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Three Minus One - De File
Does Collecting Make You Feel Dirty?
cbertsch
cbertsch
Three Minus One
For much my time in Tucson my nighttime companion has been our cat Thing Two. Recently, a neighborhood tomcat started coming around, with disastrous effects on Two's already addled brain. Even though Two was neutered at the proper time, he apparently retained enough male something or other to have it activated by the intrusion. He started spraying to mark his territory. And we spent the last two months engaged in a desperate attempt at behavior modification that showed promise at first but ultimately proved to be a failure.

Now Thing Two has officially become an "outdoor cat." Whether the scare quotes will persist is unclear. I have my doubts whether he will prove savvy enough to survive long in the wilderness he has long been eager to explore. Still, it was better to give him that chance than to consign him to an animal shelter where placing him in a new home would have been extremely difficult. He was happy this morning playing tiger in the weeds. I, however, am not happy at the prospect of spending my nights without his company. It's hard not identify with his plight. And it's even harder to have my sense of isolation so viscerally confirmed.

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Current Location: 85704

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Comments
e_compass_rosa From: e_compass_rosa Date: April 21st, 2008 01:49 am (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
Wow, that's a huge adjustment for a cat to make, but I can understand the desire to do it after spending years cleaning up my former cat Blanche's pee. She wouldn't have survived a night outside (being an incredibly emotionally fragile cat), and the few attempts at outdoor life we tried led to yowling at the doors and windows. Luckily her incessant peeing tended to be restricted to the area under and around my desk, so I ended up just dealing with it until she died. But, no fun.

If the outdoors doesn't work for Thing Two, you might want to try the human drug amitriptyline. It's an anti-anxiety drug and worked wonders for a long time. There's also prozac, which cats can take in low doses. I ordered both over the internet somewhat illegally, but any vet would prescribe them for the cat, I imagine.

I'm so sorry for the loss of his company!
cbertsch From: cbertsch Date: April 24th, 2008 05:49 pm (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
I wish I thought that medication would help. He's healthy, though. And not really anxious. He's just behaving like a cat. Sigh.

(Sorry for the delay in replying. I was caught up in the trauma and work.)
From: e4q Date: April 21st, 2008 02:15 am (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
maybe you could make him a little hidey hole. with a webcam so you can see him.
elf_owl From: elf_owl Date: April 21st, 2008 02:22 am (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
:(
cbertsch From: cbertsch Date: April 24th, 2008 05:50 pm (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
He's happy outside so far, though.

(Sorry for the delay in replying. I was caught up in the trauma and work.)
flw From: flw Date: April 21st, 2008 03:20 am (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)

me 2!

Evil Cat does this as well. He will stop in a week or two when kitty f--kfest is over! Then you can let him back in.
cbertsch From: cbertsch Date: April 21st, 2008 03:24 am (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)

Re: me 2!

I just hope he doesn't do anything stupid in the interim. He's the cat equivalent of the frat boy that keeps drinking until he is at risk of alcohol poisoning and possibly even death.
flw From: flw Date: April 21st, 2008 04:09 am (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)

Re: me 2!

They're still basically wild animals. But, if he has human support (you feed him when he wants food) he will have a tremendous advantage over wild cats. Wild cats are desperate, but they don't fight each other to the death. They are all show and no go. Whereas your cat is healthy, but won't fight as ferociously unless cornered. I wouldn't worry about it. They're like Vulcans during Pan Far... In fact, I bet that is what the Vulcan mating ritual is based on...
cbertsch From: cbertsch Date: April 24th, 2008 05:51 pm (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)

Re: me 2!

So far, so good. He's pretty happy out in the backyard, which has plenty of shelter and shade.

(Sorry for the delay in replying. I was caught up in the trauma and work.)
elizabeg From: elizabeg Date: April 21st, 2008 01:24 pm (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)

Re: me 2!

My friend Kristen has had indoor/outdoor cats for a while and swears they do well if they're not declawed. But hers always began as indoor/outdoor, and thus didn't have to make a transition into survival in the nighttime desert. I can absolutely understand your worries about that and I hope Two does well--and avoids, as you say, doing something incredibly fratty and stupid like picking fights when he doesn't have to. And hopefully he'll stay close to home? K's cats never ventured too far and she always found that reassuring. Good luck!
cbertsch From: cbertsch Date: April 24th, 2008 05:52 pm (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)

Re: me 2!

He wandered the first night, but has stayed closer to home since. Fingers crossed.

(Sorry for the delay in replying. I was caught up in the trauma and work.)
celebrian_3 From: celebrian_3 Date: April 21st, 2008 02:50 pm (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
I'm so sorry about the loss of company for you. I went through something similar to this with Clyde when he was not even a year old. It turned out in his case that getting him neutered and keeping his litter box basically immaculate kept him from marking. I was worried too about his ability to fend for himself outdoors, since he was such a timid and easily frightened cat. Since Thing Two, is already neutered, and I'm sure you guys are good about keeping the litter boxes clean, I doubt either of those tactics will work. Anyway, I hope that things work out, both for him and for you. Thing Two is a sweet cat. I want for him to be happy.

Edited at 2008-04-21 06:50 pm (UTC)
cbertsch From: cbertsch Date: April 24th, 2008 05:52 pm (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
He seems pretty happy, overall. We're giving him lots of love. Now if only his brother would stop acting out his having been traumatized. . .

(Sorry for the delay in replying. I was caught up in the trauma and work.)
siyeh From: siyeh Date: April 21st, 2008 03:40 pm (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
He's so cute. I'm worried about him!
cbertsch From: cbertsch Date: April 24th, 2008 05:53 pm (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
Me too. But he's already scared some cats out of the yard and seems happy.

(Sorry for the delay in replying. I was caught up in the trauma and work.)
hollsterhambone From: hollsterhambone Date: April 21st, 2008 03:57 pm (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
I don't want to say anything.

But, NOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!
cbertsch From: cbertsch Date: April 24th, 2008 05:54 pm (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
Sigh. But he seems happy so far.

(Sorry for the delay in replying. I was caught up in the trauma and work.)
ladygrail13 From: ladygrail13 Date: April 21st, 2008 07:09 pm (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)

Yea! Kitty!

Whose da kitty! I love cats! Great name BTW.
cbertsch From: cbertsch Date: April 24th, 2008 05:54 pm (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)

Re: Yea! Kitty!

Now an outdoor kitty.
From: (Anonymous) Date: April 22nd, 2008 10:19 pm (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
buy a gallon of Simple Solution and bring him back inside!!
cbertsch From: cbertsch Date: April 24th, 2008 05:54 pm (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
We tried that, but it didn't work. It helped somewhat, but then he relapsed.
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