That wasn’t the answer I was hoping for, but of course that’s why animal communication is so important. It definitely helps us understand the animal’s perspective.
Melissa is now almost 4 1/2 years old and quite a fierce hunter. It has captured and sometimes killed mice, chipmunks, snakes, dragonflies, moles, various other insects, and once a red squirrel.
Inside the house, she controls the mouse population. There are nights when he doesn’t go to bed until 3 a.m. or later. She has been “on patrol.”
During the day, you can go outside for a bit. This is to save you from having to replace screens on a regular basis, and also because you feel miserable and frantic when confined indoors.
When she was younger, Melissa brought her prey alive. This was to show and play with them. When they broke loose … the game was on.
He was trying to prevent her from bringing his catch, so Melissa became like Demosthenes, the Greek who had trouble speaking clearly and used pebbles in his mouth to improve his speech.
At first, when he came to the door with a latch, I could tell from the sounds he made that his mouth was full of something. This was true the first 2 times.
For the third time, he could no longer discern that Melissa had something in her mouth.
Eventually, Melissa would bring home a catch that was already dead, and after playing with it a bit while praising her hunting skills, she would let me take it and put it outside. Once I did that, she would ignore it. He would then take the body and place it where some other animal could benefit from its death.
But ultimately, Melissa just couldn’t resist eating her catch, despite my best efforts to make sure she came out on a full or nearly full stomach.
And the consequence of that is … PARASITES.
All wild animals (birds and mammals) that a cat eats have parasites. And by eating the animal, the cat becomes infected.
It became clear to me in the last 2 weeks that Melissa has worms and needs to be dewormed.
There were 3 main symptoms:
- hunger greater than normal;
- constipation; Y
- A cough that occurs when the larvae, which have been maturing in the lungs, are ready to return to the digestive system.
So today I got a dewormer from my vet for Melissa, and some syringes that I can use to give her the medications in paste form if I can’t get her to eat them with her food …
The thing is, Melissa has a very sensitive nose. And this dewormer is supposed to be used in cat food. Would I get away with this approach?
Melissa’s sense of smell is very powerful. She will not eat foods that are slightly older in one bowl than in the other bowl.
I’ll serve the food that was left over from the day before, but it’s still good to eat based on my nose and Starlight’s, but Melissa won’t touch it and always picks the newest food in the other bowl.
Remember, my cats are on a raw food diet. Food is not left out for hours on end. They get it at mealtime and in 2 hours, they have eaten. I keep any leftovers. It’s still perfectly good to eat, unless Melissa’s nose tells you otherwise.
So could you give him antiparasitic medicine in his food? Could I really get away with it?
Hence our conversation:
Nedda: “Melissa, what is your favorite food?”
Melissa: “Mouse.” [This is said without hesitation or consideration, and very matter-of-factly.]
Nedda: [Laughing very hard at herself for not asking the question correctly.]
Nedda: “Melissa, of the foods I give you, do you have a favorite?”
Melissa: “Not really.”
Nedda: “How about fish? Like salmon? Or sardines.”
Melissa: “They’re fine.”
Well, I’m not going to serve Melissa the mouse.
Melissa needs 3 doses of medicine for 3 days. Today, day 1, he ate it in some of the raw chicken mixture topped with a small amount of sardines.
Tried serving it without the sardines, but after tasting it, Melissa walked away. And he had been asking for food, so he was hungry.
So far so good.
Will I get away with it tomorrow and the day after tomorrow?
Stay tuned for the update.
A few more things to keep in mind.
- Melissa will not stop hunting, so she will have to follow a regular deworming schedule.
- Starlight may or may not catch Melissa’s worms.
Oh darling. I will have to stop feeding the birds this winter to prevent Melissa from attacking them. She can easily jump up about 4 1/2 feet and knock a bird out of the air. I’ve seen her do it!
I will miss the birds … and they will miss this feeding station.
This is life with a Jungle Kitty!