Friday, April 22, 2011

We're turning into crazy pet owners

I have mentioned in the past about our cat Bella with her behavioral issues. Sadly, the random peeing and pooing around the house did not go away. Bella has done it for years, but it has been concentrated mostly on Callaway's possessions (in the water dish, on the ground around his food bowl, his beds, etc). A few months ago, one of the cats started pooing on the guest bed. I was appalled the first time I found it. I was irritated the second time I found it. And the third time? I closed the baby gate to that room (since there is no door on that room) and covered the bed with a tarp (just in case).

That's how we found out it was Sagira doing the duty. We had assumed Bella, since she is the one who defies the litter box every few months. We had just assumed she was escalating in her defiance. Sagira is the only cat that can fit between the bars in the baby gate. When poop showed up again the following day, we knew it had to be her. Weeks went by with me coming home from work, heading straight to the guest bedroom to clean the poop off the tarp.

Finally, I couldn't take it anymore and I covered the gate with a piece of plywood. No cat was getting in that room if I had a say in it! The next day? Poop on our bed. Oh I was irate! When that became I daily occurance, I decided to call the vet for advice. She said the first thing I should do was open up that guest room again. It wasn't stopping the cat from defecating everywhere and it would most likely make it worse. She said cats need a quiet place they can wander off to be by themselves. Since our house is too small for all the humans and animals living within, our cats don't have that leisure. So the best we can do is leave every room available to the cats.

FINE. We gave it a try. It didn't help matters at all. Now, Sagira was pooping on our bed AND the guest bed. We have a tarp on the guest bed, so at least that one is covered. We are not so lucky with our bed. Thankfully we have two duvet covers, so we alternate between the two. One on our bed, one in the wash. I don't even put the duvet covers on the comforter anymore because I know I will be taking it off again the next day. And it's nice to know there are two layers of fabric between that poop and our comforter.

I COULDN'T TAKE IT ANYMORE. I broke down, shaking one weekend day because I had to throw away Aiden's Toy Story couch that he loved because it was covered in cat piss and I spent the entire afternoon cleaning cat vomit stains out of the carpet and poop off the beds. I told Travis we HAD to get rid of a cat.

At this point, both Sagira and Bella were NOT using the litter box. We decided that Bella would have to go, since she was the one who started this mess. And she is questionable with guests in our home. I knew she wouldn't get adopted at a shelter because she is psycho and won't let anyone but us touch her. That meant she would get euthanized. I figured we might as well do it ourselves. Then we would get to be there to say goodbye.

I had to stop several times while I was writing an email to our vet about our problem because I was crying so hard. No way could I discuss it over the phone with all the sobbing I was doing. That night, I was lying in bed, thinking about the cats. I love them all! We've had them for years. No matter how much they drive me crazy, they are a part of our family. I didn't think I would be able to bring Bella in for the euthanasia, but I knew I HAD to be there. If I couldn't suck it up, then it didn't seem right.

Then I remembered the cats' doctor saying we could try putting her on Prozac. At the time, that was not even an option. The thought of giving our cat an antidepressant was just absurd. Besides, I didn't want to spent $50 a month to medicate our cat.

As I last resort, I decided to ditch my reservations and give it a try. Turns out, fluoxetine (Prozac) is on the list of $4 medications at Target! AND, each cat only needs a quarter of a pill per day, so that $4 will last me two months between the two cats!

I marched down to that pharmacy, signed the waiver saying I understood suicidal thoughts were a side effect of Prozac, told the pharmacist if my cat had suicidal thoughts I would be sure to notify the proper medical professional, and marched right back out.

The downfall here is that we have to shove a pill down two cats' throats everyday. We tried sticking it in various foods and treats, but they would never eat the pill. I tried pilling the cats freehand, but that resulted in a few puncture wounds on my finger. So, we resorted to a piller. We stick the quartered tablet in the end of the pet piller, Travis scruffs the cat and I stick the pill in the back of the mouth before pressing the plunger to release the pill.

It's horrible. But worth it. We were able to give the medication three days in a row without forgetting and the messes stopped. Unfortunately, we forgot on Day 4. Then again on Day 6. You see the pattern here. The messes started up again. But that's when we realized it was only Sagira now.

The doctor had said that we might only have to do this for a month, to get them out of the habit of inappropriate elimination. Turns out it only took a few days for Bella, but we might have to do it again later if she starts back up. We are going to try 30 consecutive days of medicating Sagira before testing the waters with her again. We are currently in Day 3 of pilling only Sagira.

I really hope this works!!!

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