Wednesday, June 23, 2010

A rarely worn hat

I'm dusting off my rarely worn Cat Lady hat today so that I can describe for you the ongoing aggravation with our feisty cat, Rocket, and how I may die a mysterious death so I need to enlist you all as witnesses.

As you may remember from the few rare posts I've done about Rocket over the years, she is not what you might consider to be a pleasant animal.

She's pretty and fluffy as all hell, but don't be fooled - she is a monster.

A monster with a taste for Vet Face.

How so? Oh, let me just give you a quick list of examples. When you read these, go ahead and multiply their occurrence by 100 and their bloodletting by 1,000:
  •  When I was in college and dipping my toe into the dangerous waters of self-administered depilatories, she caught a whiff of Nair and went 100% bonkers tearing through my house like someone had lit her tail on fire. (I had not.)(Though I considered it after I saw the damage she did on her tear.) In her ammonia-inspired rage, she tore 3 framed posters (classy) off the walls, overturned 2 chairs, knocked the (very full) trash can over and hissed at her litter box. When I tried to restrain her pick her up to calm her, she filleted both of my forearms so dramatically that I still have scars. That was 12 years ago.
  • Once, when Bubba tried to get her into the cat carrier, she magically doubled in size, began grunting like a wild boar and shit a giant pile on the floor. When Bubba finally captured her with the help of two sofa cushions and a beach towel, she still managed to wriggle free a single hind claw with which she, nearly literally, sliced him a new one. When they arrived at the vet, they actually treated him first because he was actively bleeding. Or maybe because they were just afraid of her. And rightfully so.
  • When I went to pick her up from the aforementioned vet visit, the vet tech approached me in the waiting room after I'd been sitting there for 20 minutes to ask me if I could please come retrieve Rocket from the kennel because she "wouldn't come out". When I went back to see what all the fuss was about, two women with towels were standing back from an open kennel and covering their mouths in horror while the inhabitant of said kennel hissed like a loose cobra, my dear Rocket.
 Really, friends, I could go on. For days.

She is a beautiful, cuddly looking cat without front claws who is slow as all hell and uncoordinated to the point where she can hardly be categorized as a cat anymore, but if you approach her with any intention of affection beyond, perhaps, scratching her between her ears or feeding her a raw bloody brisket, she will rip your face off. Or at least make a hearty attempt.

Well, she would have up until about 6 months ago.

See, this cat, she has started to slow down. She's just about 13 now, which I didn't think was *that* old for cats, but her stride tells me differently. She's very slow. She's awkward and uncoordinated. She doesn't really jump anymore. She runs only to beat the dog into the house or to her food. And she just always looks uncomfortable. Like her bones are creaky.

She reminds me of an old lady.

So, because I try to be a somewhat diligent pet owner, I decided to take her to the vet. For a, like, check-up or something. I say, "or something", because this cat hasn't had a check up in a long time. Like, years? I don't know. She's an indoor-mostly cat and so I've not had any call to put Bubba or myself in harm's way just so that we can transport her to another place and put other people in harm's way. And when I say, "harm", I mean, of course - Rocket.

So what I'm used to are dog check-ups. Because the dog is a social being who accompanies me to work and out walking the neighborhood and to the beach and mountains and other places where she comes in contact with cooties, ticks, rabid wild snowmen and the like. So, she needs check-ups and shots and chicken baby food from the jar because our vet is very sweet like that. Then they coo and fuss over her because she's "perfect!", has the "heart of a marathon runner!", is "the ideal weight", "so sweet", "beautiful", "so young for her age" and so on. It's lovely. Jada loves going to the vet. They give her treats, cuddle her and afterward I walk her down to the dog bakery (yes, this is California, we have these things) and let her pick out a toy or something gay like that.

I'm a social butterfly.

Rocket though? Totally different story. A bad story. That has to start with putting her in the cat carrier, and you know how that goes.

Thankfully, sort of, her Cat Carrier Ferocity has mellowed over the years a bit. And my neighbors (oh how they've saved me) loaned me their top-loading carrier for the transporting of said face-ripping beast. It helps. A lot. And I think it helps that she is slow and creaky, so doesn't put up a fight. She's not wild about me picking her up, but she is slow enough that I can move my delicate parts of the way of her swinging claws before they can open up my forearms.

Well, all of this alleged mellowing of old age has done me a fat lot of good because OH YAY, I've come to find out that, after 3 rounds of orally administered antibiotics, she has been acting a hero but is still infected with an unkillable cootie and now requires subcutaneous antibiotics daily for 6 weeks.

Not know what subcutaneous antibiotics are? Yah, I didn't either.

It's a fancy word for, "You're going to have to inject drugs under the cat's skin with a needle. Every day. For six weeks."

A cat whose life mission is to slice me open and display my innards like one might a frog in 7th grade science class. A cat who has terrified hundreds of people in her 13 year lifespan and rendered seasoned vet techs to quivering messes with her well-seasoned low growl. A cat more raccoon than feline, more wild than domestic, more teeth than fur.

And I get to shamble up to her on a nightly basis and jam a needle in her scruff.

I'll let that sink in for a minute.

Good times, right? Something to get off the couch for, right? Wrong.

So I guess what I'm saying is that, of all the hats I might wear on a day to day basis, this isn't my favorite.

Oh, and if you don't hear from me for a few days, Call. The. Police. - Rocket did it.


  1. My mom's cat, Blue, is 15 years old. He's a total asshole to everyone but her and the kids. Except he's also 28 pounds (heavier than my 2 year old) and I'm 99% sure he's blind. And he has no teeth. YET...he can gum you and it hurts like mother fucking hell.

