We spend most of our time and energy working on educating pet owners so that their pets have their best chance at living a long, healthy, happy life. But never let it be said that we don’t listen to the pets when they’ve got something to say. That’s why we’ve invited Mama, our clinic cat, to guest blog today, and interview me (David) for Answer Your Cat’s Questions Day. Is it educational? Yes, but not necessarily in the way Mama expected.
Mama: Welcome, I’m glad you could make it. I thought you were going to flake on me like you did last year when we first talked about doing this.
David: I mean, this is a busy time of year for us. We’re getting ready for the annual gala and stuff; some things end up getting put aside for another time. It’s nothing personal.
M: I don’t believe you.
D: That’s not entirely surprising. You know, if you…
M: (interrupting) QUESTION ONE: why do humans smell like that?
D: Like what?
M: You know. You have to know. Come on. Like… humans.
D: I think it’s a matter of it just being our natural smell. I mean, humans all have different smells…
M: But there’s that big, overarching smell, that human smell. It’s really… pungent. Okay, I’m not getting an answer. QUESTION TWO: what do you wish you were better at in terms of caring for me? Think carefully before you answer.
D: I’d say… well, honestly, I’d say that it’s one of the things that a lot of cat owners don’t think about, which is making sure you’re getting enough water.
M: I get plenty of water.
D: That’s what every cat says. But drinking lots of water is important not just for hydration, but for proper kidney function as well. It helps flush out your system and keep you feeling good, and which is extra important for a cat of your age.
M: EXCUSE ME? What do you mean by that?
D: Does this count as QUESTION THREE?
M: (grumbling) Okay.
D: Well, you’re not a kitten anymore, friend. We worry about you. Pets in general, and cats especially, are really good at hiding when they feel pain. So if you’re having any sort of issues that cats might have as they get older…
M: I’m not.
D: You’ll forgive me if I don’t automatically believe you. That’s my point; in the wild, showing weakness can mean the difference between life or death. So it’s important, as pets get older, to get them regular check-ups, because sometimes there are signs of problems that we won’t notice, but a vet will be able to spot immediately. Plus a vet’s going to have a much better idea of the types of issues you might be dealing with because… well, that’s what they went to school for, right? Okay, next question.
M: QUESTION FOUR: Can you get me some richer, fattier food?
D: Nope. Sorry. And before you tell me I’m mean, it’s not because of that. Again, your needs change as you get older. Kittens and younger cats need more of everything, because they’re growing and changing so fast. But as you get older, you don’t need as many calories, especially if you’re… um… not as active, let’s say, as you used to be. But you can also get foods formulated for your own particular needs, like the food we give you for your urinary issues…
M: I don’t remember telling you I wanted my medical issues broadcast to the world.
D: Sorry, friend. You got a final question for me?
M: QUESTION FIVE: Will you let me sit on your lap?
D: You know I will. As long as you promise not to jump up onto my keyboard.
M: I am a cat. I make no promises.