Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Was It the Brush?

I'm wondering if I may have hurt Harris's gums by brushing his teeth too vigorously two nights ago, before he skipped his breakfast.

We are brushing all the boys' teeth every other night and they are fine with it as long as I don't go overboard. Each cat has his own toothbrush and we have chicken-flavored toothpaste. My husband finds and carries them into the kitchen one at a time. I pet and admire them, and then they let me expose their teeth and brush as thy lie in my husband's arms. I trim claws, too. It's easy because there are two of us and we have nice, polite cats.

Wendy is another story. Although she has had the worst tooth decay of the bunch, we have not been able to brush her teeth. She hates being caught and held, so she flees, hides, and gets riled up and terrified. She also hates us touching her mouth. We should very slowly desensitize her to accept all this, I know. At this point, brush four cats' teeth every other night feels like plenty. But we should start working with her on the off nights. The problem is that I have to start this baby-step training with my husband, who loathes the idea of upsetting Wendy. So I need to get him used to the idea, and then encourage him to enter whatever room she's in, and then take baby steps toward her, and so on. Maybe by this time next year...

A couple of times, I've drawn blood via the toothbrush, on Toffee and Possum. While they didn't register much of a reaction, I got pretty upset.  I was careful to be extra gentle on everyone last night, including Harris.

Harris is more like himself but I'd say he's at 90% — right on that fine line where you worry that if you report your vague suspicions to the vet's staff, they will consider you are a neurotic worrywort... not that they haven't figured that out long ago. He is eating, he clamors for treats, he's very affectionate, and he asks to play... but then he'd rather watch me wave the toys around than chase them. So his energy level is not at the crazy-kitten level it was at even on Sunday.

I'm keeping a close eye on him. My other worry is the weather. Our vet hospital is no longer a third of a mile from us; they moved about five miles away. It takes us 20 to 25 minutes to get there in average traffic now, not an easy 5 minutes. And our lightweight, sporty car is stuck in its alley parking spot, surrounded by snow and ice. The alley itself is treacherous; many of Boston's streets are still an unholy mess. Traffic is at epic levels because snow piles have narrowed many streets, reducing the number of lanes and leaving nowhere to park. And the head of the MBTA has been asking everyone not to use the the subway and trolley lines because they're in such bad shape! How's that for a vote of confidence? But the situation must surely be improving, albeit very slowly, as everyone digs out from a couple more feet of snow. If Harris needs to go to the vet, we will figure out how to get there.

1 comment:

  1. Oh Harris.. I'm sorry you're still not 100% I hope you are soon


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