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Kitty Comfort October 22, 2010

Posted by Marc Troeger in cat, humor, pets, stress.
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With my wife away at a medical conference, I returned home from a long business trip to an empty house. And a bald cat.

Coming through the back door, I was greeted by our orange tabby cat, Pumpkin, sitting in the hallway. His entire hindquarters were minus all hair.

I spotted the note on the counter, left by my wife:

“Be back on Friday. The cat’s going bald. He has a vet appointment at 8:00AM tomorrow morning. Fish sticks are in the freezer.”

He looked at me with his big, yellow, pleading eyes wanting to be scratched. I got the heebie-jeebies as I reached down to pet a cat with no hair.

I arose early the next morning, knowing the challenge it would be to squeeze a large (bald) cat into a small travel crate. No disappointments here. As usual, the task resulted in overturned furniture and a bit of (my) blood shed. Arriving ten minutes late to the Vet’s office wasn’t too bad.

“You’ve got a bald cat.” Dr. George stated as he entered the examining room. I’ve learned over our frequent visits that Dr. George was a man of few words who was gentle with pets but a bit less personable to his human counterparts.

“Yes, I do, Dr. George.” I responded.

“Know why?” he asked as he began examining the cat.

“Afraid not. Was hoping you could tell me”

“You didn’t shave him, did you?” he questioned, without looking up.

“I wouldn’t even want to attempt to shave a cat.” I replied, a little irritated.

“Doesn’t look like fleas.” he commented, combing through the cat’s hair.

“Any changes at your house?” he asked.

Thinking, I responded “My step-daughter just went off to her first year of college and my wife’s been traveling a bit more. I travel frequently myself. I guess the cat’s been alone more often these days.”

“Uh, huh.” he replied, finishing up his examination.

He started scribbling something on a pad. “You’re cat’s got a case of the nerves.” He stated as he wrote.

“The nerves?” I questioned, a little puzzled.

“Changes to his environment. New situations in life. Nothing to worry about.” he finished writing, tore the paper from the pad and handed it to me. “Give him one of these each morning and he will be fine. The hair will eventually grow back.”

“This is something to grow his hair back?” I asked, rereading the prescription.

“No.” He stated. “It’s for his nerves. It’s a little kitty comfort.”

“Kitty Comfort?” I looked up at him, puzzled.

“It’s Prozac” He answered flatly.

“Prozac? For a cat?” I asked, staring at the prescription again. “Is this the same Prozac my 78 year-old Aunt Edna was put on to help her with the stress that led to the compulsive shoplifting problem? “

“The same stuff, only smaller dosage.” Dr. George replied.

“So you’re saying stress made him lose his hair and Prozac will help it grow back.” I thought out loud.

“Give it a few weeks and it should do the trick.” He said, easily coaxing Pumpkin back into his travel crate.

I paid my bill, put the cat in the trunk and drove home. Halfway there, I picked up my cell phone and called my dad.

“Hey, Dad.” I asked. “Remember when you told me that you started going bald right about the time I was born?”

“Yeah…” He answered, a little confused.

“Well, I think I might know why and have a cure for you.”

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