We have two kids.
FeeBee, a small, gray, snuggler – rescued from the pound.
And Liggy, the only Manx in the litter with a tail – who is a light 18-pounds. She was rescued from my hairdresser.
About five years ago, Liggy started to smell unpleasant. I couldn’t figure it out. Since she is a long haired cat, I would check her butt to make sure nothing got stuck….but still, she smelled off.
After a while I made an appointment with the vet, thinking maybe cats are like dogs and sometimes need to get their anal sacks squeezed. What do I know? My cat smells like poop! That’s not normal!
Off we go. Liggy in her extra-large cat carrier – 6 miles to the vet’s office with Liggy telling me about how unhappy she is the entire way. Anyone with cats will tell you, car rides for cats generally aren’t like car rides for dogs. Although FeeBee, our other cat, could care less….
We get to the vets office and are ushered into an exam room and the vet comes in. I explain that my cat smells like poop and maybe she needs to be squeezed. Poor Liggy, she’s the size of a watermelon, and trying to get her to sit on the baby scale for an accurate weight is not an easy thing. Especially when you have hairy feet. That long hair between the toes must be a bitch.
The vet pokes and prods her. Checks her vital signs and then looks at me and says, “I’m going to take her in the back and will be back in a few minutes.”
I remind the vet how heavy Liggy is and to not to throw his back out when lifting her….could you imagine that lawsuit?!
So I sit down and wait. I thumb through the magazines in the exam room and learn that dog beds with cedar chips help to combat smell. I ponder the idea of making Liggy a necklace with cedar blocks used in closets….when the vet returns.
Actually TWO vets have returned. The second vet is cradling Liggy like she’s a 18 pound new born. First vet, probably did throw his back out – duh, I warned you! Liggy does not look happy. But then again, neither would I if I needed my anal sacks emptied.
Wow – two vets, this can’t be good. Immediately I start thinking what could it be? Tumor? Cancer in her butt? She’s dying from some rare form of feline disease yet to be discovered? I’m not a very good mother. This is why I don’t have human kids. Oh Liggy, what are we going to do? You can’t die. You’re too young. We’ll fight this! Shit.
Vet 1: “We tried to squeeze Liggy’s anal sacks and they were fine.”
Vet 1: “That wasn’t the problem.”
Vet 1: “The problem is your cat is so fat she has fat flaps.”
Me: “Excuse me?”
Vet 2: “If you look here on your cat. (turns her butt towards me) Sorry, we had to shave her butt….but see here, she has two fat flaps on either side of her butt.”
Vet 1: “Yes, they’re about the size of peanuts in the shells. (points at two definite flaps)”
Me: —– dumbfounded —–
Vet 2: “Unfortunately, she’s gotten so fat that she’s unable to clean herself properly. Because of this, the poop has gotten up under these fat flaps (points at flaps) and has irritated her skin.”
Vet 1: “We had to shave her butt, due to the amount of poop that had accumulated under the flaps. You’ll notice the area on either side of her anus is very red and raw?”
Vet 1: “That’s due to the compacted poop. It’s diaper rash.”
Vet 1: “Your cat has diaper rash.”
Me: —- dumbfounded —-
Vet 1: “I’m going to give you a prescription for medicated pads. You’ll need to wipe her butt area twice a day for the next two weeks. If she shows a flare up during the two weeks, then we can write a prescription for an ointment. She needs to loose weight. Until she does, you’ll have to keep shaving her butt.”
Me: “So, my cat is fat. Has butt flaps. Has diaper rash. And I have to wiped her ass twice a day with the medicated pads. Are you sure she didn’t need to be squeezed?”
Vet 1: “And keep her butt shaved until she looses weight. You can bring her in for shaving, one of our technicians can do it.”
They help me load Liggy back up into her extra large carrying case and we head out to get the perscription and pay our bill. On the way home I tell Liggy, this will be our secret and we won’t mention it to anyone. How humiliating…fat, non-existent self cleaning abilities, diaper rash, medicated wipes, potential of ointments and now regular butt shaving! I’m thinking: They need to offer a shot service to the parents at the conclusion of your vet visit. Would you like a tequila, whiskey or jello shot before we continue? I need a drink.
Fast forward a month – and it’s time to go get Liggy re-shaved. I call the vet and they tell me to just swing by and one of the techs will take care of her. Apparently it only takes a few minutes to accomplish. Back in the extra-large carrier Liggy goes. Into the car – both of us screeching the entire 6 miles to the vet’s office.
We get to the vet’s office and the front desk gal tells me to take a seat while she notifies one of the techs. There we sit. I point Liggy’s carrier towards the window so she can watch the birds and cars go by. It also takes her mind off the enormous black lab that just walked in for an appointment….when suddenly….
I hear Liggy’s named called…..by a voice that sounds oddly familiar.
How strange is that?
Then I hear: “Donna! It’s you! I didn’t know this was your cat!”
I turn around to greet the person who is talking to me….
My literal next door neighbor.
I mutter a cheerful, “Hey Ed, how’s it going?” And we exchange pleasantries for a few minutes. I don’t see Ed very often, except when we’re both on our balconies.
Then Ed says, “So Liggy needs to get her butt shaved…It’ll only ttake me a minute.”
I mange to squeak out: “Wait. What? You’re shaving her butt? I thought you worked in the vet pharmacy?”
Ed: “Oh I do, but I also do tech stuff too. Did you want to go with us for the shaving?”
Me: “Uh, no.”
Now mortified, that Ed, my neighbor, knows I’m not a good mother….and I have a fat cat….with fat flaps on her ass….that had compacted poop….which caused diaper rash….who needs her butt shaved….so much for keeping it in the family.
I’ll take that tequila shot.
Liggy and Ed return.
She won’t even look at me.
I can’t look at Ed.
Fast forward a month….the patron saint of pets and their unfit mothers has smiled down on me! In the “lost and found” box at work I happen upon a Wahl Hair Trimmer set. Score! We’ll be closet butt hair shavers!
I wrap it up and present it to Liggy as an early birthday gift.
She looks at me and orders a double cat nip.