How to Medicate Your Cat; or, 101 Ways to Need Antibiotics Yourself

Knives hit me in the stomach. I looked down at the shrieking cat, squirming around in my hands.

Et tu, kitté?

Trying to kick off and escape, she had punched her very sharp back claws into me.

Can’t say I didn’t deserve it. I told her as much the previous day, when she nearly gave me a mastectomy, attempting to launch over my shoulder from my collarbone.

It’s for her own good.

    *     *     *

At the start of the month, Sassy had her dental cleaning. As a kid I heard people make fun of Martha Stewart for brushing her cat’s teeth, but I do think it was for the best. Dental health is a good prevention against various infections, in people and felines. Sassy had rotten teeth, no bones about it.

She came from the shelter like that, I swear.

A thorough dental cleaning requires anesthetics, because–well, have you ever put your finger in an angry cat’s mouth? I’ve been doing it for the last two weeks and I would highly recommend against it. I had been nervous about putting Sassy under, but research and a discussion with my vet have assured me that while risks do exist, they are marginal for an otherwise healthy animal.

Sassy came through the surgery without any complications–and minus two rotten-through teeth.


High as a kite after surgery.


A rare opportunity to give her a belly-rub…and keep my hand

That left me with two weeks of liquid antibiotics to administer orally to a cat who hates being held. Wrapping her in a blanket as a “kitty kolache” only protects me so much. The only comfort she gets from it is hiding her face in the blanket so I can’t bring the syringe to her mouth.

This process, if done to a human, probably violates the Geneva Conventions. Sassy tells me as much.


Between doses. “I’m calling my lawyer.”

She is a good girl and doesn’t scratch to hurt–it’s just that her claws are out when she tries to escape, and my skin happens to be a good place on which to latch. I’ve never seen this cat bite anyone, even when she’s been given good reason (for example, putting her in the crate).

Aside from some nasty scratches, I’ve also had antibiotic paste spit into my eyes, onto my sleeves, and into my hair. I also swear that she woke me up every two hours last night because she knew we were going to the vet for suture removal this morning.

*    *    *

“Can you tell I’m overly attached to this animal?” I asked the vet before her surgery.
“Is that a bad thing?”
“I don’t think so.” He smiled.

*   *   *

It’s all worth it.

We had been concerned her weight loss was a sign that something very, very serious was wrong with her. In the last two weeks, since the tooth removal, she’s put on half a pound and is approaching her ideal weight again. Of course, this makes her even more difficult to wrangle at medicine time, but I wouldn’t have it any other way.

She also seems a little less afraid of visitors. She only runs away when they approach her, not when she hears the doorbell ring.

Best of all, even immediately after I shoot two vials of antibiotics into her mouth, twice a day, she chirps at me and rubs up against my leg.

All is forgiven; all is well.

Blog News: “Trotsky” Author Reaches Out; My Policy on Ads; Original Content Fun & Games

28 August 2017

Hello, readers,

I hope everyone is doing well this late summer evening. For my fellow Houstonians and Texans, I am praying for your health and safety.

For everyone not surrounded by a newly formed lake, the mayor of Houston has created a hurricane relief fund administered by the Greater Houston Community Foundation. Your donation is tax-deductible and greatly needed.

I cannot endorse GHCF from my personal experience, but that is where city officials prefer donations go.

Turning now to blog news…

Kenneth Ackerman is a Mensch 

For those of you not lucky enough to have discovered the joys of Yiddish, according to Google, “Mensch: n., a person of integrity and honor.”

It takes a lot to open yourself up to criticism. It takes even more to respond to criticism with grace and class.

And for that capacity, Kenneth Ackerman ought to be acknowledged.

In my review of Mr. Ackerman’s Trotsky in New York 1917, I noted an error that, to my obsessive grad student eyes, seemed rather glaring.

Mr. Ackerman reached out to me, thanked me for catching the error, and promised it would be amended in the next edition of the book. You can view our exchange at the top of the comments section of the original review.

I’m Thinking of Selling My Soul

Or putting ads on my blog, depending on your point of view.

This is a one-woman show that started because I love true crime, cultural criticism, and writing. I even think I’m a little bit good at it. The writing and criticism, not the crime part.

I’ve never committed a crime. I swear.

You can only top doing things for love with doing the same things for love and money.

While it would be my desire to keep ads off particularly sensitive posts, such as active missing persons cases, WordAds automatically places ads on all posts. My solution to this is to promise that I will never charge family and friends of missing persons, or victims of unsolved crimes, for an outreach post on my blog. If I am able to see how much money is generated by an individual post, the proceeds from ads on those pages will go to search efforts or a charity chosen by the relevant parties.

Original Content Coming Right Up

My decision to sign up for WordPress’s ad program now is because I feel comfortable enough to share enough of my original writing with you. The response I got to the story of my madcap drive down to D.C. inspired me to make that leap.

Stay tuned for more funny stories about my otherwise delightfully average life, poetry that I promise wasn’t written by me during my middle school Goth phase, assorted fiction, and reflections on current events. Of course, I will keep the book and TV reviews coming.

I hope you’ll join me for the journey.

Boring Yet Important Copyright Stuff

With the exception of some duly-cited historical photos from the public domain, all words and images on this blog are produced by me.

