Friday, August 15, 2014

Love Hurts - A Cat Story

"Look at what you have done!!" I exclaimed to Junior Cat.
"Who? Me?? I have no idea what you are talking about! I was just sitting here..." 
And so the (nonexistent) conversation with our Junior Cat (would have) went, as I looked at the mangled encyclopedias and marvelled at the fact that he almost pulled out the letter "G" (I think he must have wanted to Google something). 

He is destruction on claws. He loves, loves, loves the feeling of wood underneath his claws. So he is also making his mark on our door casings. Carpeting feels pretty good too. He tends to attack the basement stairs - out of sight (but I am certain that he knows we can hear him).

One of these days I am going to want to repaint and repair the damage of the past nine (???) years of 'life' within our home. But how can I even begin to think of fixing and replacing that-which-has-been-damaged when we live with a furry weapon of destruction who does his worst damage when he is on patrol after the house is asleep and no one is monitoring his every move?

I called our friendly neighborhood veterinarian office (I may have to put these girls on my Christmas card list - we are in such regular contact) to tentatively check out the option of having him declawed. It even hurts to say the word. But I can't afford to have him continue to damage that-which-we-have. What we have isn't all that grand, but it is all we've got. I like to take care of it. And Mr. Junior Claws is not respecting my wishes.

Thankfully, the person that I spoke with was happy to supply me with a list of alternate methods to try before we even considered anything so rash.

We have tried clipping Junior's claws in the past and he has made it known that he wants nothing to do with this. My son managed to clip half (?) of his claws a month or so ago and that was quite the production. I thought that I could assist but even between the two of us, we just didn't have the technique required to get the job done. 

I thought it would be well worth it, to take him in for a professional 'manicure'. So we bought a 12-month nail trimming card for $120.00 verses $20.00 per clipping. This is insane. I have been scratching my head trying to figure out how to juggle the books to cover our expenses over the next few months and I run out and buy a 'nail trimming card' for our cat-of-mass-destruction?!!

Despite my (lack of) wisdom, it is a done deal. We will be escorting him to the vet once a month in an attempt to save our home from further mangling. 

Last night was our first trip.

First of all, he didn't want to go in the cat carrier. I made the mistake of bringing in the cat carrier at the very last moment and the cats didn't have an opportunity to go in an out of it at their leisure before it became exactly what it is - a cage.

I had to back him into the carrier. Bribing him with cat treats was not working.

Then I took him and his carrier out to the car. He meowed while I was unlocking the doors. He meowed as we drove there. He was crying for His Boy (my son always, always, always) assists me on our vet runs and I think he is part cat whisperer, child whisperer, human whisperer. He calms those around him with his manner and modulated tones. Junior Cat needed him and he wasn't there.

Nor was Senior Cat. Where one goes, the other follows (when it comes to wherever the cat carrier goes). Senior almost runs into the cat carrier whenever he sees it. But he didn't see it this time. He wasn't there as Junior's security blanket. Junior was alone. He didn't have 'his boy' and he didn't have 'his cat'. He just had me. And I was not enough.

He endured his manicure (they said it took longer to get him out of the cat carrier than it did, to trim his nails) but he let me know that he was offended and frightened by my actions. He had no problem showing me that his level of trust (as far as I was concerned) was depleted to nil. He reacted to every move and noise that I made. He hunkered down to the floor in a flight or fight response and his eyes were full of distrust. I wounded him. All of the love and trust that has been built in this year-of-living-with-each-other? POOF! Gone. 

All because I took him to the vet to get his nails trimmed. After he took it upon himself to seek out and destroy our home. 

It is a very good thing that this 'love' thing is quite unconditional. I understand and empathize with his disdain for me and the cat carrier. I even think that he (on some level) understands that I did this because he is part of our family unit and this is just a small price to pay for being loved. 

Love hurts sometimes. Just ask our cat.

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