Our orange tabby, Murphy, likes to lick the hair off of his belly (and now his inner back legs).  I don’t mean the hair is a little thinner there – I’m talking bare as a baby’s butt hairless. 

I asked the vet about it and she didn’t have a diagnosis because many things can cause a cat to do this.  My cat Esperanza used to do it.  I didn’t know if it was stress or she just liked sporting the hairless nether region look.

One thing the vet suggested was allergies.  And to resolve this issue, I could give Murphy ½ a Benadryl tablet.  And I tried it.  And it helped but Murphy, despite having gentle brains, is exceptionally canny about some things – like medication.  At first, I could Pill Pocket him.  But he figured that out pretty quickly (now he won’t eat Pill Pockets with or without medication in them).  So I gave up on it.

Well, this weekend, Murphy was licking away and his poor skin looked so sore and pinkish-reddish. 

I decided, that is it. Time for a Benadryl.

I go cut a Benadryl in half.

First, I try giving Murphy an empty Pill Pocket (thinking, I’ll give him the loaded Pill Pocket after his guard is down from the first treat).  Nope.  Murphy licked it and licked it and pushed it around, and absolutely refused to go any further with the empty Pill Pocket. 

Okay.  Plan B.  The direct route.

My dear husband offers to help.  I decide that since Murphy loves his daddy so much, it will have a calming effect on Murph if Bill is holding him.


Bill is holding Murphy.  I have peeled the Pill Pocket off of the pill, and I try to pry open Murphy’s mouth.  This cat has the jaw muscles of a shark and his head is a lot more twisty turny than a shark’s.  I get the mouth open, try to get the pill in as far back as possible without drawing blood (mine or Murphy’s) then clamp his mouth shut.


Plus he’s moaning piteously. 

There is about a gallon or so of drool leaking out the sides of Murphy’s mouth too.

After, what I believed to be a suitable period, I let go – and there was the pill, lodged on the side of his mouth.  Shit. 

Okay repeat the whole process.  Now Murphy is drooling pink foamy stuff (Benadryl tablets are hot pink, in case you didn’t know) and I’m wondering am I poisoning my cat?

Bill now has gobs of pink cat drool foam on his black t-shirt too.

We wait, and I figure from the amount of foam, surely that pill, if not swallowed, has at least dissolved completely, and that nasty taste is what you get for not just swallowing the pill in the first place or taking it with a delicious Pill Pocket, Murphy.

I tell Bill to let Murph go – and off runs Murphy into the hallway.  Leaving a trail of foam and drool – and oh yeah, the pill. 

How the fuck ….?

I pick up the pill and declare Murphy the victor.

Clearly all future meds for Murphy will have to be in liquid form.

Meanwhile, Murphy wandered through the whole house, with a pink foamy muzzle and leaving a trail of pink foamy cat drool everywhere he went. 

I feel so old.  I used to be able to pill any cat.  Is it just that Murphy is a particularly hardcase (gentle brains and all), or have I lost my touch?


  1. I really don’t mean to laugh, but your cat rasslin’ reminds me of my brother’s efforts to hold onto a large
    rabbit so that my sister-in-law could comb its hair (please, no rabbit/hare jokes). That animal flailed, spat,
    tried to bite AND finally delivered a kick that had my bro seeing stars for hours. Seems you aren’t supposed
    to get too close to the feet. When he had to repeat the procedure to give the animal medicine, he was
    arm’s length while his wife pried open the jaws & shoved the pill inside. Held his jaws shut until she was
    sure the pill had dissolved.

    Wish you better luck (and a cleaner shirt for your husband) the next time. Or – you can just enjoy being the
    only people in NorCal to own a cat with a DIY Brazilian wax job.

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