Yea, about that whole "no more vet visits EVER" thing? That was all going to plan, until about 11pm last night. While we watched Jericho, I attached Max's new microchip-tag to his collar (totally redundant, since the chip is in case he gets lost without his collar, but if you've got it, wear it, that's my philosophy). I got a message from the vet saying that his annual bloodwork drawn on Monday was all good, except his cholesterol was a little high. WELL, DON'T I KNOW HOW THAT FEELS, BIG BOY. My cholesterol has been "a little bit high" since I was about 3 years old, and I'm still kicking. Everything else was fine for Mr. Senior Kitty, so all the more reason to kick all this preventative medical care to the curb. I even threw a notice that Henry needs some BS vaccine booster in the garbage, which I felt slightly guilty about. And then I slapped myself in the face, reminded myself that they are indoor cats, and the toy mice they chew on don't have rabies. NO NEED TO WORRY, GIRL. TOSS OUT THAT CARD! WAY TO GO!
I've been making an effort to get to sleep earlier, so I've been going to bed when Joel does (insanely early because of the whole waking-up-at-4am thing), and then reading until I feel sleepy. Then I pop a couple of Lunesta, turn out the light, and wait for the sleep fairy to come and sprinkle her magical dust on me. Sometimes the bitch doesn't show, and we all know how that turns out. But mostly, the system has been working well.
Since he's been neutered and free-roaming, Henry has been sleeping with us at night. He'll make a few laps around the bed, take a stroll up and down Joel's back (Joel's a hard sleeper, he doesn't notice), and then settles down at the foot of the bed. Sometimes he takes a rest for a few minutes on my chest, but I have to kick him off so I can keep reading and find out who wins the war (kidding) (sort of... it's riveting!). Last night, when I pushed him off my chest, I saw white glob stuck to his tail as he walked away. And because, obviously, I have learned NOTHING in the past few months, I thought to myself "what is that?" and I plucked it off. WITH MY HAND.
And then I looked at it more closely. It moved.
(Commence the FREAK OUT)
The first thing I did was wipe the wriggling mass on my book, and for this I must apologize to my brother. Dear Michael: Thanks again for lending me your book! And by "lending", I mean, "thanks for leaving it at Mom's house; by the way, I borrowed it". I promise that I cleaned it VERY thoroughly, but still, you might want to skip page 176. I don't know what happens because I couldn't bring myself to re-open that page, but you're a history major, so I'm sure you can figure it out.
Then I looked at it again to make sure it was really moving, not just a figment of my imagination, AND IT SURE WAS, so holding the book at arm's length, I jumped out of bed and carried it to the bathroom, where I deposited the book on the toilet. Then I freaked out a little more, and finally mustered up the courage to pick the squirming blob up in a piece of toilet paper and throw it in the garbage.
I got back into bed (after pulling a Lady MacBeth and using up all the hand soap) and tried to read some more, but I just couldn't concentrate (not even to find out whether New York will fall to the redcoats). I could practically hear that thing crawling around in the garbage. I could feel its anger, could feel it coming for me. I contemplated emptying the bathroom garbage into the big, outside garbage can. I considered making a bonfire and burning the sucker, and then salting his bones (um, do worms have bones? No? Well, you can never be too sure, I think I'll burn them anyway). I've learned a thing or two from watching Supernatural, and I KNOW how to kill something that just won't die.I could even stake the sucker through the heart, just to be sure.
In the end, I decided to pull the tissue paper out of the garbage and seal it in a ziploc bag (after making sure The Thing was still in there) (then I had to freak out some more, because it was STILL MOVING). This morning, I took the baggy to the vet's office and presented them with a little gift.
Um, hi? You guys remember me, right? I was just in here with my fat cat (Max) on Monday. And I've also been keeping you in business for the past three months. In fact, I think you may be garnishing my paycheck at the moment. Oh, and remember back in January when I brought my devil-cat (Madison) in, and he had to be given anesthesia and I bled all over your office? That was fun. Anyway, so I I have these three cats, and one of them (Henry) had roundworm and coccicia but we treated that and we kept him isolated the whole time, so I don't think he passed it to the other cats. But then you guys tested a poo sample and said he was all clean, so for the past three weeks they've all been sharing a litterbox and last night I found THIS on his butt. WHAT DO YOU HAVE TO SAY ABOUT THAT?
Oh, and I also might have added, WHYYYYY DOES THIS KEEP HAPPENING TO ME? HOW COULD THE DRUGS NOT HAVE WORKED? WHY WON'T THE ROUNDWORM LEAVE ME ALONE?
It turns out it is probably a tapeworm instead. Which is awesome, because it's been a whole three years since we've had a tapeworm in my house. In fact, a tapeworm is what prompted Joel to bring the cats to the vet for the very first time, when I was on vacation in Italy and we discovered what those little rice-thingies we'd been finding all over the house really were. It's like a trip down memory lane! Remember that whole year that elapsed between my adoption of Max and Madison and their first vet visit? Man, that was awful. Hooray for tapeworms, hooray for breaking that streak! After we initially "killed" those first tapeworms, I had my first fight with the vet because the tapeworm came back. They said that was impossible, the medicine is 100% effective, and I said WELL THEN WHAT THE HELL IS THIS? and brought them a bag full of poo to test, which tested positive and PROVED ME RIGHT. My prize for being right was 2 more vet visits and a downward spiral to the point we're at today.
Anyway, tapeworms. They're back. VOMIT. And now, they want me to bring all THREE cats in to the office for an injection. Dr. Google tells me that there is a pill version of the same medicine, which I'm going to lobby for. But before I order a lifetime's supply from 1800PetMeds, I guess I should wait for the vet to call back with the official verdict.
Man, and I was so close to freedom. So close.