Cat Training 101

Thackeray and Laoise “patiently” waiting for Sasha to finish.

My oldest cat, dear Sasha, was diagnosed two weeks ago with aggressive oral cancer and she has a large (walnut sized) growth on the left side of her mouth.  It is not possible to remove it as that would take the greater part of her mouth and jaw, so the plan is just to give her the best possible quality of life.  To be honest, she isn’t really acting any differently than she did before the diagnosis when I didn’t know there was anything wrong until I saw some spots of blood.  And the cleaning up of the tumor as well as an antibiotic shot and an anti-inflammatory shot have helped her a lot!  The vet who saw her on Friday was amazed and was particularly surprised that she’d even managed to gain a little weight!

The placement of the tumor means that Sasha has much more tolerance for canned cat food.  I should say from the outset that I am vegan and all my pets (3 cats and 2 dogs) eat dry food.  But I love Sasha so much and want her to have what she needs, so I am feeding her (many times throughout each day) canned prescription diet A/D critical care food.  I have to admit that it doesn’t smell as “bad” to me as many canned pet foods, but it is a challenge.  

When I get the food out for Sasha, of course, the other two come running and as you can probably tell from the photo, neither of them needs to put on weight.  So now comes the training part (can anyone really train a cat?)!  With my careful monitoring, of course, we have devised a system where the dogs know they are not partaking of anything at this moment in time so they can just be content with the dry food in their bowl.  Meanwhile, both Thackeray and Laoise are learning that Sasha is to be left alone to eat as much as she wishes to eat.  When she is done, then whatever is left is fair game for them (and usually Laoise gets most of that).

It seems to be working and I don’t have to remind Laoise and Thackeray about the rules as often, and as long as I stay close by they are respectful.  This means that of necessity, I am spending much more time each day in my kitchen area, but this still does not mean I’m cooking!

4 responses

  1. I'm really glad to hear that Sasha is continuing to do well… and that the rest of your furbabies are doing their best to cooperate and not glom onto her food. At least when you're watching! 😉

  2. Sasha is nothing short of a miracle–she seems actually to be enjoying the remodel, finding new spots to perch, etc. She is a real lesson to me about how to live life in the present and to the fullest!

  3. That's great. I think animals are our best teachers!

  4. So true! Mother Nature and indeed all of life can teach us lots if only we listen–I'm trying!

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