February 20, 2006

Cat vs. Emily

A dissertation on the relative merits of giving medication to Emily at
six months versus the most difficult to medicate Cat I have ever known:

Anticipation: Emily begins to fuss when she sees the bottle; Cat may be
skeptical but does not run away until approached.
Advantage: Cat.

Positioning: Emily squirms. Cat has teeth, claws, and considerably more
body strength, pound for pound.
Advantage: Emily.

Administering: Emily purses her little mouth shut and clamps down.
Brute force is required to insert anything. Cat has handy hinged jaws;
although the same procedure HAS been used on Emily, it works a lot
better on Cat, when you squeeze its cheek to get its mouth open. Can
also pull back lip on Cat to insert liquid medicine. Emily's lips are
too small (and pursed) for this to work.
Advantage: Cat.

Physical Impairment: Emily has been known to gag on medicine, and throw
up. Not just the medicine, but everything above the small intestine.
Cat has been known to begin foaming at the mouth at the slightest taste
of a hated medicine, making it difficult for ANYTHING to go down.
Advantage: Nobody (well, maybe the Hershey's Chocolate Company...).

Swallowing: Emily can be distracted with funny faces and/or noises
and/or gestures. She forgets to spit out the medicine and swallows.
Usually. Cat will not be distracted, and depending on the medicine,
can hide it in a cheek or under the tongue, then spit it out when no
one is looking (has been known to do this several times in a row,
collecting pills in a hidey-hole found days later by Human...).
Advantage: Emily.

Evacuating: Emily spits things out, blows raspberries, turns her head
so the medicine is squirted on her cheek. Except for tongue thrusts,
cat usually swallows whatever liquid's actually in its mouth, with
vigorous throat stroking. Again, this maneuver does get done to Emily,
but it's not as effective and we have to be a lot more gentle than with
the cat.
Advantage: Cat

As you can see, I would rather medicate a cat than Emily. That's why I
get Matt to do it whenever he's here! :-)

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