I can't even keep a cat healthy

My cat was not eating for a couple days.  We freaked out.  It's like a Ghandi-esque fast to a human.

Not that anyone who has met our little Chat Lunatique would mistake her for Ghandi. 

So I took her to a new vet.  He's just down the street from our new apartment and he's great.  We went over her x-rays and blood work and EKG... 

The first thing he noticed was that she had a cavity. 

That's the reason she's not eating.  She can't eat her dry food because it hurts so much. 

He also informed me that she was dehydrated and very weak, had mild asthma and kidney stones.

I was terrified/disturbed/upset...

The teeth thing is entirely my fault.  The doc was really great about not blaming me, or even insinuating blame, but it's my fault.  We've tried to brush her teeth but she hates it and it's like fighting a buzzsaw with a toothbrush.  But I'm 6', 185 pounds.  I should be able to take a fifteen pound cat.  (I should also be able to put a pill down her gullet and make her keep it down... sneaky thing...)

So.  Cavity.  Periodontal disease is the number 1 cause of most heart/kidney/liver/organ issues in pets. 

Fantastic.  I'm slowly killing my cat because I didn't take care of her teeth. 

Thank God the kidney stones aren't my fault. 

So, sick kitty and I came home.  She was a little traumatized and probably not looking forward to the appointment for an ultrasound - and dental - and kidney stone surgery that she doesn't know she's got on Tuesday.

She ate lots of her wet food.  I went through the process of collecting urine for testing.  We fought over the antibiotics and whether or not she was going to take them.  She eats the pill pockets and manages to leave behind a perfect, pristine pill.  We're at the "pry her mouth open, toss it in and hold her mouth closed" stage and Daddy is winning.

But the question I have is:  What kind of father am I going to be? 

I promise I will brush my child's teeth.  I promise that once he/she is old enough to brush, I will make sure it is done at least twice a day.  And we will visit a dentist twice a year.  And floss.  Every night.

I am hoping I will be more perceptive to things like a toothache being the reason for not eating.  I thought it was stress and life changes and some psychological thing...

Nope.  Cavity.

I am hoping I don't start to cry at the doctor's office when they tell me my child has cholic or strep throat. 

I cried when the vet told me the cat was dehydrated. 


Somehow, I think everything will be fine.  The cat is sleeping on Angie's lap (always finding the exact baby spot to lay down on) and purring away.  She's been overly affectionate.  Again, Chat Feroce has been an affectionate cat but always on her terms.  Now, she won't leave us alone.

I can imagine a child would be the same.  Needy in the same way.  I remember just wanting my mother when I was sick.  Sometimes I still do, wishing she were in my kitchen making me her fantastic chicken and rice soup.  Plus a child can tell me when he/she is sick.  I don't have to guess; there is no mysterious combination of tail gestures and meowing.  And I've been through some of it.  I was a kid.  I do remember.

Maybe I'll be okay after all.  Check back in twenty years to find out how the kid turns out.


October 17, 2009 at 9:56 AM Anonymous said...

Same thing happened with one of my boys. He had to have FIVE teeth pulled. I blamed it on Denver, not my parenting skills. You may blame it on Astoria.

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