Wednesday, June 18, 2008

My Cat is Still in the Closet and Needs to Come Out

My cat, Truffle, would make a nice pelt.

We have logged six visits to the veterinary hospital in two weeks, so far. Bigtime ka-ching. Truffle has been given three different antibiotics for her UTI, none of which seem to be working. We inject subcutaneous fluids into her every day from a bag which we hang from one of Flip's boom stands so gravity will do its stuff. We have more drug paraphernalia than most junkies. The injections will continue for the rest of her life.

So far I have stabbed myself only once. I removed the needle from my finger and without thinking, inserted it into Truffle's upper back. Luckily, I have no blood diseases.

If Truffle were a dog, she would be 126 years old. I'm not sure what the ratio is for cat lives, and that's not even considering that they have nine of them.

The most recent visit was because of my concern that she wasn't eliminating wastes as the litter box was always clean. I was worried about uremic poisoning. They assured me that she would be dead if that were the case, and she isn't. Yet.

But today I discovered a whole nest of juicy little turds contained in one size 6 satin slingback evening pump. Black. Great instinct for camouflage.

I handed it carefully to Flip from inside the closet. He emptied it in the toilet and brought it back to me.

"Can you salvage it?" he asked.

It had pee stains and a very rank odor.

I hurled it in the garbage, the other one too, although it was relatively pristine.

Why tempt fate by keeping ONE shoe?

Flip: "You're her mother."

Me: "I never shat in my mother's shoes."

Flip: "Otherwise, she's a very nice kitty."


The latest antibiotic is a tiny pill. She took the first one in a "pill pocket," a soft treat which can be wrapped around medicine. Last night she also accepted her chicken a la pill, but tonight she got wise to us. She scarfed the pill pocket right down to the pill but refused to eat it. I put another one in her food, and she went on a hunger strike. So Flip held her tightly while I forced her mouth open and tried to insert the pill, just the way the online article said to do.

She peed all over both of us and our beautiful, handmade (dry-clean only) Tibetan quilt and our comforter (which I just washed a few days ago.) It was easily a gallon of saved-up cat urine.

Flip threw out our bath rug yesterday and also two new bath towels that had fallen on the floor, where Truffle christened them. That was when she still had a distant relationship with the room which housed her litter box.

Cats are mysterious. I know that inappropriate urination is caused by her UTI, but pooping in a shoe in the back of a closet took some deliberation. She is probably expressing anger at the injections, for which I can't blame her. But passive-aggressive behavior is so-o -- pussy.

"Cats are intended to teach us that not everything in nature has a purpose."
Garrison Keillor


Nick said...

Goodness, you must be very devoted to accept all the bad behaviour with such equanimity! I surely wouldn't have the patience! Truffle is very lucky to have such dedicated guardians. And Garrison Keillor's quote is wonderful.

Sienna said...

Ooooo mate, if it's any help I am the world's top 10 pill administerererers for animals...(cats, dogs, horses and sheep).

(Children I have the Silly Clown act to happily induce taking medicine)..

Approach cat as if you are about to massage spine area, (and do)..kinda straddle ever so gently, left hand index finger swiftly and accurately pops into jawline opening jaw a little ...thumb on other side, jaw ajar...pill gets placed quickly with index finger to furtherest part of the back of tongue, get fingers all out quickly..swallowing reflex happens automatically, it's all over before they can say, "now where is that black shoe?"

Gets' um everytime..they look around in strange confusion, what was that??

Hope that helps...

Truffle is very much loved.

Anonymous said...

I would challenge Sienna to try that with my cat. She can pierce flesh with a glare. I have never worried about medicating animals until this one, She is feral.

I hope you get new shoes!

Em said... the shoe. That's a good one. But it does sound like you are at wit's end with the kitty. Clearly you love her and take great care of her...but even our fondest pets can make us insane at times.

Good luck!

furiousBall said...

oooooh the shoe shot, that's cold kitty.

