I will not become complacent again about Flame’s tablets! I will not become complacent again about Flame’s tablets! I will not become complacent again about Flame’s tablets! I will not become complacent again about Flame’s tablets! [this said while beating self up the side of the head.]
Who is flame you ask? Let me tell you. I have written in the past about Raji my wonderful gentle 14year old red point Birman cat. Well Flame is the ‘other’ one.
A very pretty sweet looking kitten-faced 10 year old red point Birman cat. To look at her you’d think butter wouldn’t melt in her mouth. People take one look at her and go all gooey and, to their later regret, reach a hand out to stroke her.
YD says calls her ‘Southern-White-Trash’ and gives her a whiny voice that says when YD tries to touch flame - “Don’t you turch me you curly haired girl .. I only like that other one … she feeds me and I will let her turch me as long as she feeds me and provides a lap for me to sit in WHEN I want it. I own this house and I let her and that other big red cat live here to look after Me.!” Whereupon Flame stalks away, sits and begins to pointedly clean any part of her body that the unsuspecting one has touched. I think maybe YD is a little put out that Flame seems to like only me.
First night with her R was away with work, and she came into bed in the evening and sat between my knees as I was reading. I thought “Oh, isn’t that nice, she’s adjusting well”. Until I felt the bed clothes become wet and realized she had peed on me and the bedclothes. I didn’t realize at the time but Oh god! that was the beginning of years of stress with this little cat. She took to peeing on the lounges, the mats, the beds, at odd times – seemingly at random.
We tried everything; putting lots of litter trays around, behavioural strategies, pheromone sprays – you name it we tried it. I bought plastic mattress covers for all the furniture and kept the bedroom doors shut. Eventually in desperation I discussed medication with the vet. So began her journey on anti-depressants. Now that kept the behaviour to a minimum [mostly]. Every now and then the routine of the house would be interrupted by a workman, stranger to Flame, or some other disruption to her world, and she would be stressed and pee on things again. Sometimes she would poo also.
Despite all this in the beginning I persevered with her, gradually accustoming her to being cuddled by me and I believe feeling safe. She became the dominant cat straight away as Raji was accustomed to not being in that role. He always defers to her. She eats first and will sometimes come back in and push him away if she sees him eating. She is also a greedy little thing and is now so fat she will lose her balance when lying on her back and suddenly find herself rolling over
Now, she is a very bright little cat and she doesn’t like the tablet she knows she gets every morning. So she ducks me – hiding behind the lounge where I can’t get to her. Sometimes I get complacent and think it doesn’t matter if she misses a day for her tablet. But sometimes without my realizing it, this stretches into a few days and then she starts to pee or poo on the mats or my chair. You have no idea of the work it takes to clean all this up. I keep a thick blanket on my chair and it’s a pain to wash and hang out on the line. If the carpet catches some, I have to shampoo that and then I have a spray that neutralizes the smell. I don’t even want to think about the problem with the bedding, especially the times in the household in the past when I’ve gone up to bed after a stressful day, feeling exhausted, only to find I have to strip all the bedding etc.
In the last week or so I have been lax about flame’s tablet, kidding myself, I realize now, that she is going OK. Cured of the behaviour, I thought. Then Wham it started with the bathroom mats where this time she began pooing. Not too bad because they are small and easily washed. But it quickly spread to the blanket on my chair where for 4 days in a row I walked in and found she’d done the deed again. 4 times had to wash the heavy blanket and struggle to get it dry. So I began to make sure I gave her the tablet every day no matter how hard that was. By the night of the 5th day I got cunning and brought out the plastic bed protector [duh], and put it on the chair overnight and any other time I was not sitting in the chair. So finally the medication seems to have kicked in again and no more troubles but I am still reluctant to leave the plastic off the chair.
At night she waits for me to go up to bed and then comes and curls up on the bed and sleeps the night there. The bed seems safely out of harm’s way while I am in it. She likes to go outside more than Raji. She often finds a sun spot or at least shelter from the wind. If she gets locked out too long for her however, she complains bitterly and loudly in her high whining voice as I let her in. Oh and the other funny quirk about her is she snores – very loudly and sounds just like a human. It cracks me up when she does this.
|Raji grooming Flame|
So now you know why I am writing on my computer 500 times ‘I will not become complacent again about Flame’s tablets!’ Maybe tonight I will leave the plastic off the chair .. what do you think??