As the picture suggests, our cat Tetrys(1) is radioactive. He’d been having digestive problems for some time and when we took him to the vet she said all indications were that he had hyperthyroid. Hyperthyroid is a condition that eventually kills cats, and can be treated through a regimen of medicine that will deal with the symptoms but possibly have side effects. The other possibility was to give him an injection of radioactive iodine, which would be absorbed by the thyroid gland. The iodine would thereby “nuke” his thyroid and bring his levels back to normal, effectively curing the condition with no side-effects other than a hefty vet bill.
Having no children and being solvent, we automatically went for the radioactive option. Which meant that with the right scanning equipment, he probably looked something like this:
Not surprisingly, the Canadian government has very strict controls over the use of radioactive substances, which means that he has been classified as hazardous for the last week and had to stay at the vet’s. Though they apparently did let him out to walk around. Anyway, he’s coming home tomorrow after the all-day faculty meeting (which he will not attend). We have to treat his waste as radioactive for a week or so, which means changing the catbox twice a day, and he is strictly forbidden from sleeping on the necks of children during that time (not usually an issue). Yes, my cat is an environmental hazard. We’ll even get to see them run a Geiger counter over him before we bring him home. I feel like he’s turned into a light show or something. But it’ll be great to have him home. I didn’t realize how much my home space was defined by the interaction of two cats until one went on a week-long trip to the vet. . . .
1. Pronounced like the game “tetri” but with a “y” because we thought it looked cooler when we named him in 1992. Neither of us liked the game particularly. We just thought the name was fun to say, which is my main criterion in naming a pet.