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A Furry Ball of Razor Claws

One of the more traumatic things that I have ever had to do is to try and stick one of my cats, Odessa, into a cat carrier to take her to the vet. Actually, it doesn't matter where I'm taking her, because as soon as she sees the carrier, she becomes a writhing, yowling flurry of claws.

So this time, I decided to have Mohammed come to the mountain and called a vet that makes house calls. He came yesterday to give the cats their regular physical and their shots. Well… maybe not a regular physical… we just tend to take them to the pet store that administers shots when they need their boosters. Since the cats are healthy, they haven't needed to go in for a physical in ages. I know every cat owner out there is going to send me hate mail for not dragging the cats to the vet every year, but I grew up with the outdoor cats and they didn't need their annual physicals.

The vet arrived and spent the next hour checking the cats and giving them their rabies boosters. The end result: the cats are fine and healthy. No fleas, mites or abnormally swollen organs. They do, however, have horrible tartar and mild gingivitis.

Tartar? Gingivitis?

The doctor told me that we'd need to bring the cats into the office and have their teeth cleaned and their gums scraped. He showed me the plaque build up, and I agree that the tartar deposits are (for a lack of better terms&#41 phenomenal. I mean, I thought one of them was a whole tooth, when it's just really a massive chunk of tartar. We'll bring them in early next month for a good old fashioned flossing.

The funny thing is that this sort of pet affliction seems to have evolved in the last few years as pet owners have started to put more money into the upkeep of their animals. Back when I was growing up, during my cats' less than routine physicals, not once did the vet mention that their cats needed to have their teeth cleaned. Why? Because it's absurd. Over the last 3000 years, cats didn't ever need to have their teeth cleaned. In the wild, hundreds of thousands of felines go every day without a proper brushing. Did you ever hear of a lion or panther getting a cavity? Of course not… but then again, would you want to be the one to ask a tiger to open his mouth and say aaah?

So, we'll bring in our cats to get their incisors cleaned and their molars brushed. I just have to say that part of me finds it completely absurd. I mean, if evolution dictated that cats needed to have their teeth brushed, then wouldn't nature have created a toothbrush for them… or at least opposable claws so they can hold on to my Oral-B Plaque Remover?

Gotta go.. I need to find out if the cat prefers Colgate or Crest.

Posted in Scowls.

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