And Now, P. the Cat Goes to the DENTIST!!!

Jack GoblinStarred Page By Jack Goblin, 20th Oct 2014 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Humour>Funny Stories

In which I recount how I took yet another cat to the dentist, and didn't wind up losing skin, my sanity, OR my shirt! Mostly.

And now: A Cat named P.!

In my previous article, similarly titled, I spoke of taking my cat C. (to continue to use a pseudonym to keep him from getting a swelled head) to the dentist. The trauma to myself involved in carting an unwilling, screaming cat 20 miles to the local veterinary clinic. And how I did some screaming myself at the wallet flattening cost of modern feline dental care.

I concluded that article with the revelation that my other cat, P. - C.'s half brother and full partner in crime - was ALSO having dental problems, and would have to go to the dentist as well. He went there, he came back, and we have both lived to tell the tale.

So here it is.

Taking my cat... 'For a Ride'...

This not quite epic journey started out with small steps. First I got a dental appointment for P., then I began taking him for short trips in the car in the days before his appointment. This was not for recreation. P. hadn't been on a car trip of any great length since I got him, and I had no idea how he would react.

How C. does in cars, I've written of: Panic, frenzied attempts to get out of his carrier and hide somewhere, and piercing screams to let me and the rest of the world know he is NOT AMUSED and this needs to stop immediately. If P. was going to do the same, then I would have had to consider animal tranquilizers. For me, not him.

As it turned out, as in so many things, P. was different from his brother. I put him in a cat carrier and covered it with a towel (except for the door so I could look in and see what he was doing) to block out disturbing sights. As I drove back roads he sat quietly in the carrier, eyes enormous, occasionally uttering small meows. It was hard to tell if he was terrified, curious, irritated at being cooped up, or all of those together and planning to kill me that night in my sleep for this, besides. Although since I'm still around, probably not the latter.

A Day of Feline Destiny!

The trips also hopefully reduced P.'s fear of travel by getting him used to being in the car and convincing him that we would always return home, back to his food bowl, toys, and the numerous places he's found to sleep. All the things most important to a cat.

The day of the appointment dawned; and as had been the case with C.'s appointment, it was not a happy dawn. Feline dentistry involves putting the cat under anesthesia for the operation, because otherwise the cat would surely do its best to make sure there WAS no operation and the vet got shredded in the process. Anesthesia means no food before. Which to a cat is cruel and unusual and grounds for a complaint of animal abuse to the proper authorities if a cat could figure out how to work a phone.

Unfed, P. was NOT a happy camper. Neither was C., who is currently on a diet to try to reduce his bulk and hence very focused on getting as much food as he can. Having been through this before, I knew to feed C. by taking him into the bathroom, closing the door to keep P. out, and giving him something to eat in there. This relieved half the problem.

Such blatant favoritism merely made P. all the grumpier, though, and when the time came and I eased him into the carrier ("oh, THIS again?" his expression seemed to say), he was a thoroughly disgusted kitty.

P. Makes His Move!

I took him out to the car - leaving C. behind to wreck what destruction he would in our absence; or more likely have a nap - got settled, covered the carrier, and began driving. At first everything went smoothly: No piercing shrieks, no violent efforts to escape, no bladder accidents. And that was just me.

P. seemed to be dealing with things quite well. At first. Then, about 10 minutes into the trip and halfway to the vet's office, P. decided he'd had enough and began trying to tunnel his way out of the carrier.

At first, hearing the rhythmic scratching, I thought he was in need of a litterbox break. Which would have been a problem because I hadn't brought a litterbox. I was trying to figure out what to do, and wondering if I should ask him why he didn't go before we left and if he could hold it - the usual things said in such situations, which would be just as useless as usual - when I realized this wasn't the sort of noise he made when he needed to go. In those cases he is a lot more tentative when choosing The Spot, making sure everything is exactly right. Here, he was going for effect, not precision. It didn't take long to figure out that he was trying to re-enact the Great Escape.

We Reach the Vet's; and I return. Alone.

When driving I don't like to take my eyes off the road because, from prior experiences, I suspect a lot of my fellow drivers got their licenses out of Cracker Jack boxes. Since I can't see any way they could have actually passed a test and gotten one based on their driving skills and abilities. Therefore, I do defensive driving to the point of paranoia and absolute terror.

Even so, I began glancing over at P. to observe what he was doing. He'd pull on the bars of the carrier with his claws, then go back to digging, then try sticking a paw out one of the side openings to see if he could wiggle out that way, then dig some more, then try shoving the bars outward. He was a determined and pretty thorough kitty. If there was a way out of the carrier, it was clear he was going to find it.