MsLittlePea said...

I know exactly what you must be going through. My dog had been to the vet at least twice a month for the past year and a half for anal sac infections and surgeries to remove the sacs. Then there were some benign tumors back there that needed to be removed and the pockets needed to be left open to drain. His colon was constantly backed up and for a while he lost control over the "leakage" back there. So for a long time, I've been on the poop clean up crew. It's just been this past week that he's finally(knock on wood) healed from this final surgery and has control of his bowels....Never in my life have I ever been so concerned about whether or not one of my housemates were having healthy poops....
Goodness how much we all love our pets!
Peanut takes his pills with Peanut butter but your kitty is probably smarter than that trick.

meno said...

It's a pain, i know. But what else are you going to do? She's old, she's sick, she has good taste in shoes.

WNG said...

Sorry, but this is just one of the many, many reasons that IU'm a dog person.

Anonymous said...

Well, bless your heart. I would not have nearly the patientce for tending to a sick animal long-term.

The Fool said...

It sounds like quite the tribulations with Truffle. Hang in there, Heart. Such kindnesses have a karmic return.

Anonymous said...

Oh Heart, that is a tragic story. My heart goes out to group of you -- you and Flip, Truffles, of course, and anything that gets in her way.

Say It said...

Poor Truffles and Poor You and Flip!!! Once I was told to do injections, I would have had to reassess the situation. You two are very loving and caring pet parents!

Meg said...

Poor kitty! You're a good cat mommy. I'd give my superhero cape for my cats.

Rachel said...

Oh dear, I hope truffle is okay.

My cat is old too is is starting to go through some similar problems...but, she still uses the catbox, so I guess you deserve more pity.

riseoutofme said...

I was listening to the radio just yesterday ... a vet was on discussing abnormal cat behaviour (life doesn't get MORE exciting) ... he said that cats behave out of character when they are emotionally upset ... and the owner must unearth the problem and fix it.

Well, I'm sure that was BIG help to you.

Whatever happened about the smell emanating from the neighbouring apartment?

Maybe Truffle has some insights?

Anonymous said...

Oh no! Will she never heal of the UTI?? Why does she have to take injections for the rest of her life?

You are quickly cementing my preference for dogs.

heartinsanfrancisco said...


Equanimity? Oh, I don't think so.

I just gave her the nightly shot and stabbed myself again while trying to remove the needle from its housing. By the time I finished scotch taping it into a little packet for the garbage, it looked as if I had nicked a major artery - in my middle finger.

I suspect that Garrison Keillor had a cat, too.


How soon can you be here? Your directions sound exactly like the ones I found online, but I couldn't do it.

We spent most of today doing laundry, especially a be-pissed down comforter, after dropping off the quilt at the cleaner's. They were not optimistic about getting the odor out so we may have to discard it.

And actually, the look of confusion is more likely to be mine than Truffle's.


Spoken like a woman who knows the true priorities. Shoes.

Truffle is not normally feral, but this new regimen is making her so quickly. And it isn't doing much for my disposition either.


I take on animals for life and it's kind of a sacred trust. Also, I hope my family doesn't discard ME when I get old and feeble, especially if I don't pee on anyone.


They were pretty shoes. I liked them. I also had to admire her aim.

Sweet Pea,

If Peanut takes medicine in peanut butter, maybe I should give Truffle hers in Truffle butter. :<)

I don't know how you managed all that with your own health problems this year. You're amazing!


You did it. You made me laugh out loud. Sorely needed, too. Thanks.


I am actually a dog person, too, although I love all animals. It's impossible to bootleg a dog into an apartment that doesn't allow pets, while cats don't bark or get taken for walks.

In my REAL life, I always had both.


It's not patience, it's just love. I am not a very patient person in general, but I do love animals.


Thanks for the kind words. It hardly feels kind to stick needles in someone's flesh, though.

I's so glad you're back online. You were MIA for a very long time.