    Which is kind of how I envision I'll end up when I'm old and crazy.

  2. I don't like cats, and ours aren't even that bad. I think you need some of those long-ass thick leather gloves that are used for, like, grabbing logs out of fireplaces. They go to the elbow.

    And Bubba must REALLY love you to wrestle with an inherited evil cat like that.

  3. Did Rocket, by any chance, have an drunken fling with the neighborhood tom about six and a half years ago, the regrettable results of which she then left in a Vegas dumpster? Because I think she must be the biological mother of my cat.

    I have eerily similar stories to tell about my dear kitty. Except in my vet story the tech was bleeding (profusely) before they came and got me. And he was only seven months old at the time.

    Also, our most recent visit to the vet has left me sans one chunk of index finger. Needless to say, we will be returning for an alternative method to home treatment. Preferably one that involves sedation.

    P.S. my captcha says "lacat". Funny.

  4. Oh man. She sounds evil. I hope you survive the next six weekes (mostly) unscathed. Yikes.

  5. I can empathize! Our old cat has diabetes and she can be a bitch to give shots to twice a day. I've noticed that she is worse if I am all jittery about it. If I am calm and relaxed, it rubs off on her too. Poor Rocket (and you!)

  6. I'm more of a dog person (Goldens!) but find cats to be great entertainment (laser pointer, anyone?)...

    One night, our cat Tootsie chewed open one of my son's the dark, her mouth and paws looked like they were radioactive.

    Vet said she would be fine, so all was well, but that was one of the funniest things I've seen in a while.

    Rocket kicks ass, btw.

  7. I love this blog - I found it the other day (can't remember how now, I think I was searching for something re: sewing) and I haven't stopped reading since. Hilarious.

    I thought I had an evil cat, but apparently not. Nice to know there are infinite levels to feline sadism. I also thought that having to give antibiotic injections to big, cranky snakes was pretty squarely in the 'unfun' category, but again, you have shown me how very wrong I am.

    I hope you make it - I really like reading this blog. Good luck!

  8. Sounds...exciting. You don't need to go out and compete in athletics to get a REAL challenge!

    FYI, Adequan is good stuff for creaky old four-legged friends. It does, of course, involve

  9. This is how Simon, our mean cat, went from indoor to outdoor . . . that, and he jumped out the window of every place we have lived together --oh, and Leeor swears Simon tried to kill him when we moved in together. It's probably true. Simon only loves me, but in that jealous way where he hates everyone else. And he bites and scratches me too. I try to tell him this is not love but he doesn't listen.

    I'm sure you've tried everything, but when I need to give him meds or administer flea stuff, I sit on him and squeeze (gently, of course) with my knees so he can't claw, bite or get away. But Rocket may have super strength so that may not work. Good luck!

  10. I truly love your voice.... And I had a cat that could have been your cat's daddy. Except he had front claws too, and my vet didn't bother doing anything for me except cleaning the blood off her front counter. I will remember the "two couch cushions" trick....

  11. Sara - I think Blue and Rocket must be from the same mold of Crazy because when she finally loses all her teeth, I'm sure she'll just gum us to death or start brandishing weapons. Beotch.

    Kris - Bubba brought a similarly evil cat into our lives when we moved in together. Her name was Mugs, and while she was cute and small, she was also old, mean and a Mad Pee-er. He and I are no longer allowed to own cats.

    Amy - At least YOU understand why I've forgone the vet for so long. Fucking death defying, that.

    Lera - We'll see. It would appear that this sado cat might actually *like* getting shots. At least from the way she *doesn't* try to rip off my face while I'm doing it.

    Sera - Definitely gotta be confident. That's where the shambling comes in.

    Colorado Angler - I'd respond to your comment but I have to go find a glow stick. Awesome.

    Shannon - Thank you for your well wishes! And please, stop shooting up snakes. That's the most terrifying thing I've ever heard.

    Galadriel - Adequan you say? Now that I'm becoming an expert in shots, I may try it. I feel bad for her creakiness, even though she hates me with the heat of a thousand suns.

    Melissa - Yes, the "Hatching a Cat" pose does work fairly well with her, if I run out of patience for the "Come on, Kitty, we're just going to cuddle" strategy. Good call.

    Jennifer - I knew we weren't the only ones using couch cushions to defend ourselves. So scary these cats.

  12. Best thing for wrangling kitties? BIG THICK TOWEL. You gotta get it around ALL the claws though or it won't work lol.

  13. Oh man. I did that for my kidney-failed cat for a year. It was a 2-man operation and my cat was pretty mellow. Good luck with that.

    Oh and this: "grunting like a wild boar and shit a giant pile on the floor" made me have to hold myself so I wouldn't pee and I may have snorted iced coffee out of my nose. At work.

  14. Ooooh yeah, Adequan. It's prescription-only and injection-only, but boy does it seem to do great things for my creaky doggies. If there were a human version, I'd learn how to inject myself to take it--and I *haaate* needles.

    I'm going to ask the orthopedist next month if there's anything like it for people, in fact. I want what my furballs are getting.

  15. it must be tricky to tell such a difficult story with such humor and wit. but, you did it. best of luck to you.

    frail, aging pets, in need of medical care, are the main reason i am putting off adopting one.

  16. This is a perfect example of why I hate cats. Go ahead and get mad at me, people. But I don't care...cats are good for nothing, except destroying and pooping in my vegetable beds.


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