A Health Scare for Fritz

Fritz in the tub_0806.jpg

Well, I had managed to keep it under wraps thus far, but after the events of this morning, I need to lift the veil of shame and reach out to friends and strangers alike: Fritz has a drinking problem. And today it went from being an annoying fixation to a life-threatening obsession.

It all started when Fritz was a wee little kitten. At first, I didn’t notice anything was off. And then… every time I helped myself to a glass of water and left the room for a couple of minutes, I’d come back to find the glass toppled over, water dripping everywhere. I quickly figured out that Fritz was behind that bit of mischief. Up until then I had a habit of leaving water glasses everywhere, but I became vigilant and tried never to leave water unattended. It was harder to monitor at night. I had to keep a glass by the bed so instead of leaving it on the nightstand, I’d put it on the floor where it was less likely to cause damage, should Fritz decide to spill it, which he inevitably did. Then he discovered the tub. I’d find him in there every day, usually after my shower, lapping up the occasional drop from the faucet. This still aggravates me, since he always leaves a trail of little paw prints when he gets out.

One day I had gotten myself a gorgeous bouquet of flowers and put them in an equally gorgeous vase on the dining room table. When I came back from work, I found the flowers all over the floor along with the vase, smashed to pieces, and water everywhere. That’s when I knew something had to be done. So I went out and bought him a water dish equipped with a water fountain, filter and cooler. He liked that a lot — for about a month — then he started up with his antics again.

What I haven’t mentioned so far is how upset all this made me. Like a true co-dependent, I went from enabling him and his habit to getting angry and imposing strict new rules. He was no longer allowed in the tub. If he so much as approached a glass, I sprayed him with a water bottle. I reverted to a regular water-dish which I took to changing several times a day. Still, he preferred lapping up the pool of water at the bottom of the tub. At least I was able to bring flowers home again, which he seemed to have grown out of, and he usually left the glasses of water alone too. Instead he graduated to the kitchen sink. Whenever I had my back turned he’d be at it again, licking the faucet. That made me go ballistic. Eventually I think he got bored with hearing me shouting, and I figured out that he needs to see me change his water to register that it’s really is fresh. I’ve never seen an animal get so excited about a change of water, ever.

Well today, we had a crisis situation on our hands. Fritz came to wake me earlier than usual, and when I picked him up for our morning cuddles, I thought I detected the smell of bleach on him. Bleach? I wasn’t quite awake yet so that made no sense. And then it hit me. Shit! The bucket in the bath tub! I had left something to soak there for a couple of days and completely forgotten about it! I inspected Fritz again and sure enough, the smell was concentrated on his paws and around his mouth. I called the vet, who suggested I come in as quickly as possible. I got all my layers on to brave another cold day, called a taxi, then noticed Fritz eating his kibbles contentedly, as if he hadn’t just poisoned himself at all. Still, I got Fritz into his pet carrier bag, and once we arrived at the vet’s, sat in the waiting room for what seemed like forever only to discover I have some kind of newly acquired pet allergies; eyes and nose itchy and running, even my lips felt funny. The vet looked Fritz over and didn’t seem alarmed “I’ll send you a technician who’ll show you how to administer the medicine he should take as a precaution”. I thought cats stay away from poisonous substances? I asked him “Usually they do”. Except for my cat. Figures my cat’s a freak. Fritz was seriously pissed off when the tech showed me how to squirt the medication into his mouth and I was worried he’d gouge her eyes out in the process, even though we were both holding him down. I’m supposed to give him those meds three times a day for a week. That’ll be a whole lot of fun and games, I’m sure.

Sitting in the cab on the way back home, I realized that with all the excitemenent, I forgot to ask the vet about the small lump Fritz has in his neck. But at leas at his shots are up to date. Note to self: Do NOT leave bleach or any poisonous substances unattended. (Duh)

Pic by Smiler

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