Thursday, June 05, 2008

How Fast Can You Say "Bless You!"

Not as fast as my cat sneezes.

Two days after Merlin's overnight adventure, which I blogged about a week ago Monday, he started sneezing. We thought it was allergies for a couple days because we were all affected by the cottonwood 'snow' blowing over from the creek. But by Friday it was evident it was a virus. He had me scared for several days when he practically stopped eating and drinking. He lost a lot of weight. He slept nearly constantly. And on Monday spent most of the day under the bed even though our bedroom door was open and he could have been chasing balls in the hall or investigating clothes coming out of the dryer--a privilege only available when Ed's folks are away and even then must be limited to times when one of us can be closely supervising him. It is a treat he loves. But Monday he was showing no interest in it. Which had me worried.

Tuesday he started showing evidence of improvement. He came out of the room and headed for the back door acting like he wanted to go out so Ed put his harness on him and I took him out back and sat with him. I gave him a handful of rose petals which he nibbled on. One of his favorite eats. Later he showed a normal greediness for sharing a yogurt with me. But he was still showing no interest in his own food dish.

I don't know if Merlin's way of sneezing is typical of most cats. I haven't been around enough sick cats to judge. He sneezes in clusters of about eight to ten and they are explosive and their range is about six feet. In between the clusters he yawns and shakes his head and licks the roof of his mouth and chops similar to how he does after eating a gravy soaked meal. It was funny the first couple of days before I got so worried and is kinda funny again now that he is better. In between my anxiety got the best of my funny bone I guess. But our joke here is that he is getting even for all the times Ed has sneezed on him. Merlin got so he would run to hide under the bed every time he heard Ed sneeze and often when he heard Ed take one of those deep breaths that are so often the precursor of a honking big sneeze. Several times in the past week he has woken Ed up with a free cat snot shower in the face.

I hope cats can't share their colds with us.

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