Okay, Listen Here

Okay, Listen Here

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

The Signs Are There

Jean talked about mothers on Monday. This got me to thinking that it was time I shared on the blog what was going on in my life. You see, when my father died three years ago, my mom didn't know what she was going to do. Knowing that she has always loved to travel (former Army wife), we asked her to come live with us as we live a busier lifestyle than she did back home. Because she had two more years to go before she could retire, she continued to work before finally coming to live with us last fall.

This past year has been a learning curve for all of us. (I actually have hair!) My kids left the nest to experience the world, and hubby and I were going to be alone for the first time in, well, as many years as we've had kids. We had a good six week run before Mom moved in. Before her two cats followed, joining our two cats. If I'd been a better pirate, I would have put my foot down right away and refused to allow her to bring her furry offspring into our home. But, trying to be a good daughter, we allowed her to bring her Siamese cat and rolly-polly Tabby.

Before I go on, I'm sure I don't need to tell you that my cats, Mr. Billington and Miss Daae, were not a bit pleased with this new addition to our home. We're talking feline rioting here! Cat fights. Name calling. Smacking of paws. Jealousy! In fact, I'm surprised Pussy Galore wasn't called in to take Mom's cats out.

Sadly, rolly-polly Tabby was sick. We knew this before we took him in. His kidneys were almost gone. Should have known right away that he would not make it longer than four months in our home. He passed away after a long and courageous fight at the vets. But, Mom didn't want to leave him behind because he reminded her of my dad, nor did she want to leave her Siamese. And so, we took the blighters in. Arrrr!

In order not to sicken anyone on this blog, I'll just say that this has been a great struggle and my house has turned into a battle zone. First, rolly-polly Tabby's health declined, as well as his litter habits. Second, Mr. Billington decided (after 13 1/2 years of being the best cat EVER) to mimick the sick cat. (I leave it to you to imagine what that means and I'm still battling this on a daily basis.) The Siamese couldn't, and sometimes still can't, get along with anyone. To prove her superiority over all felinedom, she ate the carpet off the bottom of our stairs.

To remedy the Siamese's decidedly annoying habit of tearing up my house, Mom put aluminum foil across the bottom of the stairs. Well, I will say that, though that has kept her cat from devouring my carpet, anyone who enters my house will think we are the family from the movie, Signs. Yes, indeedie. Now all we need are a few half-filled glasses of water sitting haphazardly around the house. Hubby just needs to get a baseball bat at the ready so I can yell, "Swing away!" at a convenient time. (Thank God we don't have a cornfield!)

Recently someone shut the Siamese upstairs. What did she do? She tore the carpet up by the door, trying to get out. Hubby said, "Why don't we just give the cats the house?" (We cannot fix the damage until the cats are gone.)

When everyone was home for my FIL's funeral, #4 kept saying she heard a cat in the shower. A cat in the shower? That's impossible. Then the wheels started turning in my head and I thought, how in the world would that Siamese figure out how to get in my walls? After hours of searching, we discovered the Siamese in the water heater closest. She'd been there for over 24 hours. Someone had shut her up there. Sadly, she'd been without food or water for over a day. We just thought she'd hidden from our grandsons.

It's apparent that Siamese cat has never heard curiosity killed the cat. By my calculations, she's four lives down, with five to go, providing she hadn't used up any before moving into my home.

If you can make lemonade from lemons, at times like these, a more versatile beverage comes to mind, rum. And it better not be gone!

Signs. Glasses half-full. Bat at the ready. Swing away!

What have your pets done for you lately?


  1. I know how hard it is to have a cat in the last stages of kidney failure. They just can't control their bladders. And it is gross. We'll have to replace our master bedroom carpet one day. But I'm glad you understood that your mom needed her kitties when she moved in to your house.

    We have one cat now. Mischief is my daughter's cat. 10. I think about getting another kitty, but the idea of going through another sick cat in 15 years stops me. It is exhausting!

    Lately Mischief has been missing the Dowager Feline Clancy. I'll be in my office working when she turns up with a toy and a look in her eye that begs me to play with her. I'll spend a little time with her, then when my daughter comes home, Mischief abandons me for her "mommy."

  2. Mason attacked another skunk last week, only this one was an adult male. Again, hubby let him in the house without checking. He said he just thought a skunk had sprayed "somewhere" nearby. Yeah, right on Mason's chest! This time was A LOT WORSE than the last time. I have already, prior to this skunk incident, chosen new carpet for our bedroom so the lovely smell, I Hope, will be gone with the carpet.

    I wanted to get mad, to blame the grinning idiot, to banish him to the Hinterlands but I stopped. Mason is in my house because I chose to get him. I chose. So indirectly anything that results from that choice is mine, including the skunk. LOL

  3. Christine, I know how much you miss DFC. We do what we can for the pets we love, don't we? I know there will be no regrets in the long run, but dealing with the chaos now can be the pitts. ;)

  4. You've had quite a few 'skunk' moments, Cheryl. I guess that's an unwelcome perk of living out in the country. But the benefits outweigh this, I'm sure. ;)

    I hope your voice is back to normal now. Inhaling skunk stink can't be good for the sinuses.

