On the mend.

December 20, 2008 at 4:08 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 11 Comments

Baby O and I are, anyway. J seems to have a more mild version of it, but he’s not well today.

I pretty much can eat anything I want now, thankfully. And Baby O hasn’t had a diarrhea diaper since yesterday morning.

Course, he’s not all that interested in eating or drinking. In fact, I’m having a hard time feeding him much at all. He’ll eat bananas. Nothing much else. He’ll drink straight brea.stmilk. But if you add formula to it? He drinks for an ounce or so, then spits it out.

Which, you know. Is bad timing. Because I’m not pumping. We’ve gone through a full BAG of milk this week while he’s been home.

But I’m trying not to worry too much – hopefully he’ll start drinking formula again. Soon. Because um. We’re going to Florida in less than a week. And I can’t really PACK 5 days worth of milk in our suitcase, really.

*sigh*

The Puck situation? Yeah. It’s rough. We’ve had to take up a good oriental in our dining room before he ruined it. That’s when he found another place to pee instead. His behavior is escalating. He’s literally ruining our house. And I worry almost all the time – will Baby O ROLL one day into a place where we just didn’t KNOW that Puck was going?

We HAVE tried everything, despite the vet’s assertion that we will have to “bring out the big guns.” We’ve tried the feliwag pheremone spray. We’ve tried putting food over the offending areas. We’ve tried the anti-anxiety meds. We’ve tried a new litterpan. We’ve tried keeping his litter super clean. We’ve been trying some combination of the above now for 9 months. To no avail.

From my view, there are three options. We can continue to let him ruin our house, we can try and find another home for him, or we can put him down.

It’s a horrible set of options. J and I haven’t been able to discuss ANY of them at length. Because I can barely speak for the lump in my throat every time I try and figure out what to do.

Puck has been my constant since college. And I love him so much. But I can’t let him ruin my house, and put our family at risk because he’s pissed off that he’s no longer the only cat.

And I can’t even think about trying to find him another home. Because who will take a cat who pees on the rug whenever he’s stressed? I can’t even imagine bringing him to a shelter where he’ll spend the rest of his life in a cage.

And putting him down… g-d. It’s more humane than sentencing him to a shelter for the rest of his life… but I can’t fathom how I’d live with myself if I did that. Because he’s not in PAIN. He just pees on our rug. How can I play G-d and sentence my poor animal to death because he’s stinking up our house? How would I live with myself?

Meh. Every time I spiral down into this thinking, all I want to do is plug my fingers into my ears and sing “La-la-la-la-LA!” at the top of my lungs.

Anyway, so that’s some of what’s been going on at chez Serenity. Not the best stuff lately, sorry to be such a downer. I know – it really could be far worse. We have a wonderful 9 month old son, and it’s Christmas. Trust me when I say that I thank the universe every day for the gift of Baby O.

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  1. My trainee at work swore by homeopathy – she as even touting two homeopathy for cats books at work last week. I think i is a load of woo but at this point anything is worth a try. I ended up confining my cat to the kitchen and the garden until she got over it which she eventually did.

  2. Sorry you were all sick. Hopefully Baby O and J are feeling 100% soon.

    As for the cat, I feel you. Ours poops and pees outside the box when upset (or sometimes it seems not for any reason) but luckily she only does it in 3 places. So we can watch for the kids.

    Have you tried the Urine-Away or something spray that you put on rugs to remove the “mark” of the pee so that the cat doesn’t “remember” or whatever? That worked in one spot for us, but not all of them.

    We are living with it. I could never ever put a pet down just because they were acting out….I’d likely put her out (we have “barn cats” so we feed/water out there, too, we’re in the VERY VERY country), or into the basement, but honestly, we are just dealing. Hopefully as the kids get less threatening and older, it will get better.

    Good luck!

  3. You and I have chatted about this. It is not an easy decision. At all. I’m sorry you have to deal with this.

    I’m here for ya hon, *hugs*

  4. We put our cat Sparkle down this past spring. We’d only had her the year but she was peeing like crazy and we never knew when she was going to do it and where. On our oldest child’s bed once, in my sons playpen numberous times luckily we discovered it right away and all but once there was a water resistant cover on the playpen under the sheet but still. Our house was for sale and we were constantly wondering if home buyers were going to walk in to view the home and see fresh pee in our shower from her…or a less “convenient” spot. We took her to the vet and she was healthy and the vet said it was attitude reason as to why. We tried everything for many months(she started before 4 months) and she was getting worse. I could only think about if the kids were going to step in it or worse. So we decided after trying everything that we couldn’t give away a problem cat and we could not…WOULD not keep a cat that peed. When I was a teen we had a pee’er and she did not stop ever, not every day but we never knew when or where. Our house for sale the the pusher but we’d been coming to this decision for a while.

    I promised my 6 year old I would try everything I could to help her and she knows we tried. We spent several hundred dollars on follow up tests just 2 weeks before we put her down(another $150 or so) just so we could tell Kallie we’d done our best. She knew we had and understood why we had to do it. The other kids weren’t old enough to realize or understand.

    Anyway I think putting Puck down is your only real choice. It wouldn’t be fair to put him in a shelter or give him away to someone knowing he pees. He is obviously very unhappy, and it sounds like you’ve really tried. I am a HUGE animal lover but I do believe that when a PET becomes a PEST(assuming its not for physical medical reasons) and you’ve tried to find solutions, sometimes putting them down is the only right choice. I still feel guilty about Sparkle because I so wanted it to work out. But I also know we made the right decision for our family.

  5. Is there any kind of medication that a cat can take to alleviate stress? I thought that dogs who had separation anxiety could take a medication that would help them to calm down; maybe there’s something that can help with kitty stress.

