(Disclaimer: This blog is about cats. Ray does not appear. Sorry. It won't happen again. Until it does.)
Since the time I was about eight, and my dad found a kitten in the garage, cats have been a constant presence in my life. I still remember the first night with our first cat. Dad had left her closed up alone in the bathroom for her initial overnight stay. Her pathetic mewing had caused him to remove her in the middle of the night and put her in with me in my bedroom. (At the time, I was the only one who had a bedroom to myself; my two sisters and I traded-off every so often so that we each had a chance at having our own room; my three brothers, who weren't so lucky, shared one big room.) The kitten spent the night totally charming me by chewing each and every one of the buttons off of my pajamas. Ever since then, there have been cats in my life. And the one thing in common with each and every one of those cats was their abhorrence for taking pills.
So when I took Harvey and Juno to the vet's earlier in the week, I was more than a bit dismayed to find that BOTH of them needed to be pilled for giardia. I hated the thought of having to pill two stressed-out kittens while trying to forge new bonds with them. But, being a good pet-parent means taking the good with the bad, and I went home with two bottles of pills along with our new kitties.
Since the pills needed to be administered every 12 hours, I gave myself until the evening to start with their treatments. As the evening hour approached, my dread mounted. However, I happened to have on hand a delicious cheese-ball that I had just made with a pre-packaged mixture of herbs and flavorings that made a block of cream cheese look and taste like cheddar flecked with bacon, so I decided to make tiny pill-centered cheese-balls with which to pill the cats. I figured if I was going to shove something down their throats, at least it would taste good.
Harvey, being a VERY food-motivated cat, was first up. In a moment of lunacy, I held out a finger with the sticky, cheesy pill balanced on the end. Harvey walked up and barely sniffed the cheese before grabbing it from my finger, chewing it a second, then swallowing. I waited for the pill to reappear as it always did with my previous cats. It did not. My mouth dropped open. I looked at Gregg. He looked amazed.
"He ate it," I said, absolutely and completely astonished. In the entire history of cats, I had never seen such a thing.
Harvey was back at my fingers trying to nibble off the ends of the ones that had touched the cheese.
I stood, walked to Juno, and held out the second pill. Harvey ran to my finger, trying to snatch Juno's pill. I fended him off while Juno sniffed the cheese, licked it off my finger, and ate it. Again, I waited for the pill to reappear. It did not. My astonishment only increased. I was ALMOST rendered speechless.
"Y'know," I said to Gregg, "If this is the only time in my life that this happens, I would be perfectly happy. And if it continues to happen, I'm buying stock in this cheese-ball company."
As the next pilling-time approached, I found myself growing trepidatious, wondering if the cats would be on to the pills in the center of their treat. I made the tiny cheese-balls again, giving Harvey's to Gregg while I took Juno's to her.
I watched as Harvey snatched the pill off of Gregg's finger. Harvey ate the cheesy pill while Gregg sat and shook his head, smiling. Juno did the same with her pill. I was laughing as she tried to eat the ends of my fingers like Harvey had done earlier.
As I stood up, I said to Gregg, "I can't wait until the next pilling."
Sometimes it's the little things in life that make it so much fun.