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Tag Archives: pet parent guilt

Pet Parent Guilt

18 Nov

Anybody who has a pet that they consider to be part of the family is probably familiar with Pet Parent Guilt. That guilt that settles on your shoulders when your pet is unhappy, or sick, or living anything less than their perfect life.

The cat that owns me (because that is definitely how our relationship goes! lol) is unhappy, and the only things I can do to make him better long-term are making him miserable short-term, sigh.

Last week I came home late and found Striker had ripped out a chunk of fur from his neck / upper chest area. The exposed skin was raw and weeping and looked like it must hurt terribly. I scooped him up, kinda freaking out because omg I was looking at a chunk of sore looking skin and what does he do? He starts purring and acting like everything is cool.

What. The. Hell.

Of course this happens at night, on a long weekend, because cats definitely have excellent timing. *rolls eyes*

We went to bed and he slept like the angel he most definitely isn’t while I kept waking up to check on him. In the morning while I was distracted getting ready for work he started messing with the area and made it bleed. The fur in that area is white so he looked like he’d been through some sort of massacre. Again with me freaking out and not knowing what to do, and being even more panicky because I had to go to work and no vets in my area would be open on the stat Monday. While at work I was telling some co-workers what was going on and they told me about a new 24/7 vet hospital near-ish work that had opened. So I did what any sane person would do, I left work 2 hours early so I could go check this place out and see if I could get Striker in to see someone.

The place looked nice, I spoke with someone about what to do to treat Striker at home, and off I went to buy gauze, and Polysporin for kids, and more gauze. Then for the fun part, bandaging a cat’s neck, which is kind of like taking your life in your hands, only you’re putting your life in the hands of the cat’s claws and that is much much worse. 😉

Surprisingly he let me put polysporin on his wound, and wrap gauze around his neck (and a bit around his torso to make it harder for him to get it off), without any complaint. He then went in to “I can’t function” mode because putting anything around his neck or body is like putting kryptonite around Superman, makes him unable to do anything and collapse where he is. He is quite dramatic about the whole thing, which is hilarious when it is me putting his harness on because we are about to travel or putting his Christmas sweater on for a quick photo op, but makes me feel horrible when it is a bandage that is going to have to stay on for a while.

Being the crazy cat lady that I am I arranged for my Tuesday shift at work to be covered, cancelled on my friend that I work out with Tuesday nights, cut back everything I had to do all week to the bare minimum so I spent as much time at home with Striker as possible. All he wanted to do was curl up either on or right beside me, so that is what we did. I sat and he picked where he wanted to cuddle, and we both spent hours not doing much more than that. Turns out you can end up napping due to sheer boredom, who knew? We worked daily bandage changes in to our routine and each time I tried something new in an attempt to make it more comfortable for him, harder to get off, and harder to damage with claws…I won’t say I was all that successful but points to him for enduring all the things I tried out on him.

It’s been a week and we have downgraded to a bandanna around his neck. This wasn’t actually my choice so much as when I was at work Friday he got the bandage that was under the bandanna off and I thought we’d give wearing just the bandanna a try. He scratches at the bandanna and twirls it around his neck, which is kind of adorable, but also results in fabric damage. Only two days of wearing it and I had to take it off yesterday because it was shredded and I was worried he’d end up eating pieces of it. sigh. My hope was the area was far enough along in the healing process he didn’t need anything covering it anymore but he got all obsessive about cleaning that area and he was getting dangerously close with his back claws when he was scratching his neck so I found some cloth I could wrap around his neck, just temporarily, until I can find something better to put on him.

I can’t figure out if the area is actually itchy or if he was messing with it just because…I mean, he is a cat, I can see him messing with it just to screw with me lol

So this is where we are at. I have guilt because he was unhappy enough, or itchy enough, or whatever enough, that he took out a chunk of his own fur, hurting himself, and even though it has been a week he is still miserable because I keep wrapping things around his neck.

A random thing, how impressive is it that this wonderfully complex creature sits so quietly and lets me wrap things around his neck, he doesn’t even try to get away, just waits till I am done. The level of trust that he has in me is humbling.

Another random thing, when he is upset he stops eating and drinking, which is another thing I have been stressing about. Until I realized if I bring his water dish to him and encourage him to drink he will, and if I bring his food to him and encourage him to eat he will. For days I have been serving him where ever he has decided to rest all in an effort to keep him hydrated and fed…which seems to have created a bit of a monster because not only did I serve him I also put dishes of food and water on a table that is the same height as my bed so he could easily reach them when I had to go out, and now he meows at me to refill those dishes before we go to bed so he can have late night snacks without actually having to leave the bed. What have I done?!

IMG_2557

So graceful, so majestic, so spoiled.

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