CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- I have a cat with a substance-abuse problem.
He sees a syringe and comes running. It's not an actual injection he's getting, but rather a transdermal type of medication that comes in a syringe. A small amount is squeezed out and applied to the inside of his ear twice a day to manage his pain.
The thing is, Sully's gums have healed to the point where he's eating hard food again without even the tiniest flinch, yet he still wants those pain meds and will stand post beside where they're kept. Looking longingly, and lovingly, at the drawer.
Compounding the problem is that our other cat, Squirt, wants drugs too. Squirt didn't have surgery, and his teeth are perfectly fine, but he's the self-ordained guardian of feline equality.
He can't fathom why I'd give something to Sully and have nothing for him. It's reached the point where, after giving Sully his dose, I began putting regular lotion on my fingertip and rubbing it in Squirt's ears just to keep the peace.
In addition to his drug addiction, the surgery prompted Sully to develop new manipulation skills.
He's taken to standing next to me with his front leg in the air, looking sadly at the place that was shaved for his IV. He'll stare at that bald patch, then at me, then hold the paw a bit higher and mew.
And I will unfailingly open the bag of Temptations cat treats and give him one.
And yeah, he'll generally repeat the performance several more times. And yeah, he'll generally be successful each time.
It took only a day or two of this dangling paw business before Squirt realized that doing the same would earn him a cat treat as well. He even mimics the same pitiful facial expression.