Sunday, January 11, 2009
I've been asked to explain the origin of Castor's name. In doing so I will also automatically explain his brother's.
In Greek mythology Castor and Pollux are sons of Leda and Zeus, and brothers of Helen of Troy. They were excellent horsemen and warriors. Pollux was famed for his boxing abilities. After they stole their cousins (Pheobe and Hilaeira), who were already betrothed to other men (Idas and Lynceus), Castor was ambushed and killed by Idas.
Idas met his fate as the twin's enraged father, Zeus, zapped him with a thunderbolt. Pollux killed Lynceus and was given the choice of individual immortality or splitting the gift with Castor. Pollux chose to share with his brother and the two then had a divided existence between Mt. Olympus and Hades.
In Astronomy, they represent the constellation Gemini.
When the boys were born they come out as a pair of twins. But like all twins they had their own personality. We pondered "twin names" from history and mythology along with rhyming names for a while. The obvious sets of famous (or infamous) twins were: Cain and Abel, Romulus and Remus, and Castor and Pollux. The first two sets were rejected for the simple fact that one twin murdered the other. We weren't going to have that cloud hanging over the kittens. So Castor and Pollux were chosen. If one twin were to outlive the other, better it not be because his brother killed him.
Then came the question of which was which. After observing them for a while it became obvious that Castor had very good balance when riding on a person's shoulder and Pollux was the better fighter.
The sad irony of my Castor being so ill has not escaped me. He started out being the weaker kitten in the litter. It doesn't surprise me that we're having such trouble with him now. If something doesn't get figured out soon I'm afraid he will waste away and one morning I will wake up and he will be gone.
The pilling is not working. We even tried crushing them and mixing them in wet food, which is a treat in our house. Last night when we tried the pill gun for the ba-zillionth time he nearly choked to death trying to get out from the towel he was wrapped in. I could feel him loosing air. It was terrifying. Needless to say he is still breathing but it took a while to get him calmed down and the spit cleaned of of his face. After that FH and I decided that we were not going to try using the pill gun again. It's too dangerous for Castor and us. The "10-day trial" of these medicines is now over as far as I am concerned.
The vet either needs to give us medication that can go in his ear or be injected or he only gets pills once a day and they get to attempt to administer them. Maybe if they actually see how bad it really gets we can work harder at finding another solution. Here's hoping there is one.