Yea, the alliteration helps.
I’ve made it a goal this summer to start brushing the cats’ teeth. Hence Tooth Tuesday because the wording reminds me.
Laugh all you want until you get the vet bill. A regular cleaning costs a couple hundred dollars and involves anesthesia which is scary for a pet owner. A cleaning where they discover issues like a tooth that needs removed – Miles– starts edging in to the $500 range. Because I always check the box that says to proceed in the best and safest manner with whatever they find while the cat is under anesthesia, I sometimes get $500 surprises. Miles also grinds his teeth when he wants me to get up and/or feed him. This can’t be helping matters.
The packaging of the kitty paste and brush say to brush 2-3 times a week. We’re starting with once and congratulating ourselves on making slightly more effort than usual. (This is also my unsuccessful philosophy on exercise.) This ridiculous task involves towels, the bathroom, a change of shirts because I come out coated in cat hair, and strategy. DO NOT USE HUMAN TOOTHPASTE. NOT OKAY.
I have to start with Sookie because she is the greatest flight risk. Because she suspects me of being an axe murderer, she will gladly spend the day hiding behind my bed on a hunger strike in an unreachable spot if my actions seem suspicious. She cries in her best scream queen imitation as if I’m brushing her teeth and trimming her nails with a chainsaw.
If I can capture two cats at once to carry off to my bathroom torture chamber, I will. Birdie and Olivia are the easiest to pair with the other cats or each other. My theory is comfort or safety in numbers? I don’t know what they think. Birdie is the only one of the four who thinks that that the toothpaste smells and tastes enticing. She’s all about tasting it until the brush goes in her mouth. Olivia Wigglebothum is probably the most successful at getting her teeth brushed because she is so calm. She doesn’t love it, but she is the most tolerant of it. The vet always comments on Olivia’s easygoing nature and how she’s the only cat that will let the vet pry her mouth open enough to check her tonsils. Side note: Olivia’s tonsils stay outside of whatever pockets healthy tonsils are supposed to live in so they get checked every visit. They are no longer inflamed, but she eats primarily wet food to help avoid irritation.
Miles, “Mr. I had to have a tooth removed and cost Mom big bucks,” is the absolute worst of the four.
He growls, he jerks, he acts like he’s drowning, he spits, he strikes like a snake, and thrashes. I’m not sure that I accomplish anything with him aside from covering his muzzle in cat toothpaste. I’m a little embarrassed for him. Normally, he is as chill as Olivia, and just goes with the flow. However he is violently opposed to oral hygiene.
“The mouth,” he says, “is only for food.”