Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Time For A Cat Adjustment!

My son's newest cat, Tiger, has been overly energetic since we brought him home. At first it was pretty cute. Chandler and Tiger would play all throughout the house, chasing each other and having a great time. But they're both too big to do that. Lately Tiger has started marking his territory and doesn't always use the litter box, which invokes the Mom Wrath.

Chandler has tried teaching him to use the litter box every time, but that's not working. He's a stubborn cat. We've also tried putting him outside, but Tiger has always been inside the house. Every time he goes outside, he freaks out and cowers until we bring him in.

I have to admit, Tiger's outside experience hasn't been good. The first time he accidentally got locked outside, I was mowing the lawn. He freaked out and I didn't notice it at first. He was jumping up to grab hold of the doorknob, crying out for someone to come save him.

Since then, he goes out long enough to roll in the dirt once, then comes back inside the house.

Sherry has gotten frustrated with Tiger's bathroom behavior failings as well as his Tarzan of the apes gymnastics across the curtains. And she's gotten tired of picking up all the pictures Tiger continually knocks down from the entertainment center.

I went to the vet to pick up food for our labrador this afternoon. While I was there, I mentioned Sherry's desire to have Tiger declawed and neutered.

(See why I never get her mad enough at me to invoke Mom Wrath? I mean, you're on your best behavior or you end up missing body parts you'd kind of taken for granted and figured would always be with you.)

I told the vet that I felt guilty about having Tiger neutered at such a young age. I didn't want any personality changes because my son likes him just the way he is. And after going through the operation, Tiger probably is not going to be as trusting as he was before.

The vet said he understood my feelings, but he said this is the mistake most people make. They don't think they should have a male cat neutered as much as they think they should have their female spayed. He went on to tell me that a healthy young male cat could impregnate as many as 20 females in a single day. So one day of having your cat loose in the neighborhood could result in the birth of a 80 kittens.

Man, if tomcats had paternity suits they would be so screwed!

Later, I was talking to my wife and son, letting them know what the vet had said. I mentioned the fact that our young tomcat could impregnate 20 females in one day if left unchanged or unsupervised. I also mentioned that that must really be the life. My son laughed at me. But he's not worried for his cat anymore, so this is good.

I'm not crazy about having Tiger declawed, but he is tearing up things and I know that, with my son, that cat will never live outside and he will be taken care of for the rest his life.

So I feel better about it too. Still, I hate to change the natural order of things. But that order is changed the minute you bring a cat in the house to live -- because that's not normal either. For either one of you.

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