The Chronicles of Mingo

Durance Vile, Or, POOP

Mingo returned home last Wednesday. I stuffed him in my back room because the vet asked me to isolate him from the other cats until his stool test results came back. There he received human visitors from his local fan club, graciously accepting homage from the top of the bookcase. I had to put him in the backroom because, karma being what it is, Kevin-the-contractor was reattaching my shower door and replacing a baseboard in the bathroom that very day.

The vet called the next day: Ming had VURRMS, sorry, worms, and he also tested positive for giardia exposure. So he had to be separate from the cats for a week, plus he might be contagious to humans. Fan Club: Wash Your Hands

I moved him back to the bathroom. He’d now come full circle because this was where he lived when he was a tiny kitten, when I bottle-fed him. In the interval, the bathroom has been renovated. He didn’t comment on the tile selection or the new tub which I thought was a bit churlish of him.

For the last week he’s been getting worm medicine and flagyl for the giardia, both liquids squirted down his throat, twice a day. I’ve been very good about clean litter every day, washing MY hands, and keeping everything separate. The vet suggested I bathe him, but I pointed out that the vet + vet assistants had been unable to bathe him and punting this over to me was unfair.

However, because he’d spent time in the back room I had to micro-vacuum the rug (the vet told me to wash it, this woman is far too anal-retentive if you ask me) and wash the floor with ammonia, plus scrubbing the litter boxes with ammonia ditto and refilling them.

I was totally unsurprised that Mingo’s return was labor-intensive and completely disruptive. It’s Ming. This is how he rolls.

He was extremely subdued for 24 hours after he arrived, probably because he’d gotten at least three injections and some pills. Once he recovered, he started eating. And eating.

I’m feeding him six time a day, that’s wet food not counting bowls of dry food. He eats it all. He weighed in at 11 lbs at the vet, and it’s been a week. His coat is looking better and his hip bones aren’t as prominent.

Have I mentioned he’s a big cat? Maine Coons continue to grow for longer than other breeds; Ming’s only two, so he could get quite large and solid before he’s done. I don’t think he’s a purebred, not exactly, but he is more Maine Coon than he is anything else.

Having him in the bathroom was inconvenient, particularly after the first few days, because he kept trying to escape. I developed a technique of sticking the full food bowl through the doorway first, followed by the rest of me, and this would deflect him enough so I could shut the door behind me. Of course, entering to use the bathroom for other purposes was a bit of a scrum.

(Years ago, someone instructed me I should keep cats in my spare bathroom, out of the way. This only works if you have a spare bathroom, and it’s casual comments like this which give middle-class white women such a bad rep.)

Long before I finished the five days of medication plus the worm test and the wait for the results I was ready for Mingo to get out of that bathroom and begin living with the rest of us. My other two cats felt he should either stay in the bathroom permanently or simply disapparate.

Here’s a few shots of Ming in durance vile, with empty food bowl. It is not possible to take a picture of Ming next to a full food bowl.

Next Post: Release the Kraken!



Mary Holland

Mary Holland writes alternative-world fantasy for grown-ups. Her books include Matcher Rules, The Bone Road, and The Dog of Pel. She lives in the Santa Cruz Mountains with three cats and an ever-changing assortment of wildlife.

2 thoughts on “Durance Vile, Or, POOP”

  1. Happy to hear all is almost well in the world of Mingo.
    Heartbreaking with the little monsters disappear.
    We lost our cat for two years and the day we were moving, just hours before we departed for good, that same black terror showed up our door, ready to move with us. And thus happily reunited we journeyed to our new home.

    • Thanks, Eagle. He can be a truly annoying miracle, but he’s my miracle. Which is, when you think about, the definition of cats. I’m happy your guy came back too.

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