Close up Hands Tea x

Sit a bit and hear some observational stories I’ve been steeping.

Cat Acupuncture

The other day, I had to take my cat to the veterinarian. I say “had to” like it was necessary – but in retrospect, I’m really not so sure. Well, for sure I don’t know if the acupuncture part was necessary.
kitty high
The thing that led me to transfer the cat to a medical facility across town — the cat, I might add, who meowed in protest, not so much about the drive I’m certain but about the musical choices as she yowled for nine miles until I landed on the Broadway channel (waiting for Cats, no doubt) — was a tail at half-mast. Let me repeat: the cat’s tail was at half-mast. While I did not think this was a problem, my children did. Truth be told, I didn’t even notice it until the kids pointed it out.

Child #2
“Mom. Look at kitty’s tail.”

“Mmhmm. That’s nice.”

Child #1
“No! Seriously, Mom! Look at kitty’s tail.”

“What? She looks like a sloth.”

Child #1

“What’s your point?”

Child #2
“Kitties don’t hold their tail like that. They’re always up in the air.”

Child #1
Mom! Olive really should see a doctor.

Despite the constant family chatter about Olive’s tail, I decide to do nothing about it for a few days, as the cat had a good appetite and was bright-eyed (pausing only to scowl at the neighbor’s cat when he’d pass by). No. Kitty seemed fine. Only her tail seemed depressed, or at least in no mood to celebrate. I didn’t think it was a problem.

I guess I just never noticed before, but a little time on the internet revealed that cats apparently typically carry their tail like proud little flag waving parade-goers at Queen Elizabeth’s Diamond Jubilee, regardless of their current emotional (or state of the nation) status.

By mid-week, I was starting to feel guilty about not addressing the droopy tail, so I posted a question on-line to one who was trained and authorized to practice veterinary medicine. I don’t exactly recall the response I got, but I know it included the words injury and x-ray which sent my guilt on a trip ordinarily requiring passport documentation. As a result, down came kitty’s portable prison for the loud 15 minute paddywagon ride across town (Again, kitty = NOT a classic rock or pop fan).

Once in the examination room, I explained to the doc that everything seemed to be fine, as there was no evidence of pain or discomfort, just a strangely floppy tail. Doc ran her hand down kitty’s spine and received no verbal disapproval (had the doc sung a little ELO or Eric Clapton things might have been different). Then, as the doctor reached the end of the cat’s tail, kitty very loudly exclaimed, “meeeOW!”

I hung my head. Kitty was in pain.

“Gosh, doctor. I’m sorry to have waited to bring her in. I guess Olive is in pain.”

The doc lifted the left side of her lip in what was the best Elvis imitation I’ve seen since I was in Las Vegas a week ago and said, “Nah. I just pinched her to make sure she still had feeling.”

Oh. I feel only slightly less evil for waiting to bring the cat in to see Dr. Feel (not so) Good.

The doc then informed me that they would have to take an x-ray and asked if it would be okay to shave kitty’s rump to check for puncture marks or an abscess of any kind. I assured her that there were no other pet at home to make fun of a new punk haircut and sure, go ahead and shave away (leaving me to wonder if kitty would’ve liked the Ramones or Green Day).

Kitty was whisk(er)ed away and the doc returned to tell me that nothing was revealed in the xray and that there were no signs of bite marks or anything else to indicate a serious problem. She explained that kitty likely had what’s called a common cat “tail pull” injury and she would’ve probably healed just fine on her own.

Oh. I feel a whole lot less evil for waiting to bring the cat in.

Doc goes on to tell me that kitty will return to the examination room once she’s done with her acupuncture.


I’m sorry, Doc. I could’ve sworn you just said that kitty will return to the examination room once she’s done with her acupuncture.

With another half grin, the doc chuckled and left the room, returning two more times to give me an official countdown. “Only about five more minutes to go.” and “Alllllmost finished!” Wow. I can’t get the cat to sit still for 10 seconds to put a collar on, but they somehow managed to stick a needle in her butt without incident for over five minutes?!

When kitty was returned to me, she was high as a kite, but not from acupuncture apparently. It turned out the doc decided to go ahead and give her a pain reliever. For what? For the discomfort of having her tail soundly pinched? For the acupuncture treatment? For the possible humiliation of the neighbor’s cat now popping by to point at her partially shaved badonkadonk?

After $175 dollars and a solemn look-me-in-the-eye oath to bring kitty in to have her teeth properly cleaned (worth a couple of hundred dollars), I chauffeured a very quiet kitty back to her royal palace (to the strains of Sweeney Todd and The Book of Mormon) to sleep off her afternoon high.

Oh, my. I can hardly wait to bring the cat back in.


There are two means of refuge from the miseries of life: music and cats.” ~ Albert Schweitzer

Cats are intended to teach us that not everything in nature has a purpose.” ~ Garrison Keillor

I’m not one of those complicated, mixed-up cats. I’m not looking for the secret to life…I just go on from day to day, taking what comes.” ~ Frank Sinatra

Leave a Reply