Thursday, April 10, 2008

WTF?!

This morning, while I was getting ready in the bathroom, our cat Bella peed on the throw rug!!! Right there in front of me!! None of my cats have ever had abnormal urination before. It is a horrendous problem and I am disturbed to think that I may have to deal with this. I'm trying not to freak out since this has only happened once so far. Well, one of the cats did pee on the mop in the closet, but I assumed that was because their litter box was out in the kitchen due to Travis wet-vac'ing the carpet. That was at least a month ago though.

Travis wanted to rub her nose in it like he does with Callaway. I had to explain to him that is not what you do with a cat. I used to work as a receptionist at a vet clinic, so I know there are three common reasons that would cause this: urinary tract infection, behavioral issues (ie - if there are lots of changes at home) or a super dirty litter box. Travis and I are usually pretty good at keeping up with the litter box, but I checked it anyway. It wasn't that bad. Since I don't want to risk anything I cleaned it. I know I probably should have kept Bella locked up in the bathroom to make sure she doesn't go all over the house, but I didn't have time to figure out a way to set up a second litter box in the bathroom.

When it comes to behavioral issues, Bella is queen. Back when I was still in college, Travis and I had a roommate named Stefani. At this point Phage was still a kitten. While my sister Ariel was visiting from Illinois (she was still in high school) we went out for dinner. Stefani stayed home to do a few things around the apartment. When we got back, she had locked herself in the bathroom. She poked her head out when she heard us get in and told me to lock Bella up - who was sitting in front of the door staring her down. Confused, I did as she said and came back to find out what happened. Here's the story she told us. When she was closing the hall closet door, she accidentally caught Phage's tail in the door and he yowled. He was okay, but Bella flipped out. Stefani said she kept jumping at her and hissing. After looking over Stefani's legs we determined that Bella had been latching onto her thighs and kicking her shins with her back feet. She was wearing pajama pants that now looked like pirate pants because they were so shredded. She had bruises the size of quarters in her thighs and she was pulling out pieces of claws from the center of each one.

I don't know if you have ever seen a cat attack a human before, but it is SCARY. It is amazing how much damage they can do in just a few short seconds. I didn't know what to do with her! We kept her locked up in our bathroom until we could decide. She didn't seem to be acting any different to me, but we wanted to be safe. Stefani was terrified of Bella and didn't want to have anything to do with her - who could blame her?! Later that evening, Ariel and I were brushing our teeth together in the bathroom with Pyscho. I heard a low growl and turned around to see Bella stalking my sister. I told Ariel to get out, which turned out to be difficult since Bella was between Ariel and the door. Instead my sister opted for the shower and BELLA FOLLOWED HER IN. I was like, "Uh-uh. This is not going to happen again." I wrapped Ariel in the shower curtain and put myself between them. When Bella started to attack me we both started screaming. By this point, Travis must have figured out what was happening and came bursting in the bathroom to murder our cat. Bella shot out so Travis chased after her in hopes that she wouldn't attack Stefani in the mean time. After she was in her kennel I assessed the damage. I had similar wounds to that of Stefani's, but mine were not nearly as severe. I waited until the morning to talk it over with the doctor at the vet I worked at. I was shaken and torn. (ha! no pun intended) I didn't want to euthanize her, because what if there was something else wrong with her? We ended up deciding to have her declawed and go from there. We have not had any such attacks since then, but we are positive Bella is bi-polar. One moment she wants you to pet her, the next she's trying to bite off your hand. Thankfully, without front claws she can't latch onto your thighs to be able to kick with the back legs, which means there is less to worry about. So do you see what I mean about her having behavioral issues?

As for the UTI possibility, at least I know which cat has the problem! If anyone has any recommendations, I'm all ears!

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