A one-time school project gone terribly, terribly wrong.

26 November 2008

So Much to Blog, so Little Time

My Avid Fans (all four of you) may as well chat amongst yourselves for a while. I'm a bit busy right now. I'm also trying to calm down enough to blog rationally about the recent developments on the free speech legal front in this country.

I'm looking after a housefull of teenagers. They're fun to have around, and generally polite and well-behaved. I'm clearly building a rapport, too. The youngest yesterday showed me pictures he posted online of the pot plants he grows hydroponically at home. He says his parents don't notice because his marvellous tomatoes cover the smell. He got the seeds by mail.

Part of me says I ought to rat him out. But the other part says that if his parents are ignorant of what he's up to, then they clearly don't care. I guar-an-friggin'-tee you that my mum would have discovered pot plants if I had been raising them in my closet. Or even if I'd constructed a carefully-concealed cultivation bunker under the compst heap. She has, to this day, hearing described by health professionals as "batlike." And from experience she could see the contents of a desk, school bag, or laundry basket even when she'd never ever looked inside of it (so she told me herself. And she's my mother ... you want me to believe she was lying?) One day I'll tell you why my sister tore up the signed picture of the stripper.

Mme Metro fled to the city yesterday, leaving me to cope with three teens and two cats, one of whom is allegedly ill and the other of whom is malevolent toward me, on my wits alone. It's a wonder no-one's starved to death yet. Mme says it has something to do with a medical appointment, but I don't believe her--the timing's too convenient.

Before leaving, she tried to instruct me on how to deliver a pill to the digestive system of a cat. In the case of Brown Cat, one simply seizes his head, covering his nostrils with a finger, and shoves another finger in between his teeth. This causes him to gape repeatedly, like a baby bird, at which point one is supposed to shove the meds down the hatch. However, I've never been able to get past the whole "teeth" thing.

So I adopted a subtle approach. After several unsuccessful attempts, which seemed to stress Brownie out almost as much as they did me, I brought to bear the full might of my intellect. I'm dead certain I have at least six IQ points on that cat ...

So smuggling it must be. We tried wrapping the half-tablet of kitty drugs in a sliver of roast beef. It almost worked, but the tablet squirted out when he bit down. Both cats willingly eat cheese, but they like it in such fine portions that concealing the tiny pill inside it wouldn't work.

Eventually, I bored a hole in a kitty treat and shoved the pill into the hole--a sort of cat Certs, if you will. I gained Brownie's trust by feeding him a couple of undoctored ones, then abused it utterly.

He didn't seem to notice. I fed him one more to take the taste away (I don't know, but my experience makes me think that there is no medicine with a nice taste [unless your owner is dosing you with salmon oil and you happen to be a cat, I guess]).

This morning I repeated the joke. He mowed down three treats, then I fed him a stuffed one. I put down two more and waited. He licked one of them, then sniffed them both with deep suspicion. But eventually he ate them.

I'm counting on his fuzzy brain having little by way of enduring memory to speak of.

Blackie is far more forthcoming. Upon Mme's departure she expressed her feelings about the state of affairs in her usual way: She urinated on everything in sight. And probably several things that aren't in sight too. This morning the black bitch was up at 5:45 loudly informing me that the recession was hitting home and stocks of readily available tuna had plummeted to the point where a cat might soon get thin and waste away. Truly an excellent jest.

At the moment it's running about fifty-fifty on the question of whether Mme gets a new pair of fur-lined slippers for Christmas.

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At 10:32 a.m., Blogger Wandering Coyote said...

Medicating cats isn't the least bit fun. I had to do it for three months when a cat I was fostering got an inner ear infection. I had to acquire a syringe-like tool and shove the pill down the throat with it. You might ask the vet if they have something similar they can give you if the treat scam implodes on you.

Haha: word verification = scorn.

At 9:33 p.m., Blogger Silverstar said...

Do cats like peanut butter? That's how I get pills down my dog. They have a hard time spitting it out with the peanut butter.

And I don't envy you the teens. Perhaps an anonymous email with the link to the online pictures of pot? Then it's up to the parents.

At 8:39 a.m., Blogger Metro said...

Oh, Brownie's not too bad, according to Mme. We once had to medicate Blackie. It involved:

a) One pill
b) One pill crusher
c) 1/2 Oz. or so of yoghurt
d) One syringe
e) One towel with convenient slit cut in it for the kitty head.
f) Two humans

You see where this is going? I think we probably never got more than about 2/3 of a pill into her ...

Never thought of that.
I notice that this morning the brown one sniffed suspiciously the hot dog remnants I gave them as a treat (pill-free, honest!). In fact, he ate them only when tuna was visibly un-forthcoming.

As to the kids, I've decided that a) it was an expression of either confidence or boundary testing, and I missed an opportunity to say "I'm not good with this."

And b) Really, it's none of my business. The kid's seventeen for gossakes. Either his folks know and don't care (my guess) or they're bloody stupid. The Katimavik program can't know, officially, or he probably wouldn't be there.

But moreover, he's at the age when you start making your own decisions--he's about as mature as I was at that age. He's not raising it in my house, and although I'm relatively certain all three of them smoke up, they don't do it in my house nor on my property, and it doesn't seem to cause anyone else any trouble.

In short, he's functionally an adult. And he's growing up in a far stricter, more nanny-ish, society than I had to deal with. So I guess I even sympathize a bit.

Besides, I'm too busy handling the everyday political machinations of the household to worry about what they do at their own homes on their own time.

At 7:54 p.m., Anonymous PJ said...

Oh, Mme really should get those slippers, if she's been the one doing the kitty pill-pushing up to now!

I wish I was there, Metro -- I'm a dab hand at pilling cats. Had to do it for years and years from teenagehood on. But what about just crushing the pill and mixing it in with a small amount of food? Like tuna?

At 1:56 a.m., Blogger Philipa said...

Hang in there Metro.

And yes, you should rat him out or at least hint.

I administer pills by wrapping cat and using a syringe thingy you can buy from our vet. Works for me.

At 9:15 a.m., Blogger Metro said...

Syringe thingy--does it have a name at all? I'd like to see whether it might be a practical solution. Apparently pilling the cat must continue for about three months or until the little sod stops licking himself bald.

Personally I'd go for one of those kitteh radar dishes. But I think I've been outvoted.

At 10:12 a.m., Blogger Wandering Coyote said...

I don't know if the syringe thingy has a name, but if you describe it to the vet, I'm sure he'd be able to point you in the right direction. It's totally worth it. And, believe it or not, it'll probably get easier as the cat gets used to the routine. The cat I mentioned in my previous comment came to me each morning for the pill after about a month or so, and she didn't mind it so much. I am NOT kidding.

At 11:59 a.m., Blogger Philipa said...

This is the very thing:

It's called a pill giver. Scroll down. It works :-)

At 12:00 p.m., Blogger Philipa said...

PS: if you can't get one locally they only cost about £1 od here so I'll mail you one.

At 10:50 a.m., Blogger Metro said...

Unfortunately, Brown Cat is dumb. His fuzzy memory erases the experience. So while he usually sits quite still when one sneaks up to pill him, he could never remember to come for the pill.

Many thanks, I shall look into this.


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