A site of satirical musings, commentary and/or rhetorical criticism of the world at large.

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Location: Southeastern, Pennsylvania, United States

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Steven’s Medical Adventure

The big event at our house this week was that one of our cats, Steven, underwent dental surgery. Steven is this blog’s mascot; that’s his picture at the top left.

This procedure was long overdue. We first noticed the tell-tale signs of gum disease - perpetual bad breath that resembles the aroma of day old tuna — over a year ago. His vet examined him in-house — yes, a veterinarian that makes house calls — and asked us to watch for him rubbing his jaw.

Flash forward to earlier this year when we noticed a few other problems. He wasn’t rubbing our hands as vigorously as he used to. There were also more incidents of diarrhea and vomiting whole pieces of dry food, which we can only surmise led to the loss of a few pounds. His once velvety fur had become rougher and matted. We realized he was suffering and that something had to be done.

We justified that all of this was due to his ever more painful jaw. Okay, the diarrhea I can’t explain away, but obviously the pain made chewing on the crunchy dry food impossible. He would swallow the food whole, and naturally his digestive system couldn’t handle that. At this point, the colorful array of cutely shaped cereal-like food would make a U-turn and back up through the mouth.

Normally I would apologize for writing such graphic depictions of kitty regurgitation, especially if you’re reading this while you’re eating. There will be no apology this time! I’m eating a pepperoni stromboli and a salad while I’m writing this. So suck it up!

His unkempt appearance could also be traced to his gum disease. Once again it must have gotten too painful for Steven to clean his fur.

So the vet was summoned again. Blood was taken for lab work - which was traumatic enough for him and me. Anne Marie bravely left the room while the deed was done. The lab work came back normal and a date for the surgery was set.

The vet came early on the appointed day, and as per her suggestion, we isolated Steven on our sun porch. I helped her lower him into a cat carrier amidst more loud meowing and finally sounds of what I would describe as cries of terror. We tried to reassure him as he was carried out. Once he was gone, the pressure to keep up a stiff upper lip was gone. I broke down and cried like John Boehner.

I thought about him all day. We assumed the vet would be removing the more decayed portions of his mouth, and Anne Marie also asked the vet to clip his nails. Beyond this, we didn’t know what they might find. Needless to say, my imagination ran wild!

I have no reason to question the vet’s sense of professionalism. Still, she and her assistant might have gotten a bit playful while Steven was anesthetized. They could have relieved the tedium of the day by putting a red clown nose on his snout just long enough to snap his picture and transmit it over the internet. Or they could have carved a tattoo on his belly. Perhaps a colorful drawing of roses intertwined with catnip, or something simpler and more traditional like the words “Bird Lives”. Or...who knows?

Fortunately, nothing like this happened. Steven returned that night minus his two vampire fangs. His fur was cleaned at no extra charge, and no sign of a tattoo. Best of all, we have yet to hear about any embarrassing photos of him on the Internet.

Steven is back home with us, restricted to a diet of soft food for a few days. His appetite has come roaring back as if he’s trying to make up for the lost time and weight. I don’t mind going through a few more cans of cat food per day, just so long as he’s healthy again. I’ll miss his vampire fangs, but at least his appetite is back. Still, the tuna breath persists...

(Thank you for reading. Please remember to hug your children, furry or otherwise!)


Anonymous Janey said...


June 25, 2011 at 8:00 AM  

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