Nothing gets in her way except for closet doors bearing signs that say "No cats allowed."

Say it,

Injections are not my best thing. I would not have been a very good doctor, or junkie.


What kind of super hero cape do you have?

Welcome and thank you (and your cats) for your visit.


Yes, the cat box is key. I'm optimistic that she will rediscover its charms really soon, and I'll be over the moon if she does.


I have no doubt that she is emotionally upset. She was taken to the veterinary clinic 5 times in a short period of time, poked and prodded by strangers, and she was literally pissed.

She has begun to snuggle in my hair at night again, so I think things are returning to normal.

I'm pretty sure the odors next door are accumulated garbage. Skankblossom seems to live on deep fried stinking junk foods, a good reminder that we are indeed what we eat, and is too indolent to remove the remains.

There must be a karmic lesson for me in all this, but I'm usually too angry and disgusted to discern it.


Dogs get old and sick, too, sad to say.

The fluid injections keep her from becoming dehydrated but must be dosed carefully as she also has a heart murmur and too much fluid puts stress on her heart.

the walking man said...

Kudos for doing what you're doing to try to maintain the cats health. Last dog we had before the dog that killed the bear came along was roughly 20 human years old. She was an adult when she wandered in and lived with us fifteen years.

Size 6 satin slingback evening pump? Could have been worse if the cat really wanted to hurt you she would have used mommies Converse All Stars.

On a limb with Claudia said...

Have you thought of engaging a pet psychic? I actually know one that fairly reasonable and seems to work. Shoot me an email and I'll send along the info.

I think you're awesome for loving this obtuse creature so much.

jameil1922 said...

ahhhhhhhh!! most of all in "one size 6 satin slingback evening pump." see me and truffle would've had a fight!!

Molly said...

I actually thought that quotation from Garrison Keillor should refer to mosquitoes!

Sounds to me like Truffle is on borrowed time, especially after the incident with the hand-made Tibetan Quilt---ouch!

meggie said...

I agree with Nick. Truffle is a lucky cat!

RED MOJO said...

Sorry to hear about your shitty kitty. I mean, poor thing...what shoes do you think she'll hit next?
Maybe Flip should give the injections half the time, so she'll have more styles to choose from.

Jonah K. Haslap said...

Well I guess we know your cat's not a homosexual. A gay cat would never poop in a satin sling-back evening pump.

heartinsanfrancisco said...


Your dog killed a bear? I have to know more.

1. What kind of dog?
2. How big was the bear?
3. ?????
The last pair of high top Converse All-Stars I had, an army camo print with gold stars, was also ruined by a cat, the one before Truffle.

Do you see a pattern emerging here?


I'm sure that Truffle thinks I am obtuse but loves me anyway.

I seem to understand what animals are saying, but I'm probably better with dogs and horses than cats because they are more eager to communicate while cats expect you to just know.


Yeah, no kidding. Such pretty shoes. Now they're on a barge to hell, or lying dead in a landfill.


The dry cleaner said that the process would not remove odors, but I'm afraid to wash it because there is no care label and the colors might run. If it smells when I get it back, I'll have nothing to lose.

Long ago, I had a white paste for hand washing quilts in a tub of cold water but can't remember the name. Do you happen to know the product?

And yes, mosquitoes have absolutely no reason to live that I know of.


If we're being completely honest, ALL cats are lucky to have people who love them. It's not as if they offer slavish devotion in return. For that, you need a dog.


Flip holds her while I do the deed. And there are now signs on the closet that say "No cats allowed" at his eye level and hers. I don't need such a reminder.


It could have been worse. It could have been the pink Miss Piggy sneakers.

I would lend them to you but they're probably not your size.

Quickroute said...

A friends cat started pooping on the carpet for no apparent reason. He was seriously pissed and did the ol' rub yer nose in it trick to disuade the pooping. Turns out the poor cat had an infection in its bowels and this was probably her way of trying to tell the owner. 2 trips to the vet and alls well and the carpets are clean!

