“You know, it’s his other leg this time.”

That’s what the vet told me when I brought Taylor in. It’s his other leg that’s injured. And as Taylor hissed and growled in my arms and the vet gave me this look, I felt like the worst pet owner in the world. How did I not notice that the limp had gotten better and then shifted to the other leg?

I asked if it’d be best to put the cast on him this time, so he didn’t keep injuring himself. The doctor said that the rest he was doing on his own was probably for the best, and since Taylor gets himself so worked up when he’s unhappy in the slightest (fur was flying around the room as he said this), he’d rather prescribe some pain medication and take a look again in two weeks.

I ordered another sharps container for Taylor’s syringes and another bottle of insulin. As I read the instructions for the anti-inflammatory, the receptionist said, “That’ll be $207.” The numbers in money don’t even make sense to me anymore. Two hundred dollars, two thousand dollars, two dollars. It’s just gone. Never to be seen. Poof. Sure, whatever. Just take it. Please. I never saw it anyway. Just take it. Just make everything better. Can you DO THAT?!

“This box says it’s for dogs,” I say.

“Yes, but they prescribe to cats off-label.”

“Hmm.”

Once at home, I pulled Taylor into my lap and tried to squirt the medication into his mouth. Most of it landed right on his tongue, but at the last second he freaked out and flipped away from me… causing some of the medicine to fly out of his mouth and into mine. I swallowed in shock and then dragged my tongue across my palm, my sleeve, my knee.

I immediately went to the computer to check “DidThatJustKillMe?.com.” [TM: Dan]

This is when I found page after page of sites saying that this medication is a certified cat killer.

I’m staring at Taylor, watching for any symptoms (of death?) while I’m reading page after page of cats going into liver failure from one or two doses of this thing. I called the vet. The receptionist reassured me that while it’s not FDA approved on the label, that doctors prescribe this medicine for cats all the time, and that she’ll have the doctor call me. “We have another patient like you who was worried, but it’s okay.”

Taylor, by the way, immediately became completely limp free, which might have been from the endorphin rush he received from the satisfaction of spitting medicine into my mouth.

I called the manufacturers of Metacam and left a message. I kept reading. I decide not to give Taylor any more of this. What with his diabetes, the insulin’s probably taxing his kidneys enough.

The vet called back to say that his drug rep assured him that it is FDA-approved in cats, but the paperwork hasn’t changed yet. I said that I have seen there’s a version for cats, but it’s a subcutaneous injection to be given for pre and post-op pain in a one-time use. Not an oral suspension to be administered every few days. That, according to the website, the medicine basically shuts down liver function in cats. He said that it would be fine to keep giving Taylor the medicine.

After we hung up I kept reading. The phone rings again. It’s the vet. He says he made some phone calls, and that he has learned that his drug rep has led him astray, and that this medicine is not good for cats, and that I should probably return the medicine to his office for a refund. “But you know,” he says, “this happens with the FDA all the time. There was a medicine called Vioxx, and they took that off the market, only to put it back on again.” This man has no idea that I’m currently writing something about the pharmaceutical industry, and I’m the wrong person to be pulling that Vioxx crap with.

The other line rings, and it’s the company that makes Metacam. “Oh, good,” the vet says. “You can ask them all your questions.” I’d never heard a phone make skid marks before.

The Metacam rep patiently listens to me give the History of Taylor, including all the information I’ve absorbed in the past hour while working on my minor in Veterin-ternet-ary Medicine. She tells me that the oral suspension is not approved for use in cats, and while some vets prescribe it off-label, my hunch that Taylor’s already compromised body probably couldn’t handle this drug is probably a good one.

“Cats aren’t like people or dogs,” she says. “Their organs seem to hang onto medicines much longer than we do.” She said there aren’t any approved pain medications for cats.

I returned the Metacam to the vet and asked for a refund.

Taylor’s limping still, but he tries to act like it’s no big deal at all.

I think it’s time to find another vet.

[db]

I tried everything. Hot water. Cold water. The dishwasher. The microwave. Dishwashing soap. Olive oil.

Sara H came over yesterday afternoon. She picked up the conjoined glasses and said, “Hey, famous glasses!”

Dan came over a few hours later, picked up the glasses and said, “I feel like I recently read about this hot new glass sensation on the internet.”

By the time Sara M joined us, it was no surprise when she picked up the glasses and said, “Hey, they really are stuck together!”

And somehow, after dinner, it became their mission to unstick the glasses (affectionately named Lori and Dori). There is video I have deemed “Too boring to edit,” but the photographs show that they also tried everything.

Pulling.

Getting it drunk and ordering it around with a remote.

Um, something to do with oil while trying to turn it on.

The hot and cold thing wasn’t working.

Neither was prayer.

Or hexes and hope.

Or trying to tempt the little glass to come out of the big one.

But then, look!

Nope. It was just Hollywood magic.

Frustrated, we decided to try incredibly hot water with ice inside the glass. I told them I’d tried that a few times, and nothing was working.

“What are you doing?” I asked one of the Saras. “If you try to pour boiling water from a pot it’s going to spill everywhere.”

“Why would I pour it? You put the mug in here.”

“… Ohhhhhh.”

“What were you doing?”

“Putting really hot water between the mug and the glass and ice cubes in the little glass.”

“… How would that have worked?”

“It didn’t. And I kept burning myself.”

Sara M said, “Just give me a hammer. I say the little one goes and you get to keep the big one.”

We filmed three attempts at the hot water/cold ice combo, but the glasses were really, really stuck together. I read through all of the suggestions again, trying to determine if we’d missed one. At a certain point I poured beer into the inner glass, even though Sara M said that would ruin the “endothermic reaction.” It sat there as we debated, hot water outside, cold water inside. As I was fiddling with the camera to film another attempt, Sara H grabbed a butter knife, jammed it between the two glasses and wiggled.

