‘Over-grooming’ strikes on the home front

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George is taking a break from the chassis run, and we’re heading out for Florida today. We’re going to meet our friends Thomas and Billie Liegel down in St. Augustine to help out with the Bike MS: PGA TOUR Cycle to the Shore 2015 event. He’s going to hook up to a box for the weekend, and he and Thomas are going to haul the luggage from St. A to Daytona, and then back again. The organization is kind enough to put us up in the Daytona Beach Hilton for a night, and we get to visit our Florida-based Diesel Life and TruckItSmart.com friends, so it’s a win all around. A weekend in Florida with some of the most respected and trusted friends we have, while helping out a charity organization and getting to stay at the Hilton, on the beach… Seriously, trucking is the best job ever.

(I will definitely not be saying that in a month, when we’re freezing our butts off, slogging through salt and snow, back and forth to Detroit again, but today, my friends, I am making the bold statement and enjoying it. Winter is coming.)

We’re leaving the boy with some extra duties this time, and he’s none to happy about them. This is one case in which I will have to agree with him, and I’m secretly glad it’s him and not me that has to do it.

So, for some reason, our cat has decided he no longer wants to have hair on his belly, base of his tail, or hind quarters in general. About the time my allergies started acting up this year, he began a course of what we now know is “over-grooming,” and it’s caused by about nine thousand different things, but the most common are food based allergies, airborne allergies, and stress.

“Please do not stress me out while I eat my $11/lb. food on your sewing table.”“Please do not stress me out while I eat my $11/lb. food on your sewing table.”

Yes, apparently in today’s society, cats can become stressed out – even when they live like royalty in a house with everything they could possibly want, and are allowed to rub on and strew their fur liberally over any surface they can get their it on. I guess that’s stressful. I’m not bitter.

Anyway, I changed his food to some super-expensive meat based stuff, because yes, I’m the annoying person who has a gluten-wheat-corn-rice-intolerant cat, and he now gets allergy meds twice a day that not only help with the itching, they calm him, so he’s not so stressed out, while he lays on our bed and sleeps 20 hours a day.

His allergy medication is a pill and it has to be halved, then you have to take your life into your own hands and find a way to cram it down his throat. Ha-ha, not really — it would probably be difficult to bleed to death from a cat scratch, but I was told by a plastic surgeon once that he sews up way more cat bites than dog bites. This was information I strategically avoided when giving our son directions on the pharmacopia that has become our animals, who consequently have better medical care than we do.

“You have to give Buck a green, pink and white pill in the morning and evening when you feed him. He’s easy, wrap it in a piece of ham and he’ll eat it. He’d eat a turd if was wrapped in ham.”

“He eats turds anyway.”

“You’re right, that’s probably why he needs so much medicine. OK, new thing — the cat needs half a pink pill twice a day.”

“Wait. What? How do I get the cat to take a pill? I don’t want to do that one.”

“I don’t want to do a lot of things, but I have to. Don’t wrap it in ham, like the dog, or you’ll end up feeding him a pound of it, while he licks the ham off and pkacks the pill out. You have to crush it and mix it with a little bit of coconut oil – he’ll lick it out of the spoon. I got a pill crusher, it’s easy.”

“So I have to sit and wait for the cat to lick the spoon clean.”

“Unless you want to grab him and stuff it down his throat far enough that he can’t get it out, until he goes in the closet and barfs in your shoes.”

“Am I getting paid to do any of this?”

This is where I adopt the “I will sllll-aaaap you down” face, hand him the pill crusher and walk out of the room.

Off to Florida. Let’s go truckin.