Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Stuck between a rock and a really hard place

Many of you know the troubles my cat Ollie has given me over the years. He's a loving, affectionate cat, when he's not being a grumpy old man, but he's becoming a real pain in the ass lately. And not just the 'get out my way' kind of pain in the ass but more the 'I don't know if we can keep you around much longer' kind of pain in the ass.

And that's the rock and really hard place.

Ollie is nine and a half years old. Old but not that old for a cat. I got him soon after I moved to Peterborough -- by myself in a one-bedroom apartment. I'd always wanted a cat -- ever since we had to get rid of the one and only one we had when I was a kid -- and getting one almost as soon as I had my own place was a top priority.

He was supposed to be a barn cat -- born to a barn cat mom. Apparently he decided he didn't like sleeping in a barn and would sneak into the house and sleep on the couch. So, since the owner didn't want cats in her house, she opted to put him up for adoption. That's where I came in.

Over the last nine years, a lot has changed. Ollie and I have lived in four different places (including the Peterborough apartment). But after every move, he developed a 'problem', something that was later attributed to stress and a dislike of change. He would pee in inapproriate places -- basically places other than the litter box.

This problem was fixed with drugs and for years, my cat has been on kitty prozzac to reduce his stress and anxiety so that he'll only use the litter box when he has to go.

Then the kids came along. And he wanted nothing to do with them. Which is fine, because really, he just ignores them or runs out of the room when one of them comes in. But over the last three years (since Austin was born) the peeing problem comes and goes.

It was to the point 18 months ago that we were getting to the rock and a hard place point when it was discovered that he had a medical condition. Bladder stones. This led to a costly operation and permanent costly food to prevent recurrence. But the peeing stopped. For awhile.

When Alex was born, he started it again, then stopped for awhile. Now he's at it again and I don't know what to do about it anymore. I'm tired of walking into a room and realizing there's cat pee on the floor/the carpet/the couch/the dresser. I'm tired of cleaning up cat pee all the time. I do it so often it seems that my house doesn't smell like cat pee (I don't think), instead it smells like the disinfectant I use to clean it up with. And I'm so frustrated with the whole thing that I'm ready to have the conversation I don't want to have.

What to do with him.

If the peeing is a result of the bladder stones returning at least he has a reason for it. But, we already decided 18 months ago that we don't want to go through another costly surgery. And if it's not the result of bladder stones and is just because he's a pain in the ass -- well I can't keep living like this. I can't have my cat hold me hostage anymore.

Which, sadly, leaves just one thing we can do. Because who's going to want to adopt an almost 10 year old cat that pees on the furniture?

And that's the really hard place.


Nancy Downard said...

That is a really hard place, Deb. As you know, we've been through it several times and it never gets easier. I'm thinking about you. I know that you'll make the right decision whatever that happens to be.

Alison said...

So sorry you're in this situation, Deb. I remember when Ollie was a kitten and how fun and loving he could be. I'm sorry things have got this bad. :(