Sunday, November 11, 2007

A Repost for Pretty Lady and Alpha Cat.

Pretty Lady's Alpha Cat has become an elderly gentleman, much as my wonderful Babycat was toward the end. He's having some health issues, perhaps some kidney problems. But he's still a happy boy, who loves his human. He's one of the very few, very lucky cats who has a Human Who Sings To Them.

So I thought I'd repost this erudite discussion of Mr. Babycat's interesting outlook on his kidney situation, and its resolution.

BabyCat's Latrines: Seek and Ye Shall Find
Thursday, February 09, 2006

My cat is 21 years old.

Now, that's a very old cat. The vet tells me cat years in human years are approximately this: 10 years the first year of the cat's life, then 5 years after that.

So my guy would be around 110 years old, in human terms.

Like a lot of older gentlemen, his kidneys and prostate aren't in such great shape any more. He gets pee issues.

He drinks loads of water. Then he wants to go - but he can't.

This never fails to surprise him.

We keep two indoor boxes for him, and have a cat door to the outside. In Florida, especially the central and southern parts, we have sand for our dirt. For a cat, this is great. One big giant natural outdoor litterbox. And this particular cat has always been a rather fussy, tidy-minded guy. He constructs nice neat holes, covered up afterward with attention to detail.

So imagine his confusion when he carefully prepares his little latrine - and it doesn't work.

I watch him at this exercise in the back yard. He'll dig his hole, squat, wait - patience all over his face - wait some more - look puzzled - stand up, turn around, check the hole, and...NOTHING THERE!

Hmmmm. He sniffs around. Thinks a while. Looks around - is there some pee-stealing entity causing this condition? Nope, doesn't see anything.


That hole he dug just plain didn't work.

So he goes to dig another one.

Digs. Squats. Waits. Checks it.


Two broken holes in a row?!

Now, this is getting strange. He looks around again for the Pee Stealing Conspirators.

Doesn't see any.

Thinks awhile.

Well. Another latrine Out of Order. That's life. Got to try again in a different spot.

Okay, he decides. I can do that.

He hunts and hunts for a Working Latrine plot of land.

Sometimes this goes on for 10 or more tries.

Finally! The search is rewarded with a hole that actually works. Yay! He pees about a gallon into it, then carefully and respectfully covers it back up. You don't want to dis the only working latrine in the whole back yard. Might jinx your next try.

And holds his dignified old head up, and comes back inside for a well-earned nap.

All that latrine construction can tire a guy out.


Jean said...

How could anyone NOT love 'em???

Nancy said...

Ya gotta love an old man cat...

Jan said...

Ohhh...bless his little cat heart!

He does sound so dignified, and I'm glad that he has not lost his dignity by not finding a reliable latrine.

We had a cat, Pepper, who we were pretty sure was swung by his tail by a neighborhood kid, and it broke the tip of his spine. He suffered terribly, and had to be catherized daily.

He had three surgeries over a course of a couple of months, and finally had to be euthanized. We were heartbroken.

I hope your guy does well..and I know he will in your caring hands.

prettylady said...

That is SO funny. Thank you!

You will be pleased to know that the Alpha Cat has received an early Christmas present from the Gentleman Friend--one of those pet drinking fountains, that keep the water ever-flowing! Now he doesn't have to climb into the toilet every time he craves fresh water, although he still tries. We also got some floor diapers for beneath the litter box. He doesn't seem to have any problem peeing, most of the time--what happens is that he walks partway into the box and pees with his arthritic hips still outside of it. Those puppy-training pads are just the thing.

He's now ensconced on the feather sofa cushion with Mom's quilt.

pepektheassassin said...

=) Great post. Funny and kinda sad at the same time....

k said...

Yes, to all. He was so very lovable, he and his mama April too. I believe I was blessed with the sweetest cats in the universe. I miss them, sometimes terribly so; but knowing how long and how happily they lived is a great comfort to me.

Jean, you know something? Having a *young-un* around again is probably a very good thing for you and yours. I know you wondered at your own sanity when it happened! But...You had too many aging too close together, I think; and it's so...rejuvenating to have the bouncy youthful ones around too. They make you giggle for no apparent reason at all. That is worth a great deal right there.

Jan, the things people do to animals make me half-crazy sometimes. For a child to do that is a very bad sign of things to come. Cruelty to animals is one of the *trinity* of early warning signs of serial killers-to-be, among other vicious adults.

My vet told me once about what happens when cats get tailbone injuries. It's awful, they can even slough off vertebrae one by one and you end up losing them after months of care, even if it looked hopeful at first.

Poor Pepper. He had a family who loved him through it, and I've no doubt it made his suffering easier. But he should never have had to go through all that in the first place. If it was a local kid who did that to him, I hope he got some intervention in time.

Pretty Lady, Miss Assassin - Have you two met? Miss Assassin, you have here another Human Who Sings To Her Cats! Pretty Lady, you have here a Human Who Understands Humans and Animals Both! And extremely well. And artists both of you, deep and true.

PL, I've never heard of the Pet Drinking Fountain. That is too rich! I would LOVE to see pix of this invention. I can imagine so many cats and dogs both going bananas over it. I hope the inventor becomes ridiculously wealthy overnight.

Alpha Cat sounds like his every comfort is being attended to. I was wondering if the box mishaps were due to mobility issues. I think that's what happened to BabyCat too; he'd just get too tired and sore to try to get all his feet in at the same time.

I realized today that as a sign of my own aging brain, I mixed up my cat's ages in my comment back at your place. April lived to 19 1/2, and BabyCat to 22 years old.

Miss Assassin wrote the most extraordinarily beautiful post for him when he passed away in July 2006. I'd like to repost that, too, if I may.

Desert Cat said...

Our cats have one of those drinking fountains. It's basically a recirculating pump for the water bowl with an attached water reservoir. It fools them into thinking they're getting a fresh trickle of water. They also have access to a recirculating pond in the enclosed side-yard.

Re: litter, in order to cure the big cat/small litter box conundrum, Daisycat purchased one of those big rubbermaid storage tubs with lid from WalMart and cut a cat-sized hole in the side. It's big enough for two cats to fit simultaneously (not that they do), but ensures there's plenty of room to move around and get the tail-end fully inside before beginning busines.

Desert Cat said...

There is a photo of the fountain at this page

Jean said...

heh... I do whine well, but in truth, I am blessed with both Sparky and Putz!

k said...

DC, that was a stroke of genius on Miss Daisycat's part. I bought a huge covered catbox at one point for a ridiculous sum of money. It had a regular cat pan for a base, and had a sort of large roof type thing you put on top.

It never occurred to me that I could get the same effect - or better, probably - with one of those much cheaper storage containers!

However, when BabyCat became noticeably elderly, he got confused about that too. He'd go all the way inside...then forget to turn around and use the litter.


There I'd find him, standing with his head and all four feet carefully planted inside the enclosure, pointing his rear end OUT the opening...

then he'd come out and find a big puddle on the floor RIGHT where he wanted to put his paws, and this tidy old gentleman of a cat would look up at me with this wounded and offended look on his face: Mama! Why did you let someone piddle on the floor RIGHT where I need to put my paws to get out of here? Geez!