Mother of the Bride Spot

Random thoughts on being a Mother of the Bride...although since we are now past The Wedding, perhaps this would be better titled Random Thoughts On Life In General...

Saturday, February 03, 2007

A Cat of ??? Lives

We have a cat. Rather, the cat has us. I'm not sure any human ever is able to own a cat. We certainly don't *own* Munchkin.

He started out as a tiny little "free" gift to Torrey for her 12th birthday from one of her best friends. "Free" is relative. He may not have cost anything when they picked him up from the humane society, but within a week, he had been to the vets for an awful cold ($$), deworming medicine($$), and a checkup ($$). Within a few more months he was fixed ($$). Of course, there was the litter box, food, toys -- the usual sort of stuff that one has to have around when one has a cat.

Munch's personality was skittish -- either he was weaned too soon, or he was abused before he went to the shelter. After several years he learned to not run when my clients came to the door, and in fact, would choose the occasional one to sidle up to and rub against. Only and always the ones that were allergic, of course.

Munchkin is beautiful -- black silky fur with white markings and a long, very fluffy tail. He's duely admired by one and all. Since Torrey left home for college over 10 years ago, he decided that he would adopt Bob.

Well, what about these lives? First of all, he loves to be outdoors. Summer, winter -- makes no difference. The vet warned us that he would most likely cut his life short by going out. We decided we'd rather have a dead happy cat than a live miserable one. He's 16 1/2. So much for cutting his life short.

At one point we decided that he had made up his mind that he was going to breathe his last. He was under my computer desk and refused to come out. He wouldn't eat, he wouldn't drink -- he just stubbornly stayed there. After 48 hours I crawled under to coax him out, only to find out he was hopelessly tangled in all the computer cords and couldn't move. We took him to the vet where they rehydrated him, and Munch was fine.

Then there was the itching. Bob took him to the vet where they gave him a shot of cortisone to make him feel better. Within 24 hours that put him in the ICU of the local 24 hour animal hospital in congestive heart failure. He rallied, but we were warned that because he was in heart failure and his kidneys weren't working well, his time on earth was limited. That was about 2 years ago -- which in cat years is at least 12.

It wasn't long after that episode when Munch started peeing on the carpet, particularly in the bathrooms -- sometimes in the hall, once in our room. It got worse and worse. If he peed on my antique Chinese rug in the living room, I WAS going to make mittens out of him, I vowed.

To top it off, he decided he now needed to go outside at night. Or be fed. Or both. He would come around to Bob's side of the bed, jump up on him and paw him until Bob woke up, stumbled downstairs, fed him and let him out. Just like a dog. Sometimes he wouldn't go out -- and then would come and wake Bob again a couple hours later.

This last summer he started eating people food. Never has Munch touched anything except dry cat food. All of a sudden he has developed a taste for chicken (his favorite), steak, pork chops and fish. The milk at the bottom of Bob's cereal bowl. This is the cat that when he needed medication Bob would hold him, I'd pry his jaws open and shove the pill down quickly hoping not to get bitten and then quickly rub his nose so he would swallow. We tried putting it in baby meats, fancy canned cat food, peanut butter, butter -- to no avail. Now? Haven't had to give him any meds since he started eating people food at the age of 16 (96 in cat years).

And now he absolutely has to have his time sitting on Bob's lap on the couch in the evening. If Bob isn't quick enough, he whines and stares at the couch until Bob gives in...Or, he needs to be in the middle of Bob's desk while he's working...

Oh -- and he suddenly decided that he will use his litter box. He has two now, one in each bathroom. He has been VERY good for the past few months, but will only use it once and then will wait for it to be changed.

A leopard may not be able to change his spots, but this cat has certainly changed his habits!


At 6:52 PM, Blogger CuzNuz Ruth said...

Very interesting. Life isn't dull around you!

At 10:29 PM, Anonymous Jill said...

He only has 6 more months to beat Sydney's legacy. You sure know how to hang on to the cats. Munchkin sure makes Alexis (8 human years) and Sabrina (7 human years) seem young. We could be looking at 10 more years!!!

At 4:32 PM, Blogger CuzNuz Ruth said...

Hi again. I get a chuckle every time I check your blog and find Bob's pic at the top. With the cat on his lap my first impression is "he's missing his legs" Gives me a double take even after all this time. Just thought you might get a chuckle too.


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