Saturday, January 07, 2012

A rather unnerving experience

So! I had something happen today that has me very torn. I have to preface by saying I love cats. I've almost always had a cat and I think they are the coolest animals. They don't really give a damn about anything as long as they get what they want, whether it be food, being pet, or the right to lie on the newspaper, in just the section they're servants are trying to read. And I admire that.

I have two of them now and I love them both dearly, but, and here's where I'm torn to pieces, I think I'm going to have to get rid of both of them. And by getting rid of, I mean that final journey.

The Little Shit, I call The Little Shit for a reason. She doesn't like to use a litter box. She likes to go anywhere but a litter box and I just can't seem to break her of the habit. And although I love her so much, I can't really justify keeping a cat that shits anywhere her little heart pleases.

And today they other cat, Zina the Princess Nota Warrior Cat attacked me - and I mean a vicious and terrifying attack. Terrifying to the point where I locked myself in a room to keep away from her attack. I have never seen a cat do this kind of thing before in all the cats I've had over the years. This wasn't just a cute, puffy fur ball kind of attack. Nope it was a wild animal in full postal mode.

Zina is timid! She is the DEFINITION of the word Scaredy Cat. But not today. I'm not sure, but probably I mentioned I had a rather major flood in my basement a while ago. The root cause was a broken washing machine and I finally got a new one and two guys were delivering it today and banging around in the basement. At the same time, I had a technician show up at the house as I've been having major IPad/laptop computer issues. So I had 3 complete strangers in the house for some time and I don't know if it was that or something else that caused her to turn into Possessed Cat, but I was truly frightened of her.

She seems to be calm now, six hours after I managed to escape with my life, but I'm still extremely nervous to have her wander around and I don't dare try and pick her up to put her in a room by herself.

And now I don't know what to do. I got her to keep Ron company when he was sick and she has been an animal lifeline to me in combating loneliness since then. She has turned on a dime like this a couple of times, but NEVER to the extent that I was terrified of her like I was today. I don't want to get rid of her, or the other one. It will break my heart to do so. But I'll never be able to trust her again after today. I'm kind of looking at her right now thinking "I don't know you anymore."

I know there are a lot of people who don't like cats whose advise would be to just get rid of them both, and I feel not unlike those really stupid women who stay with horrid men because they "loooovvvveee" them (all the while I'm thinking 'you idiot, just leave! Get rid of him')

But now I'm thinking the same thing.


Well, whatever emotional damage Zina did to Cally, the Tortise shell cat (I thought she was a Calico cat so it sounded good, but it turned out she's a Tortie and it just doesn't have the same ring to it) has been forgiven. They are once again washing each others ears. But while Zina was in her wild animal phase, she really attacked poor Cally too.

It will take longer for me to get over it though. I think she can feel my cool attitude. As my sisters joke at me, I did NOT give her a friendly hello and her overtures of restoring the cat/servant are being rebuffed at the moment by the servant member of the equation.

I debated taking this down as I posted in the aftermath of fear, both of the one cat and for the other, having to leave her alone with Zina. And while it will take time for me to take up the mantle of servant again, I will give her the benefit of the doubt and accept she had just one too many strange people invade her domain.

But I may ask the vet about some kitty cat Zoloft. She is a nervous nelly, high strung as it were.


Jenn said...

I hope that when you say you're thinking of getting rid of your cats that you mean being a responsible pet owner and finding someone to adopt them from you. The phrase "final journey" is more than a little worrisome to me.

I understand that sometimes the relationship between pet and human becomes frayed or untenable, and that's a difficult conclusion to reach. But they're living creatures and when you take a pet into your life, you enter into a sort of contract where you decide to care for them.

I hope it all works out and that if they cannot remain with you any longer, that you find someone to love and care for them rather than have them put down.

Lori said...

You might have sick cats there.

A cat who can't use the litter box mighht have bladder issues. Have you had the cat checked?

And the other one? Well, when we moved and the house was full of contractors and workers, one of my cats ended up reacting very strangely and within a couple of weeks was dead. I thought it was a stroke at the time but I don't know.

Take them to a vet. There might be something else going on that you're not aware of. And if they're perfectly healthy, the vet can help you find new homes for them.

Kailana said...

Oh, wow, Kristie, that's terrible! My mother has a cat that has bathroom issues... Thankfully (for my mother anyway) it only applies when she is gone away and someone else is watching her. That's really too bad that it is all the time. I know that when the cats I had a few years ago got older they started doing the same thing. Is it an older cat? I know I would NEVER be able to put up with that...

As to the other cat, maybe there is something wrong with her? Does she go outside? I hate the whole idea of putting cats down... It is such a terrible decision you are faced with. I really feel there has to be a reason for her to go crazy like that, but I also understand how scary it would be. I don't even know what to say to you. I hope everything turns out for the best... But, well, you will have to decide what the best is...

