Oh, this is awful. Stinky the Cat has crusty, irritated nipples right now, we presume because one of his misguided acolytes is trying to nurse on him. We discovered this a little while ago, and, as with all things cat (or human, come to think of it) that don't threaten imminent death or disfigurement, we decided to wait a while and see what happened before getting the vet involved.
Well, they still haven't healed, so I started exploring cat nipple-care options on Thursday.
I quickly discovered the remedy through a slightly humiliating conversation at Spider House that went like this:
Lori (who just moved back here and has worked at a vet's office for the past year): How's Stinky?
Me: He's fine. Except he has crusty nipples.
Lori: Well, you could some Udder Butter, or some Bag Balm.
Steve (whom I barely know): Stinky is your...boyfriend?
I have thought about this conversation since, and I have decided I am grateful beyond measure that I don't have a crusty-nippled boyfriend named Stinky. I can't deny it, life is good sometimes.
So anyway, Eric (whose nipples are fine, by the way) and I spent a good part of this afternoon searching for Udder Butter.
None at the pet store. The salesgirl got very quiet for a moment and then shook her head sadly and said, "I'm sorry, I can't help you," when Eric told her we needed it for our cat's crusty nipples. Then she disappeared into the stock room so fast I thought maybe we'd hallucinated her.
None at HEB, although this time we were smart enough not to tell the woman in the cosmetics aisle why we we needed it.
Both feed stores within striking range were closed before six p.m. and are closed Sundays, so that didn't help us.
None at Wheatsville, that I saw. I didn't have to the heart to ask anyone about it there.
We're going to try Walgreens in a little while, and if they don't have it, Stinky will have to wait until Monday, I guess.
I mean, I don't want him to be uncomfortable, but I'm not spending my entire weekend looking for nipple salve. And while I certainly don't want his little nipples to fall off, it's not like he needs them, right?
Update: We found a tin of Bag Balm at Walgreens. Bag Balm and Udder Butter, by the way, are ointments for cows. And cats. And, apparently, humans; it's like the miracle skin-care equivalent of Mane 'n' Tail shampoo. (Not all that) interestingly, there was no sales tax on the purchase, I guess because it's primarily for agricultural use. Well, that's fine; I think having a cat with pink, supple nipples is as worthy a cause as any for tax-exemption purposes.
And with that, I promise to never write about cat nipples again.