    We do love our wonderful friends, unconditionally. I could not bear to get rid of Mr. Billington. He's been through 3 rounds of antibiotics for bladder problems. I'm not sure but I think he's just getting old. But this may be an 'I'm raging against the machine that brought this Siamese cat into my territory' kind of thing too.

  5. As an aside, my poor Mom feels terrible about the kitty anarchy.

  6. Oh boy. Do I hear you! My mom moved in with me three years ago. No pets for her, but she doesn't like pets in the house...and I have two dogs. After she wasn't able to strongarm me into sending my babies away, she's adapted but it is still a daily battle. Ironically, it's the pesky terrier (and my mom is a human version of a terrier and all that implies) is the one she's bonded with most. Hang in there!

  7. Kathy,I'm so sorry the feline unhappiness continues.

    In my little corner of the world, Salem, our feline extraordinaire, vomits periodically. Hucking on the old carpet was bad enough, but he has managed to huck on the new carpet in our bedroom several times now. Imagine my most stellar happiness! And, to top it off, he hucked on my comforter...yep, that's right...ON MY BED! You can well imagine how my stellar happiness abounds.

    And we won't even get into the part about the skinks...

    Don't get me wrong, I love Salem dearly. He possesses a certain energy that melds with ours, and he will be missed when the time comes for him to leave us. But still...

    I understand how frustrating such situations can be, but hang in there!

  8. Suzanne, thanks for posting!

    Ah, so you know what I'm going through. I love my mom but sometimes.... LOL! Wishing you the joys that having a mother home with you can bring. We'll agree to forget all the other stuff, okay? ;)

  9. Hey Crystal! Yes, the struggle continues. I swear it's a neverending battle. And if I punish Mr. Billington, he gets more rattled and confused. What's a girl to do?

    Knowing how you've just added that addition to your house, I understand how bothersome Salem's behavior can be. Gotta love 'em, right?

    My only hope is that one day when I'm struggling to decipher my life at a grand old age, one of my children or a caregiver will offer me the same patience and love that I'm trying to give to my pets. ;)

  10. Yes, Kathy, we gotta love 'em. And you do provide food for thought regarding the grand old age part of the show. Showing patience with our four-legged companions now will definitely lay the groundwork for good karma in the form of patience when we need it later. Very cool way to look at it.

  11. I know it's not fun, Kathy, and it's frustrating as hell. But it really isn't the cats' faults. They are animals, doing as animals do. How old is Mr. Billington? Perhaps age is catching up with him too. Also, once the smell is in the carpets, they know it's there even if we don't and they'll keep marking. Have you tried an enzyme neutralizer?

    I haven't had this problem in a long time, though I too had an old kitty who lost bladder control. Our entire house was covered in plastic wrap. Seriously, Hubby got industrial grade plastic like you cover furniture or lay on floors to protect them and we taped it down over all our carpets. Protected them, and just gave us a puddle to clean. Might be an option for you.


  12. Haha! Got you thinking, didn't I, Crystal? Seriously, we're humans, but age does affect all of us. I can only hope that I don't become a burden to my kids in the future. ;)

  13. Lynn, great suggestions. Yes, I've tried neutralizing the areas he's continuing to mark. I might just have to break down and get the carpets cleaned, knowing that he might continue to remark everything. Perhaps he still smells rolly-polly Tabby.

    Good reminder. I'm going to think about scheduling a carpet cleaner and give that a try.

    As far as plastic goes, that would drive my hubby batty. I know a friend who had to do the very same thing you did until her cat had to be put down because her health was failing rapidly.

    What we won't do for the family friends we love and hold dear to our hearts, eh? ;)

  14. I am a fixer and I would like to give you some advice but I've got nothing. I've never had a problem this extensive with my cats, though Scruffy (RIP, my sweet baby, the only one who ever loved me more than The Guy) had a bladder infection once that resulted in a ruined area rug, which we threw away.

    Cat diapers?

  15. I don't have any pets so I can't swap stories here but I am sorry that you are having such a stressful time with all the feline drama.

  16. Take up the carpet and put down hardwood :-).

  17. Cat diapers! Jean, I know you mentioned this before but I just can't see a cat in diapers. And I can imagine the look on Mr. Billington's face when I try to put one on him. LOL!

  18. Thanks for listening, Stephanie. I do love to cuddle with my cats, especially when I'm on the couch. Focusing on the wonderful things about them will get me through this. I hope!

  19. Maven Linda, that's exactly what we'd like to do. We weren't sure if that was a good thing to do while he's in the midst of his old habit though.