Jonah K. Haslap said...

Heart, I can't believe you suggested that I only comment on your blog for selfish reasons. What kind of horribly self-centered person would I have to be to do something like that?

Oh, right. Now I remember.

Well, in for a penny, in for a pound.


Jocelyn said...

You do love that puss if you can be so fine-humored about such insults. Even more than love, you just understand the nature of the beast. But, really, in the face of what must be some worry about your charge, you are admirably wry.

heartinsanfrancisco said...


Yes, cats are considerate that way. They let you know when you are falling down on the job and things are less than optimal.

Thank you for coming by our little mental hospital.


I was not implying that you were self-centered... I thought we had a signal.

I usually check feverishly for new offerings for several days or a week, and then I distract myself with other shallow pursuits until you surprise me with another fantastic post.

Please note that I worked hard for your two comments!


More accurately, I believe that Truffle understands the nature of THIS beast all too well. She drapes herself over my head as I sleep in order to absorb my thoughts and catch my dreams. I will never get over on her.

Moobs said...

Our cat has decided that his litter tray is a zen garden and that the rest of the house is one enormous loo. Bizarrely he poos in my wife's office and wees in the TV room. His ability to limit himself to just one form of excretion in each instance is a wonderment.

heartinsanfrancisco said...


Welcome and thank you for your visit.

Your cat does seem to possess the abilities of a Zen master. He might also be successful in the corporate world for his skill at "repurposing" whole departments.

I, too, have often felt the urge to offer up bodily fluids to the TV, but would have thought that poo would make the stronger statement.

I can only conjecture that he chooses to gift your wife in such a manner because he resents her attention to things other than him.

Perhaps we could pack bindles, introduce our cats, and see them off on their travels.

Jonah K. Haslap said...

Oh, I was just being typically self-deprecatory :) And I appreciate your perhaps excessive diligence in reviewing my blog!

Craze said...

Aww.. you're poor kitty. I hope the peeing and pooping issues go away soon and that she feels better soon. You two are awesome pet owners.

Ian Lidster said...

Fortunately Griffin (about the same age as Truffle) is still maintaining a modicum of continence, otherwise I'd find it really distressing.

heartinsanfrancisco said...


You came back! Excuse me while I give myself high fives for about an hour.


There is good news. I bought a spray can of cat pheromones even though I was skeptical that it would work.

Truffle sniffed it rapturously and immediately went and used her litter box.

Praise be. Things are looking up around here.


Happily, it wasn't incontinence but anger at all the hospital visits, injections, pills, and other evils to which she was subjected.

I will do whatever it takes to keep her happy. My training is complete.

Sometimes Saintly Nick said...

Poor Truffle. You are a good mommy to her. I hope she heals soon.

I am feeding Alex pills, too. I though the little while pills were being swallowed by the furball (push pill as far as possible on back of cat’s tongue; hold cat’s mouth shut for at least 30 seconds; blow in cat’s face) until I found three of the damned pills on the kitchen floor. Now, the pills are crushed and placed in Alex’s favorite wet cat food and I give him no more of it until he has eaten the entire serving—no matter how many times he attacks my genitals with his claws).

Good luck doctoring Truffle.

Los Angelista said...

Poor baby. When I was nine my cat peed in one of my mom's shoes. My mom had my dad take her to the pound.

I hope she's better soon. I know she's got to be feeling miserable in her old age. :(

heartinsanfrancisco said...

St. Nick,

Fiendishly clever, they are. Good luck medicating Alex and remember to wear your cup.


Well, who isn't?

So your mom didn't believe in second chances? Lucky you never peed in her shoes. (Apparently pushing your siblings out windows didn't count. If I had done that, trust me, I would have gone to the pound in a large sack w/o air holes.)

sallreen said...

Cat bath- Cat shampoo

heartinsanfrancisco said...


Thanks for coming by. Sadly, we lost Truffle a month after I wrote this post and we still miss her so much.