Because I cannot do anything like normal people, I cannot have just one cat.*
Because I cannot even be a Crazy Cat Lady like normal Internet People, one of my cats has an eating disorder.
We’ve struggled to get vets to take this seriously his whole life, but the Baby Cat has some sort of feline anorexia—always has. It takes nothing at all to put him off eating altogether, and unlike any other animal in the history of exchanging oxygen for carbon dioxide he will not, in direct defiance of all well-intentioned advice, “eat when he gets hungry enough.” We know this because he gets dangerously, life-threateningly thin before we can drag him back from the brink and convince him to eat.
I tell you all of this because he’s been on appetite stimulants (antidepressants, but he takes them mostly for the side-effect my human readers hate about them) for over a year now; during most of that time, we’ve also been force feeding him every morning. Yes, we’ve been over everything with his vet, who is stumped. I take my pets to the vet, I promise. I also took some gentle, well-intentioned heat from friends this past year for force feeding my cat every day. “How long are you going to keep doing this?” and “Maybe it’s time to let him go” are things I heard and from people who love me. But he was happy and cuddly and enjoyed his life, if not his food, so I saw no reason to change anything.
I’m sharing this now because he’s finally eating on his own (yay!) and also because we’re in a weird place where we still have to keep reminding him that food is a thing and someone has to stay with him/with his food at all times. Which is so weird, I know, but such is life.
Also, because we’re still pilling him every other day and today Husband decided to hold him while I did that.
Go back and read. He thought it would be a good idea to hold a cat while I stuffed a pill down his throat.
Yes, of course I got scratched.
But, because that conversation is predictable, I’m telling you about this one instead:
ME: Did I say debit?
SHOP GIRL: You did…
ME: I meant credit…
SHOP GIRL: It’s fine, I can redo it.
ME: Sorry, I can’t with the brain and the words today.
SHOP GIRL: It’s okay.
ME: (suddenly inspired) It’s because my cat scratched me! (shows palm) You buyin’ that?
SHOP GIRL: Oh, sure. I’ve heard of that.
ME: Right? I’m sure it’s a science thing… cat scratches make you stupider.
SHOP GIRL: Sure… Have a nice day!
ME: You too. Now, one last time… it was this one, then this one?
SHOP GIRL: Other way ‘round.
ME: Right. Sorry. Yup! I’ll remember! (quietly, to him) Help me remember.
HIM: (quietly) Got it. (leading me outside) Remember, spray first, then leave-in.
ME: Keep reminding me; I’ll try to remember.
HIM: (tugging my arm) Okay, but first you need to remember where we parked.
ME: Look, my job in this relationship is to be the pretty one.
HIM: You’re winning.
ME: Your job is to be the smart one.
HIM: I’ve edged ahead, since I was holding the cat.
ME: (turning on him) So it was sabotage!
Edit: I did not expect other people would also have skinny cat issues, which was stupid of me. Because I am trying to be less stupid and more helpful, I want to add that Nutri-Cal gel has been tremendously helpful in beefing up the baby cat. (It smells like nothing, really, and apparently doesn’t taste like much, so we have to mix it into his food… but it adds a ton of calories without bulk, so if that’s what you’re looking for, this is the shit to get. Ooh, and it’s cheap!)
* Astute readers will notice that I didn’t mention the exact number; this is because I’m still getting used to the idea that we have only two. Our youngest passed in the wee hours Friday morning. Ironically, he was the only cat I’ve ever known who liked taking drugs (we found him in a rough part of town, so it’s hardly surprising).