"Yep, my humans have decided to post an embarrassing photo of me on the internet."
Actually, this photo is also going to be the photo of the day on my 365 page. Let me tell you what happened.
On Saturday afternoon our little cat Merlin was giving himself a regular bath, like normal cats do, but we noticed that he was fixating on the area just under his tail a lot more than usual. This was a red flag for us because several months ago poor Merlin suffered from a condition in which the little scent glands near his bum became inflamed and swollen and even abscessed. Sure enough, when we checked we discovered that he was having a relapse and we weren't going to let it get as bad as it did last time.
Now last time we were able to put Merlin in his carrier and take him to our regular vet within walking distance, however because of the holiday long weekend they were closed so we had to call a taxi (Merlin HATES car rides) and rush down to the 24hr Emergency Veterinary Hospital. The staff there was terrific and even though they were very busy they were able to treat Merlin that day and didn't have to keep him overnight. It just took a few hours. This time the vets actually put Merlin under anesthetic while they lanced, drained, and flushed the wounds and kept him under observation for those few hours as the anesthetic wore off.
When we picked him up at 9:30 that evening he was as high as a kite and was sporting one of those fashionable Elizabethan collars. Anyone who has ever had to take their cat or dog into the vets for any procedure that involves wearing one of these things knows that this can be both heartbreaking and hilarious at the same time. The poor little guy keeps walking into walls and corners that he would normally clear and you can almost see the frustration in his eyes. Unlike dogs, cats don't grasp the concept of walking backwards and so poor Merlin would often keep hitting the same spot.
The real challenges came when he tried eating or drinking. My wife and I had to find creative ways to elevate his food and water in such a way that he can reach it while wearing the cone, but not knock it over and make a mess when he misjudged the distance and clipped it with said cone.
Then there are mornings. Like many cats, Merlin loves to come and wake his humans up by climbing up onto the bed and getting his face as close to ours as possible and meowing loudly while gently tapping our faces with his paws. Well the paws are fine, but that cone hurts when it hits our faces - and it amplifies the meow!
As for the cause of this whole ordeal, the vets simply told us that poor Merlin just has narrow ducts that are prone to blockages and that the best thing we can do is keep our eyes on him and bring him to our vet for regular exams. Fortunately those exams will cost far less than the hundreds of dollars we've already spent getting him treated twice. But we love our cat and this is exactly why my wife and I have money put aside for emergencies.
Poor little Merlin is going to be fine - and for now he gets lots of TV channels.
The Wandering Oak