The week that was – the weenie and the cat crisis

Hazel before the traumatic (for both of us) dental surgery.

Hazel before the traumatic (for both of us) dental surgery.

When it comes to a crisis I’m stronger than most. I know what needs to be done and have the guts to do it.

Unless it involves my cats. Then I am a weenie. The queen of weenies.

At a routine exam last winter my two older cats, Mollie and Hazel, showed signs of advanced gingivitis. They had bad teeth (and the accompanying bad breath). They both needed a thorough cleaning with possible extractions.

That would mean anesthesia. Mollie went in first during the winter because it was thought that her teeth were worse. It was very traumatic for both of us. She doesn’t do anesthesia well. She’s seven pounds. Far too little.

It took her five days (and two frantic calls to the vet) to fully recover. It took me ten days plus some added time after I got my credit card statement.

The plan was that Hazel would go in at the end of February. That turned to March, then April. Finally in May I called for an appointment and she went in last week.

Hazel is my plain vanilla cat. (Really that’s a positive statement.) That means she’s mellow, not overly friendly but no hissing or biting. She was part of a semi-feral outside litter and never socialized as a kitten. As a result, life is on her terms. I can’t just pick her up. I have to plot and plan.

The best time to pick her up and put her in the carrier is when I put her breakfast down. Sometimes.

She can smell fear on me. As hard as I try to be nonchalant about it, she can tell. I exude fear like a pheromone on a bodacious woman in heat.

In order to get her to the vet, I had to corner her in a room (unfortunately it was my bedroom with a king bed) and use a broomstick handle to get her out. Not a good start.

She did well with the surgery although she had four extractions (two more than Mollie) and two were listed as complicated. I’m not sure what that means but it can’t be good.

All this required two Starbucks mocha lattes for me. Hazel wasn’t allowed to eat but she doesn’t like Starbucks anyway.

Once home her jaw was sore. She did what any self-respecting cat would do. She hid. I had to give her pain meds. That required the “broomstick under the bed” approach until day two when I decided the treatment was more traumatic than the sore jaw.

She didn’t eat until she got out of the “confinement room.” (Don’t feel sorry for her. It’s a bedroom with two sunny windows and everything she needed at floor level).

Then she ate sporadically. Anything she wanted. (Ok, at this point I am so remorseful that if she wanted a 60” TV she would have gotten one!)

At the end of five days she somehow gained a pound. With very little eating!

Long time readers may remember that Hazel was put on a diet two years ago and painfully (for me) lost four pounds. Now I had to restrict her food again.

There is good news. Hazel is back to normal (but a little pudgy) and purring. Mollie doesn’t have any bad breath. Morgan has wonderful teeth and won’t need any work for many years.

That is enough time for both me and my credit card to recover.



49 thoughts on “The week that was – the weenie and the cat crisis

  1. I always feel that trips to the vet are harder on the cat mom than they are on the cat. Glad to hear Hazel is doing well and that she and Mollie won’t need dental work for a long time. Hope your credit card has cooled down now, Kate 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Nothing weenie about you, Kate. I am the weenie because I won’t adopt another cat because I can’t take the heartache of losing another one. I am glad Hazel is back to feeling A-ok! I need, WANT veneers… the price makes me shudder!

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  3. An ordeal for sure! I don’t think of you as a weenie at all, Kate. It sounds to me like you really do take on the challenge, but they work reciprocally hard to thwart your efforts. I am sure everyone feels better now. Having four bad teeth would be a lot of infection for one small cat! I am so glad the kitties came through ok. Your vet bill had to be impressive. 😦 You’re a good soul, Kate!

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  4. I am so glad you and the kitties all survived the trauma. What a story! And believe it or not I do relate since Mom had a kitty who lived with us and needed meds. When two of us could not administer the meds by mouth over many days, we finally gave up and KitKat mended well without pills. I also relate because Rozie the dog had teeth problems and so did Peaches the other dog who liked to bring up boulders for my garden. We learned the hard way that caring for our critters’ teeth is imperative. Hard as it is, you have done the right thing by Hazel and Mollie.

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  5. What an ordeal for all of you! Glad you are recovering financially too. I hate taking my cat to the vet as she does not even like to come into the house but prefers the safety of the back yard with a high fence. She is too old to jump over any more. I had to buy a cat carrier that opens from the top as she cannot be forced in head first. Yes, they do know when a vet visit is coming. Oh, well, they are worth it…I think.

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  6. You know I truly feel your pain since we just went through this with Chrissy. And she smelled fear too (they are really good at that) so we had to shake the treat bag and then scoop her up without a single treat because of course she couldn’t eat before the procedure. But she recovered relatively quickly; within a couple of days she was batting toys around. Of course she’s only 5 years old and still a kitten at heart.

    Meanwhile, does Hazel have a gift registry somewhere? I might not be able to swing the 60″ TV but certainly some deluxe catnip mousies to ease her pain.

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  7. Ugh, poor Hazel! Poor Kate! I know what you mean about hard to pick up. Tiger is like that. I have to sneak up on her when she’s very content and she has to pointed just the right away before I can grab her. Then I do a V with my fingers around her neck so she doesn’t try to nip me haha. Slupe has been good about being picked up, but when she gets suspicious she is more like Tiger. Oh man. And I know all about these dentals. I think at least 2 of mine will need them this summer. Mac used to require a SPECIAL ANESTHESIOLOGIST because of his heart. You can tell he was our first cat haha.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Morgan is so easy. I can make an appointment for any time. I pick her up and put her in the carrier. She whines a bit on the ride but nothing like Jake who howled like he was being killed. Hazel’s appointments must be first thing before breakfast. Mollie, it all depends. Sometimes she’s great and sometimes not. We do more for our cats than was done 20 years ago. They also live longer.

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  8. We had such a variety of prices for Maggie to have a descale and polish, but eventually found a vet with a ‘special’ and stuck with them until we moved. When she had her op in December, they did a descale and polish at the same time, with no extractions. It’s an expensive business thugh because they have to be knocked out.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Fingers crossed! Cats are a funny thing. They aren’t all that expensive after the initial neutering — just a yearly exam with shots. One day you wake up and they are 10 years old and need some major renovations. As a finance person would say, amortized over time, it’s all worth it.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. I know my cat is going to need a check up and probably some dental work soon. It’s such an ordeal for myself and the bank account — because you KNOW they’re going to find something else that needs work, just like when you take your car in.

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  10. It is such an ordeal to get some cats to the vet.

    Dogs are easy. “Hey, Rover! Want to go for a ride in the car? C’mon, boy.”
    Cats are NOT.

    Tigger felt much better after his dental work last year.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I go through the catch me fight before every vet visit. I do not bring the carriers inside or mention the vet out loud and try to be as normal as possible. Still, they know. I don’ know how they know, but they know.

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