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Sneakers and Ebony

The challenge of taking Sneakers to the vet was a bit traumatic for us both, me mostly.  He did well and came out with a clean bill of health for a 13 years old cat.  He does have a cavity and the vet said his tooth will probably break at some point.  So I have to watch for that event or plan in advance. When I try to look at his tooth he does not want to cooperate?  See the last post on Bits and Pieces for Sneaker’s experience with the vet.

It was July 16, 2012 when I reported about Sneakers and his visit to the vet.  The actual event was on July 10, 2012. 

It was now Ebony’s turn.  AUGH!! Yeah, I know!

It took me till just before September 1st, 2012 to get myself motivated, and my courage up, to do this task. 

I received an email from Cascade Pet Hospital with a coupon for 15% off a senior panel.  This is the blood test.  It is not cheap and I became a little more motivated.  He also needed shots to be updated and if we had to put them in a cat boarding situation for some reason, they would want these shots current.

How were we going to get Ebony into the cat carrier? 

I was not sure I could hold him, he is very strong and heavy.  When we have our morning bonding sessions I pet and love him.  I attempt to pick him up just a short way to my thighs as I sit on my legs but he is not that excited about it.  I have been trying to get him use to being hugged.  It means I surround him with my arms and give him a gentle squeeze.  He seems to be doing okay with that as long as his paws are on the ground.

He had not been to the vet for two years.  I brought him home from the Humane Society and then I took advantage of the complimentary vet exam they offered.  That means he was in the cat carrier twice right at the beginning of his living with us and nothing after.

I finally, took the plunge and gave Cascade Vet Hospital a call and asked if I could bring him in on September 1, 2012, a Saturday.  This would fit the coupon time frame of September.  The other fact, was that my hubby was home and he would be able to help me corner Ebony. 

It worked, they would take him on Saturday, so I had a green light, and the appointment was scheduled for 10:45 am.  I was scheduled a little later than I wanted but it would work. 

Saturday, September 1, 2012 arrived.  Ebony was in good spirits.  He wanted his breakfast and his catnip so I indulged him.  I spent time with him on the living room rug, petting and rubbing his back and tummy.  Ebony did his usual, retreating to the bedroom when my hubby got out of bed. 

I had moved the cat carrier into the dining room and left it there about 5 days before to get them use to its presence.  Ebony was actually laying in front of it behind my task chair that morning and not even concerned about its presence.

The time went by pleasantly, 10 am arrived.  Plan A was my hubby would go into the bedroom and come out with Ebony and put him in the cat carrier placed by the entrance to the hallway. 

Plan B: I suggested we close doors around the house and confine Ebony to the living room if he came out of the bedroom. 

Sure enough, Ebony came out to the living room escaping hubby’s advance.  This was better than going under the bed, which we feared.  So hubby closed the bedroom door, his office and the bathroom.  I had closed the kitchen door. 

The living and dining room is one long room so Ebony took advantage and ran this way and that.  He started to meow very loudly, like a howl. He also hissed.  We tried to catch him as he ran from one area of the living/dining room to the other.  We didn’t do anything threatening or chase him, we just tried to stop him. 

He finally sought safety under the Futon which made it difficult to get to him.  My husband reached under and petted him.  Ebony didn’t bite or hiss at him.  I think that was a good thing for Ebony to be petted and not grabbed from under. 

We both retreated.  Hubby sat in a chair in the living room and I sat on the floor under the arch between the living and dining room.  I started gathering things to block Ebony from going into the dining area. 

We waited.  Ebony slowly moved out from under the Futon. 

We waited some more.  He moved a little more. 

We waited some more.  He moved till his body was about half way out. 

We waited.  He moved out further and then walked over to be in front of the TV. 

He was out.

I got up and walked along the other side of the coffee table next to the Futon.  Ebony ran into the dining room right through my blockade.  It was not that good.

He jumped up onto the chairs by the window where he likes to go looking at us with  resignation on his face.  My husband was able to pick him up and put him into the cat carrier.  Ebony went HOWLING ALL THE WAY!  We did it. 

Ebony continued to howl from deep in his chest and my husband tried to reassure him by letting him smell him through the open grating of the door of the cat carrier. 

We reopened the doors in the house and Sneakers came out from the bedroom to see what all the racket was about.  He stood by the door to the cat carrier and hopefully that helped Ebony a little.  The towel inside the carrier smelled of his buddy so that was good.

We then prepared ourselves for the next leg of the journey. 

The drive to the vet.

