Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Pets, Cats to be specific

Like all most "normal" families (we are the Grizzwolds, dontcha know) we have had family pets. It seems as if these pets are cursed once they cross our threshold. We've had both cats and now dogs, so let's start at the beginning:

Cats - The Grizzwold family has had three cats. The first, Disney, was a grey tabby who liked to sleep on my head at night. Sadly, this cat ran away after we moved to a new home. The second cat was Belle, a big fluffy black and white domestic long haired cat...with a horrible "cattitude". This cat would allow you to pet it about three times, then it would lash out and bite. It walked around like it owned the place. This cat was smart about it's nastiness. Instead of growling and hissing, it would purr, luring you into a false sense of security before WHAMMO! You've got teeth marks in your arm or leg. Make a loud noise next to Belle? WHAMMO! Teeth marks. Crying kids were the worst. After our third child was born we had to start kicking Belle outside because the baby cries were making her nuts and she was taking it out on everyone else, including the baby. The final straw was when she laid in wait for a neighborhood kid who, not knowing any better, patted the cat on the head. WHAMMO! No more Belle. She was sent to "the farm".

Our final entrant in the Grizzwold cat parade is Dewey. Dewey arrived a few summers ago with four of his brothers and sisters in a fostering effort for the Humane Society. We had agreed to foster cats, so we got cats. All four of them. Dewey's brother's and sisters (Daffy, Donald, and Daisy...sense a theme here?) are adorable orange tabby cats. They had the run of our unfinished basement for the summer until Donald got sick. It turns out Donald had FIP (which has a meaning, I assure you, but darned if I can remember it), which is an immunodeficiency disease that is terminal in felines. You can equate it with HIV in humans. Since they were kittens, their immunodefense mechanisms were too weak to defend against it. Donald got horribly sick (there are two forms of FIP, wet and dry...both involve body water either the overabundance of it or lack thereof) and literally drank water until he got horribly bloated. We put him down to avoid additional suffering. Daisy did the same about a month later. We shipped Daffy and Dewey back to the Humane Society for a while, hoping that they wouldn't get sick, but they both were carried and no one wanted cats with terminal diseases, even if the Humane Society was picking up the tab. Long story short, Daffy and Dewey came back to our home. After about another month, Daffy came down sick and had to be put down. Then there was one. Dewey somehow has survived all of this death around him. He's infected, but shows no symptoms. For the most part Dewey is a good cat. He's not over aggressive like Belle, has not run away like Disney, and has maintained his health for the most part. Good is all relative as Dewey has one of the most BIZARRE habits I've ever seen in a cat or a dog. HE HUMPS STUFFED ANIMALS!

I'm sure you're asking, "Grizzwold, why isn't the cat neutered? That will solve his little problem." Well, Dewey was neutered quite a while ago. Still, he'll latch on to a stuff animal (he has his favorites) drag it out into an open area, and "get bizzy". I feel sorry for the poor stuffed animal, as he generally leaves his victims behind after he's done with them. Most of them look like murder victims sans the chalk outline. How do I know this? I've seen him in action. Scruff of the stuffed animal neck in his mouth, back all hunched over, gentle grumbles and slight panting, tail all twitchy and off to the side. It's pretty disturbing. I'd had a little trouble explaining this to my kids (all girls, mind you), but now he's the butt of family jokes. Lest you think he's exclusive to stuffed animals, we've caught him with baby blankets, pillows, and cotton T-shirts. He had a stuffed lion hidden in a corner of the Grizzwold laundry room. It's fur was all stuck together and matted down. I found it one day when I was cleaning up. It was splayed out, on it's back, the vacant stuffed animal look in it's eye almost saying "make him stop"!

(next posting: our new puppies. Yes, there is more than one!)


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