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...over-educated and under-experienced, or so they say...

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Free Bird...or Cat, that is.

Ok, I'm going to make this short and sweet because I have to get this ball rolling again. It's been far too long of a silence, and I have many things to write about, but I couldn't leave you all hanging after the sob story about my cat. So...

I found a home for her! I didn't have to drop her off at some creepy shelter where they would take one look at my bitch of a cat and decide it best to give her two coins for the Ferry Man and send her across The River Styx.

After I wrote my sob story, I proceeded to fall into a bit of a depression (yes, a depression, I don't exaggerate) over my pet. It may seem silly to some, given I've been through so many dark times why should I sink into the pit over a cat that pisses all over my life, but still... I did. No matter how packed my sinuses were, no matter how many random boogers filled my nostrils while trying to have valuable conversations with people, I could NOT bring myself to pile that kitty into my car and haul her off to certain doom. So for days I told my story to random people at work and where ever I went, begging for ANYONE to help me. And just as things seemed to be a lost cause, my daughter mentioned a teacher at her school that lives on a farm and that Simba might be happy there. Being desperate, I had no trouble approaching that teacher and telling her my sob story, doing my best to appeal to her desire to let all creatures great and small have a right to life, but to no avail. She told me she already had three cats and couldn't take any more. She did wish me luck though.

Needless to say, I shuffled off to work that day certain I was going to have to suck it up and drive Simba to hell myself. As I was sitting in my cubicle, contemplating whether or not I should call my dad and sob and cry until he willingly drove an hour just to come pick up my cat and do the deed for me, a coworker stepped in and indulged me by listening to yet another set of my feline lamentations. She listened and said, "You know who might take your cat? Ron. He might take your cat. He lives on a ranch with three horses and I know he had an outdoor cat that just passed away. Go talk to him and see what he says."

SO... Ron The Office Cowboy, after watching a sweet helpless damsel in distress struggle to keep tears behind her eyes, agreed to become the proud new owner of what will most likely be known as one of the most feral domesticated cats in history. I drove her out there on Saturday morning, and to my surprise she not only trolled a small portion of the territory to check it out, she actually cuddled up to Ron and his wife (which I considered a merciful sign from God). I stayed long enough to be sure she wasn't going to turn on the people, and then I left without shedding a tear on my way home. Thank you, Ron! You're a life saver! (and I refer to my own life even more than my cat's)

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Pussy Cat, Pussy Cat...

This is truly a tragedy. I mean it. This is serious. I feel terrible about it, but...

I have this cat, I've mentioned her before. She keeps me awake at night because she's constantly ripping up the carpet or pissing all over my life. She's mean to everyone. Sometimes I think, if it weren't for the fact that I keep her bowl full of kibble and regularly scoop the crap out of her stupid shit box, she'd be wicked to me too. Every once in a while she tries to play the whole "Who's The Alpha Female In The House" game with me; she does her best to terrorize me, the way she does everyone else, but... there's only ONE Queen of This Jungle, and it aint her.

If you've been reading my blog regularly, a) you're excited to see something new, b) you're frustrated that I waited nearly a month and a half to post again, and c) you are completely familiar with the ringing of my ears and how irksome that was becoming to me. So all you've really missed is about six weeks of me going back and forth to the doctor trying to find out what was wrong. Well, the cat is what's wrong. The cat that has been the bane of my existence ever since I moved into this little hovel of a home.

When I moved into this space, I unfortunately moved away from a home that was perfect for my cat's personality. She could go out back into this fairy tale yard, complete with fountain and Zen garden, and hang with the group of swaggering felines that patrolled the area, providing a service to the people via pigeon population control. She stayed out all night and came in for the day. She pissed on nothing that was mine and dug her claws into nothing but outdoor trees and possibly other cats, critters, children, and random people who dared approach the "cute kitty." It truly was cat heaven. The only time she came to me was when she wanted some love and a warm lap to curl up and purr on. (Ah yes... those were the days when I could hold my own in the cat vs. dog argument) But when I moved here I basically moved from 2000 square feet to maybe 850 square feet, not to mention I have no private yard and we're sharing walls with other neighbors (some of them annoying drunk neighbors). She hated the move, no cat does well with change but this, for her and possibly for me, was a very unwelcome change.

