Tatianna's Daily Ritual - Cat Story

by Linda Mohr
(North Palm Beach, FL)

Tatianna the cat

Tatianna the cat

by Linda Mohr

Excerpted from Tatianna — Tales and Teachings of My Feline Friend,Chapter 12

For almost three years, I decorated the archway of my kitchen with a suspended lactated ringers solution drip bag. I kept a box of needles in a kitchen drawer, and each day, I attached a new 22-gauge needle to the end of the drip line as the ritual began. Every day, I pulled the small, round breakfast table, which normally lived in the middle of the kitchen, over a couple feet toward the entryway so that it was within the reach of the drip bag. I always left a folded green terry cloth towel over the rungs of a high chair where a Raggedy Ann doll sat. It stayed there until I used it to cover the breakfast table after removing the white milk glass pedestal bowl, which held red papier-mâché cherries, and the embroidered towel under the bowl that read, "Life is just a bowl of cherries." It took two or three minutes to set the stage for the daily administering Tatianna's fluids. Often she lounged in the dining room, and she intensively followed each of my movements with her relentless gaze, knowing that shortly I would pick her up and place her on the little round table. This daily ritual became our special time together and provided emotional and spiritual sustenance for us both.

When I gathered up Tatianna into my arms, I said, "It's time for your fluids, sweetie."

For both our sakes, we kept the ritual as light hearted as possible. Tattie quickly learned the process, remarkably stayed on the table night after night, and accepted what was being done. Initially when I laid her on the table, she wanted to play for a few minutes. She grabbed the edge of the table and kneaded her paws back and forth, and then she sat up and looked at me or rubbed her head against me. As I talked to her in a calming voice and stroked her in a loving manner, she lay down and stretched herself out. We learned early on that this was the easiest way to place the needle under the skin subcutaneously and begin the fluid drip. She tolerated the needle, despite the fact that sometimes I had to stick her more than once. Sometimes, the needle came out if she moved suddenly. Infrequently, I hit a blood vessel accidentally, and Tatianna cried out, as a small stream of blood began to saturate her fur. Over the years, her skin became calloused, and it took two or three sticks before I found a spot that the needle could penetrate. But I learned how to use different parts of Tattie's sides in order to make it easier on her. Sometimes, I inserted the needle higher up on her back or closer to the front of her body. Other times, I found a lower point on the back that worked easier.

About the author: Linda A. Mohr is the award-winning author of Tatianna' Tales and Teachings of My Feline Friend and Catnip Connection blog for Seattle Press-Intelligencer, a professor at Northwood University, and the co-founder of Pet Apothecary. She is a member of Cat Writers; Association with human-animal bond expertise.

Mar 20, 2009
Remarkable isn't enough
by: Candace Collins

Wow!! Remarkable doesn't even come close. I'm in tears. Tatiana is a very lucky girl. (and so are you to have such an amazing relationship) I feel that way about Tucker and Spencer. At some point would you share your experience publishing your book with me? I wrote about Tucker but I haven't published.

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