Cat Dentistry

I just dropped Kat off at the Animal Hospital for what I thought was just a dental cleaning, but apparently he has very bad gingivitis and needs to have 4 teeth extracted. FOUR TEETH! I feel awful. Then I’ll have to give him anti-bacterial pills afterwards, which neither of us are looking forward to. The doctor’s assistant just called and said that they want to run a test for feline leukemia to see if his immune system has been compromised, as he’s a young cat and shouldn’t have such bad teeth at his age. And that’s all I know. It is going to be a long day. Kate, on the other hand, is just fine.

On a side note, this is the first time that someone directly under my care is underdoing a serious diagnostic and surgical procedure, and I can’t help but notice that the feeling is a little different than when it’s for someone else who can take care of themselves. So this is quite probably one of those empathy-building moments that marks the continued transition from happy-go-lucky kid to responsible adult. In these cases, there really isn’t any question about what to do when it comes to the well-being of the people and pets that are close to you. Up to now, I’d had the implicit assumption that everyone was pretty much taking care of themselves, cats included. That really isn’t necessarily the case, I’m now realizing…a very strange sensation, and new. It is also somehow very clarifying.