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Lessons in Kitty Prozac

My cat Pooter is on Prozac, which I believe I have discussed on here before. This is my tale of getting said medicine into his tiny cat body. Pooter cleverly disguised as a Macy's bag.

Here is a summary of Pooter the cat- He wears a tuxedo and white boots at all times thus convincing me that I am underdressed in my own home. He is a terrorist in his free time and when he vanishes I assume he has returned to his cave to film threatening videos to send to the government. He also has elaborate plots for terrifying the dog, batting at my face when I least expect it and peeing in places that make my life no longer worth living. He is smart, funny, and well toned from his training laps up and down the hallway. Once in a while when he senses I need to get up from where I am sitting he will get in my lap and fool me with affection which I believe is intended to distract me from something sinister or just get my hopes up that he loves me so he can dash them.

So Pooter needs 5mg per day of his medicine. I've tried two of the options for dosing:

  • Pills

I began with these because it is $4 for a three month supply and there is a brilliant product called a pill pocket;  this is a tasty salmon (or chicken) flavored soft treat that you can insert the pill into the center of and your cat just eats the treat. That would be too easy if it worked and then what would I write about?

Pooter does enjoy said Pill Pocket treats… if they are fresh. My process of attempting to keep cat treats from going stale could be a saga all on its own. They come in a resealable pouch so one would think that resealing it would do the trick. It does for about four days, and a new bag comes with 30 so I routinely waste 26 of them. I tried prolonging their expiration by closing the ziplock 90% of the way and then sucking the salmon flavored air out of the tiny opening and quickly pinching it shut.

I am the appropriate amount of ashamed for knowing what the air surrounding those treats tastes like.

Sadly, this only bought me another two or three days tops before Pooter would decide he wanted me to purchase a brand new $10 bag… I had to rethink my strategy.

Here was the issue: once the treats lost their initial sticky, soft texture Pooter learned that he could eat around the pill and leave it on my carpet, wet, blue and prozac-y to crust onto the rug fibers. So it wasn't even that he didn't like the treats less fresh, he just knew how to beat them at their purpose and render them useless. My thought was always, "What the hell is the harm in eating it with the pill inside?! You swallow it in one bite either way so it makes no difference what is at the center!" For Pooter, knowing that I wanted him to consume this blue tablet made it enemy number one and he would fight it to the death. Pills could only stay viable as an option if I started selling my organs on the black market and using the cash to stay in new pill pockets.

Halloween Pooter

  • Tuna flavored liquid

The gentleman I spoke with on the phone who specialized in compounding medications and making them any flavor you want for your pet was super nice, so I was optimistic right off the bat (I was so naive). He listed all sorts of delicious options and I knew immediately that my Tuna loving Pooter would finally be happy with his medicine and I would no longer have to retain knowledge about cat treat storage.

The compound cost $40 for a one month supply, a lot more than the pills but I no longer cared. I would have paid any price for this magical juice at that time.

My first attempt to dose it to him I tried putting it in his tuna juice bowl and hope it passed as an impersonator. It did not.

Second I put some into the oral dropper given to me with the liquid and tried to hold Pooter's head still to get him to swallow it… Ahahaha hahahahahaha ahahahahahahahahahahahahah ahahahahahahahaha ahahahahahahahah ahahahahahahahahah!

Ha. I'm an idiot.

A noise similar to an exorcism emitted from his head as he thrashed in the opposite direction, all claws out and fur on end. A bit overdramatic if you ask me, but hey, he is my cat after all, so he has a flair for that sort of thing.

I also unsuccessfully try mixing the liquid with actual tuna juice and mixing the liquid with chunky tuna only to learn that he is on to me and all is lost for now. Fine. I decide to end the days efforts by squirting the dosage onto his all time favorite premium wet food that he only ever gets as a treat. I then place the bowl on top of the entertainment shelving that he normally eats on to avoid Ninja Squee (my other cat who I recently call Piggy Squee due to her eating habits) stealing the medicated food. I am done and over it for the afternoon.

I make a phone call and leave the room for several minutes. When I return to the living room I notice Pooter casually sitting on top of the shelving next to his bowl. He waits for me to settle into the couch and then looks me directly in the eye and slowly and effortlessly pushes the bowl off for an 8ft drop. Whitefish juice splatters everywhere and I scream into the phone, completely terrifying my friend John who must have assumed I was being violently taken hostage for torture. Pooter then cooly and delicately jumps to the floor and walks at a noticeably snail like pace past the devastation.

Pooter's casual stroll past his handy work.

This all ends with Ninja Squee dashing into the room to immediately commence licking the dripping juice off the walls and Piper rushing for the scraps. The scene now shows me trying to put a stop to, and juggle: stopping Ninja Squee from getting at the food spiked with meds she should not take, my dog trying to eat the chunks on the floor, the drippings making their way further down, fish juice absorbing into my rug and my own tears of rage.

For the few days that followed I was not ready to let go of the money spent on the liquid compound so I successfully dosed Pooter with the dropper. This process is what I like to call the kitty burrito from hell. I would wrap an unsuspecting Pooter in a towel making sure to get all four legs disarmed. I would then place my meow burrito in a corner so he could not thrash his head in every direction, hold the towel tight with one hand, position his head on the open side with a free elbow and then sit on top of him and shove the dropper in his chomping, foaming mouth. This was closely followed by his running off and spitting up a new frothy version of prozac onto my pillows and me sitting in a corner shaking and weeping. On day three of this nightmare Pooter actually bit the dropper in half, which I took as a sign.

UPDATE: Pooter gets a fresh bag of Pill Pockets weekly and I am in therapy.

A moment captured in the aftermath with a small fraction of the fishy drippings.

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