I was up for hours last night with my 4-year-old kitty, Priscilla. I am exhausted. So is she.
This is what happened: a couple of afternoons ago, Priscilla was sleeping on our bed with a couple of our other cats. As usual. When I walked into the room at one point, she turned over on her back and stretched out…and I stopped for a second to scratch her tummy. Almost immediately I noticed an area that had no hair on it. A hairless pink spot. YIKES! I called the vet immediately and made an appointment for the following day (=yesterday).
I will shorten this long story: the vet reassured us that she is healthy as can be and that what she has is probably something called psychogenic alopecia. This is an obsessive compulsive disorder, which has roots in anxiety, boredom or stress. I thought only people got OCD. Well, you always learn something new…
Priscilla has always been a peculiar little cat–a bit wild but also very affectionate. Throughout the years, she has exhibited small signs of obsessive behaviour that I ascribed to her childhood traumas, about which I wrote a post some time ago. But alopecia? Stefano and I (and my parents, who have a huge soft spot for Priscilla) were completely taken aback. And no, we haven’t made any recent changes in the household, no new cats, blablabla. We simply can’t explain this…
At any rate, the vet prescribed an Elizabethan collar (this horrible contraption prevents her from licking the sore spot on her tummy) and an antibiotic…now, have you ever given an antibiotic to a fierce tiger in the wild? Well, that’s what we are going to do in about a half hour. In fact, I asked the vet yesterday if I could wear the e-collar and take the antibiotic instead of Priscilla, but apparently it doesn’t work that way. Sigh.
The e-collar, as predicted, drove and drives her nuts. I have never seen a more upset cat in my life. By 5 am I had had enough. I just couldn’t bear to watch her dashing around the house, bumping into things, trembling, panting, trying to hide and so on…and almost took the bloody thing off. But no, the vet had told us to be strong. And so did my cousin, to whom I turned for help early this morning. (Like yours truly, he adores cats. Unlike yours truly, he has heaps of experience with pill-giving, e-collars and so on.)
So, okay, we are being strong. Not easy, I tell ya! But, after my restless night (I should note that while I was up and down the stairs following a very noisy and distraught Priscilla, Stefano was fast asleep…no comment…!), in mid morning, when Priscilla calmed down a bit and I finally went back to bed, Stefano managed to give her a bite to eat and some water. Such a relief.
Anyway, if I don’t post much in the next few days or answer your e-mails, at least you know that I am either trying to console my unhappy cat or giving her a pill. Ma porca miseria, questa non ci voleva!
Update: I had no problem giving Priscilla the antibiotic just now. I crunched it up and mixed it with a dab of the fur ball remover gunk that all my cats adore (with the exception of Puzzola, our eldest). She licked my finger clean. Phew!