parent Achievement Level Up.

Naked Girl

On the way home from the vet, Boudicca started talking a LOT, and her meows became frantic. Then we realize she peed on herself in the carrier. She had never done that before and she was clearly freaking out about it. Commence dealing with medium-sized cat disaster. Ugh.

Aaron’s Cat Whisperer side comes out when he has to bathe cats. It’s utterly adorable. Although Boudicca was not happy about the situation, she did behave herself and didn’t struggle too much while getting bathed. He talked very sweetly to our googly girl the whole time he gave her an oatmeal shampoo bath, got her all clean, and dried her off.

Of course, as part of the process he took her collar off and washed that too. A few hours after her bath, I heard Aaron casually remark, “I have a naked girl over here.”

[me from the other room] “What?! I am not naked!”

“Boudicca…she looks naked without her collar.”

After I stopped laughing, I had to agree.

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Life with cats and cat parents for you ladies and gentlemen!
(o_O)