I have renamed one of my cats. His name is now Conesy (formerly known as Bugsy.) That is because he’s been wearing a cone on his head for about a week. We really had no choice. He apparently (according to the vet) had some vague allergic reaction to something that made his ears itch. Which caused him to scratch both ears until they bled. Which led to a secondary infection, for which we now have to give him antibiotics for the next 10 days.
If you’ve ever had to give a cat a pill you know that doing this when he’s got a cone on his head practically impossible. So that means for 10 minutes a day I take the cone off his head, clean his ears, apply an ointment, pry open his jaw, toss a pill down his throat, clamp his jaw shut and then stroke his throat till he swallows. Oh boy, the fun I have! Then I let him bath himself until he tries to sneak in an ear scratching, at which point the cone goes back on.
The thing is Bugsy, I mean Conesy, is very different from his little brother Otis. Otis is a bit of a space cadet. He had to wear the cone once too; after an encounter with the neighbor’s dog led to an abscess on his thigh (which I spent my Christmas vacation draining and cleaning twice a day until the wound closed on it’s own… ho-ho-ho… such fun!) But Otis got used to the cone and I think he kinda liked it. He realized that the cone was getting him a whole lot of love and attention that he wasn’t really used to (his former owner was a bit abusive – so he’d always been a bit skittish with shows of affection), once he got used to the pampering, the light dawned on my little marble head and he pretty much just went with it.
Bugsy on the other hand is milking the old sympathy cow for all it’s worth. You see Bugsy is very vain. He knows he looks funny. He probably remembers how his little brother looked when he had to wear it. He’s figured out that we’re making fun of him when we call him Conehead and he’s refusing to get used to it. He’s been wearing the cone for about a week and yet he still feigns a loss of balance, he still pretends to have trouble eating, he still acts like his head weighs a ton. Of course, that’s only when we’re looking. If he thinks we’re out of the room and can’t see him, he walks stone cold sober, eats like a fiend and tosses his little head around no problem. But walk into a room and suddenly there he is, in the middle of your path with his little head flat on the floor and his butt in the air. God, what a drama queen!!
So last night I give him his pill, put the anti itch ointment on, and give him a few minutes to clean himself. But within seconds he’s trying to scratch his ears which are still a little tender. I grab his hind leg (the one he’s scratching with) repeatedly to make him stop. He runs, I run after him. He scratches, I stop him. Repeat. Repeat again. Then he has the nerve to hiss at me. That’s it! They both know better than to hiss at MOMMY! Back on goes the cone!
The poor baby was crying and wimpering as I put it on. I felt like such a jerk. I know it’s not his fault. It’s just an impulse. You get an itch. You scratch. Somebody annoys you, you hiss. But it’s for his own good. I don’t want him to get it infected again. Of course the little head really does weigh a ton now, because he’s so sad. So he lays there on the bed looking so forlorn. All I could do was talk softly to him, apologize and rub his head. He forgave me pretty quickly, he knows I’m doing it for his own good. Before long he was purring and stretching his little paws across my arm in that possessive way he does when he wants you to stay put with him. Damn, he’s a cutie! Still a drama queen, but a cute one.
I’ll post a picture later of his melodramatics. It’s just too funny.