However, before he could become a feline Houdini, we reached the clinic and - once more - I handed one of my cats over. This roused the same worries as with C. Any operation carries a risk; and even if the operation was needed for P.'s long term health, I couldn't overlook that risk. The drive back home was quiet for several reasons.

C. responded to the disappearance of his brother with the equivalent of "Wait, wasn't there another cat here at one time? Maybe? I thought... Oh well, it's not important. Feed me!" He seemed a bit confused that his entreaties were met with hugs and not kibble.

P. Makes It!

The day passed as I waited for the clinic to call and tell me how things had gone. As with C., the call was delayed. Not because the cats had succeeded in knocking my land line out of action - again - but because the vet ran into several emergencies (NOT involving P.), and procedures that took much longer than expected. One of which DID involve P. But finally, I got the call.

P. had made it through the operation safely, Thank goodness. As it turned out, though, he had had to have FIVE teeth pulled due to the feline equivalent of cavities. And some of the other teeth were looking uncertain; I'd have to bring him back in six or twelve months to see if they had to go, too.

The vets had cleaned his remaining teeth and also, while he was unconscious, cleared some impacted ear wax out of the depths of his ears and put soothing medication in. And trimmed his claws. My poor kitty had gotten the whole nine yards.

As did I, when I went over to pick him up and they presented the bill. "Yipe!" I yipped, wondering where the Poor Farm for this area was... I paid and took my VERY QUIET kitty back home. And when I got home and got him out of the carrier, I found out why he was so quiet. The anesthesia hadn't worn completely off, and the pain meds were in full swing. P. was in an Altered State of consciousness.

P. Is NOT a Happy Kitty.

C.'s experience with these drugs had left him in a mellow mood, happy with the world. P.'s reaction was more along the lines of taking the brown acid at Woodstock: A bad trip. "The walls! The walls are moving. And MELTING!" he seemed to be saying as he looked about in confusion and some agitation.

He was unable to just sit or lie down, but had to keep moving around. Unfortunately he was still a bit unsteady on his feet; he could do all right walking forward, but when he tried to turn, his back legs didn't work right, resulting in him flopping over and rolling onto his side with a puzzled expression. "Did I fall down? Or did the world fall up? What's going on here? And why are there six of you?"

I tried to calm him and keep him warm, but he was having no cuddles, no sitting on laps, no being wrapped up in a blanket. He was going to keep moving until he felt better or passed out, whichever happened first. Or at the same time. It concerned me, and wrung my heart, but there wasn't much I could do.

Also concerning me was bringing my checkbook up to date. And not liking the numbers.

"Guys!" I cried. "Do plenty of cute things! So I can write articles that get lots of hits! And work them up into a best seller that will earn enough money to cover YOUR bills!"

C. hinted the cutest thing possible would be to feed him.

P.'s response was harder to figure out, but based on his behavior it was something like, "OH MY GOD, WHY ARE THERE LITTLE PINK ELEPHANTS TAP DANCING BETWEEN MY TOES????"

He was not recovering well...

The Road to Recovery

The rest of the night passed in quiet confusion. P. kept reeling around, although he slowly got steadier. Since he hadn't had anything to eat all day I gave him a bit of wet catfood and he got that down, but didn't seem interested in further dining. C. of course was right there to eat anything his brother didn't.

In addition, every time C. got a whiff of the medication they'd put in P.'s ears he would hiss and swipe at his brother, who I'm not sure even noticed. Evidently the smell brought back bad memories, and he was responding badly. Finally I separated the cats into different rooms until P. was in better shape to defend himself, and C. was less upset.

Come bed time - for me, anyway - I left P. to pace the floors and hauled C. into the bedroom to spend the night. I'd have preferred it the other way, but P. wouldn't have it. Besides, he'd have probably paced the bed instead and kept me awake.

By morning, P. was back on his feet (AND able to stay there), and seemed as rational as a cat can get. He was also hungry. Feeding a cat who has had five teeth pulled is challenging, but he was willing to eat - gingerly - more wet catfood. Chewing was a bit iffy, of course. As time went on, though, and his gums healed, he lost interest in that and began to demand the hard stuff: Dry kibble.

I tried to ease him into it by crushing the pellets and moistening them into a porridge, but that fell out of favor with him fairly quickly. C., on the other hand, ate up what P. did not and came back for more; this was GREAT, he seemed to say, I should serve ALL his meals like that, and give him lots more besides!

