CATastropheWouldn't it be great to start our Noodler pet stories with the joy of pet ownership? How cute our pets are? How smart and clever?
I fear I must present the darker side.....for there is trouble in paradise.
I've been a "cat" lady my whole life and luckily my husband loves cats as much as I do and we've raised two cat-loving children as well. Unfortunately these now-adult children keep leaving cats on our doorstep... and we continue to welcome them! We are up to FOUR cats now and this appear to be one too many.
The ecological balance of our household was upset by this innocent-looking creature, "baby" who came late last summer with my daughter, little more than a kitten and always wanting to play. The two other male cats LOVED this idea, but their interpretation was that this was a good excuse to gang up on the lone, innocent female.
A month or so ago the "fun" escalated into outright warfare and we belatedly realized (after some out-of-litterbox experiences )that "devil cat" (formerly my son's cat) had a urinary tract infection that made him extra irritable. By this time the female cat was thoroughly paranoid and limiting herself to the kitchen table or the back of the couch. Devil cat was treated and calmed down greatly, but girl cat continued to become worse and worse, hissing and growling whenever any cat came in sight. After a few very bizarre toileting episodes on her part, we took her to the vet and discovered she had tumors on her thyroid glands. After a brazillion dollars was spent on an operation (after the gazillion spent on devil cat for the urinary tract infection), she came home, sans thyroid, and with the assurance from the vet that all would be well.
Girl cat (see her shaved neck and sutures?) is still conditioned to growl at devil cat and baby, who see this as an act of aggression and attack her, which further reinforces her need to hiss and growl at them. She appears to be afraid to go to the room with the litterboxes, a perfect place to be ambushed, so she is exiled to a bathroom and her own litterbox except for brief supervised periods during the day.
Where, I ask, are the joys of pet ownership??????
There is one bright spot..... This fellow, who gets along with everyone, loves to sit on laps, and follows us everywhere.
Our girl cat isn't the only paranoid one. I'm not naming names because I have used pet names as the "secret answer" for when I forget my various passwords. Another thing I should mention, they are all indoor cats--never go outside and wouldn't survive out there (besides, who wants fleas and little "gifts" from the varied wildlife around?). You might ask who cleans up the litterboxes and out-of-litterbox episodes, but that answer is probably obvious........
Any good ideas out there about how to make everybody get along? How do I de-condition these felines and return to the joys of pet ownership?
Diane, desperate in the cat house