I took Apollo to the vet today for her annual wellness visit which I still claim I wasn't aware cats required. I sort of just thought, indoor cats at least, took care of themselves and would never cost me anything other than the cost of food and possibly toys. Well, we're two years into these annual wellness visits and the money is adding up. Oh, the vet says I need something? I buy it. Sean assures me it's not true and that cats do, in fact, take care of themselves and that his cats growing up (he had many) just did their own thing, never got sick, didn't get their shots and still lived long, happy and healthy lives. So tell me why, oh why, do my two cats suddenly have gingivitis and require $40 medication that looks a lot like garlic powder? Why do they need a certain kind of immune vitamins? Why do they need immune vitamins? Why do they only eat certain dry food and put their nose up at food in a different shape? ...Ridiculous.
See, before today I thought it was... ridiculous. But now? After tonight's wellness visit -- I realized that was nothing. The vet casually asked "so, how's she doing?" and I had one of those panic attacks that I imagine parents of children in my class have, when I ask them questions about their child. I started with "...good." And then continued with "well, you know..." and suddenly I went into this whole long tangent about how I think she's sad. Imagine that? A sad cat? Don't they just sleep all day anyway? How can you even tell? But Apollo was very lively when we got her. She was outgoing and spunky. She did love sleeping and definitely had "her spots". She followed me around the house, and slept in our bed and relaxed on the couch. She loved her food, drank her water, played with her toys, never scratched our furniture -- she was the perfect cat. In April, we thought she needed a playmate: enter Artemis. I've tried to play off their relationship as "getting to know each other" or by saying they're just different cats and need to make adjustments. I act like they're best friends and have visions of them taking naps together and grooming each other while I'm away. The truth is Apollo can't stand Artemis and their relationship is just getting worse. Apollo ignores Artemis, stays away from her, refuses to go on any furniture Artemis has been on, no longer sleeps with us, won't eat her food if Artemis so much as breathes on it. Seriously; it's dramatic.
Do you know what the vet said to me after what was verbally probably an even longer version of what I've typed above? "She's depressed". And then he continued "she loved you so much and now she has to share you. She's anxious... and probably a little mad". Oh god. Do you know what the remedy is for a depressed cat?
A $47 (+ tax) product that is supposed to "diffuse" the situation. You plug it into the wall, it sort of looks like a febreeze air freshener, and it gives off a scent of pheromones to felines. Supposedly, in a month they'll love each other, appreciate each other and want to be around each other. And I thought dental medication and vitamins were strange. Regardless, I hope it works, because as much as I pretend I'm complaining I feel so sad that she's so sad and I'm a little nervous as to what "the next step" of improving their relationship will cost our wallet...