Tuesday, November 7, 2017

My Kitten Is Starting to Trust Me Again

About seven weeks ago, I adopted a kitten named Little. He’s absolutely perfect in every way, except for his lethal intestinal gas.

My little Stinkerbell.

At his vet checkup two weeks ago, the vet prescribed some ear drops to treat a yeast infection in his ears. “Just put the dropper as far into his ear as you can – you really can’t get it in too far – and then squirt a healthy amount of liquid in there,” the vet instructed me. “These infections start really far down in the ear, so you want to make sure you get plenty of medicine down in there.”

Little hated the drops. They had to be refrigerated, so twice a day, for ten days, I had to catch him and fill his ears with ice-cold liquid.

In order to do this, I got out the bottle, got the cap off, got it ready, and then called him: “Little Little Little Little!” I’d call, and then he’d come galloping, ready for love from his human. For the first couple of days, this worked. Then he started to recognize the bottle and I’d have to chase him. As the treatment period progressed, he started to get squirmier when I picked him up to administer the liquid. As soon as I put the liquid in his ears, he’d shake his head, flinging droplets of ear medicine all over my face, and when I put him down, he’d run away and sit on the other side of the room, shaking his head and glaring at me balefully. The whole process was emotionally difficult for both of us. 

After a few days of ear drops, he stopped letting me pick him up at all. Every time I tried to pick him up, he’d meow pitifully and squirm until I put him down. Meanwhile, he was happy to let Jim pick him up. Jim had never squeezed cold liquid into his ear canals.

I gave him the last dose of ear drops on Friday. “This is it! This is your last dose of ear drops!” I announced beforehand, even though he doesn’t speak English very well so I don't think he got it. In the days after the last dose of ear drops, he still wouldn’t let me pick him up. But yesterday, I grabbed him and forced him to love me.

When he started meowing piteously and squirming, I just held onto him tighter, and kept petting him. “It’s okay, it's okay, no ear drops,” I said. After several minutes of this, he finally accepted that I just wanted a cuddle. He relaxed and started to purr.

I think we're gonna be alright.