My good friend has an elderly cat. I shared house space with Mr. H (the cat) and his brother for the first many years of his life. Now that he is of a curmudgeonly age (the cat, not my friend), I am one of the auxiliary humans called upon when something medical needs doing.
Lately, this something has involved pumping fluids into him via subcutaneous injection. The ritual involves swathing Mr. H in a large yellow towel and clinging on for dear life while my friend stabs him with a needle. Then we assume the position long enough for the drip to happen. If the Paws of Death do not emerge from the towel–one sneaky claw at a time–about twenty minutes later we emerge unbloodied and the cat sloshes away. Mr. H looks weird with one side bulging full of ringer’s solution, sort of like half a sumo cat. The good part is it perks him right up.
This is not without its ridiculous side. The other night I was sitting there with a half-nelson on Mr. H and thought, “great, he’s fighting back with his bladder.” Turned out the needle had gone in and right out the other side of the fold of skin. We were hydrating my pant leg instead of the cat. My friend withdrew the needle and started over, only to discover the solution still trickling out of Mr. H like a half-hearted garden fountain. I always assumed skin would heal over a needle prick instantly, but he’d sprung a leak where the extra puncture had been. Happily, he did not start leaking air and whizz around the ceiling like a burst balloon.
All’s well that ended well – when we were done Mr. H still chased his kibble around the floor like a maniac.