Cat’s day at the vet

 My cat is strange. She has a seasonal allergy that has flared up towards the end of July each year, this being the 4th year. This is baby sitting on the edge of the vet’s table, purring loudly, moments after having given an injection while the vet goes to get medication…

It’s the only time she goes to the vet, and I’ve always made a point of saying “going to the vet” a lot prior to our going.

This year, her allergy started to flare up and – as last year, after a few days she started loitering around the bathroom door. When I opened the door, she’d go in and a little nervously check out the bath tub. So, Friday night I gave her a bath. I learned from my older sister, Michaela, or maybe her husband Mark, that the trick to bathing a cat is warm water. Baby doesn’t like the being lowered into the water part, but after that she’s a willing participant in the bathing process, lifting paws out to be shampooed, etc.

But it only slightly relieved her symptoms. Sunday night she kept miaowing, which she has barely done since last July. So I told her “going to the vet”. I think she knows “vet” and associates it with the end of her itching…

I borrowed Ramp’s PetMate Carrier on Monday, and Baby had been avoiding it. Wednesday morning I came back from work to pick her up, putting the carrier in the middle of the room. Baby was keeping her distance from it and me. Flustered, I said “Look, we’re going to the vet” and with that she strolled right into it.

The vet recognizes Baby each time and they seem impressed with how calm and well behaved she is and how little she resists or flinches. I think, though, that Baby sees humans as “fixers” and “breakers”, and the vet, specifically, as a fixer. It’s not that she trusts the vet, she expects the vet to make the itches go away and is willing to endure a little indignity to get it done with.

She had a shot and some medication, and it’s already working. Tonight Baby keeps coming up and sitting right near me and purring loudly for a few moments before going off back to whatever it is that Baby does … largely sleeping.

4 Comments

i gave my cat a bath/shower once after she crawled into some fireplace flu pipeing we had sitting around. was expecting to be admitted to hospital for blood loss but she just sat there. mustve been the warm water.

My cat looks a bit like yours – all black – but mine’s less than a year old.

How does the allergy manifest itself?

FYI: At the vet, they had a chart with a picture of a “Tiffany” (breed) on it; my cat resembled the picture to some degree with a hint of Havana Brown:
http://us.iams.com/iams/en_US/jsp/IAMS_Page.jsp?pageID=CBD&breedPage=havabrow.html

It’s tough to get a good picture of her because her fur is so dark.

The allergy …

It starts out with a dramatic increase in itching and grooming reaching a cycle where she seems to itch, groom, relocate, itch again and start grooming again almost continuously.

Then she starts to get skittish – instead of strolling across the apartment every movement seems to be on the verge of breaking out into a full on sprint.

Then she, who almost never miaows, starts to let out this “raOAOAOAOwah” that – to me – sounds almost more like a bird call than a cat miaow. She goes upstairs to sit on her balcony and miaows when she sits down, she miaows at the door, she miaows at the food bowl, she miaows in the middle of the room…

There’s also a spike in sneezing, she doesn’t eat as much although she shows the normal signs of wanting food, and she becomes almost desperate to get out of the house. I figured this was how a female cat behaved when she was in heat, but she was doctored long before I took her in.

The one thing of note is that her itching doesn’t have the “skin crawl” that a flea would produce.

After a few days, the itching starts to break the skin and after about 3-4 days you start to see/feel scabs on her body. Another sign, according to the vet, that its not fleas is that the skin under the scabs heals pretty fast and the scabs come off after only a few days without additional bleeding – whereas a flea-bite generally takes a week or more to heal.

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