Wednesday, 10 November 2010

Say 'cheese'!

As if my life isn't busy enough as well as a couple of two-legged creatures requiring my constant attention, I also have a matching set of four-legged sisters too.

My moggies are almost 16 and 17 and are doing really well for a couple of OAPs. They have a love/hate relationship with each other and though I suspect underneath they adore each other, they are like their human counterparts in that they too fight like cat and well, cat. But the youngest one had a massive increase in appetite lately, yet her waistline was diminishing shockingly. Sherlock Holmes here Googled her symptoms and came to the conclusion she was either sticking her paw down her throat when left alone or she had a thyroid issue.

£375 later - various blood tests and "we'd just better check fors" - and the vet confirmed my DIY diagnosis: my feline has a problem that I'm ashamed to admit I'd love to have: hyperthyroidism. Basically, however much she stuffs into her furry face, she keeps losing weight. Oh, the cruel irony as I fight my own battle of the bulge. Without the magic pills which cost a hefty £1.50 a day for the rest of her life she could have a heart attack at any minute. Ok, so not coveting the condition so much now.

But would she take the pills? Oh, no. I tried a contraption that catapulted (no pun intended) them down her little throat which worked for one time only til she got wise to it then clamped her jaws shut and no amount of gently squeezing and coaxing would convince her to open up. (For a moment I was worried the potential heart attack would happen there and then on my lap in the course of me trying to improve her life expectancy). I had to work out how to administer the tablets every single day without drama.

Fortunately, Miss B loves cheese. She goes wild for a bit of good old fashioned cheddar. So now, in my house, 5pm every day is known as 'cheese o'clock'. It goes like this: cut three bite size pieces of cheese whilst cat is pawing your leg and miaowing off the scale with excitement. Press tablets into two of them. Then with lightening speed so she doesn't get a chance to a) notice the tablets b) spit out the tablets, deliver first the starter, then the main course. Dessert in the form of the final piece of cheese is vital in case one of the tablets is being saved up for regurgitation. The swift delivery ensures that everything is gulped down greedily. I then scan the area as on two occasions I've found a tiny little discarded pink pill despite my best efforts. Usually, it works a treat. One time I was in the middle of a baking session when cheese o'clock came round. For that day only, it became 'butter icing o'clock'. Oh, how she loved her mummy then.

The trouble is, I think she's playing on it. I mean, the vet tells me she's putting on weight and doing really well. Which is great news. She is a valued member of our family and I don't mind the expense. Much.  But knowing what my love of all things fromage does to my own hips and to my general well-being, I can't help but wonder: if I still gave her the pound of cheese a week without the tablets, would we have the same results?

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