  6. Seeing as how we dealt with this same problem, I wanted to weigh in. Make it a home in your garage or basement and turn it into an outdoor/garage cat. That’s what we did with our cat when we had our kid and she’s adjusted fine–she was 12 at the time and I too had had her since college. We still sometimes let her in at night after the baby’s asleep for some lap time but put her out afterward. Create several cozy warm spaces in your garage or basement, give the cat a kitty door to come and go, and let it ride. It’s amazing the products they have now for keeping animals warm in cold spaces. We live in snow country and it’s been two years now and the cat is healthier than ever according to our vet.

    Your cat may become a little withdrawn, but it’s better than killing it. When you get an animal you make a commitment–and sometimes death honors that commitment– but killing a cat for being inconvenient does quite the opposite. It’s not like the cat is attacking people. Many cats live outdoors all the time in all weather–you can provide your animal a very high quality of life with this scenario and, if he’s anything like our needy cat was, a new lease on life. Our cat has become an avid mouser and frolicker. I think being a house cat was holding her back.

    Of course, if you’ve declawed your cat then it’s over–it can’t be outdoors so either turn it over to a local cat sanctuary (and there are alot of those everywhere) or just lock it in your basement or garage and give it dedicated attention at night after baby goes to bed then put it back out.

    Good luck.

  7. Very tough situation with Puck. Also just wanted to say I’m so sorry to Alex for the story you shared. I can’t imagine how difficult all this might be.

    D

  8. I got another idea for you. Just spoke with my SIL who recently solved her troubled cat problem. She suggested giving Puck to a friend or family member without kids temporarily and see if there’s improvement in his behavior. My SILs cat began literally climbing her walls after she had her second child (and pooping in bad places). Her parents offered to keep the cat for a little while until they could come up with an alternate plan, and the cat did great at their house sans kids. It just couldn’t handle the stress of living with two kids. So now her folks have a new cat (as they graciously put it).

    As it turns out by my observation, alot of cats aren’t so great with kids. Almost everyone I know who has cats and kids encounters problems with their cats–some minor, some major such as yours and mine. I can imagine the stress some cats must feel is incredible when a child enters their lives or vice versa (it’s stressful on humans too!). They are not such flexible creatures as us.

    I guess I’m naive cause I had never heard of putting a cat to sleep for a such an infraction as naughty peeing. So I Go.ogled it, and low and behold, it IS rather common. Learn something new everyday! Maybe it’s just regional but I can’t imagine any vet that we’ve ever gone to agreeing to the procedure. These animals are only doing what comes natural to them when they feel threatened. Hardly death worthy stuff.

    I had also read to try having two or three litter boxes around the house for a problem pee-er. Also, I’ve heard of crating/caging your cat for large portions of the day with at least two litter boxes available to them until the behavior stops. Some have reported that the crating actually calmed their cat quite a bit and created a safe haven for them away from the offending baby.

    Again, good luck. Sorry for the long comments–I just wanted to throw a bunch of stuff out there that might help cause I hate the thought of any cat being killed for simply being a nuisance.

  9. When my first husband and I broke up, we had 3 cats – he kept 2, I took 1. We knew that was a bad idea but he was the most independent so didn’t worry much. But I turned out to be horribly wrong. Between being separated from the other 2 cats, and me never being home in my new single life, this cat took to throwing up on everything – my bed, my floors, my couch, everything. And he did it EVERY SINGLE DAY. Same as you that this cat had been a constant forever, but same as you – he couldn’t ruin my house. Finally I put an ad in the paper explaining he was throwing ‘tantrums’ but I didn’t want to put him down. This very nice family with 3 kids, a dog, and a cat took him, and they emailed me later saying he’d never puked there.

    I was pissed off that he stopped for them, but wouldn’t for me, but was relieved that it really was just the situation. Maybe if you can find a home with singles or an old lady to give him the love he needs? It’d still suck but at least you wouldn’t have to put him down. Cuz that was gonna be my last resort, but like you, I just couldn’t bear the thought…

  10. My cat (10.5 y/o) went through a period of urinating where he wasn’t supposed to. He now has his own room. Right now it’s the bathroom. He has a litter box where I use “Cat Attract” – it’s like catnip for the catbox and it works for him. He has food and water, etc. In addition, he is on prescription diet dry food, but also gets canned food with extra water (his problem was crystals) so he gets more water/moisture which hopefully wards off crystals and urinary tract problems. Although I let him out during the day; at night he goes into his room and stays there during the night. In your case, you might have to keep Puck in just one room, but you can always go in there and play with him or let him out once Baby O goes to bed – for many reasons: you know where he might have an accident, you can put a waterproof liner over your carpet (I have used the material that goes under wood floors – it is blue and is covered in plastic so it’s waterproof and then I bought some cheap rugs from Walmart or Home Depot and placed them over the blue liner stuff). I know it’s not the best solution, but there are few friends and family that I would rehome my cat with and that way it’s somewhat of a compromise.

    It is truly hard and I don’t even have a baby crawling around to worry about. I hope you find a good solution for all of you!

  11. How exactly is your family at risk? I’m sorry, I don’t mean to be snide, but I don’t see how Baby O. is going to be permanently damaged by crawling into a wet spot or even being sprayed (it happened to me as a kid; I still loved the cat). I understand the stress of feeling that your house is being destroyed, but I think putting a pet down for nonaggressive behavioral problems should be an absolute last resort. I would search long and hard for a new home for Puck — send out an officewide email or post flyers in your breakroom; maybe someone knows someone who is in animal rescue or is looking for an additional pet.


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