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So, I have mentioned that we have had the Sam to the vet various times.

The transdermal gel in the ears was not getting enough thyroid meds into him, so we've moved on to itty bitty pills twice a day.  We tried hiding the pills in his food.  Hahahahahaha - Sammie can careful eat all the good bits and leave the yucky bits without blinking an eyelash.  Now we are pilling him twice a day by hand.  First it went like this:pop in the pill, watch him gack and spit it out, pop in, spit out, pop in and hold mouth closed because now it is getting saturated with moisture and starting to crumble, and if you wait long enough (15 seconds) it lacks enough cohesion for a complete spit.  There's a lot of gack gack gack after that.  Then he got clever, and would let us pop in the pill, hold his mouth closed himself, and then spit it out when we weren't looking.  Found at least one worse-for-wear pill on the floor.  Now, we have a version that is a combination of the two: popping and gacking and spitting it out and getting popped back in again - and then being given a particularly tasty treat to eat immediatey, because he can't quite keep the pill hidden in a cheek while eating the treat - we can see when it falls out and we pop it in again.

We started out trying to pill him on a full tummy - but that just gives him enough time to wake up, eat and hide.  Now we just ruthlessly pill him before he's even awake.  Sometimes he swallows before gacking - not often, mind, but every now & then.

This has all been complicated by the fact that his kidneys are also not doing their job properly anymore, and so we have to give him reduced-protein food.  Which meant that, at the same time we were adapting to pop spit gack lather rinse repeat, we were also introducing him to new food.  No more crappy crunchies - no more expensive crunchies that he really liked, either - and a change in tinned food.  When we were trying to hide the pill in the tinned food, we were having two worries - one is that Mr. Orange, also known as Ratboy or Chuckie, likes to shoulder Sam out of the way (as stronger cats do to older weaker cats) and at least taste it - so that means that Mr. Fatty-Cat would get a dose of thyroid slowing meds and not need them.  And it also meant that we risked putting Sam off the only food we can feed him now, and then where would we be?  Skinny cat getting skinnier and fatty cat getting fatter.  Huh.

So.  We stopped trying to hide the meds - we weren't fooling Sam for two seconds, anyway.  Now Chuckie does get a bite or two of the low-protein, but after he does it just to prove that he is the biggest poo-head in the apartment, he leaves the rest, and then Sammie comes back to it and eats at his leisure without everybody hovering over him to see if he ate the ruddy pill.

We are still feeding him his steamed chicken occasionally because he really likes it, and some days he just won't eat anything but that.  I have tried to make a concoction of chicken and rice slurry (sort of a chicken congee) - which I really liked, but which Sam said yuck pooey.  Which is crazy-making because in the winter, when I make myself a chicken stew, which is nearly the same, he is all over me wanting some.  Maybe it's a winter thing.  I've tried a similar thing with burger and coucous - and again: I really liked it and Sam could barely be polite about how yucky he thought it was.

Anyways - he did put on some weight, and stop drinking quite so much water  but he has now lost a little bit of that, and he's quite wobbly.

So, you know: the old dude is an old dude.  I don't think we're going to lose him this summer, but I don't know how many summers he has left.

On the plus side - he *is* strong enough to put up a reasonable resistance to being pilled.  :)


From: [identity profile] jessie-c.livejournal.com
1. Sit on sofa. Pick up cat and cradle it in the crook of your elbow as though you were going to give a bottle to a baby. Talk softly to it.


2. With right hand, position right forefinger and thumb on either side of cat's mouth and gently apply pressure to cheeks while holding pill in right hand. (be patient) As cat opens mouth pop pill into mouth. Allow cat to close mouth and swallow. Drop pill into mouth. Let go of cat, noticing the direction it runs.


3. Pick the pill up off the floor and go get the cat from behind sofa. Cradle cat in left arm and repeat process. Sit on floor in kitchen, wrap arm around cat as before, drop pill in mouth. Let go of cat, noticing the direction it runs.


4. Retrieve cat from bedroom, and throw soggy pill away. Scoot across floor to pick up pill, and go find the cat. Bring it back into the kitchen. Take new pill from foil wrap, cradle cat in left arm holding rear paws tightly with left hand. Force jaws open and push pill to back of mouth with right forefinger. Hold mouth shut for a count of ten. Drop pill into mouth.


5. Pry claws from back legs out of your arm. Go get the cat, pick up half-dissolved pill from floor and drop it into garbage can.


6. Retrieve pill from goldfish bowl and cat from top of closet. Call spouse from backyard. Kneel on floor with cat wedged firmly between knees, hold front and rear paws. Ignore low growls emitted by cat. Get spouse to hold head firmly with one hand while forcing wooden ruler into mouth. Drop pill down ruler and rub cat's throat vigorously.


