Sunday, June 12, 2011

Feline Frustration

At the risk of losing a huge portion of my readership I am just going to come out of the closet and say it. I am not a cat lover. Having said that I also realize I am in the minority, both in my family and in the wider world. Not only are the other six members of my family cat lovers, so are my two daughters-in-law. I simply don't stand a chance.

I grew up on a farm. Cats lived outdoors and were there to keep the mice population down. It was a shock to marry into a family of cat-crazed people who not only allowed their cats to stay indoors, but actually didn't even allow their cats outside the house for fear they would get run over by a passing car. The difference between the two scenarios can be summed up by saying that on a farm you own a cat and in the city you are owned by a cat.

Another difference between rural cats and city cats is the cost. There is no such thing as a vet bill for a cat when you live on the farm. Charles Darwin could have saved himself the trouble of going all the way to the Galapagos to make his observations about natural selection. He could just as easily have observed this by watching the cats on a local farm. The stupid ones get eaten by coyotes and the weak and/or sick ones expire on their own. As a result country cats are a hardy species and also quite easy on the pocketbook.

Contrast this with their weaker city cousins. Diana was recently quoted a price of $600 to get a decayed tooth removed from her cat Lucky's mouth. All I can say is somebody definitely is getting lucky here, and I don't think it is the cat. Even worse was the mystery infection our cat Emily had last year. I am reluctant to admit how much that vet bill was, but I will say this. It beat the cost of my plane ticket to Korea, taxes and security fees included, by about $50.

Which brings us to the present. Just over a month ago we had to put one of our two cats down. This has left our remaining cat, Emily, sad and lonely. She goes around our house making a pathetic crying noise that sets my teeth on edge. She also has developed dog-like behaviours such as following her people around and begging for attention. It is both pathetic and irritating.

At nights we keep her locked in the basement of the house where Alexandra sleeps. There is only so much this non-cat person can handle, and I draw the line at having my sleep disturbed by a needy cat. On Friday night - well, actually the early hours of Saturday morning - this is exactly what happened. Emily had somehow managed to get out and she was doing that pathetic cry by Jay's side of the bed. I pretended not to hear, but knew that if Jay didn't get up and take care of That Cat I would have to break down and do it myself. My cat patience quota is pretty low.

Thankfully he did get up, scooped the cat in his arms, and headed down the stairs to lock Emily back in the basement. Unfortunately when Jay was on the second flight of stairs he misjudged which step he was on and fell. Hard. The result? He broke his big toe. To give you an idea of how hard he fell our carpet has a dent in it similar to when a heavy piece of furniture has been on it for some time. Jay is 6'4", so when he falls he falls big.

This was at 3:40 AM and I never did fall back asleep. Any guesses as to the answer I gave when we had friends over for dinner last week and they asked if we were going to get another cat?

Not in a million years.......


  1. We will jut have to agree to disagree on this one. Except for the vet's costs. Those are highway robbery.

  2. We can't actually have cat - a combination of two cat allergy sufferers and five whippets in the house really make it impossible - but if we could have a cat? Well let's just say, as another country girl, I'm kinda with you on this one :)

  3. I'm a reformed cat lover, I grew up loving them and now totally don't want one in my own house. But Jay's TOE!! Oh my word, the pain at 4 in the morning, brutal...

  4. I do understand your point of view. I'm one of those, though, that keep the cat inside so it doesn't get schmucked by a car.Call me crazy! ;)

    Some cats I like, some I don't. Mine I do, luckily, although he definitely has irritating habits, much like all of us, I suspect.

    Cats can be great companions that really don't ask a lot of their owners.

    I do draw the line at vet costs, though. Not sure where that line is--haven't had to deal with that yet.

    Hope Jay's toe feels better soon!!

  5. @kate - Add in the lilacs and there are two things we will have to agree to disagree about. :-)

    @Annie - Nice to hear from another country girl. I fear we are in the minority though. Maybe I should claim a sudden onset cat allergy???

    @Jennifer - I didn't know there was such a thing as a reformed cat lover. It gives me a small amount of hope. :-)

    @Aneta - Remember, you are the owner of Buddy, the cat that attacked you for absolutely no reason.

  6. I am allergic, so I have an excuse. My husband says his immigrant forebears worked hard so that their descendants would no longer have to live with the animals and he for one isn't going to disappoint them. No cats or dogs in our house.

  7. Oh no, I'm so sorry about the accident. I love cats, but not so much @ 3:40am. And I agree that the best place for a cat is outside. That's where my cats lived when I was a kid. We made sure they had food, water and shelter, but if they needed a trip to the vet they were out of luck.

    My wife and I had an indoor cat for our kids. Turns out I'm terribly allergic to cats. My wife accidentally stepped on the cat more than once--with the laundry basket in her arms it was impossible to see him spreadout right in her way. Thankfully she was never hurt. But we think it's what cut short his life--kidney problems. I've been planning a post about that...about how a tear from my daughter as she asked, "Isn't there anything we can try to save him?" cost more than I spent on my first two cars combined. Did I say I loved cats??? =)

    PS - The cat you had to put down, was it the beautiful kitty that used to appear on the side panel of Rebekah's blog?

  8. @Mary Lou - Ha! I like your husband's attitude!

    @Ric - I can't wait to read that post! And no, the cat we had to put down was not the one on the side panel of Rebekah's blog. That cat would be the same one featured here. :-)

  9. Oh, I thought there was a picture of a black, white and orange cat--maybe with fluffy fur. At least I remembered the name is Emily! =)

  10. We've just given our two cats away to a good home, because they cost too much! They were constantly in trouble, and it was not cute. One of them was hit by a car, twice (did it not learn the first time?!) and the other cat got shot! Both recovered, but the cost was insane, especially when they both ate like pigs and would bite me ankles if I didn't put more food in the bowl.

    I am with you on this, I am not a cat person either.

  11. That's a good idea, I'll do the cat story next. I was so easily manipulated.

  12. @Jaz - One of your cats was shot?! That's crazy! Its sounds like they were cats that definitely had used up a good number of their 9 lives. I have never heard of cats that bit people in the ankles. It is not a pretty picture that comes to mind! :-)

    @Ric - I will be anxiously waiting. I am hoping you ended up spending more than we did. It would make me feel somewhat better. :-)

  13. I know where you can get a kitten for free. Yes, it's another cat, but it could keep that one company and less of a bother. I'd love to have an inside cat, but with others with allergies, it's a no-go.

  14. @Maureen - I am going to pretend I didn't even see your comment. :-)