“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.”
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.
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.
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.”
“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?”