One of the things about our cat Tater, see, is that she is going to make do with just the one life, the other eight being redundant, but it should be a barn-burner. There’s nothing about her that smacks of frailty. She’s big and shiny and hasn’t so much as hacked up a hairball in her entire life–she’s somewhere north of twelve now–and every time we look at her, we think: that, there, is one healthy bag of pudding. Following our house policy, a copy of which I’m sure we shared with her early on, she’s going to cost us next to nothing. Store kibble and the occasional plush toy is going to cover the bill. We’ve had three pets in forty years and haven’t seen the same vet twice, because they start their careers and retire before we come back.
It’s possible that means we might have skimped on vaccinations and dental care, but everyone seemed happy enough. Larry did require a dose of spendy radiation that one time, and the car ride home was quite the event featuring the Devil’s Own Radioactive Diarrhea in a crate and don’t let anybody tell you you can’t do the speed limit on the freeway with your entire head out the window, but she made it to seventeen. Boomer made it to 16-1/2. Tater will outlive us all. We’re trying to figure out how to smuggle her essence into Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
She’s such a font of fine fettle that I have been moved to comment on it despite superstition. “Tater’s going to live forever,” said I, heedless. And we’ve all seen the Hallmark shows and know what happened next. The sneeze.
Only not the adorable kitten sneeze you might expect. This is Tater. This was a five-sneeze drencher. It pinned our ears back. Rippled the curtains. The sun cast rainbows on the far wall. Well then.
So that’s interesting, I thought, I wonder what sort of dust particle she got into. Was it the Higgs boson? It was concerning, but only briefly. Then she sneezed again. And off and on all day and night. And the next day. “If you’re still sneezing on Monday,” I warned her, “You’re going in the crate.” Tater does not care for the crate.
Meanwhile I did a modicum of research and thanks to the gol-durned oversharing Internet I discovered that cats do get colds and upper respiratory infections from other cats, but I discounted that on account of Tater is the queen and sole fur-bearing occupant of this house and isn’t allowed to roam outside. And I further discovered that an upper respiratory infection could also indicate heart failure, feline leukemia, dropsy, the grippe, conspicuous consumption, pox, and hoof-and-mouth disease (rare).
And I was sore afraid. We began to examine her looking for signs of generalized moroseness but it’s hard to tell if a cat that sleeps 80% of the time anyway is feeling peaked. By Monday I had decided she did look a little off, although that was as far as I could take it, and I made an appointment for the next afternoon, gave her the same warning about the crate, and hoped she’d straighten up beforehand.
The next day she was still sneezing. We jammed her into the crate butt first, which is how you turn a bag of pudding into a Ninja throwing star in one second, and we hove off to the vet’s after double-checking the directions. The vet extracted her from the crate, took her temperature, looked in her ears, eyes, nose, and throat, probed her kidneys (“quite smooth,” he said approvingly), prodded at the state of the pudding, and announced that had we not said she’d been sneezing, he would have proclaimed her the healthiest dang cat he’d seen all year.
“And she’s down a pound since the last time, but that’s not worrisome,” he said, and I said “Well, we haven’t been here for eight years,” and he said “No, you were here two years ago.” We were? What for? He glanced at his paper. “Sneezing,” he said.
Then he opened up the crate, she strolled inside, he closed it, we paid sixty dollars, we went home, and Tater never sneezed again.
But as she points out, her eyes half-shut but bright, sixty bucks does prove we care.
Thank goodness Tater is alright! When you started in on how healthy she is, I thought "Oh oh…. This story is not going to end well." I've been privy to too many of those sorts lately. May she continue to live a long and happy life! (Personally, I think she may be so healthy because she is an indoor cat.)
Around here, if she were outdoors, she could be coyote-lunch unhealthy.
I wish I could get away with $60 every couple of years. With 10 cats, two needing insulin twice a day, we spend a little more. Tater probably just got a cat hair up his nose. It happens here regularly. It really tickles!
Ten cats! That is a lot of personality in one house.
It makes up for many of my inadequacies.
I'm glad this turned out fine. And Tater's right, sixty bucks is a small price to pay to show you love her. You ungrateful wretches.
One of our cats started sneezing too. Now she has pills that cost four bucks each. Fortunately, so far she doesn't need them every day; more like one-half every third day. These go with her other daily pills for asthma. Who knew cats could have asthma? We didn't.
Anyway, please give Tater a good ol' fond look for me. Or if she is very tolerant, a good ol' scritch.
She is very tolerant. She will run up to strangers at the door for a scritch AND a rumple.
Add my scritches to jenny_o's. And my pleasure that she is ok. Hooray for healthy cats and for the cessation of sneezing. Sixty dollars is a v small price to pay.
Kind of reminds me when we took Boomer in to a vet because she was scratching so much. We asked why she was scratching. The vet said "Because she is itchy," and charged us $70.
Since you're marking-up tally on the scritches, please add mine.
$60 is not bad!Not one hour ago I thought my plastic might need to be used as a neighbour cat picked a fight with our girl.Hopefully, just some lost hair and dented dignity.(Mine)
No, it's hard to get in and out of a vet's office for $60. I agree. Hey, weren't they going to make outdoor cats illegal there, or was that New Zealand?
I hear that story from several quarters.I doubt it would be legislated here as there is scant regard for wildlife!
Ours are indoors-at-night cats.And this girl? She mostly snoozes on a verandah chair these days.
In many of the newer suburbs in my city cats MUST be indoors or confined in a yard. The older suburbs are so far exempt.
Cat's must be indoors or confined to their own yard here too, but there are a few who still wander. Lola lives on the windowsill in the front room when she is well.
Gee, it's hard to confine a cat to one's yard! At least, none of my neighbors can manage it. They don't have much trouble confining them to MY yard though.
Don't you wish she could just talk to you and say "nothing wrong with me. My Sinuses are acting up."
If she could talk, she'd say "I'm just fucking with you."
Rock on, Tater, rock on!
She ain't goin' nowhere.
My Lola is off to the vet in a day or so depending on how soon I can et an appointment. She's off her food and hiding under the bed in the dark all day until I go to bed, then she crawls up and sleeps on my belly. That's how I know she isn't well. She has hayfever and probably other allergies as well as IBS, so for the third time since August, Lola has a migraine. She's almost ten, but I don't know how far her allergies etc will take her. My daughter's Missy is close to 20 now and I have a neighbour with three cats, one is 20, one is 22 and the "baby" is only 5.
Poor Lola. How can you tell a cat has a migraine? Aww. My friend Margaret had a cat that made it to 24, or maybe 27–something tremendous like that.
with a headache, she hides under the bed all day and well into the night where it is dark because the light hurts just as it does when I have a migraine.
I didn't even know it was a cat thing. Poor button.
P.S. good to know Tater is okay and give her an extra scritch from me after all the others from other commenters.
Ten scritches, coming up!
This may be the perfect post. Turns of phrase, hilarious photos and happy ending all in one. May her pudding continue to billow and thrive. Xoxox
"Billow." You've seen her, then!
To paraphrase Lewis Carroll:
"Speak roughly to your little cat,
And vet her when she sneezes;
She only does it to annoy,
Because she knows it teases."
Thanks! And I won't forget to give her a violent shake at the end of every line.
Glad Tater is in good health!
Gad! What vet? I had one recommend Imodium and charge me $350. Turned out to be heart failure. Still angry about that one.
No wonder, Katie; I'd be furious. That would be malpractice if it was a human. Should our pets deserve anything less than we get? I'm so sorry about your furry friend's misdiagnosis.
Hollywood Pet Hospital, 3565 NE Sandy. Wow!