My cat Spike is a jerk. I love him terribly and unconditionally, but he is a total ass.
He’s not mean to other people; on the contrary, he is a total lovebug to anyone who walks in the door that isn’t me. He has an infinite amount of patience with little kids, loves to be held and pet, and is just generally a sweet little man. Again, to everyone but me. With me, it’s different. While I am the person who does everything for him, from feeding to grooming to kitty massages, I am also the person that bears the full force of his wrath. Any slight, nay, any perceived slight is just cause to destroy something I hold dear. Jimmy Choo boots that took me months to save up for? Peed on those. Ever try to get cat pee out of supple, beautiful, perfectly fitted Italian leather? It’s akin to getting cat pee out of anything, by which I mean fucking impossible. Trust me, I have tried everything, attempted every single Google search suggestion for getting it out. Ruined. Spike has impeccable taste, my friends. The asshole doesn’t pee on flats from Target, no no no. He has ruined thousands of dollars worth of shoes. Perhaps it is just his way of providing disapproving commentary on my extravagant shoe purchasing.
Just to be perfectly honest, I am not innocent. I do things like this –
And he repays me like this –
So this is not a new thing. Spike misbehaves, I put up with it, life goes on. But lately, things have gotten more dramatic in the household. Since we will be moving at some point in the near future, I have begun packing up non-essentials. Both of my cats are emotional eaters; if I am working too much or they have a pet sitter, they increase their intake three-fold. From pretty much the moment I brought the first box in the house, Spike started chowing down. He also started shitting on the floor next to the litter box. This had previously been a semi-regular occurrence, maybe twice a week or so, but now, since he was also eating a gob of food, he was dropping deuces on the bathroom floor at least once a day. Each one stated clearly that he doesn’t like moving and is going to express his displeasure with my attempting to make him.
I tried all the tricks the Google had to offer. I took him to the vet to make sure nothing was physically wrong with him. I got new litter; I cleaned the litter more often. I put more litter in the box; I put less litter in the box. I moved the box; I got him a new box. A box with a lid; a box without a lid. He did not like it on a train, in the rain, in a box, with a fox, he DID NOT LIKE IT SAM I AM. Yeah, my rhyming needs improvement, but that felt like the natural way to go with that description. I paid an insane amount of money for one of those little Glade plug-in type things that releases soothing kitty smells. I tried spraying vinegar on the spots and I bought out the Nature’s Miracle aisle at Petsmart. Long story short (too late!), I freaking tried with this guy, I really did.
Last weekend, I took him back to the vet and asked if we could put him on Prozac. I had never considered medicating him before, but one of the women at the vet suggested it when we were discussing his issues. She had great luck with her older cat after having her put on it. I did some research and found many people who had been very pleased with the results of putting their cats on it. I figured it was worth a shot.
It’s has been like magic. He has only crapped on the floor once since last Saturday, and even that one seemed kind of half-hearted, not his usual “holy-shit-that-is-huge-how-did-that-come-out-of-a-cat-JON-are-you-sure-you-didn’t-shit-on-the-bathroom-floor?” pile. In every other way, he is the exact same cat – same personality, same responses to stimuli, everything but the shitting. It has changed us, too. It’s much easier to be loving and affectionate when you haven’t spent the last 15 minutes wiping shit streaks off the floor while your nostrils are assailed by his butt funk. We are all in better moods and the house isn’t as much of an embarrassment, scent-wise. Winning all the way around.
I don’t plan on keeping him on it forever. I would like to be able to stop after this round of treatment. Unfortunately, our move situation is up in the air, so until that is settled, I can’t have the house settled for him, so I feel like this is a good compromise for now. To paraphrase some very wise women, if our cats needed arthritis or kidney medication, we wouldn’t hesitate. Why then are we hesitant to help them with anxiety medications? The change in his behavior has been so great and so immediate that I have to believe the medication is seriously helping him; seriously allowing him to be more at peace. Even though he is a total douchebag, I love that little fucker, and all I want is for him to be happy. And to not have to clean up steaming piles of poop.