J’adore le dopage

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I tend to write blog entries when a significant event has taken place, or, more usually, when Louis Catorze has done something stupid, but I’m writing this today because Cat Daddy made me.

Although we’re now sold on the idea of steroid shots for Le Roi – his fur and skin looked so much better immediately after the vet visit on Christmas Eve – it’s difficult dealing with the psychological aspects of going down this route. A lot of this, of course, is due to years of prejudice thanks to the media: most of us, when confronted with the word “steroid”, think of sporting drugs cheats and freakishly malformed bodybuilders. But, with so many animal and human medicines promoting themselves as “steroid-free”, it’s easy to make the assumption that steroids must, therefore, be bad. And the idea that we’ve agreed to pump them into our sweet boy every month, even though they make him feel better, takes some getting used to.

Yesterday morning I woke up at 4am after dreaming that Louis Catorze had stopped breathing due to steroid complications, and, worse yet, the little sod wasn’t around for me to reassure myself that he was fine. I woke Cat Daddy and asked him to go and look for him. He rolled over and muttered something unnecessarily discourteous.

That afternoon he and I had a long chat about why we had made the decision about the steroid shots (and why the heck I had woken him up), and he made me write down all the benefits “as a reminder, in case I punish myself later on after Louis is gone”. (As cat slaves we’re good at doing that, aren’t we, even though it’s pointless? I still agonise over Luther, who was run over, wishing I had fed him before he went out so that he might have missed that car by 5 minutes.)

So:

Pros of steroid shots:
1. Rapidly improved skin and fur
2. Dramatically reduced itching
3. Increased energy (and annoyingness)
4. More sociable behaviour
5. Civilised monthly trip to the vet, as opposed to brutal fight to the death 3 times a week
6. Giving him the shot would mean we could now go away at weekends if we wanted to (something we haven’t done since the little sod came to live with us, because we feel bad asking our neighbours to do battle with him in our absence)
7. NOT giving him the shot would be imposing a personal stance on him when he has no choice, like those poor cats who are made to eat vegan food (no problem with vegans personally, but forcing a vegan diet onto carnivorous animals is CRUEL)

Cons of steroid shots:
1. Questionable long-term effects (although this is the case for all medication – and the vet said that, provided we kept an eye on Louis Catorze’s organs via yearly blood tests, he should be fine)
2. Double the monthly cost of Atopica (not really a proper con as we have never held back, and would never hold back, from a treatment for Catorze because of money)

It doesn’t look so bad when presented that way, does it? I do know that we’re doing the right thing for him; I just wish my brain would catch up.

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6 thoughts on “J’adore le dopage

  1. You know you always give your best to Le Roi! If he feels much better with steroids, then it may be the right choice. Even if this would mean (which, according to the vet, it doesn’t) his life might be shorter, the quality of his life probably will be better. So, please don’t worry too much xxx

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  2. You’ll get there….or rather you’ll accept that this is the best you can give him. I looked at your list…you have given him peace of scratching and being in continuous discomfort also of continually having to fight you when being given medication. You are caring for him in the best possible way…..and he is showing his gratitude and affection in return. Enjoy having a happy and annoying little scamp. 😻

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  3. I understand this, and would be equally torn if faced with the choices you’ve had to make. Another “Pro” left out, but is writ large in subliminal text is that Le Roi could not have found better partners than you (pl). Indeed you saw him in near nadir before he came to you. A match made in…what? Heaven? Serendipity? Doesn’t matter I guess. A match made is good enough. xo

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  4. I think you are an amazing cat mum. I have never commented on your blog but feel that I need to say this today. I lost my Miaow in July 2014, he was run over but made it back home. I had to have him put to sleep. I think a lot about what I could have done differently and in sad times blame myself for letting him out, or not being able to save him. I read in awe, the lengths you have gone to to help Le Roi to be healthy and happy in many challenging times. He looks fantastic and he looks content. Be proud and don’t judge yourself x

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    1. Well said. Sorry you lost your cat…we lost many over the years and because we live where we do, our two are indoor cats. Peace of mind for us, but sometimes I wonder about depriving them. It’s all about choices and what we believe is best. For Le Roi….Nemone is doing just that.

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