still the Baby lives on
Wednesday, August 21 2013
Our oldest cat, Marie, whom we refer to as "the Baby," has been living with us since late September 2006. When we got her back then, the estimate was that she was "twenty" years old. But that was nearly seven years ago. Back in December when she seemed sickly, we tried to have our housecall vet euthanize her, but the vet wouldn't do it. In those days, the Baby had an obnoxious habit of shitting in various places, such as on the tiles of the upstairs bathroom floor or near the door to the east deck in the dining room. Her shit in back then was a foul liquid that she produced explosively. Luckily for us, the dogs would hear that sound and come running, so we rarely had to clean it up (though of course that made kisses from the dogs a bit more risky than they would have otherwise been). More recently, though, the Baby has been shitting proper logs, and even doing so out in the garden, which is about as hygienic as one can expect a cat to get.
A lot of the Baby's behavior is contingent on the weather. When it's nice outside, she spends a lot of time in one of the padded chairs out on the east deck. If it's raining, a little cool, or too hot, she'll come inside, where her preferred locations include one of the steps on the staircase to the upstairs or on a scrap of old blue jeans just inside the door of my laboratory. A new problem cropped up several weeks ago when the Baby started spending time in the laboratory; she was too lazy to go back into the house to use her usual litter boxes when she pissed, so she'd just piss somewhere in the laboratory. I've put plastic in most of these places, though the resulting puddles have to be mopped up quickly or they make the whole laboratory smell like cat piss.
Today, the Baby reverted to the worst of her old ways on several levels. Not only did her feces go back to their foul state of explosively-delivered liquid, but she started shitting in the laboratory. At some point today she shat on a carpet fragment that Ramona couldn't thoroughly clean. After cleaning it up, I put in a couple blocks of wood, a piece of plywood, and a layer of plastic, all to catch whatever the Baby might choose to deliver while allowing the cleaned carpet fragment a chance to dry out. None of these are pleasant distractions, but it's all part of living with the Baby. It's why euthanasia seemed like such a good idea all those months ago. But still the Baby lives on.
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