Sunday, March 1, 2009
Ode To Crazy Cat
My cat, Gremlin, is old--almost 16. We named him Gremlin because he has a smashed face and looks like a gremlin. When he came to live with us he was a very aloof little kitten. Apparently he either came from cat royalty, or was told that his lineage was thus. One of his very first acts of rebellion was to go into the master bath and get into our collie's bed and pee. He peed so loud I could hear it, as I wondered what he might be doing. He was establishing himself as King of the animals in our house. Not a good idea on his part as I quickly picked him up and swatted his bottom as I scolded him ( I am the all-powerful ruler of my animal kingdom, Me and Me alone). Sarge, our sweet collie never held this against Grem and they became allies as we added to said animal kingdom. We added a rambuntious st. bernard to the mix and poor Gremlin, indignant, though he was, eventually accepted Louise and stayed out of her way. Nine years ago we added two daschunds to the mix and once again Gremlin was displaced as the favorite lap animal. All this time he remained aloof and did not allow himself to be picked up or petted by many. He preferred me, liked my dad on his visits, disdained all small people (grandchildren). He was content to roam our big house always confident that he was the only animal able to leap to high places. He used this talent to endlessly torment Oscar and Emmy, getting just high enough to wave his long tail at them so that he could watch them leap impotently into the air. He was not at all happy when Emmy gave birth to three adorable puppies. I can only imagine how happy he was as we sold the puppies one by one. Then we moved here to the campground. He stayed hidden for the first year, no doubt indignant about the lack of space he was used to (we sort of downsized from about 3000 square feet to 980). Our living quarters are attached to the office/store and he didn't explore there until winter came and it was idle all day. Most of the time he would sit on the back of the chair nearest the window to be able to watch the cat the previous owners left. Last year brought many sad changes to Grem's world. Sarge, his best buddy, had a stroke, and died. Sarge was our peace maker, he would simply walk away from a fight and many times he would step in and play ball with Oscar (he would pick the ball up in his mouth and kind of toss it for our little demon). As he grew old most days would find him sleeping away the afternoon on my bed with Grem next to him. Gremlin doesn't do that anymore. We all grieved our loss and the unimaginable happened as only months later we lost our Louise. Gremlin began spending most of his time in the store. He would approach customers and paw at their legs to be picked up! Total personality change, as most folks didn't even know we had a cat. He apparently suffered a small stroke. His face looked funny and his gait was off. He began walking sideways and would sometimes miss when trying to jump onto a piece of furniture. I was not up to losing another pet so soon, but would not have hesitated if Grem had been in pain. He is now very affectionate--almost annoyingly so. He likes to be in whatever room I am in--always in my sight. For a while he had decided to go outside. He has no front claws and has never been an outside cat, so I was hesitant. I was hesitant until he started peeing in the floor. He would pee in the store, in the living room floor, in my bedroom floor, and his favorite thing to do was to get into the guest bed and pee and poop (he must have known better than to hit my bed). I keep that door shut now. Lately he had decided to do his business in our bathroom. Cat pee smells so horrible. I started keeping that door closed, too. I am happy to report that he is now using his litter box again. Lately, though, poor guy will be laying on the back of his favorite chair and suddenly will fall to the floor with a thunk. I am sad to say that he probably won't be around much longer which is probably why I am willing to deal with his messes. I have spent the morning watching my old guy stumble and fall over and over again. He is drooling and doesn't look "right" in the face. I am preparing myself......I think.