My only real opinion is I don't really consider a cat decision similar to a horrid man, but that's just me. :)

Anonymous said...

Hi Kristie
Do you have 2 litter boxes, or are they both using the same one??
Maybe try 2 if that is the case. I have a friend that has 1 cat with 2 litter to pea and one to poo in.
I know I'm a dog lover, what do I know about cats,,,,, just sayin..

I'm hoping you can find good homes for them if you do decide to give them up. Coffee soon??

Anonymous said...

For the little shit, do you clean the litter daily. Trust me that is what you have to do.
For the attack cat, is it fixed? That would make the cat more tame and happy, the longer it isn't fixed the harder it is on the cat and the more the cat will attack.

nath said...

Hope you find a solution for the cats, Kristie. i don't have any advice as I'm not a pet owner ^_^; but seriously, considering the damage Cally has done in your house, I think you've been very patient and loving.

Anonymous said...

Jenn: are YOU willing to take two cats with very big problems - one of which will shit and piss all over your house??? do you know of anyone who would??? People seem to say - well, why don't you just take them out to the country and drop them off at somebody's farm. That will solve the issue for YOU and leave the poor farmers with problem animals. Then what would be the alternative - I get very annoyed with people who are holier than everyone when it comes to making very difficult decisions over animals (and yes cruel as it may seem, they are just animals and offer all kinds of advice and judgements but don't actually DO anything to help. Sometimes the kindest thing is the "final" solution.

Wendy said...

Channel surfing over the weekend I came across a show on Animal Planet called "My Cat From Hell." LOL! I only watched a few seconds of it - but the host did suggest TWO litter boxes for this couple that had two cats. Could be The Little Shit is going all over the place to mark her territory for Zina? But taking her to the vet to make sure it's not medical (like someone mentioned previously) is a good idea!

azteclady said...

I have cats--more than I know what to do with, and twice as many as I ever wanted to have--so I'll open my big mouth here.

First, check that Callie doesn't have medical issues--that's usually the first explanation. When a cat is in pain while peeing or pooping, they may avoid the litter box (bad memories of pain + need to go anyway = kitty shit/pee all over the house)

Second, if you only have one litter box, do get a second one. Though this tends to be more of a problem with three or more cats, sometimes it solves these problems when you only have two.

Third, one or two litter boxes, if they are covered, you may want to consider getting open litter boxes. Some cats associate covered litter boxes with being stalked/pounced on/cornered by the other cat--which again results in avoidance of the litter box, and shit/pee all over the house.

If you do this, keep in mind that you will have to find well-ventilated spots for the litter boxes (or your whole house may stink pretty soon) and that you'll be scooping up poop pretty much daily, and changing the whole litter between two and three times a week in self defense of the stench.

Finally, do not feel guilty if your decision is to get rid off either of the kitties. It's clear you love them, but there's only so much anyone person can live with, and once you are pushed to the limit, you gotta do what you gotta do--critics be damned.

I would suggest to see, depending on which of them is heading out the door (Callie is young and probably more adaptable to changes in her environment), you check with your local animal shelter and see whether they think they could find a home for her.

(Where I live, you take all the pet's records--vet tags, etc--and make a small donation to help defray the cost of keeping it until a good home can be found.)

Above all, take care of yourself first. *hug*

CindyS said...

Hi Kristie! I'm finally making the rounds ;)

As a cat owner and lover I feel your pain. I have my own little shit and quite frankly, it takes a lot of time and patience to work with a cat like that. I have 4 litter boxes (3 cats in the house now) and I have these pheromone misters that plug into the wall. I have to clean the litter boxes 2x a day and even then it's a crap shot if she's in the mood to use them. I also don't react in any way to accidents (angry voice) as I don't want to disrupt her.

So I do say with love and support that the little shit needs to go. Others have suggested sending her to a shelter and that's fine but even a vet will tell you 'once a dirty cat, always a dirty cat'. Let people foam at the mouth over your decision but I don't see them asking you for the little shit. I also believe you are being responsible when you make the decision to put a cat down - you are not passing the buck or feeling guilty for forwarding a cat that might not be 'right' for lack of a better word.

As for the one that went crazy - I can see how having too many scents in the air could confuse her. Also, I never come up behind a cat and touch them just in case they didn't hear me - my own cat attacked my dad (and he had to get serious drugs) because the cat didn't hear him approaching him while he was outside. Because he's already on alert, they are dangerous.

If she is attacking out the blue then send her on to a adoption agency and tell them she has to be a 'lone' cat - no kids, or cats or dogs. That way she can't attack anything that can't defend itself. You know her temperament the best and if you think she is altered then again, she might need to be put down.

Don't let anyone make you feel bad about this decision. I know you love your cats and it's killing you to think about this but when it comes right down to it, if coming home is stressful when it should be welcoming then it's just not right.

Super big hugs!!