Pet Product News Editorial Blog:
February 13, 2013
The Man Who Didn't Like Cats
By Elizabeth Creith
We help a lot of people with information—people who call or come in with a question about a snake, a dog, a bird. But the one I remember best is The Man Who Didn't Like Cats.
He sounded as though his shorts were permanently in a wad. When I answered the phone, he didn't even bother with “hello,” but got straight to the point.
“I need something to worm my cat,” he said. “I moved up here three months ago, and I've got this cat. She came with the place. I don't even like cats. Anyway, I need to get something to worm her.”
“I'm sorry, but we don't carry anything,” I said. “It knocks the population back, but it doesn't fix the problem, and the worms that survive are resistant to the next treatment. It just makes things worse. It's cheaper in the long run to go to the vet.”
“What about something natural? I heard there was a natural worm cure you could get.”
“We tried that,” I said. We'd brought in a whole line of herbal treatments for carsickness, stress and anxiety, as well as an herbal wormer with a guarantee: If the worms came back, your money did, too. The stuff went out and came back faster than Harlequin novels at the local library. We had to give it up. “Sorry, sir, but that doesn't seem to work either.”
“Well, I can't take her to the vet,” he said. “She's pregnant, and she hates the carrier, and it's just going to be stressful for her. I called a couple of places, and they said you people know more about animals than anyone else. So help me out here.”
For a man who didn't even like cats, he was considerably concerned about this one, I thought. Maybe that's why he sounded so peremptory; he was embarrassed about caring for his cat. I made the only suggestion I could think of.
“What about waiting until the kittens are born?”
“Well, that's no good,” he said. “If I don't get rid of these worms now, the kittens will be born with them. I've been reading up on the Internet. So can't you suggest anything?”
“Usually a medication is outdated before it gets into a pet store. Giving it to a pet mostly makes you feel better. The best thing really is to take her to the vet.”
“She hates the carrier. She'll stress the whole time. She could miscarry.”
“You're absolutely sure the kittens will be born with the same worms?”
“Yes.” He paused. “And they probably won't survive if they have worms at birth. And it'll be harder to find them homes.”
“Does she have a name?” I asked. “Your cat?”
“What does a cat want with a name?” he snorted. “It's not like she'd come to it. Anyway I don't like cats.”
Yeah, right, I thought. I had him pegged now. He was a toasted marshmallow about this cat—crusty on the outside and all warm and gooey underneath the crust. Homes for the kittens? He'd be lucky if he didn't turn into the Cat Man of Echo Bay.
“So you've got nothing for me?” he asked after a few seconds.
“Well, sir, it seems to me there are two choices. You can take her to the vet before the kittens are born and get her wormed. Or you can wait until after and get her wormed then, but you'd also have to get the kittens wormed. Either way is going to be stressful, and at least doing her before she gives birth will be one trip, one cat.”
“You guys are supposed to know so much about animals. Well that's a lot of help,” he said. “I guess I'll have to take the damn thing to the vet. She's going to hate it.” He paused. “So, do you have anything for stress?”
I smiled into the phone.
“There, at least, I can help you,” I said.
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