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25 July 2007

Felix's opinion about blood pressure measurements

My "evil side" got to come out today while I was at the vet's office getting my heart and blood pressure checked.

http://www.cathealth.com/hypertension.htm says, "A cat’s blood pressure is measured much the way it is in people, most commonly using an inflatable cuff and a listening device called a Doppler. ... The procedure takes just a few minutes and is completely painless for your cat."

Painless is not the point. What they don't tell you is that they mess with the Sacred Kitty Paw!

First, they use a clipper to shave off the fur around the pads on your front paw.

Then they tape the "doppler" microphone to your paw so they can listen to your pulse. Tape something to the Sacred Kitty Paw! There are two things wrong with that. First, they're messing with the Sacred Kitty Paw. Second, they're using tape on your leg fur.

Next, they put the "inflatable cuff" around your paw. Again with the Sacred Kitty Paw. What do they not understand about the sacredness of the kitty paw?!

Finally, they sqeeze your paw with the inflatable cuff until your blood stops flowing. Not once. Not twice. Not even three times. FOUR TIMES they do this!

Obviously I put up a good struggle as any self-respecting cat would do. The "experienced" vet tech had to come take over the procedure because I was too much for the junior tech to handle! Then it took another vet tech, and my owner to try to stop me from squirming away. They managed to get the blood pressure readings, but it was not due to any help on my part.

Luckily, even with all that indignity, my blood pressure was healthy and I don't need medication.

Hopefully most of you will not have to endure this indignity. If you do, put up enough fuss to protest, make them work for their precious blood pressure numbers! But do let them help you stay healthy so you have many more years of Kitty Rule!

"Big Heart"

I always knew my kitty had a big heart, but now it's official. Felix returned from the veterinary cardiologist with a diagnosis of hypertrophic cardiomyopathy - an enlarged heart muscle. Although it's not causing him any problems right now, the vet suggests a low-stress life. I told her how my brilliant idea of getting Felix a little kitten sister didn't work out as I had hoped. Felix is too old for a companion with kitten exhuberance and he was stressed by the situation. It's been 4 months since the kitten was returned, and Felix still has not regained all the weight he lost during her visit.

The vet suggested he is probably just fine as an only kitty - sleeping much of the day while we're at work, then enjoying our undivided attention at night. He has to share us wth the dog, but that's different from another cat in the family. Another senior kitty (12+ years old) might work out ok, but it's best to let Felix enjoy his well-earned status as "Only Kitty" for the rest of his life....which should be many more years.