Then there was the sound of elated shrieks as Sara H freed the two glasses from their locked embrace. “Pamie dot com was right!”

Dan concluded: “And THAT’S how you rock a Saturday night. Am I right, ladies?”

14 thoughts on “stuck/unstuck

  1. Dammit, I was going to leave you a comment endorsing the butter knife, and I didn’t get around to it.I had a salsa jar that I couldn’t open for (no kidding) like two years, and I was convinced that it was just on there really, really tight. I asked in a recap for suggestions, and I got about thirty, and the one that worked was jamming a butter knife under the lip of the lid and wrenching it to break the vacuum. I had a feeling that the vacuum was what was ailing the glass and the mug, too. Unfortunately, the salsa by then was so old that I didn’t feel comfortable eating it, but it was really comforting to get the damn jar open.

  2. Oh lord … new vet time, indeed. Poor Taylor. Life is so *hard*, man.And a big teehee on the Didthatjustkillme?.com. It’s the next big thing for hypochondriacs! I would be on every ten minutes.

  3. I just left my vet of eight years in the SFV because she was turning into a flake. I now drive to the Westside to Dr. Carlsen at Carlsen Animal Hospital (310) 445-4692. He was highly recommended to me. He is the most amazing vet. He takes time and talks to you and explains everything. He’s really careful about meds and the staff is great as well.

  4. Hurray on leaving the bad vet. He asks the drug rep whether or not to use the medicine on cats, and that’s how he makes the decision? Yeah. Time for a new vet.I’m glad Taylor is doing better. The glasses coming unstuck is clearly some kind of omen for his continued good health.

  5. poor taylor, decisions shouldnt be based on what drug reps say!congrats on getting the glasses unstuck, and your pictures are hilarious.and just wondering, is Why Moms are Weird out in NZ yet? because i really enjoyed the first book and im ready for a new one

  6. Wow, I’m kinda glad it was so hard to get the Metacam into my cat after her recent surgery. I only ever gave it to her twice by way of doped food (as instructed), and I can only assume it was her that ate it and not the other cat.

  7. I don’t know where you’ve been going, but after we had a pretty terrible experience with TLC (the vet tried to prescribe Pepcid for a respiratory infection and then yelled at me when I questioned him), we started going to Beverly Hills Small Animal Clinic, and they’re incredible and professional and not at all sketchy (unlike TLC, which is always turning over their staff and also thinks the declawing ban is bad). Bonus: they’re also much less expensive.

  8. I was working at a vet’s office a few years ago when a drug rep kept trying to convince our VERY intelligent vet to try metacam and he voted “NO WAY” in general and then later all this information came out about how it wasn’t nearly as safe as they’d said. So glad you weren’t able to give much of it to your cat.

  9. ohhh-ho-ho my god, a bad vet is so horrible to behold. My cat was peeing blood year before last. Peeing blood! And I had just gotten a Real, Full-Time Job for the first time in a while, so I got all excited about being able to take her to a “Real Vet” instead of the low-cost clinic.I thought peeing blood automatically meant urinary tract infection, so I told the “Real Vet” that she had a UTI. I explained why though! “Real Vet” gave me some antibiotics that I had to mix myself and charged me like $50+.I fucked up the mixing, watered it down way too much, and it didn’t really do anything. Then I took her to the clinic and said “UTI? Peeing blood!” and they gave me antibiotics and said “Of COURSE we’re not going to make you mix them yourself!”That stopped it for a while. Then it started up again and I took her back. They said, “Here’s some more! They have steroids in them!” I said “omg wtf steroids?! my friend’s cat got steroids and she DIED.” They said “Ohhhh, your cat won’t DIE. We put steroids in it last time!” I said, “The hell you did.” They looked and said, “Huh.”Then they insisted that they SHOULD have (now that’s confidence-inspiring. her medicine has been fucked up twice in a row? brilliant! and the first vet didn’t give her steroids either!) and that if they were going to give her just one thing it would be steroids to reduce the inflammation.She didn’t die. It stopped for a while. Then it came back.THIS time I picked up the book my boss had loaned me: The New Natural Cat by Anita Frazier. (http://cats.about.com/library/reviews/books/blnaturalcat.htm) It was all, “Dude, there is no way your cat has a urinary tract infection. Cats barely ever get those and if they do it’s when they are, like, REALLY old. Not 9 or 10. She just has crystals that build up in her urine. You need to stop feeding her dry food and stop letting her free-range. No, I don’t care if she doesn’t overeat. Stop it. Smelling the food changes their body chemistry in this way where their blood gets alkaline if it’s out all the time and then crystals build up. She’ll be fine.”So I read that and took her to a third vet that actually came with good recommendations, and told him what the book said, and this vet was all, “Yeah, there is no way. We’ll give her a sack of saline water stuff under her skin” (not his exact words) “and you switch her to wet food and she’ll be fine.”And it has never, ever happened since.I say go get a copy of that book.

  10. Just as a note to the info provided by the previous poster, if this happens to your cat, you don’t have to stop feeding your cat dry food – you just need to switch to dry food with a low ph. My cat had this happen a few years ago & as long as I keep him on the low ph food, he has no problems. One time I tried to switch to just a regular indoor formula & within a month he started peeing blood again. Back to low ph food – all better! This type of food is usually labeled as “urinary tract maintenance” formula.

  11. What research are you doing on Vioxx? My Mom and Stepmom were both using it (knee that needs replacing and a metal rod in an arm) and miss is. It was the only one that worked well for either of them and they say they’d both take it, regardless of the potential risk.[JenX, there’s a lot of information here. -p]

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