A Spoonful of Sugar... Wouldn't help in This Case

Life was further complicated at the start because I had to give P. additional pain meds periodically by squirting a bit of liquid into the pouch between his cheek and gum I had had to also do this with C. when he had had his teeth pulled, and it was not a pleasant experience for either of us. The medicine is extremely bitter and cats really hate the taste; and I don't like the sight of bloodshed, especially when it's my blood being shed.

Still, I could hardly let my cat suffer. So I picked him up, set him on a counter, and went for it. P.'s inexperience worked against him, at first. In my initial attempt he didn't understand what I was doing and so I was able to get the syringe into his mouth and squirt the solution into the right spot before he could react and squirm away. He responded with a look that as good as said "WHY HAVE YOU BETRAYED MY TINY TRUST??" and went off and gagged the taste out. Twelve hours later, when it was time for the next dose, I confused him by administering it to the other side of his mouth and managed once again to get it all it.

After that, things got a bit more difficult. But I got SOME of the drug in each time. Usually. Fortunately I only had to do this for a few days, and both P. and I were thankful when I administered the last dose and we could stop before somebody got hurt.

Interestingly, while in C.'s case the pain medicine had appeared to make him goofy, P. simply got really irritated and a bit antsy. Although that might have been because, twice a day, I was squirting this foul tasting junk in his mouth...

And Slowly, Peace is Restored.

It took three days for the smell of the medicine in P.'s ears to fade to the point C. would stop attacking him. Towards the end I began yanking C. away from P. every time he'd take a swipe at his brother, both as a disincentive and because he was really starting to irritate me as well as P., doing that. This resulted in all of us being wary of each other, and much comic mayhem.

Eventually, though, C. stopped beating on his brother, and they even sleep side by side now. Which IS extremely cute.

And now everything is back to normal. Sort of. P. continues to eat. Although his preferences have switched from wet catfood, which he desired before his encounter with the dentist, to dry. It is possible that has always been his wish, but his teeth were hurting him before and he couldn't stand to crunch the hard pellets. Now he's got fewer but better teeth, and he can chew away at will.

The Aftermath

Still, he's lost weight and I am encouraging him to chow down. This even as I try to restrict C.'s eating intake. Which naturally leads to confusion on the cats' part, that I am starving one and stuffing the other. I suspect they suspect that the 'big animal' - ie, me - has gone nutsy coo-coo.

With P.'s gums healed, I am also trying to brush each cat's teeth daily. Since I was doing this before with him, C. is used to this insanity on my part; and as long as I give him treats afterwards he puts up with it. Although getting him to open his mouth far enough so I can brush the back teeth is a challenge. As for P... Dental care is something new for P., and let's just say he sees no need for this. And even though I am taking baby steps in getting him used to having his teeth brushed, and being lavish with treats as an incentive to tolerate my actions, he's not going along.

Indeed, when he sees the toothbrush, he seems to fall back to his default position of "Cat Sacrificing Satan Worshiper!", and behaves accordingly. Although so far he's kept his claws sheathed. So far.

Cats add so much to a person's life. Hairballs. Bills. Aggravation.


Media Source
: All pictures of my two little furballs are mine, like the cats themselves. Everything else is credit Wikimedia Commons.

Further links to articles on my cats:

The Origins of C. and P.

The Adventures of C. and P.


Cat, Cat Food, Cats, Dental, Humor, Irritating Feline Behavior, Pet, Pets, Veterinarian

Meet the author

author avatar Jack Goblin
Was born. Haven't died yet. Don't intend to anytime soon.

Thank you much for reading my articles. I hope they brought you pleasure and enlightenment. :)

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author avatar Fern Mc Costigan
23rd Oct 2014 (#)

Interesting post and beautiful cats!

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author avatar C.D. Moore
23rd Oct 2014 (#)

Wonderful, entertaining read. Glad you and your cats survived!

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author avatar tafmona
24th Oct 2014 (#)

I like the cat pics in this post

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author avatar Joyce Singha
29th Oct 2014 (#)

OMG those rascals keep you busy. Enjoyed reading your account.

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author avatar Retired
9th Nov 2014 (#)

Those cats are wonderful. nice post.

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author avatar Nancy Czerwinski
23rd Nov 2014 (#)

Awesome article! I love your cats. Great pictures. Thank you for sharing and congratulations on being author of the day.

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author avatar cnwriter..carolina
23rd Nov 2014 (#)

congrats being author of the day...

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author avatar Retired
26th Nov 2014 (#)

Aww, I love the pictures of your cats, and such an entertaining article to read. =)

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