Tuesday, January 17, 2006

bad habits

Zoloft has picked up a bad habit. I would say that it's a new bad habit, but she's been practicing it for about six months.... and it's starting to drive us nuts.

Zoloft was our only child. I was working 12 hour shifts at the hospital, and The Hater was going on lots of work-related trips. We would come home to a pitiful, love-hungry cat. We felt so guilty that we talked about getting a kitten, a companion for our daughter. I bought books to study the best way to introduce them into a loving relationship. I studied.

We found a sweet little orange and white kitten at PetSmart who asked us if he could come home with us. We talked about it. I continued to study. We talked to Zoloft about a little brother, and she seemed very eager to give it a try.

And try we did.

Peyton, the kitten, came home with us. He was 6 weeks old. We followed all of the instructions that I had read and slowly introduced the cats...

The kitten was smitten with us. He would runrunrun everywhere, including under our feet. He would climb up in our laps and sleep, something Zoloft hasn't done since we brought her home. He wanted to be right next to us all the time.

We fed him a half can of wet food at night. (He had all of the dry food he wanted during the day.) The stuff was like crack to him. He'd start whining, bemoaning, wailing for it early in the evening. We'd try to ignore him, wanting him to sleep through the night in his room, but the cries would get to us... we'd feed him. And when we started weaning off of the wet food? To hear him you'd think we were poking him with needles.

Zoloft was miserable. She hid under the bed. She wouldn't cuddle or let us pet her. She hissed at everything; I didn't know cats could make such awful snarl sounds. She was not a happy camper... and she hated him. We thought she'd get over it.

The Hater was on summer vacation and home all of the time. He'd meet me at the door with the kitten and hand him to me. "Oh, good, you're home. You can play with the kitten now." He would pester The Hater all day long...

It was a month and a half later. The Hater and I talked about it. I consulted the books that promised me two happy cats...

Peyton stopped using the litter box for his #2. If you didn't see him crouching in the corner, there would be a mess to clean. Zoloft never came out from under the bed. Diplomacy had gotten us nowhere.

And much to Angry Dissenter's chagrin, we took Peyton back to the 'no kill' shelter where we had adopted him. The very next day Zoloft was back to her sweet little precious self... with ringworm.

Yes, there was a purpose to this long back-story, and there is a bad habit involved. Zoloft has learned to cry. BP (before Peyton) she never never never whined; she'd chirp and purr. But now? Now she will sit at the end of the hall at night and cry and moan -- until we comply.

It was cute at first. She wanted us to come to bed... and sometimes she was right. Sometimes it was late and I needed to be reminded that I had to work the next day. But somtimes? Sometimes we want to stay up... but she doesn't get it. So she cries for everything but food, which she has to her content.

She cries when she wants us to play with her toy.
She cries when she wants us to go to bed.
She cries when it's time to get out of bed in the morning.
She cries for attention.

Peyton, the kitten, has created a monster. Angry Dissenter should be happy that the cosmos are punishing us for returning the kitten. Zoloft is a professional crybaby now.


nicole said...

I just want you to know that I'm feeling every inch of your pain on this one. It's SO torturous dealing with unhappy cats.

I once had a cat named Sydney.

Sydney was sweet. Sydney was affectionate. Sydney was constantly spraying pee between the two halves of her litterbox. And no matter how many boxes I tried, she couldn't be stopped...I'd come home to a pool of nastiness all over my [landlord's] hardwood floors.

On top of that, she was hyperactive and would take to running destructive marathons through my apartment on an hourly basis. This went on for 2 YEARS until one day I returned from vacation to find 1) a potted plant completely destroyed 2) my freezer door wide open and all the contents spoiled.

I couldn't take it anymore so I sadly decided I had to return her to the no-kill shelter. Of course the woman I spoke to was disgusted with me and my lack of patience. Dude, two years with a cat like this?? I went above and beyond the call of duty.

The Meat Machine said...

A necessary evil to return the kitty. You gotta do what you gotta do.

genderist said...

We still have his picture up with Zoloft's picture --- she doesn't mind that so much...

And did I mention that he didn't clean himself well? We had to bathe him in the sink, which was fun on a 'torture the kitten' basis...