I’m pleased to report the inhabitants of the dollhouse have survived a crisis that, depending upon the mammal you ask about it, was either pretty minor or the worst thing to happen around here since the great fecal explosion of 2012. This Sunday, at approximately five p.m. Mountain Time, we ran completely out of cat food.
As you may be aware, Leroy eats a specialized diet prescribed by his doctor. This special kibble not only keeps him looking youthful (can you believe he’s eight?) but also prevents another potentially fatal bladder blockage. When Leroy was about 18 months old, I returned from work to find him moaning on the floor, leaking bloody pee and unable to walk. It was a rough go. By the time the situation was resolved, my bank account was down nearly $1200 in emergency vet bills, and Leroy was diagnosed with a tendency–apparently quite common–to develop crystals in his bladder that can cause urine to back up with dire consequences. If I’d delayed taking him to the vet, it’s unlikely he would have survived.
Forever and ever amen, Leroy must eat the special vet cat food. It’s not an expensive diet; I estimate it costs me about $20 a month to keep the little guy in kibble, which I certainly don’t begrudge him. He’s also restricted from kitty treats with the exception of occasional snippets of freeze dried chicken or turkey. Shaking a bag of dried chicken at a cat who is allowed no other treats is similar to offering a second bag of M&Ms to a kid who’s never had sugar before: all hell tends to break loose. Leroy will climb a pant leg like an elm to get to his chicken if the person running the show takes too long. My mother will confirm this.
Back to the weekend. We slept until nearly noon on Saturday, relishing in the glory of July and having no concrete plans for the day. Somewhere in the back of my mind, I was vaguely aware that we were running low on cat food, but that did not register on the first morning we could really sleep in. When I finally arose, and was immediately greeted by a yowling feline, I went to Leroy’s food bin and realized two things: first, we did not have enough kibble to make it until Monday, and second, the vet’s office was closing in seven minutes so I wouldn’t have an opportunity to buy more.
I have been warned, very strictly so, and by more than one vet, that Leroy cannot be allowed to ever eat anything but the low mineral cat food. Apparently, a couple meals of Friskies from Target could be enough to kill the little guy. We decided to take slightly hungry (and largely belligerent) kitty over dead kitty and wait for the prescription kibble. Yes, I’m aware the vet is also invested in selling me cat food, but I’m going to err on the side of caution with my favourite feline.
How does a person cope with a shortage of cat food on a weekend? In the manner of governments in all major times of crisis, we were forced to impose strict rationing. In the manner of oppressed citizens in all major times of crisis, Leroy responded with rioting and widespread destruction. If he had opposable thumbs, I’m sure anti-mom propaganda would have started circulating almost immediately. I swear I found a caricature of myself with a Hitler mustache sculptured from solids in the cat box. I appreciate the frustration Leroy felt as the weekend progressed, but there was no reason to give me a lazy eye.
These were dark days in the dollhouse, friends.
Not wanting to actually force Leroy to skip meals, and fearing for my safety if I attempted that approach, I divided the paltry amount of food remaining by the number of meals before I could purchase more. Like all diet programs, we encouraged Leroy to drink more water, attempted to distract him with exercise, and gently told him he could live off his considerable fat stores until the vet opened on Monday morning. That growling is your body getting healthier, Leroy: it’s a good thing.
At the same time, because Murphy’s Law is about as reliable as the law of gravity, we also ran out of dried chicken, which was limping us through until Monday.
Leroy has been a one dude symphony. He only plays one key, and the caterwauling has only ceased long enough for him to scarf his diet-sized meals and dash to the fridge in the hopes dried chicken could be forthcoming. At no point this weekend was Leroy in danger of starvation, since each of his meals were decreased by maybe 25% in volume, but to hear him tell the story, his skin is loose and hanging after two days of serious deprivation. If you were one of the people who got an emergency email from Leroy requesting IV nourishment, I’m sorry I forgot to log out of my account, and please be assured Leroy is perfectly healthy. Also, The Electrician taught him to punctuate.
I’m pleased to report we have a brand new bag of Leroy’s special food. He nearly turned himself inside out with a glee/rage blend when he saw me set it down on the kitchen counter. Since then, I’ve been hiding in the basement except for his mealtimes: although the sustenance crisis has come to an end, I’m still a little anxious about unrest from my poor little oppressed citizen. Now that he’s actually smelled the food and knows I’ve replenished my stockpile, the risk of violence has risen dramatically.
This is probably the only time in my life I’ve been grateful this was not a long weekend.
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