M. Giant's
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Saturday, March 01, 2008  


We took Excavator (now known around the house as Exie) to the vet to be neutered about a week ago. Since we were taking him to our vet-friend in Prior Lake rather than the neighborhood vet eight blocks away for the procedure, he and I had to leave the house at around 6:30 that morning. Before M. Small was awake, in other words.

We probably should have given more thought to how a three-year-old would react upon waking up and discovering that a third cat since October had gone to the vet and wasn't coming back that night. That said, he took it like a trooper, and didn't freak out even a little.

He did, however, insist on joining me for the 45-minute drive to Prior Lake the next morning before he would let me drop him off at day care. He was quite happy to see Exie again, and even the plastic cone around the kitty's neck didn't seem to freak M. Small out that much. Strat had needed to wear one for a week after his ass-cancer surgery, after all.

This was on a Wednesday. They gave him painkillers and antibiotics and special paper cat litter for him to crap in, and told us we could take the cone off after seven to ten days. Exie wasn't exactly himself yet, but I was pretty sure that he was going to be wearing it for the minimum period. I was a guilty combination of sympathetic and amused when we got home and I let him out of the kennel, only to watch him back all around the room to try to leave the cone in the floor in front of him. And the first night was kind of funny, with him sprawled on my chest in bed, his already loud purring amplified by the cone whose edge was positioned right next to my ear in some kind of reversal of "His Master's Voice," but beyond that I think we all got tired of it pretty quickly.

So six days after the surgery, this past Tuesday, M. Small and I were home alone, since Trash was teaching her university class. We had just finished M. Small's bath, when I heard a scary noise from the hallway outside. I opened the door to discover that Exie had somehow gotten into a fight with his cone, and he seemed to be losing.

He was thrashing around, growling and spitting…and bleeding. Somehow the loose end of the gauze strip had gotten inside the cone with him, and he'd decided to try grabbing onto it with his teeth in a bid to finally yank the whole thing loose. I snatched him up, rand into the kitchen, put him on the table, and snapped through the bloody strap of gauze with the scissors. The red-smeared cone came off half a second later. I tried to figure out where the blood was coming from and I asked M. Small, "Can you put your own pajamas on tonight?"

Finally I satisfied myself that Exie had merely bloodied his gums in combat, and he was going to be okay. In fact, the red liquid's main ingredient had been drool. He was even more calm than I was, and rather suspiciously comfortable on that kitchen table. Meanwhile, my poor naked (but dry, at least) son had gamely tried to meet me halfway on my request to him, bringing his PJs to me in a pile and saying, "I need a little help."

So the good news is that Exie's fine, and back to his old self, only without the pheromones that I thought were what was irritating Phantom (now it's merely his existence that does that).

The bad news is that since Exie has been to the vet, been gone overnight, and come back, M. Small has begun wondering again when Turtle and Strat are coming home. Awkward.

posted by M. Giant 3:13 PM 0 comments


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