Friday, November 26, 2010

Cats, Fairies, and Supermodels

I didn't intend to watch this kind of movie for Family Movie Night - it's really a kids' only kind of flick - but Tinker Bell and the Great Fairy Rescue was okay.  I stayed awake and I laughed at the fat, mean cat a couple of times.

Speaking of cats, we almost put ours to sleep today.  He's been peeing in places other than the litterbox and howling at night and tearing up the carpet and really just doing all the evil things cats do.  We put him on Prozac last week because we're so desperate.  But he didn't pee at all for at least two days so this morning we called the vet and they said it would cost $1200-$2000 to unblock him.  (He has a condition where crystals form in his bladder and can block his urethra, a potentially fatal problem which he's been treated for once in the past.) We are not spending any more money on this cat when all he does is cause us stress, so we prepared ourselves for the worst.  Our only hope was that he might pee out of sheer terror as soon as we put him in his carrier.

We got "lucky" and he did just that.  I can't say I'm all that relieved.  In that hour or so when I thought this might be his final day with us, I felt a huge burden lifting off of me.  No more allergy attacks, no more dread of cat-urine-smell every time I enter a room, no more unwanted half-hour serenades at midnight and sunrise, no more pawing at Sam's bedroom door to awaken her to get my attention, no more claw caps, infected scratch wounds, or Achilles-tendon bites (cats must have an instinct about that vulnerable area of the human body), and no more contests to see who can get down the stairs undamaged when six legs are twisted together in unnatural ways.

We've decided to give him two weeks to shape up.  If the Prozac doesn't kick in and help him by then, it's over.  I'll miss him a little bit, but not as much as I've missed my last cat, Geddy.  (We put him down while I was pregnant with Sam.  He was 17 and he'd been with me my entire adult life.)  I think Adam loves Jinx a bit more than I do, but he's okay with it, too.

The real heartwrenching part of this is how it might affect Sam.  She loves this cat.  She probably spends an hour a day tormenting him.  (Now you know why he needs Prozac.) We put the claw caps on him because she never did learn to avoid getting scratched.  Actually, she learned, but not the lesson we would want; she learned that if she provokes him, he'll attack her and she can try to duck out of the way and if she does it is HILARIOUS and if she doesn't then Mommy or Daddy will give her hugs and cuddles.  Hey, it's a win-win!

So, I guess I'm pulling for him just a little bit.  And seeing that fat, mean cat in the movie reminded me that I can't really complain.  I knew what I was getting into when we brought him home ten years ago.  All cats are like supermodels - they're gorgeous, vain, stupid, vindictive, petty, and prone to hissy-fits.  In other words, they're entertaining.


  1. A suggestion for one of your cat issues: if you haven't already tried this, you may just want to try trimming your cat's nails once a week. It's *much* easier than putting on the claw caps, and it keeps the nails dull enough that he won't he able to break skin or damage carpet or furniture when he scratches. You can buy cat nail trimmers for a few dollars at any pet store. To trim, just press gently on the paw to extend the claws and trim off the points. Just be careful not to cut to the quick - it'll hurt the cat and he won't cooperate with you in the future.
    If he isn't used to this, he'll probably fuss and fight the first few times you do it, and it may be a two-person job. (It'll only take a couple of minutes, though.) Judicious use of some kind of food treat or petting after the trimmings should help the cat get into the routine quickly.

  2. Oh, we did that already. It helps, but not breaking the skin? No way. The cuts just aren't as deep. He is also still able to tear up the carpet and anything he wants, really - he just has to work a bit harder.