I’m a bit nervous. I mentioned yesterday I attempted to purchase a restraint module, gloves, etc. The salesperson said she’d call me if the restraint module (which I must have, at a minimum) was not in stock. She didn’t call. However, she also send she’d email me an invoice, and she hasn’t. I NEED this restraint module. I must have it. Tigger is coming… I’ve even seen photos of him, practicing his movies in preparation for our next battle.
Tigger is a cat. A HUGE 18 pound cat. Tigger’s not only big, he’s brave and he’s smart. A great combination, unless you’re attempting to cat-sit for said cat, and that cat does not want to be sat. To complicate matters a bit, Tigger’s diabetic. When his bean (human being) Donna first mentioned it, I offered to sit for Tigger. “No problem!,” I said. “Have dealt with lots of difficult cats”, I said. I had never met the likes of Tigger. I’ve met cats that will run. I’ve met cats that will bite or scratch if cornered. Tigger is neither.
So, in the interest in putting the upcoming visit into perspective, let me recap the first visit. It was over a month ago now, so the scars are healing well.
Tigger arrived Friday evening. Eighteen pounds of mammoth giant cat. Not fat (though he could probably stand to lose a pound or so)… HUGE. He’s also very cute, orange and white with a little pink nose.
We put him in a spare bedroom in the basement, and his beans let him out of his kennel. He walked around the room investigating (and hissing). He did come up to me and even brushed past my legs at one point, and I held out my hand once and was able to lightly touch his tail as he walked by. I was optimistic.
After a few hours I went down to spend some time with Tigger. His mom-bean had already given him his evening shot before he arrived – but I thought spending some time with him before I had to do anything to him would help. I was sitting on the floor, talking and looking his direction – suddenly he LUNGED across the room at me, grabbed my upper arm between his front legs and started biting.
(My arm was bruised and cut, but fortunately none of the bites were real deep. I’m really lucky I had on a long-sleeved t-shirt *and* a long-sleeved jacket. I cleaned them with hydrogen peroxide and it was black and blue and sore with a few cuts, but otherwise okay.)
Score: Tigger 1, Lintee Bean 0
Saturday morning arrives. I gear up. The gloves I bought for tearing up carpet – thick sweat pants – thick sweatshirt over t-shirt… and I go in. I start by attempting to scoop the litter box. I have to keep an eye on Tigger, because he’s pacing the room and making really unhappy noises.
I distract Tigger with freeze-dried chicken treats. While he’s eating, I attempt to touch the lancet pen to his ear… he glares at me and jerks back.
I try again… he screams and starts to attack me.
Tigger bites me in the leg.
I push him away.. he runs in the “cubby” of the cat tree… I try to touch his ear through the cat tree.. he gets angry and tries to bite.. he runs out, I grab him by the scruff and wrestle him to the ground with a thick towel… he flips over and screams and tries to bite… I have to let him go before he bites my forearm. He runs into his kennel. At this point he is screaming and panting.
I shut the kennel door. I try to figure out if I can test his blood sugar somehow through the kennel… No, not gonna happen.
I decide the best I can do is just try to shoot his insulin blind. I fill up a syringe with the dose for the lowest end of his scale and try to stab him through the kennel holes. It took some doing, and it may have been a fur shot, but it’s all I could accomplish.
My leg is cut, but fortunately not deep – since I pulled my leg away as he was biting, it’s more like he scratched me with his teeth than a deep bite.
Score: Tigger 2, Lintee Bean 0
I call his beans, and tell them I am *really* trying, but it’s not happening. I’m so sorry. They were super nice about it, and gave me a flat dose I could give without testing.
I came up with a new system. I have a baby safety gate I can use as a “shield”. I put a smaller plastic carrier I own with a wire “door” on the roof and put it in Tigger’s room. I make Tigger get out of his big kennel by “dumping” him from it toward the cubby in the cat tree… he is trying to attack because he doesn’t want me to mess with his kennel.
I manage to keep him away from me (or from hopping over the shield to rip out my jugular), and get the second smaller kennel set up.
Fast forward to Saturday night… here we go again. Using the new “shield” I enter the room (geared up) and herd Tigger into the smaller kennel. He goes in. I get the door shut and now he is contained. I’m able to scoop the litter box and fill his feeder without being maimed.
Now… treatment. Try to figure out if there’s a way to test him thru the kennel. He is NOT happy.
Lancet pen doesn’t fit thru the wire top door… his ears aren’t close enough to the front door… I am NOT opening the door and sticking my hand or arm in there.
I give up. I tilt the carrier so he’s forced to be closer to one side of the carrier… (He is FURIOUS).. take a lucky shot and jab the syringe through a carrier hole (hopefully into his flank). May have been a fur shot.
Get the shield, open the door a bit… and get out without being bit.
Score: Tigger 2, Lintee Bean 0 (neither of us drew blood, neither get a point)
Suit up and open the door – Tigger is ready and waiting.
Once again, able to herd Tigger into the smaller carrier using my new shield. Scoop the box without injury.
Thought about trying to test using a pawpad somehow… since his paws are pretty close to the front door of the carrier… he says it is NOT gonna happen.
Give Tigger some treats. He likes treats.
Tilt the carrier and shoot through a hole… I don’t know if I got much if any insulin in.
Open the door a bit, he tries to bite me – got my shield and able to exit room.
Score: Tigger 2, Lintee Bean 0
Left message for his beans that it was going better… kind of…
Sunday night I tried putting a bed of sorts in the bottom of the kennel to raise Tigger a bit… managed to do so without getting bit, but then he wouldn’t go in the kennel. (Smart cat.) Tried to use the shield to just shoot him while he was loose – but the syringe just bent and I didn’t get any insulin in, and it made Tigger very angry.
So, had to remove the bed thing again…. I figure out that if I pushed the treats through the holes in the kennel furthest from the front door – Tigger’s butt was near the door and I could shoot him near the flank through the door.
Score is still Tigger 2, Lintee Bean 0.
At this point, I’m spraying his freeze-dried treats with Rescue Remedy, I’ve got Feliway sprayed in the corners and a Feliway Plug-In diffuser in the room. I’ve laced his food with Tranquility Blend. I’ve got smooth jazz on the radio. Tigger still hates me.
He stayed with me a week, and I can’t say he ever warmed up to me. He’d tantalize me on occasion, roll over on his back and show me his fluffy belly… kitty hypnotizing technique… I’d be unable to resist, and reach my gloved hand toward the precious kitty belly, and he’d try to bite. The tummy was a trap.
Final Score was: Tigger 3, Lintee Bean 0
I got no glucose tests done while Tigger was with me, unless you count one urine test (with what were discovered to be expired test strips).
He nailed me the last (Saturday) morning. On his best behavior, and I thought I’d see what happened if I opened the top-loading door of the carrier… nothing. What would happen if I just tented the skin a bit? A glance, but back to eating treats… go to shoot, he sees the syringe, turns on me and bites me on the left wrist HARD, where the sweatshirt and gloves met. It was deep and bloody. I got to meet a new doctor and get antibiotics. Yay for me.
Yes, I know, I’m an idiot. What was I thinking, opening the kennel door? I have no idea.
Apparently, I’m the first cat-sitter in Tigger history that has said they’d be willing to cat-sit Tigger more than once His beans are taking advantage of it to take their first real vacation since he was diagnosed. He’s coming back in August. I’ve got to be ready.
Not a great picture of Tigger. It’s hard to take a photo while holding a shield, with a cat trying to figure out a way around it so he can kill you. You can see a bit of the shield in the lower right corner. I’m backed into a corner using it as protection.
Read Full Post »