blank'/> The Libe ob Don Estorbo de la Bodega Dominicana: The Wooman speaks

Monday, November 8, 2010

The Wooman speaks

Dear Friends of Estorbo

The cat has given me permission to respond to all your kind suggestions - and some hyenic laughter, tsk tsk - regarding his licking problem. Notice how he hands over to me when the going gets tough. Day in, day out.

janitabean - thank you for the tip; unfortunately anything applied to his skin will be licked off, and will actually make him lick. Cats hate having anything on their skin. He does not actually have any bacterial infection (he's been tested before).

Food allergy - John, thanks for your recommendations...Estorbo's food was in fact changed mid year to Wellness (hey Wellness, how about free food for the plug?). 

Itchy skin. He does not seem to actually itch, and has no dry skin or flakes. His fur looks very good. The licking always begins after he gets a very small, innocuous-looking scratch, and therein lies the detective work: is it from outside, maybe from a rose, or does he scratch himself with his back feet, and a sharp claw, which I keep quite trimmed?

Gentian violet, Sherri B and Anne Boleyn - I quite like this suggestion. I don't believe it will stop the licking, because only a barrier between his raspy tongue and the affected patch seems to do that. But it does dry skin out and leaves no residue.

Dr Ted (I know who you are. You are a d.a.r.g.) - gedoverid is a good suggestion, as much as I dislike steroids, but they don't have Overid  here. I tend to think that his licking may be connected to his lack of cojones (we refer to what's left as "quarks", I don't remember why).  My family has had at least two neutered male cats who licked. Overid helped a lot. I leave the door open to that one. Wow - taking advice from a dog.

webb and kate on Clinton. It's Estorbo. Not Escorbo and not Estorba. Don't shoot me, I'm just the messenger. webb and Bumblevee - he does receive a small dose of velcote, an oil recommended for hot spots and good coats (and imported from Canada!) but since its contains wheat germ oil perhaps there was no point in changing his food so it contains no wheat? Also, does it work? Who the hell knows! Hm. As for chiropraction - I wonder. I think Estorbo might eat the chiropractor.

Which reminds me to write a post about a creepy osteopath in Chelsea.

I am, in general, incredibly sceptical about supplements. I tend to think that supplements are a massive racket, making major bucks for their producers with very, very little to show in the way of proof of efficacy.

Holistic may be a good way to go, but again, it will take a lot of time and a lot of money. So do repeated visits to the vet who lands up telling you that the cause could be anything. I am not pouring (more) endless hundreds of dollars into this problem, with so many possible causes. I have no health insurance and the cat has no health insurance. I want Obamacare for cats. Now.

Stress  (Rachel and Michelle) - hard to say, Estorbo is a pretty tightly wound kitty and has been since day one. He has a short temper. Perhaps because he was kicked or hit on the head before I got him. I am perhaps also a pretty tightly wound kitty, but his licking started early last year, not the day I got him, so I don't think it's me. And it's not Vince, who is very laid back. I am most certainly not going to put him on a tranquilizer, although it is tempting: he plays hard and he bites hard! He sleeps hard, too. Rescue Remedy is tempting...

He is back in his cone for a few days, to see if I can get the back leg to clear up. He tolerates it and if I keep it pushed forward (I had it folded back because I felt sorry for him), he doesn't seem to be able to get at the legs. The shirts he tolerates really well, but pants are just ridiculous.

So there it is. Day in. Day out.

See you in the trenches.


  1. Marie, you are the best kitty mom a guy like Estorbo could have! You and Vince clearly adorebo him and that is the best medicine, day in day out!

  2. Hi Marie & Don E - when I was looking for something to stop my cat Domino from licking a wound on his leg, I came across a cat spray bandage product which is supposed to form an antiseptic layer over the sore spot & taste vile to discourage licking.

    It's call Gimborn R7 liquid bandage (about 3$ for a 4oz spray) - and is available from lots of stockists in the US, but I couldn't find it for sale from a supplier in the UK, and ordering from the US would put the price up 10-fold, and for an unproven product I was reluctant to go for it.

    It might be something that you could try?

  3. Marie. thanks foe getting back to us. My heart is with you on this as it can cause such misery when not being able to find an answer. We had a dog that liked her foot, the story is long and did not turn out well...the money we spent on vets, regular and specialist, drained all of our money and in the end did not help...I was also going to suggest Rescue but got side tracked with the Gentian V. I hope you can give the G.V. a try as it can't hurt and you just never know especially with cats. I am just thinking about you two leaving on your trip and how it would be so nice if something looked hopeful before you have to leave him...Thoughts and prayers remain for you both (actually the three of you) with this problem.

  4. Perhaps nother cat ??
    or a small dog ??

    I've been under the impression that this type of obsessive licking is much like hand washing is to people with OCD - it sounds emotional to me.

    He is one gorgeous cat with an abundance of personality. We here at Black Street are huge fans.

    Oliver, Virgil & BleetNess
    the cats of 29 Black St.

    our woomen wishes she could come cat sit in Brooklyn with E. maybe next year.

  5. I've been thinking alot about Estorbo and his leeecking. All I can compare it to is my Snapper and his fur-pulling (a neutered male, btw). You do what you can, take the vet's advice, then at some point just say to yourself "that's just Estorbo being Estorbo." It's part of his charm. If he's otherwise healthy and happy, you find a coping strategy that works (blindfolds or earplugs for you and the Smoothman? putting Estorbo out in the garden whenever he starts to leekleeekleek?) It's not a purrfect solution but you do the best with what life hands you.

  6. I think Estorbo may have been sent to test you. (Although sent by what or whom eludes me at present!)

    And you were brave to canvas so many pieces of advice - I'm sure you must be feeling all advised out now! But it goes to show how many of us follow his every move, adoringly.....

  7. Oh Estorbo, I'm so sorry about spelling your name wrong. I realize there is a big difference between an A and an O at the end of name!

  8. Thanks so much for taking the time to answer our posts. It was recommended to me that I put my feather plucking parrot on tranquilizers, and I, too, refused such a remedy. I joked about Prozac, but know first hand the agony of watching your beloved pet self destruct with no obvious or diagnosed reason. I have one more suggestion: have you ever tried putting his dry food in a toy that dispenses a few nuggets at a time through manipulation and play? Treats in such a toy would work well too. Sometimes, distraction can work...even if only for a short time.
    Estorbo is lucky to have such loving "parents" to care for him. I will pray that a solution will be found soon, for the sanity of all involved.


  9. There's an article on this issue in the Nov. 15 Time Magazine - unfortunately you can't read it in its entirety online. It's called Kitty Prozac, but talks about more homeopathic options involving pheromones, including the Feliway plug-in diffusers and the Sentry Good Behavior collars which "mimic a soothing nursing pheromone." I saved the article if you'd like me to mail it to you..

  10. There are homeopathic remedies for tightlywoundedness. Chamomilla is one I've seen recommended for cats. $6 a tube (up here on the mainland) at the somewhat local Mrs. Green's health food store. You might need to have your purveyor order a lower dose (6X), the ones here usually only carry 30C.

    Dissolve in the pellet agua and see how it goes.

  11. Poor guy. Wish I had the answer for you. It can be so hit and miss with pets since they can't talk to us... oh, wait! Estorbo DOES TALK!


  12. Juslaaik
    How about the pienk salf from the chemist in George? Fixed the tummies of low-slung d.a.r.g.s I know.