I would do the driving.  My husband took the cat carrier and placed it on the passenger seat of the car with the door facing me.  We put a blanket underneath just in case there was an accident.  He then climbed into the backseat and reached around to try to comfort   Ebony who started howling again.

Fortunately, Cascade Vets is about 1.5 miles from the house and an easy drive.  I usually place my hand on the cat carrier top to hold it when I do any turning and drive as gently as I can. Ebony was letting us know his unhappiness.  I always feel like the bad guy when I do this to a cat.  

Cascade’s website:  http://cascadepethospital.com/  They are also on Facebook.

They were painting the front of the shopping mall where the cat hospital is and I found a parking place down from them.  I asked if they were finished.  We didn’t want to it to get paint on the car finish.  Hubby carried the cat carrier in and I suggested he sit on the bench with Ebony while I handled the business and checked us in.  We were probably a good 10-15 minutes early but it is better to be that way. 

We were in the exam room pretty quick and there were two interns.  They weighed Ebony. He is 17.5 lbs.  He is 1.5 lbs heavier than his buddy Sneakers.   We did not put him back into the cat carrier and he retreated under the chairs were hubby petted him. 

While we waited for the vet, Ebony came out from under and started to explore.  He then found a hiding place between the wall and the sink cabinet and turned around facing out.  This would be interesting to see if the vet could dislodge him. 

I had a list of things I wanted to ask them to do, written on  a note pad.

  1. Bump on Ebony’s neck, right side which was a cyst. 
  2. Nails – trim them especially the dew claws
  3. Check to see if his hearing is okay
  4. Senior Panel – which means a blood draw.
  5. Shots – Rabbies (1 yr), Feline Leukemia 2 yrs, FVRCP upper respiratory 3 yrs. It has been two years.  Sneaker was going outside into the back yard but Ebony was still reluctant. So it was a good idea to protect both.
  6. Flea Meds – this time they could be the bad guys
  7. Hair loss on his tummy
  8. His behavior

The vet came in and proceeded to gently ease Ebony out of his hiding place.  We went over the items on the list.  She felt that Ebony could hear okay but that there was evidence that his eyesight was starting to show signs of deterioration with age.  She said his heart was good and strong, she found no lumps other than the cyst on his neck.  Later she took a sample to test and found nothing bad.  His ears were in good shape and his teeth were great.  I could feel my concern for him slowly releasing and I was starting to feel relieved. 

Ebony was on the exam table with his ears back and he was looking back at the vet with this suspicious look on his face.  It was a look and attitude I had not yet seen.  She touched him once and he jerked in surprise.  He never once growled or attacked.  I had feared he might.  I don’t remember a hiss.  Whew!

She picked him up and took him out into the hall for the remainder of the visit.  We waited in the exam room.  Later, on my way to the bathroom I saw they had Ebony stretched out on a table with both interns holding him.  It was not the best sight to see my gentle cat in that situation.  He seemed to be behaving himself.  They had to take his blood, clip his nails, give him shots, test the cyst and then put the flea meds on him.  Sigh!

After about 15-20 minutes they brought him back in and put him into the cat carrier. It was suggested that I cut back on the food and get him down to 15 lbs.  Only .5 lbs. at a time so I was to go slowly. 

He was done with this part.

I finished up with the assistant, paying the bill, while Ebony expressed his unhappiness.  These visits are not cheap, plan on $250-350.00. 

Back into the car and off to our home which was about 5 minutes away.  Hubby took him into the house and opened the door to the carrier.  He was out in a flash and into the bedroom and the safety of his cubicle in the closet. 

He was really done!

Later, I saw that he was on the bed with Sneakers and still later he came out and was on the Futon with his buddy. I think Sneakers was taking care of him?  Sneakers is a take care kitty.

Ebony enjoying the sun

The photo shows that he is really not black but more a very dark chocolate-brown.  I took this a good year or more ago.

I gave Sneakers his flea meds so that the smell would be gone in 24 hours for both.  So we tortured both that day. 

Hubby reports that later that night at 1 am Ebony joined him in the bathroom and they spent some time on the living room rug with pets and chin rubs.  So that is good news.  I was concerned this experience might set him back and it would take a while to get him to like us again.

Sunday morning, he was in his cubicle and I gave him some food near it.  He then came out into the living room and ate a little more but retreated to the cubicle.  My goal was to leave him alone and wait till he showed me he needed attention. 

Yesterday, Tuesday September 4, 2012 the vet called to tell me that his blood work had come back and he was NORMAL on everything.  YIPPEE!

I now can be confident that I have two healthy cats about to become 13 years old this Fall. Today this am, he and I had our bonding time and I gave him catnip which he asked for so he is okay!