My Name is Leo

An adored cat deals gracefully with a jaw tumor while his owner quietly falls apart.

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Location: Philadelphia area, Northeast, United States

Monday, February 20, 2006

Day 28

The cat has got his Leo back (his mojo, for lack of better definition.)

Since Saturday, his old personality has returned. The leftover food in his bowl is the only thing reminding me that he is not 100% -- that and the lump under his chin, of course.

But even that has seemingly gotten smaller...which I can't quite figure out since the tumor seems so rock hard, how could it shrink? Maybe there was swelling underneath that was making it protrude more? The side protrusion that I had described last week as being the size of a small gumball is nearly imperceptible now.

Oh well, I will try not to obsess as long as he is feeling well.

He is currently getting Clavamox squirted down his throat twice a day...he tries to spit it out and it looks like he's foaming at the mouth. For some reason, I find humor in this (black humor?)

He also is getting 5 mg of Prednisone chucked down his throat once a day. The first couple days I was having a hard time pilling him (He growled at me! But he was still feeling bad at that point.)

However, I seem to have gotten my old pilling mojo back as well. It's all about aim. And the element of surprise.

And now, the instructional portion of this blog --

Cyn's pilling method:

I put the pill in my right hand. Place left hand over the top of his head (cover his eyes -- that's the element of surprise) and use my thumb and forefinger to gently press directly in front of the jaw hinges -- this makes his mouth open (lifting up his head, so his throat is straight.) Very quickly chuck the pill as close to the back of the throat as possible. Then hold the mouth closed while gently rubbing the throat (this prompts the cat to swallow.)

It's not as brutal as it sounds! The hand-on-top-of-the-head-covering-the-eyes thing is very similar to a way Leo likes to be pet. (Or is it "petted"? I'm not up to speed on cat verb tenses.)

I make sure I have food with me so I can feed him immediately after the pilling, to soothe his wounded pride. So far, he's not holding a grudge.


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