Thank you for the peace which we received at our house. Last night. All night. Amen.
The mother picked up the piller at the vet. It worked.
The hard part was restraining Toby long enough to use it -- without getting skinned or chewed alive. See, there is no way, if you like your skin and fingers much, that you're going to simultaneously "hold" this cat and deliver the pill without a layer of protection between you.
Though I hated like hell to do it, he finally left me no choice but to invade his "safe" place: the bathtub. The place where he runs and confines himself when people come or when activity in the house makes him upset. He will even close the shower doors behind him if he's uber-anxious!
But after two failed attempts to otherwise roll him in the towel, I finally had to confront him in the tub. My resolve was set: the rest of the houseshold was NOT going to endure a third consecutive night of hell. So, I slowly and carefully placed one of his pillows and then the towel between us, leaning in just enough to pin everything but his head into a sitting position beneath both layers.
It took two tries.
The first time, after gingerly coaxing his head onto the edge of the pillow to open his mouth and ideally gently rock his jaw backward and up, I inserted the piller. As I tried to push back into his throat, he managed to dislodge the pill and fling it from the side of his mouth. (Part of it was all the growling and hissing that was going on.)
The second time, he happened to be mid-growl when the plunger hit the back of his throat. I let it fly and before he could stop himself, he quickly gulped the pill. I gathered the pillow and towel and got the hell out of there.
We left him in there for about 20 minutes, door closed. During the 20 or so minutes after that, during which he emerged from the bath on his own (after I gingerly opened the door) and situated himself on his window perch, a different cat appeared. There aren't words to describe the transformation. He quietly watched snow flurries deposit themselves on the deck.
He got a drink. He ate a little. He used his scratch post. And 30 minutes later, he was asleep.
I'm hoping that Toby won't be a permanent pharma case but I know now that that is a very real possibility. I just hope that the distribution of the pill will get easier over time. For both of us.