Monday, November 30, 2009

Chats du jour: Picking up the merde

We think Shirley might have a tapeworm. She is always hungry. Even after we feed her, she is on the prowl for more food. You have seen the photos of her eating soap. Anything. She is starving, starving she will tell you.

Then there is blood in somebody's poop (we don't watch the cats as they conduct their business, so we don't know whose poop it is, although we suspect Shirley, as she has not mastered the fine art of covering her poop and it is the bare poop that is bloody), so this morning, I took a toothpick and got a little sample to take to the vet's. Taking a cat's stool sample is easy.

Taking a person's? Not so much.

When I was finishing my Peace Corps stint, I had to go through all this medical stuff so the Peace Corps and the American taxpayer would not be on the hook two years later when I said Hey! I have this pain in my neck and I'm sure it's from the time I was in the Peace Corps and you guys have to pay!

Part of the medical stuff was submitting a stool sample.

The lab instructions were in Spanish, but after two years in Chile, I understood, "half the size of a lentil."

For three days in a row, I took a sample "half the size of a lentil" and put it into a little glass vial. After I had collected my three tiny little samples, I wrapped them in a plastic bag, then enveloped them in an unmarked brown paper bag, and took them to the lab.

I waited at the counter. Once I had the clerk's attention, I slid the bag across to her discreetly. As I did, a man walked up with three tubes in his hand and plopped them down.

Each tube?


Absolutely full. Pushing the cap off full.

Of poop.

He was proud of that poop.

Proud, I tell you.

Or maybe he was used to mighty big lentils.


Jan said...

This was completely GROSS but it made me LMAO.

Big lentils. *snicker*

Anonymous said...

A tapeworm in a cat can be identified by looking for the tapeworm segments that get shed in the cat poop.

They look like grains of rice.


Anonymous said...

Forgot to add that there is not usually blood in the poop from a tapeworm.


class-factotum said...

Gary, SH was pretty it wasn't tapeworm for those reasons, but the blood had us slightly concerned. The vet has ruled out any parasites. Giardia, for example. There are several Very Expensive Things it could maybe slightly possibly be. (With blood as a symptom.)

A new cat would be cheaper than kitty cancer. Good grief. As I have said before, a blindfold and a cigarette before expensive vet treatment.

We are going to rule out food allergies first.

TosaGuy said...

My sister grabbed a barn kitten from the folks and turned it into a house cat. I told her prior to the experience that she should name the cat Vet Bill. Since, their has been several trips to the vet to clear up parasites, lung infection, ear mites and goopy eyes. The cat then gave ringworm to my sister and her other cat.

Once that was all cleared up, the appointment to get the thing fixed is this week. Over Turkey Day she said I did name that cat correctly.

class-factotum said...

Wow. I thought getting a cat from the Crazy Cat Ladies was expensive. A free cat is not cheap, I guess. But the good thing is that human ringworm can be cleared up with that athlete's foot stuff. I like our vet - he's the guy across from the pizza place on 68th. He's not too expensive. Not that we go that often.

Gary said...

So to rule out food allergies means you let Shirley eat off of the table and stove now?

class-factotum said...

Oh man, Gary. It means either doing the dishes a lot faster than I have been or keeping her in the basement more.

I bought some special cat food from the vet (venison and peas! it would be cheaper to buy a deep freezer and a deer, I think, than to feed them this stuff regularly), but we are going to try keeping her OFF THE COUNTER! OUT OF THE SINK! more than we do already and not giving her those cheap cat treats or any human food for a while, because we give them pretty high-quality food.