My initial solution was to get her a collar and let her roam about at night like she did at the house. Wrong. Her first night out I get a call at four o'clock in the morning with this thick Indian accent on the line saying, "Uh, jes. There is thees cat and she has been scratching on the door for hours and we finally got up to see what is going on and it's thees cat and my wife, she open thee door and thee cat got in thee house and we could not get her out of thee house and my wife, she finally got her out of thee house but now my wife, she cannot get back in thee house because thee cat, she is standing in front of the door and she is scaring my wife and my wife, she cannot get back in." So I walk outside and find a lady standing in the courtyard of the building directly across from mine. I start apologizing profusely as I walk upstairs and see her husband staring down at me from the kitchen window with the phone to his ear and I find my cat standing on her hind legs at their front door with her claws out like she's some kind of grizzly bear protecting the entrance to her den (and I have to admit she was quite a terrifying sight... Feral Cat).

After that episode two things happened: I removed her collar because if she were going to roam around and terrorize the neighbors I didn't want to be associated with her wickedness, and she apparently scared herself into never roaming outside our courtyard. The problem is, she's a free spirit that doesn't like being confined in a tiny space (an aspect of her I completely relate to). Unfortunately, this created some kind of cat neurosis that finds solace and comfort in pissing all over my house!!!

I don't know how many of you are familiar with feline urine, but it's one of the most awful smells I've ever encountered. One of the cleaning solutions (I have tried many, btw, and I can tell you which ones are the best so don't go by false advertisement -- if you need to know the best in cleaning cat piss, call me) even advises to ALWAYS wear latex gloves when cleaning cat piss because it's "caustic." No joke -- CAUSTIC. How many times to you hear that word? I've called people caustic, and they're usually the same people that have me doubled over in laughter due to their extremely bitter and sarcastic retorts to life in general, but... Caustic Cat Piss? As in, capable of burning, corroding, or destroying living tissue? So, not only is my cat annoying the hell out of me, she's basically inundated my home with a poisonous fluid that could destroy me? I AM a living tissue. It's like the acid that drops out of Sigourney Weaver's Aliens, but it's lining the baseboards of my home and destroyed a few of the books that rest on the bottom shelf of my bookcase. On top of it all, the caustic fumes, that apparently don't go away after repetitious cleaning, were such an affront to my immune system it decided to man up my nasal passages and swell to the point of closing off the vestibules in my ears which is why (three months later) my ears are STILL RINGING!!! Adding insult to injury, I had to spend $125 on medication yesterday for my allergies and my ears all because of the cat piss that I've already spent at least $600 on in an attempt to remedy the situation. I've read books, I've changed cat foods, I've changed litter and litter boxes, I've played calming music for her while I'm at work, I've put cat nip and cat fermones everywhere, I've used countless amounts of enzymatic cleaner to get the pee up out of the carpet only to watch her turn around and do it again and again and again. And yesterday I had to sit in the doctor's office and listen to the man say, "I'm not going to tell you what to do with your cat, but it's definitely a problem."

So... as much as I love this cat, I think it's time for me to start thinking of her as a relationship gone sour. I can't take this abuse anymore. But... what do I do? She loves no one but me, and even that's questionable at times. Who would take her? Who would be able to win her heart over?

If she were a dude, pissing all over my house in an attempt to manipulate me, I'd dump him without hesitation. But she's not a dude, she's a cute little furry creature that still curls up and purrs on my lap whenever she finds time to love me. If she were a friend that just needed me to constantly clean up her messes, I'd eventually tell her that she's a drain and a waste of my time and energy, she does nothing but take and give nothing in return, and she needs to fend for herself. But she's not human and she can't fend for herself, and I'm not even sure she knows that her urine is "caustic" so... I can't do that one either. But I have to break this relationship off. I can't keep doing this. Something has to change and I'm pretty sure, after six months, I've exhausted all avenues except the "break-up" route. The problem is, whenever I put an end to an unhealthy human relationship, I never have to worry that someone will be euthanized if they can't replace me within the next seven days (though in some cases that might have saved someone else some serious drama).

As frustrated as I am, I cried most of the day yesterday because I feel like I've failed my cat somehow. I feel like there was something she needed I didn't give her and now she's the one that has to suffer because I just can't deal with it. I have allergies that are driving me insane, I have a home that I'm constantly struggling to keep clean and sanitary, and I have this cute furry creature with a personality that has both angered me and given me pleasure. She's been my guard cat against people that should've never been that close to me and she has amused me even when she's frightened people I care about (because it's always funny to see a tiny ten pound creature that could easily be drop kicked wield a presence powerful enough to intimidate 100+ pound people). I've looked for No Kill Shelters, but they only save cats that are "threatened" with death not cats that have to be handed off by owners who can't care for them anymore. I'd advertise for someone to take, but who's going to believe that she's lovable because she's only lovable to me? More and more it looks like I'll be taking her to the county animal control shelter and my heart sinks. I've had her for five years... walking down the hall to drop her off in some cold scary cage that may be the last thing she sees before the end does NOT sit well with me.

Seriously, if anyone out there has any better ideas, I'm open to suggestion.