Today was one of those days where I despair of getting anything done at all. Poor Patches had to spend part of the morning at the veterinarian’s office for an exploratory teeth cleaning. The vet decided to remove two of this teeth, and when I picked him up he wasn’t doing too well. I spent the day either driving back and forth to the vet (three hours total, in two chunks), or keeping cats separated.
Shadow is still young enough that when I brought Patches home all groggy from the vet, I thought it would be best to keep them apart, since the last thing Patches needed was to have Shadow jumping all over him. Patches seems to be feeling better now, though he’s starving and I can’t feed him yet because of his teeth. And other than that, he hates me because I’m the bad mommy who stuck him in the cage and took him to the bad place that made him hurt. I hate it when I have to be the bad mommy.
Now the vet is recommending a special prescription diet for him because it’s official: he’s obese. Yeah, so he weighs 18+ pounds, but he’s just a big cat. Or so I keep telling myself, and anyone else who inquires as to his fitness level. When he came to live here, we think he was 8-9 months old, and he weighed 12 pounds, which was already pretty big. Neutering and an indoor life have taken it’s toll on his girlish figure, leaving him a bit, shall we say, portly? Good thing he’s not much of a lap cat.
It’s not like I haven’t tried to make him skinny. I’ve been buying Science Diet Adult Light for years, to little or no effect. He never gets table scraps, and he always seems hungry. I try to play with him, but he’s lazy (maybe because he’s so fat?!?), and he doesn’t climb the cat tree anymore since it fell out from under him twice a couple of years ago when ITMan didn’t get it solidly installed between the floor and ceiling. I’m sure you’ve seen those pics of kitties hanging from tree branches that say “Hang in there baby” right? That was poor Patches, hanging from the cat tree as it swayed.
I wonder how much this wonderful prescription cat food is going to cost? German veterinary care is remarkably reasonable compared to what it costs in the US for some unknown reason (or it was, before the value of the US dollar tubed). I finally quit taking the cats to the vet on the Army post, because it was so expensive just for vaccinations compared to the German vet, not to mention painful in the extreme just to get an appointment. The Army vets aren’t really here to deal with the soldiers’ animals, they’re here to deal with food inspections and military police dogs, so getting an appointment at all can be difficult and frustrating, and they don’t handle sickness or emergencies. Why they even say they’re going to see pets if they really aren’t available to do it most of the time is beyond me.
But while the veterinary care in Germany is reasonable and the convenience factor can’t be ignored, the special diet products aren’t inexpensive so I imagine this diet food is going to run quite a few pretty Euros, and the boys will probably hate how it tastes in the bargain. I have to really think about this though, since I’m more concerned about his teeth than his weight. His quality of life will go down quicker if he loses his teeth than it will if he’s fat. My mom’s cats have never had teeth this bad, not even when they were very old. Patches is only about seven years old, and Shadow is only two, and even Shadow’s teeth are looking so bad already (now that I’ve been alerted to the problem) that he’s going to visit Mr. Vet next week to see how bad they really are.
My mom thinks maybe it has something to do with the quality of the water here. While we drink either filtered or bottled water, the cats have water straight from the tap, mostly because they drink from the bathtub 3-4 times daily, or whenever they can convince me to turn on the tap for them. They have water bowls too, but they like bathtub drinks better I guess, high maintenance little guys that they are. I think I’m off to the hardware store this weekend to buy a filter for the tap in the bathtub, so that we can see if filtered water will make their teeth better or at least keep them from getting worse. If it isn’t one thing, it’s another sometimes…