7. Retrieve cat from curtain rod, get another pill from foil wrap. Make note to buy new ruler and repair curtains. Carefully sweep shattered Doulton figures from hearth and set to one side for gluing later.


8. Get spouse to lie on cat with head just visible from below armpit. Put pill in end of drinking straw, force mouth open with pencil and blow down drinking straw.


9. Check label to make sure pill not harmful to humans, drink glass of water to take taste away. Apply Band-Aid to spouse's forearm and remove blood from carpet with cold water and soap.


10. Retrieve cat from neighbor's shed. Get another pill. Place cat in cupboard and close door onto neck to leave head showing. Force mouth open with dessert spoon. Flick pill down throat with rubber band.


11. Fetch screwdriver from garage and put door back on hinges. Apply cold compress to cheek and check records for date of last tetanus shot. Throw T-shirt away and fetch new one from bedroom.


12. Call fire department to retrieve cat from tree across the road. Apologize to neighbor who crashed into fence while swerving to avoid cat. Take another pill from foil wrap.


13. Tie cat's front paws to rear paws with garden twine and bind tightly to leg of dining table, find heavy duty pruning gloves from shed, force cat's mouth open with small spanner. Push pill into mouth followed by large piece of fillet steak. Hold head vertically and pour one cup of water down throat to wash pill down.


14. Get spouse to drive you to the emergency room, sit quietly while doctor stitches fingers and forearm and removes pill remnants from right eye. Call at furniture shop on way home to order new table.


15. Get last pill from bottle. Go into bathroom and get a fluffy towel. Stay in the bathroom with the cat, and close the door.

16. Sit on bathroom floor, wrap towel around kitty, leaving only his head exposed. Cradle kitty in the crook of your arm, and pick up pill off of counter.


17. Retrieve cat from top of shower door (you didn't know that cats can jump 5 feet straight up in the air, did you?), and wrap towel around it a little tighter, making sure its paws can't come out this time. With fingers at either side of its jaw, pry it open and pop pill into mouth. Quickly close mouth (his, not yours).


18. Sit on floor with cat in your lap, stroking it under the chin and talking gently to it for at least a half hour, while the pill dissolves.


19. Unwrap towel, open bathroom door. Wash off scratches in warm soapy water, comb your hair, and go find something to occupy your time for 7-1/2 hours.


20. Arrange for SPCA to get cat and call local pet shop to see if they have any hamsters.

Date: 2010-07-18 11:52 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] cat63.livejournal.com
Oh my. Cat pilling twice a day? Another person who needs chainmail gloves for Giftmas... (another friend has just bought a new saw..)

I take it you've tried the "hold his mouth shut and stroke his throat until he swallows" method?

You can get special devices I believe which you can stick in his mouth and they put the pill in the back of his throat, so that he can't spit it out so easily and you don't lose fingers getting it back there. I've found many references to them online, but can't seem to spot any for sale. Bah.

Date: 2010-07-18 02:25 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] agoodwinsmith.livejournal.com
He's pretty good, really. I wouldn't like to try pilling Chuckie this often. The only time we ever pilled Ratboy, it was two doses, ten days apart (worms), and we never did get the second pill in him. Sam complains and resists - Chuckie would actively try to disembowel us. :)

I've heard about the drinking straw method (use the straw as a blow gun to puff the pill into the back of the throat). I'm worried about choking the old dude - and Sam is able to curve up his tongue in the way and even with a pretty accurate hand-shot to the back of the throat, the pill behaves like it hit a trampoline.

Sammie is pretty good, honest, he's just got his cat pride to consider, you know? :)

Date: 2010-07-18 04:19 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] jessie-c.livejournal.com
Whenever I had to give my cat medication, it had the be the liquid stuff. I used a syringe to squirt it down his throat, he'd do the "dog eating peanut butter" thing for a minute or two and then go off and Pointedly Ignore me for a while.

Date: 2010-07-18 07:49 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] agoodwinsmith.livejournal.com
If we ever have to med the Chuckie, I'm going to ask for liquid - and even then I'm not sure we will always come away with skin intact. :)

My mom usually asks for injectable stuff - it's true that cats seem to put up less of a fuss about that - but I'm pretty squeamish.

Date: 2010-07-18 09:01 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] jessie-c.livejournal.com
The thick towel trick worked very well for me.

Date: 2010-07-19 01:01 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] agoodwinsmith.livejournal.com
For sopping up the blood? :)

Date: 2010-07-19 01:21 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] jessie-c.livejournal.com
Well, that too. But first you use it to emmesh the savage beast, and turn him into a living replica of those ancient Egyptian cats they dig out of the desert. It's pretty difficult for him to claw through several layers of thick fluffy towel holding his legs against the rest of him.

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