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Friday, July 21, 2006

Drama and Trauma Part I

We’ve had some drama and some trauma the past couple weeks, but fortunately it feels like we are back on the upswing of things. I think the story starts quite some time back when our nine-year-old antisocial cat (not the 19-year-old geriatric one) began peeing in random places in the house. It began just about the time Dear Daughter turned two, which is probably no coincidence. I can understand why a two-year-old little girl can be intimidating to an antisocial cat. Each time Antisocial Cat heard Dear Daughter coming up the stairs (Antisocial Cat ALWAYS stayed upstairs except to eat and eliminate) she would bolt under our bed. Dear Daughter would peek her face under the bed at Antisocial Cat and squeal and think this was really a game of social interaction rather than attempts at antisocial avoidance. Poor Antisocial Cat was terrorized. So she apparently decided to lash back at us for bringing the toddler terrorist into our family.

I was on the verge of getting rid of Antisocial Cat much sooner, but then it occurred to me that I’ve never actually SEEN Antisocial Cat pee on the carpet, and it could actually be Geriatric Cat doing the peeing. After all, he’s the one with all the weird health quirks, including his current terminal cancerous condition. The possibility that Geriatric Cat was the guilty one threw a wrench in the deal. I’m much more tolerant of him, because we have a 19 year history, and although he IS geriatric, he is NOT antisocial. Hence, he at least gives a little back to the relationship, unlike Antisocial Cat.

Nonetheless, I could not tolerate the cat pee and the guilty party would not give it up, and I was effectively pushed to the breaking point. One, night upon finding fresh cat pee on the very spot on the carpet that I scrubbed and scrubbed the odor out of for the umpteenth time, I lost it. I flew into an episode of lunacy, carthartic lunacy, but lunacy nonetheless. I began raging about “killing those cats” and tearing out the carpet. I was done done done. Since we couldn’t determine the guilty party for certain, we decided they both had to go. Antisocial Cat was going to the Humane Society ASAP, and as hard as it was to consider, Geriatric Cat was going to meet his maker a tad early. After my outburst, Dear Daughter followed me around the house for a day or two inquiring, “Are you going to kill the cats?” Weary of the whole ordeal, I typically responded (in as pleasant a tone as I could muster), “Yes, Sweetie, I am.”

After recruiting Dear Hubby to deposit Antisocial Cat at the Humane society, which wasn’t easy to do, I was trying to make an appointment for Geriatric Cat to go to our regular vet for the euthanasia. However, Geriatric Cat lucked out. Our regular vet was in the midst of his own health crisis and would be unable to provide his services to kill our elderly feline for a few days. I couldn’t tolerate the thought of having more cat pee deposited into the rug, but I also wanted Geriatric Cat to have the least traumatic end-of-life experience. He’s been a great companion for 19 years, after all. So we decided to wait for our dear and familiar vetrinarion to do the dreaded duty. Geriatric Cat was then confined to “death row” in our laundry room where there is vinyl flooring and no carpet to ruin. After 24 hours in “the hole,” we took pity on him. That and his yowling was past the annoying point. We began letting him out for short visits under strict surveillance. Wouldn’t you know it, he never even showed a bit of interest in the area of carpet where the phantom pee-er did his/her business over and over. The vet’s office called a couple days later to inform that he could now terminate the kitty, but I weenied out. Geriatric Cat has been another week with us with no pee-parties. So we’ve elected to let ‘ol One-Eye (the other eye is occluded with a blinding cyst) live a bit longer. He doesn’t appear to be in a lot of pain, but he is growing rather pitiful. He’s happy just to sleep in his favorite spot on the couch, though if we are going to be away for long periods of time, he goes back into “the hole” to ensure against any big messes while we are gone.

This ordeal was only part of the stress of the past couple weeks, but as my tale is already growing a bit long, I’ll have to address more of it in an upcoming Drama and Trauma Part II.

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