31 March 2015

aging and pets

Last night, I went to start the shower and noticed that the bath mat was all messed up. When I pulled it out to straighten it, I found a mess. Cat urine and poop.

My heart sunk. I know Pumpkin is getting older. She's 12 years old now. I've noticed a decline in her activity levels over the past year or so, and contributed it mostly to the move to the new house and the dog-- less familiarity with her surroundings, and less freedom to roam about simply because every time she emerges from the bedroom, the dog shows up wanting to be friends but mostly causes the cat to observe us from the safe zone or run back into the bedroom and hide. I hate that. She rarely goes outside anymore because she wasn't familiar with the new yard/neighborhood by the time the dog came around. I knew this adjustment would not be easy but didn't realize it would affect her activity level so much.

Either way, I've been very aware that the cat is getting older and might not have many years left. While she does have plenty of spunk, I've been paying attention to it, maybe just because I don't want to be blindsided if her health does decline.

At any rate, incontinence is NOT a good sign. In her 12 years, Pumpkin has NEVER pooped in an inappropriate place. Which was alarming. It's not her usual way. I assumed that this was the beginning of the inevitable decline.

I was gearing up towards full-on internal panic/worry mode, when Chris reminded me that Andy was outside in the back yard all day. Which means that every time Pumpkin attempted to exit via the cat door, Andy heard it and was right there on the other side waiting for her to emerge. We think that she probably tried to go outside, but was thwarted by the dog at every attempt. (Cat's thoughts: Dammit dog I just need to take a crap) We don't keep the litter box available anymore because of the cat door, so she had to resort to relieving herself inside the house. A logical and incredibly probable situation.

After that, I was so relieved that Pumpkin was probably not incontinent with failing health, and also relieved that she chose the bath mat instead of the bed. In the meantime, we brought back the litter box just in case this situation does happen again.

My feelings towards the dog change on a daily basis. Some days she's cool. Some days all I can think of is how damn inconvenient the dog is. Doesn't even let the cat go outside and totally ruins my carefully cultivated plans for litterbox-less-ness. Pain in my ass.

I'm mentally concocting a method to allow for the cat's freedom, even while the dog is in the back yard. Possibly some kind of barrier separating the cat door from the rest of the back yard that can be set up when we leave. Which is another incredibly annoying thing to have to think about just because of the dog, but at this point I have to think of solutions to the problems she creates.

Cat, you can't die yet and leave me alone with this dog-ful house. I need you as an ally.


Ashley Bennett said...

This post made me sad. Poor Punk. Cats > dogs

Drew said...

Ah, poor kitty. I'm on team Pumpkin.

Drew said...

Ah, poor kitty. I'm on team Pumpkin.

Suzy :) said...

noooo! Not the munk!! :(