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home : opinion : opinion September 27, 2022

7/7/2022 9:59:00 AM
A "Convenia-nt" Solution For Cats
Antibiotic helps furry friends' noses
Fluffy relaxes on the rail outside our flat in rural Stanley.
(Photos Courtesy of Julie Lark)

Fluffy relaxes on the rail outside
our flat in rural Stanley.

(Photos Courtesy of Julie Lark)

Fluffy checks out last winter’s snowfall.
Fluffy checks out last winter’s snowfall.

Thomas Lark
Staff Writer

STANLEY––Do your cats ever have the sniffles?

Do they suffer from intermittent upper-respiratory infections, leading to an occasional nasal drip? If so, you may want to talk to your veterinarian about a Convenia-nt solution.

It’s the antibiotic, cefovecin, more commonly known by its trade name, Convenia, as it is in fact very convenient. Rather than bother or traumatize your pets with daily doses of unpleasant oral medications, Convenia goes in with just one subcutaneous shot––easy-peasy and no muss, no fuss. Convenia is good for dogs, too, and it’s used to treat both canine and feline bacterial and skin infections. But it’s perhaps best known as a quick-fix solution for snuffly, fuzzy noses.

How do I know all this? Because I have first-hand knowledge. Our indoor/outdoor cat, Fluffy, has been using the drug for not quite three years now, and it’s all thanks to drs. Mark Epstein and Wes Spangler and their wonderful vet techs at TotalBond Veterinary Hospitals. Dr. Wes and I have joked that, because of her long hair, maybe Fluffy is allergic to herself! Whatever the case, the Convenia works wonders with her occasional nasal drip.

Fluffy (who is lying beside me right now, even as I type this, bathing herself) came to us, showing up here in the autumn of ’19. A mackerel tabby-Maine coon mix, she is an excellent huntress and mouser, so, by her preference, she stays outside maybe half the time. We got her a nice, warm outdoor shelter, perched atop and secured to the garden bench on the front porch of our flat near Stanley. To my surprise, even in the warming days of May and June, I’ve found her asleep inside the thing. But she generally prefers the cushy chairs of our patio, and of course during the cold of the autumn and winter months, she tends to spend the whole night inside with us.

Fluffy is very gentle and possessed of a very sweet personality. More than two and half years ago, we took her to TotalBond’s Paw Creek Clinic for the necessary check-up and battery of shots, including the rabies vaccination. Dr. E. (as Dr. Epstein is affectionately known by all and sundry) noted that she was between two and three years old at the time, judging by her teeth. He added that someone obviously cared for Fluffy at one time, as she is so sweet and easygoing with people, and her left ear is notched: a sign that she was spayed.

Alas, she remains a mystery, as she doesn’t have a lot to say. We don’t know whether her previous owner died (that happened with Talkie, our late outdoor tortie, 20 years ago) or just what her story is. I actually prefer to think her owner passed away, as that can’t be helped, and that means that Fluffy being a stray was no one’s fault. The alternative is unthinkable and anathema to me. Woe unto those who abandon their pets.

She looked very clean when she trotted over to our place, coming out of nowhere. Her fluffy fur (hence her admittedly prosaic name) was immaculate, as if she’d just been groomed. Clearly someone had once loved her.

Quite funny, Fluffy did not want to come inside. Not at first. Indeed, she utterly refused, and she spent the entire winter of 2019-20 outdoors. At least she was warm enough in her plastic box, which I lined with thick towels. The porch has a big awning, so she was out of the elements. Still, we worried.

Then in March of ’20, something changed. All of a sudden, she wanted to come inside! One day, she simply barged into the flat and made a beeline straight for the litterboxes in the utility room, although she’d never seen their location. Quite why she did this, I can’t fathom; not when she has an entire yard and a lot of mulch (a giant litterbox for her) to poop and pee in.

That’s when Fluffy began bifurcating her time––half indoors, half outdoors. She took a real liking to cat treats. She loves “Temptations,” and this helped her gain weight. She is still quite small, and Dr. Wes suspects she was the runt of her litter. Still, he was very pleased when Fluffy began gaining weight, going from six to eight pounds.

“That’s perfect for her,” as he told my wife, Julie, and me.

We also call Fluffy “Ding-Dong,” as she is very silly, and she is like a furry doorbell, yowling in no uncertain terms whenever she wants in or out. 

Fluffy’s wild ride
Last year, something truly hilarious (and miraculous) happened.

Late one afternoon, I was sitting on the sofa when the ’phone rang. It was our neighbor, a local nurse.

“I think your cat is under my car!” she said.

So? I thought. She was probably just looking for a shady spot.

But no––Fluffy was beneath our neighbor’s car…out at the Longhorn Steakhouse on Cox Road in Gastonia!

Good grief. Soon enough, Julie was out there. Restaurant staffers were trying to coax our mewing cat out from under the car, using bits of steak, sour cream and so on––all to no avail. Apparently, Fluffy had thought a pan under our neighbor’s car’s undercarriage was a fine spot for a nap. When our neighbor drove away, hurtling down I-85 at 65 miles an hour, she had no idea that Fluffy was a stowaway!

Thank God, officers from Gaston County Animal Control were able to pull Fluffy from beneath the car and plop her into the backseat of Julie’s car. In minutes, she was back home, safe and sound, without a scratch or so much as even a speck of oil on her fur. Amazing!

Mercifully, she seems to have learned her lesson. There have been no repeats of “Fluffy’s Wild Ride.”

Talking of her fur, we use “Revolution” on the back of her neck every month. We get it at TotalBond, and this incredible chemical keeps her totally free of fleas, ticks and other parasites. That’s inestimably important when you have outdoor pets. And in more than two years of using “Revolution,” we’ve yet to see any such wee beasties on Fluffy anywhere.

Right now, she’s blissfully snoozing away. She makes the funniest, little sounds in her sleep. All we know is she seems happy with us, and we’re certainly happy with her.

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Reader Comments

Posted: Thursday, July 7, 2022
Article comment by: Rachel Morey

What a wonderful story! It is a miracle Fluffy did not fall out of the pan under the car while hurtling down I85! Iíve taken notice of the fine veterinarian, hospital, and Revolution-which we use faithfully as well! Thank you Mr. Lark!

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