My older son noticed our oldest cat was losing his balance and his right paw emitting a foul odor last week about the same time the furnace gave out, the cellar was filling with misplaced hot water, my mother had a heart event at Pine Acres, and I fell out of my son-in-law's car, could barely walk, much less be strapping butter to a cat's back.

My older son told me about the cat, then left for the weekend. In the middle of icing my leg and lower back, taking meds and getting the husband settled into his afternoon routine, I pulled out my tablet and started researching ways to treat vertigo in older cats. Veterinarians in this town cost an arm and a leg, which despite the pain, I felt I needed to keep mine for future use.

My younger son began texting me with herbal solutions, which contradicted what I had been reading online. I could barely move without pain plus had underplayed my injuries as well as how serious I thought my husband's favorite cat's condition was. Having had cats most of my life, I know a few simple remedies, none of which involved strapping butter to a cat's back.

So, if you ever find yourself having this problem with an old polydactyl cat, here is what I did and have continued to do, with an astonishing degree of success. First, I wrapped cat in an old afghan blanket he likes and took him into downstairs bathroom with washable floors and walls. Removed flea collar and let him rest next to baseboard heater while I made several concoctions.

First tried fish oil supplement contents with ground 1/2 baby aspirin, 1/3 of 10mg. promethazine prescription (what I use for my vertigo and nausea episodes), and teeny bit of prednisone. Easiest method for smashing pills is to use two spoons carefully. Smelled fishy, but figured cats like fish. Figured wrong.

Second attempt included using cherry bubble gum flavored tylenol for babies instead of fish oil. Modifying ear wax removal bulb that was suggested by PCP and horrified ENT for husband, I administered second concoction to old cat. This worked and twenty minutes later, he ate, used the litter box, then wobbled back down the hallway. (I, however, broke out in a rash, should have used gloves, and had to take an antihistamine.)

While doing this, I sent updates to the sons, who both replied via text.

younger son: youre doing an amazing job mom. dad grandma and noki are all luck to have you:)

older son: great job mom. i believe in your animal healing abilities

( Disclaimer: I should note that I have zero veterinarian training, never dated one, never wanted to be one, was never married to one. I do, however have curing a lame, dying duck in my repertoire, which both sons thought was impossible at the time.)

Back to dizzy cat. I also made a poultice of echinacea, applied to infected paw. Next day, catnipped and drugged, Noki allowed younger son to remove claw from paw, very gross, but a sterile gauze pad soaked in betadine and much petting helped healing begin.

According to vet website I had gathered my intel from, rate of cure from weird-cat-disease-with-long-name that afflicts kittens and old cats, total cure time ranges from 3 days to 3 weeks. Noki still is a bit bonky, and he seems to have no sight in one eye, which is actually an improvement from the beginning when both of his eyes were unresponsive.

So, while strapping butter to a cat's back may seem like a possible solution to some problem in life, let's face it, everything tastes good with butter, whether it be in a sauce, on homemade fresh bread, melting on popcorn or slathered on pancakes or fresh bagels. Butter is good, just not strapped to the back of a cat.

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