I thought we might make it this year. After all the turmoil and doubt, my wife and I learned not to hope for too much. In fact, we do not even speak of it for fear of tempting fate. Every year in the past seven years, our beloved Calico’s allergy to Ragweed brought her such discomfort that she chewed her paw pads until they bled and then became infected. In the early years, it happened more than once per summer on more than one paw.
In the past few years, along with the upgrades to our HVAC systems, we came to understand much better how to protect our quadruped friend from the pollens that affect her so badly. We administer antihistamines in the proper dose, keep the house closed, try to make sure the air circulates for at least ten minutes every hour so the Merv-8 filtration system has a chance to clean the air, and we do our best not to stress her. That last bit gets tricky when the feline in question maintains the highest expectations regarding feeding times, bed times, and daily routine. Withal, last year we made it all the way into September before succumbing to a string of very hot and humid days coupled with high Ragweed pollen counts.
This summer boasted a few strings of ninety degree days, but up until the middle of August the pollen counts remained low. Then came the latter part of the month with three and four day stretches that had high pollen counts and much warmer daytime high temperatures. The poor kitty was overcome and began the tell-tale overgrooming and chewing behaviors signalling her distress. We hoped the episode would pass quickly. We hoped this would be the first year we could avoid taking the cat to the vet. Such trips upset her so badly that it takes two or three days for her to settle back into her routine. Meanwhile, my wife gets upset because the cat is both ill and upset.
She bit the center pad of right rear paw until it bled and became infected. We still had half a bottle of Orbax and we began administering the antibiotic as soon as we found the cuts. A few days later we brought the Calico back to the vet for refills of Orbax and a painkiller called Torbugesic that helps reduce her tendency to lick the area by inuring her to the discomfort. Fortunately, she now remembers these visits to the vet and this year recovered more quickly, in only a day or two. Her disposition and her paw are improving. Temperatures are falling along with the likelihood of high Ragweed pollen count days.
I really thought we might make it this year. That should teach me for next year.