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July 13th, 2010

When I left you last, Mohawk the cat was under observation. For unusual behavior.

The afternoon passes uneventfully. As soon as he dries off, he forgives and forgets, and spends the afternoon on my lap, purring and rubbing as though nothing has changed between us.

So far, so good. I am off the hook.

We spend a peaceful night with him, inside. Which is surprising. Normally, he waits until my eyes are closed and then stabs me in the arm until I get up and let him out. But it was a stressful day, we were both tired.
In the morning, the DH let his out. I ask how he looks and am assured, “nothing is wrong with that cat.”

Mo stops by in the afternoon for more purring and petting, and then goes out for a nap on the front porch.
The normally aloof Fluffer is unusually affectionate as well, giving me the equivalent of feline high fives for the attempted assassination. She never really liked me, but she hates Mohawk, and thinks that anything I might have done to him is a pretty good idea. We are on the same team now.

By evening, Mo has passed his 24 observation period, and is still alive. So I call him off the porch for his usual evening stint of walking on the livingroom furniture and annoying the dog.

Mo: looking up at me from the rocking chair on the porch: Hey good lookin’. Have we met? Purrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr.

Oh hell.

I scoop him up, and bring him in.

He rubs against me, grinning, hopped up on the dining room table, and falling over on his side, exposing his belly.

Mo: Come on. Rub it. You know you want to. Purrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr.

And then he starts furiously licking his shoulder like he’s been bathed in club drugs instead of dish soap.

Terrific. It is 1:00 AM on a Sunday morning, and my cat is bombed out of his mind. I go to bed, praying to God that he will not die happy before I can get him to a vet.

The next morning, my husband assures me that “there is nothing wrong with that cat.” And then tells me that the cat in question was just downstairs rubbing up against the dog’s legs and purring.

The dog is worried. Fluffer is laughing.

Mohawk, if he gets out, is liable to die horriblytrying to make sweet love to a pack of coyotes.

At 8:00 AM I call the emergency vet, which is 45 minutes away, in Madison. They say bring him immediately. #1 son and I grab the cat and hop in the Toyota.

Mohawk is normally deathly afraid of cars. Today, he is riding in the back window, watching traffic and saying, “Are we there yet?”

According to the vet, normal symptoms of flea med poisoning could include foaming at the mouth and trembling.

These are normal symptoms of Mo, on a vet visit. Today, he lets the tech take a rectal temp, and looks disappointed when she leaves. “Baby? I thought we had something special. Call me.”

The vet comes in and asks me what the problem is.

I tell him that my cat is friendly and even tempered. I am terrified.

He attempts a physical exam. And succeeds. He even checks the teeth and tongue. Someone should have lost a finger by now. Instead, they are calling motheaten Mo a beautiful kitty, and he’s purring his head off.

The vet recommends an IV and bloodwork.

I say OK and whip out the charge card.

I call back in an hour and am told that kidney and liver function is fine, but there is an elevated count that might indicate something serious. Or parasites.

Parasites in a barn cat? Really?

But he is wheezing. And old. That might be a sign of a worsening respiratory problem, caused by whatever he is high on. The vet is not convinced that it was the flea medicine, since his symtoms are “atypical”. He should be having seizures. But this might just be the beginning of the end. Xrays would tell us if there is anything to be done, other than to make him comfortable.

I put on a brave face, prepare for the worst and give permission for the films.

Which are clear.

I have just spent $600 on a 13 year old feral cat who is in surprisingly good health, and stoned off his ass.
I got my revenge though. While they had him under observation, they trimmed his nails (something I would have thought was physically impossible).

Now, instead of drawing blood every time he hops in my lap, he jumps, digs in with imaginary claws, and falls back to the floor.

Fluffer thinks it’s hysterical.