The Cat Who Ate The Veterinarian But Not The Pills

Real Estate Man #74

Jasper Von Peanut Brittle was the most irascible cat Real Estate Man ever met. Let’s amend that: the most cantankerous animal in the kingdom. Jasper had the common freudian excuse of childhood abandonment, of course ,but lots of animals and humans have turned out better with even less parental attention than he got. Jasper, you see, was found in a recently vacated apartment by Real Estate Man after a hasty departure by a hard partying, soon to be evicted for nonpayment of rent couple of college kids. They left behind Jasper, Tidy Cat, 10 cans of Whiskas and a broken stove. Real Estate Man thought his children might enjoy the responsibility of caring for a cute marmalade cat. Never having had an animal, the children of Real Estate Man were about to be introduced to the world of being pet parents.

Needless to say; the kids age 12, 9 and 5 loved the idea of having a cat. Because of his marmalade hue they christened him Jasper Von Peanut Brittle. There is a question in Real Estate Man’s mind whether Jasper’s unique name added to his neurosis. Regardless of onomastics, things went well — at first. Jasper was treated with normal juvenile tough love with only minor immature child-animal torture in addition to lots of positive tactile attention.

About 2 years in, Jasper developed an inability to pee. Real Estate Man contacted the local veterinarian who tele diagnosed Jasper with cystitis, a common feline affliction.The vet recommended that he come in for a visit the next day.

In Real Estate Man’s study of the human condition, he has observed that veterinarians are among the kindest most considerate human beings on the Earth. Dr. Ludlow was no exception. He greeted Jasper and Real Estate Man in the waiting room of his office and gently guided them into his emergency room.

Jasper, for his part, simply glared from in back of the wire door of his cat carrier. This was not going to be pretty.

Real Estate Man unhinged the cat carrier and Dr. Ludlow carefully reached in to help Jasper find his way out onto the examination table. The kindly doctor shouldn’t have bothered. As soon as Jasper saw a hand in the carrier he latched onto it with an unbridled ferocity.

Dr Ludlow quickly withdrew his hand with Jasper attached. No matter the how vigorously the good doctors shook his own paw, Jasper refused to let it go with his. Finally, with a dramatic sweep of his free arm Dr Ludlow pried Jasper loose and immediately thrust his bloody hand under the stream of water in the examination room’s sink. Jasper scurried under the examination table.

After washing off his wounds, Dr. Ludlow called in the reinforcements.

Real Estate Man’s story:

I recognized Jasper was clearly scared to death. Because of his obstructionist nature, his behavior under stress usually manifests itself in aggressive, non constructive ways. The vet called in his receptionist to help him with further medical ministrations for Jasper. In tandem, they wrapped the frightened cat in a towel with only his head sticking out. The doctor attempted to place a pill down his throat only to have Jasper wiggle out from under the receptionist; out from the towel wrap and wrestling hold. Jasper quickly attached his claws to the vet’s chest and hung on. The vet, in spite of being wounded on both his hand and chest, again was able to throw Jasper off. The petulant pet retreated under the table. Dr. Ludlow administrated first aid to himself and plotted another approach of administering the pill to Jasper. This time the doctor produced a 12" wand with a pincher-like apparatus on the end in which a pill fit.. A button on the opposite end released the pill and the medication would be deposited somewhere down the Jasper’s throat.

The towel was wrapped, the receptionist wrestled, the vet shoved the wand halfway down Jasper’s gullet, pressed the button and deposited the pill. The vet held Jasper’s jaws shut for an inordinately long time. More than long enough for Jasper to swallow a small pill. We all spent a minute or 2 congratulating ourselves.

What was that noise? It sounded much like a cat spitting out a pill.

Dr. Ludlow gave me the bottle of pills and told me to give him 1 in the morning and 1 at night. Nothing was mentioned about the doctor’s lack of success in administering to Jasper.. I figured that between the vet, his receptionist and me, yes, I tried to help hold Jasper, we had a combined weight of 500+ lbs. Jasper weighed less than 14 lbs.

Neither I nor the kids were successful in giving Jasper his pills. We tried everything including the age old trick used by pet owners throughout the world; burying the medication in his food.

Nothing doing!

All his food would be gone and there would be a single little pill stuck to the bottom of the bowl. Crush the medicine up and he wouldn’t even sniff his food.

Jasper eventually seemed to get better on his own. As far as I know, no one was ever successful in getting a pill down his throat.

I’d like to think the process built a bit of character in the kids. Jasper remained forever angry. He was a reluctant but good companion for us all just by existing. I truly believe the kids learned some valuable life lessons in dealing with such a curmudgeon.

Somewhat like having a tenant who disagrees with everything the landlord does or says but pays his rent on time.

A lifetime of philosophical, psychological, physical and fiscal involvement. Above all, a storyteller. brianbarrabee@aol.com

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