Friday, 8 March 2013

The Dentist: me and the cats

My friends on Twitter know that I have recently had a number of dental appointments and [advanced warning Twitter mates] there’s another one looming in a few weeks’ time. As a child I wasn’t scared of the dentist… I was PETRIFIED! This fear still lives deep in my psyche even though the dentist no longer wields a pneumatic drill and I rarely experience pain, even for major treatment. She’s an excellent dentist [added in case she ever reads this!] so why am I still terrified?

I also experience fear by proxy, especially when it’s my pets and during the last few weeks both cats have had to go to the vets for dental work. Animals are so dependent on us. They can’t be reasoned with. We can’t explain. Taking them for treatment makes me feel that I’m betraying their trust in me, even though I know it’s for their long term health.

Their treatment was spaced over two weeks. First it was Charlie’s turn. Nil by mouth for both cats from 10 pm and the cat flap locked overnight. Charlie had four teeth out, scale and polish. She came home later that day high on pain killers, pupils dilated and legs crossing slightly as she walked staggered around. By the following day she was subdued but on the mend and eating a little soft food.

This week it was Mabel’s turn. Nil by mouth and locked cat flap sent Charlie into a panic. This caused me double guilt when it came to forcing an unsuspecting Mabel into the cat carrier. She had one tooth out and returned home angry and starving. She demolished two bowls of food and moved swiftly on to the dried stuff. [Yes, she is the larger of the two cats!]

All that’s left from their experiences now are matching shaved squares on their necks from the blood test and the same on their legs from the anaesthetic. They’ve moved on. I’m the one with the trauma and guilt. What does it take for me to forget those childhood experiences.

This is a photo of Charlie showing off her bald patch. Mabel refused to pose. She's indignant and is hiding under Daughter's bed!

[To prove that they’ve 'moved on', we came home last night to the two of them taunting a poor little mouse in the house, but that’s another blog story. Suffice to say that we rescued and released the mouse into the garden to be caught another day.]