1 down, 8 lives to go

July 9, 2010

I’ve been AWOL again. I’m in the midst of another deadline, and suffering from a cross between book brain and the aftermath of the June birthday binge. Three out of four of us have birthdays in the space of ten days. The continual supply of cake had us all a little loopy on frosting.

Of course, that’s no real excuse for what I did a couple of weeks ago. On my to-do list for the day was a note to flea dose the pets. We use the drip on the back of the neck medicine. We changed brands this year, so I am not as familiar with the packaging, but they all work the same.

The dog takes it well, since he generally could care less what happens around him, as long as it involved attention. But the cats are another matter. With our cats, you have to hold on and hope to get lucky. So when I had a very needy Mohawk on my desk, I grabbed a tube and squirted him.

An hour later, #1 Son walked by and said, “You didn’t give this to the cat, did you?”

Apparently, the fact that there was a dog embossed on the plastic, and a picture of a woman holding a puppy, and a cat with a red ex on it, and the words DO NOT GIVE TO CATS, were not enough of a warning for me.

Ok. So I‘m an idiot. I grabbed the wrong bottle, gave him a dose for a 75 pound dog and poisoned my cat.

I call the vet. The vet gives me an emergency number for the flea med company, and says to flush the cat with water for 15 to 10 minutes. They ask if there are any symptoms.

Only if a skeptical glare is a symptom.

Mohawk was feral for a year before we got him, and before he came to us, he lived outside through a Wisconsin winter, probably by eating poisoned mice and drinking anti-freeze. Mo is made of sterner stuff than the average cat. I could probably throw him into the Gulf of Mexico, and he would suck up the spill, knock back some endangered wildlife and be home for breakfast.

But I’m not taking any chances. I scoop up the cat, yell for #2 Son, and we run for the bathroom. Through the door, I yell to #1 to call the emergency number for more info.

Mohawk might be able to shake off the effects of an overdose of flea meds, but Mo does not do baths. While I am trying to stuff the unwilling cat into the bathtub, #1 son shouts through the door that one of the possible symptoms is “unusual vocalization.”

Once he realizes what we are trying to do, Mo begins making noises I have never heard before. Clearly, he is dying. #1 son is asking for updates through the door, and Mohawk is a levitating ball of claws, trying to avoid porcelain and running water.

I am bleeding.

#2 son is standing by looking confused.

Mohawk: Help! Save me! She’s gone insane!

Me: Hold him down! For God’s sake! Get more towels.

Mohawk, is now pinned to the floor. The only thing he hates worse than water is the tub itself, so we’ve surrounded him by a dam of towels and are pouring the water directly over him and onto the floor.

#1 shouting through the door: Did he get any of it in his mouth? I saw him lick his leg. That’s bad. Very bad.

Mohawk: Bad? Drowning is bad. I don’t want to go out like this. Where is the lifeguard?

Me to #2: That’s got to be 15 minutes. Dry him off. He’s not getting any cleaner.

#1: And you used the dish soap, right?

#2: What dishsoap?

Mohawk: Sweet Jesus, noooooooooo!

Me: Wring out the towels, put him back on the floor, and hand me the Dawn.

Since I’m going long, this part of the story will end with Mohawk wet and broken spirited, kind of like Patty Duke in Valley of the Dolls. And under house arrest for 24 hours.

To be continued…

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