While I am the offspring of lawyers, I am not a lawyer, so I will refer you now to the lovely copyright language provided by WordPress:

© Allison R. Shely and True Crime Librarian, 2016-2017. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Allison R. Shely (alias “the Librarian” and “L”) and True Crime Librarian with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

I’m sure none of you lovely people needed that reminder, but I’ll put it in the website footer just for good measure.

Please don’t alienate me from my labor more than is necessary.

Be Happy,




Teaser: Evil Town

I’ve meant to get to my next book to review, John David Bethel’s Evil Town.  I featured Mr. Bethel’s Blood Moon earlier this year, and he was good enough to do an interview with me.

With graduation coming Monday, and with the Comey scandal turning into a real-life political thriller, I plan to sit down next week and report back.

Thank you for your patience. I was more tired from college than I thought.

Police Scanner Tuesday–25 April 2017


In place of the police scanner today, a public service announcement.

It’s not often that I issue my opinion on a book  or show solely by what other people say or write about it. Today I make an exception.

Let us be charitable and say that Netflix’s Thirteen Reasons Why and the book on which it is based were made with the best intentions. Yet, this story of a teenage girl’s suicide has received widespread condemnation for violating every one of the recommendations for reporting on suicide. These recommendations are important because of “the Werther effect”–graphic or detailed depictions of suicide in media can contribute to copycat suicide attempts.

Maggieinboston is my friend in real life and wants to pursue a career in public health. She watched Thirteen Reasons Why and thought it was not a helpful portrayal of this public health issue that would encourage people (especially young people) to seek help.

I’ve seen enough people in my life struggling with mental illness (which is NOT mentioned in the show, though it contributes to 90% of suicide attempts). I don’t plan on watching, let alone reviewing, a program that does a disservice to them or could possibly harm them.

The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline website offers tips on getting help for yourself or a loved one, warnings signs of suicide, and much needed myth-busting. bethe1to.com has a plethora of resources addressing what YOU can do to keep your loved ones safe and help them heal.


For anyone who needs to hear it:
I swear to God, it does get better. 

Police Scanner Tuesday–4 April 2017

This week’s installment of Police Scanner Tuesday takes us once again to the vicious world of authoritarianism.

Western governments report that Syrian president (read: dictator) Bashar al-Assad’s forces have used a chemical weapon against civilians in a rebel-controlled area this morning. The early-morning attack likely involved a nerve agent, based on the agonizing deaths witnessed by survivors and aid workers. Some aid workers fell ill or passed out due to second-hand exposure to the agent while handling corpses.

Assad previously used chemical weapons in August 2013. As the civil war drags on       into its sixth year, Assad seems to plan on regaining control over the ruined shell of           the country once known as Syria by either killing or forcing to flee everyone within           its borders.

One hopes that there is a much higher court than the ICC, one which will extradite            us all in the end..


In St. Petersburg, Russia, on Monday, a suicide bomber killed 11 on one of the city’s busiest subway lines. Russian authorities say the suspect, who for obvious reasons is not expected to be arraigned, is a Russian citizen born in Kyrgyzstan. I suspect there is a connection to Daesh, given that group’s heavy recruitment efforts in former Soviet republics in Central Asia, but no group has claimed responsibility at this hour.

I spent one of the happiest months of my life in St. Petersburg. My host family, luckily, was not affected by this attack, though a second device was recovered from a Metro station not far from their apartment.

My condolences go out to the people of St. Petersburg. I found them to be overwhelmingly kind and welcoming of strangers, even someone whose Russian language was saddled with a horrendous American accent.




Police Scanner Tuesday–28 March 2017

My thesis is actually devouring my soul. I came here for a break.

Missing Girls of DC: While numbers spread on social media about the number of young black girls women missing from DC in the past week were exaggerated, it has raised very real and overlooked issues: police’s assumption that these missing persons are runaways because of their racial or family backgrounds; and, the media’s preference for covering the disappearance of photogenic white girls and women.

Protests in Russia: In 100 Russian cities on Sunday, perhaps 60,000 people turned out to protest government corruption. Most of the protesters were young people who do not remember a time before Putin, let alone the Soviet period. At least 500 were arrested in Moscow alone.

The protests are the largest since 2011. Russia canceled celebrations of the centenary of the 1917 revolutions, likely to discourage future ones.


A black-and-white photograph of a crowd scene.  A bald, goateed man stands on a platform in the centre-left, speaking dramatically to the crowd.
“In Soviet Russia, party stop you!”

Image from Wikipedia.

(I’m sorry, I couldn’t resist. My thesis is on Lenin (center) & Trotsky (at right, on stairs) and it’s due to the printer this weekend and I am losing my mind.)

Russian history side note: There’s a long tradition of “the good tsar” who is a father to his people in Russia. Conveniently for the tsar (or anyone who might as well be *cough* Lenin *cough* Stalin), Russians will tend to blame the tsar’s ministers for national problems first. Prime Minister Dmitri Medvedev takes the brunt of the blame in an hour-long video by longtime opposition leader Alexei Navalny.

Navalny was just sentenced to fifteen days in jail for organizing illegal protests. Navalny claims he had permits for the protests he directly organized. Not that this would matter to the court.

. God help him, considering how active the Kremlin’s assassins seem to have been of late.