Louis Catorze has been sans Cône for a few weeks now, and I’m elated to report that he hasn’t gone for his tail once in that time.
We have even been able to leave him unsupervised (for a few minutes at first, then for progressively longer periods) and he has behaved himself in our absence. When we come home from work we still systematically check his tail for telltale signs of attack – dampness, thinning fur, gushing rivers of blood, that kind of thing – but there have been none whatsoever.
Keeping him Côned and under house arrest for almost 24 hours a day wasn’t much fun. It was obvious why he hated it – after all, none of us would want to live with something like that around our neck – but the fact that his vision, hearing, balance and feeding were all compromised by Le Cône went beyond mere inconvenience: it made him insecure, vulnerable and clingy. And, whilst the twisted, selfish part of me rather enjoyed having my boy constantly at my side, requesting to be picked up and sleeping squashed between us, the fact that he didn’t feel 100% safe without us made us sad.
Now all that is behind him and he’s going in and out freely, chasing bugs, antagonising magpies and sending Oscar the dog completely ballistic. It has been very tempting to relax on the pilling now that he’s doing so well, but the instructions were very clear: we are to bombard him with Gabapentin and then wean him off very gradually. And we’re due to see the vet at the end of the month, so that they can confirm when we may start cutting down and advise us on how to do it safely.
Sadly I know the horror of coming off heavy-duty medication, even when tapering down very gradually: when I came off Tramadol after my spinal surgery, I was hysterical and homicidal for weeks. Given that Louis Catorze was already both of those things even before the pills, I dread to think what weaning off will do to him … but we’re ready for it.