Thursday, October 05, 2006

When the Cat Hits the Fan

Fortunato has identified his target. He's going for the pleather chair. No, it's not a particularly nice piece of furniture but it's mrp's so it's not acceptable for him to shred it. I must manipulate him into ceasing this destructive behavior. There are several options:

1. I can work with what I have. Block the areas of the chair he wants to claw. Try to catch him clawing and squirt him with a water bottle. Try to play with him with his scratchy toys more.

2. I can try to get scratchy toys and scratchy toys that are more attractive to him than the chair.

3. I can spray on that stuff that smells gross to them but not us on the chair or put the sticky stuff on the chair until he quits it.

4. I can clip his nails myself.

5. I can cover his nails with those lee press on claws myself.

6. I can take him to a groomer to either clip his nails or press on the claws.

7. I can get him declawed.

I think I listed these in descending order of severity. Declawing is the absolute worst case solution. It's bad enough to amputate the knuckles of kittens but it's extra nasty to do it to a 10 year old cat. It will guarantee short-term pain and risk him long-term pain, at least short-term depression, or even death. I will consider declawing if it comes down to it. I will cry. I will worry. I will feel awfully guilty, but if it's ultimately absolutely the only way to stop the destruction and keep him from getting thrown out on his little furry tush then I will consider that option. Before I will even consider it I must exhaust every product, every tactic, every other possible way to get him to leave the chair alone. I am open to any combination of the other options. But with this list of options, I know some solution is at hand. However, I really honestly feel that clipping his nails, cleaning his scent off the chair, and having a better scratching post will most likely be enough. And keeping him occupied will help too. I need to spend more time with him and play and cuddle a little more too.

I love my cat if you can't tell. He's been with me for 10 years. He always loves me even when I ditch him with a bunch of ferile cats for 9 months. He's accepted his sisters when I brought them home with no complaints and soothed my broken heart when his brother and sister passed away. He makes me happy when his motor is humming and when he's up to no good and looks at me like he knows it. I don't know how to articulate my love for him. It's not the same as the love of a person. There just is no comparison. I've loved animals my whole life. My heart breaks when I see one dead on the side of the road. As I've previously mentioned I cheer for squirrels to make it across the street. I talk to the animals at the zoo. I can sacrifice this love in the future and agree to no more pets, but I cannot sacrifice the two kitties that I have promised to care for their entire lives.

This was going to be a blog post but then it seems like I was really talking to mrp and then I was going to just write it to him but then I thought about it harder and realized I was talking to myself and explaining my feelings to myself. I don't expect anyone, especially mrp, to share my love for my cats. And you know, sometimes they p1ss me off to be honest. I know mrp is sacrificing a lot to work this out with me. I appreciate the difficulties this causes him and I in no way want to deprive him of the right to those feelings. I just want to find that common ground. I need to honor my commitment to them and I love mrp and am committed to him in every way so I am absolutely determined to make this work. I will sacrifice my own money, comfort, pleasure, whatever, so mrp and they can live together. Whatever it takes.

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