Winchester, and Where I've Been

Posted May 30th, 2011 by Candice

Work and Winchester–that's why I've been away from here.  Work:  putting together my class for Hollins (leave June 18–gack!!!), working on a tribute for my friend who passed away last summer during the term, critiquing manuscripts (yes, I have a critique service), and, when I had a few "spare" minutes, writing my own novel.

Winchester:  took a turn for the worse a few weeks ago.  His breathing was so bad, he sounded like Darth Vader.  He had sneezing fits, some so violent, he broke capillaries in his nose.  Not a few drops of blood but a crime scene.  Walls, floors, doors, windows, furniture . . . you get the idea. 

I took him to the vet for tests (a nasal tumor was our worst fear) and to have bad teeth pulled in case they were causing the nasal problems.  The results?  No tumor and his teeth weren't bad enough to pull.  He had his teeth cleaned and came home with a raft of medicines–two antibiotics, something to put in his drinking water, and–lord help us all–prednisone.

There are two things you can do to a cat once in his life (and yours):  One, give him a bath.  Two, give him a prednisone tablet, the nastiest, most bitter pill in the world.  I got ONE pill down Winchester the first day, but it was Katie-Bar-the-Door after that.  I threw the pill down his gullet and he pretended to swallow it.  Later, I'd find chalky, mushy tablets where he'd spit them out.  Because I know cats, I asked the vet to write a prescription for prednisone compounded into a chicken-flavored syrup. 

Luckily for us, Fredericksburg has one of the few remaining compounding pharmacies in the area.  Goolrick's is an institution downtown.  It opened as a pharmacy in 1869 (not the oldest drug store in F'burg–Hugh Mercer's apothecary was there before the Revolutionary War).  The soda fountain was installed in 1912, supposedly the oldest in the nation. 

If I had known Winchester's medicine would cost $70, as opposed to the $5 tablets, I would have had something stronger than a cherry Coke.

It's been a few weeks since then.  None of the medications or treatments have had any effect.  Winchester will live with this chronic condition.  He snuffles and sneezes a lot.  Which means my floors are never spot-free.  If he sits on a piece of $2 scrapbook paper or leans over a plate of cookies and sneezes, I have to throw it away.  At dinner, he sits on the rug by the table wheezing through his nose.  We feel like we're dining in a T.B. sanitarium. 

I tried to put up this post two weeks ago, and then twice again last week.  I had trouble with LJ–once the entire post disappeared, the second time it ate half my post.  I found myself "shut out" many times when I tried to read my friends' blogs or log in to my own. 

So I will be moving "Under the Honeysuckle Vine" to WordPress when I come back from Hollins.  I'll continue to cross-post here, because I don't want to lose my LJ friends (if I have any left) and to check in with my LJ family.  Until then, I'll post here as usual. 

I'll close with this photo of Persnickety, who has taken over the toddler's motel chair on our porch.  She fits in it nicely, don't you think?

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