Monday, August 29, 2011

Mr. Tibbs is Hot

Maisie and Shadow
Maisie has always been Dean’s favorite of the two new kitties because “she likes Shadow more than Sophie does.”  

And he “knows” this because Maisie will walk back and forth and around Shadow rubbing her body up against her.  Shadow, on the other hand, neither likes nor dislikes the cats.  She could care less if a cat is rubbing up against her or sleeping on her pillow or drinking out of her water bowl or crunching on her dog food.  Shadow only cares about, or has any interest in, Dean.  They are joined at the hip.  

Obviously, when you are joined at hips with a two and a half or three foot difference in height it can make walking anywhere difficult.  It’s a comedy of errors really.  Just imagine a human crouched down in a kind of duck-walk position.  Now add to that a furry black dog hooked loosely to the human’s hip making small upward leaps.  And then imagine the crouching duck-walking human and the leaping black furry dog trying to make any kind of forward progress.  Waddle, waddle, leap, waddle, leap.  The forward motion of the leaping dog pulls the human to the right.  Yikes! They’re close to the curb.  Human waddles left, pulling the dog while in mid-leap which causes the human to fall forward and to the left.  Oh, no, there’s a pile of fur and flailing human arms and spinning dog legs and some whining and some howling and …  I’m serious.  They’re that close.  Really.

The new friendlier Maisie
Well, anyway, Maisie and Sophie and I are very close also; we just respect each other’s need for “space.”  That’s not to say I don’t enjoy having a kitty sleeping on my lap or curled up next to me while I’m sleeping.  I do.  And it’s usually been Sophie who has been the cuddler.  Sophie was the one who asked for attention.  Maisie has always been a bit shy and nervous.  She only appeared when it was quiet.  She’d get in my lap but only if it was her idea.  She’d sleep on the bed but there was no cuddling. That is, until we got home from Ecuador in June.  When we walked in the door after 12 days away, it was like she’d attended “Timid Kitty Therapy” and graduated as Miss Brazen.   She rubbed up against us.  She demanded to be pet.  She jumped into our laps and forced her head under our hands.  She followed us wherever we went and rolled around on the floor.  She meowed and meowed and meowed.  “Pet me.  Pet me.  Don’t stop.  More.  I need more pets.  No!  That’s not enough petting!!  More!  More!  More!”  

“Wow!” I said to Dean.  “She really missed us.  Maybe we should have left a long time ago.  She’s become a whole new cat!  She’s so friendly!”  And then that night, our first night home, she peed on Dean.  He jumped up out of bed yelling “your cat peed on me!  She peed on me!  I have to take a shower.  I stink!  I need a shower!”  I came up out of a post-vacation deep sleep in half a second.  As Dean ran for the shower I checked the bed.  No pee on the sheets.  It couldn’t have been much.  “There’s no pee on the bed,” I yelled.  “She must not have peed much.  I think she just missed you so much she was marking you.  Telling you she missed you.”  That didn’t make him feel any better.

The next day the meowing progressed to “YEOWLING”!  Remember I complained about that back here?  Miss Used To Be Quiet and Retiring Maisie who had become Miss Please Pet Me I Missed You So Much Maisie had now evolved into Miss Insistent Demanding Earsplitting I Will NOT Leave You Alone Maisie.  That went on for two solid weeks.  Seriously.  Two solid weeks.  Yeowling and rubbing and rolling and  yeowling and rolling and rubbing.  And then, all at once – quiet.  Miss Crazy Yeowling I’m On Psychedelic Drugs Maisie had become Miss Serene Nearly Comatose Maisie.  

I was a little worried about her.  Two weeks of crazy and then a cat that seemed to be drugged on Valium.  So I did what any good cat mother would do.  I took her to the vet.  

Maisie hasn't lost her mittens.
The Dr. examined her.  She wasn’t sick.  But guess what?  Maisie thought she was in heat.  Yup.  She only has one kidney and they only found one ovary when she was spayed, but all of her “symptoms” sounded like a cat in heat.  The vet told me it was possible there was still an ovary in her body and the hormones were flowing and making her crazy.  Really nutso crazy.  Oh....uh .... gosh ... now that I think about it ... kind of like I used to be ... before the change.  Well, not exactly.  I didn't roll around on the floor and well, there was more hissing than begging for attention, you know ... then ... and .. crazy ... I could definitely seem cra  ... oh, heck ... you know what I mean, right?  Oh boy ... Sorry, Dean.  Thanks for not spaying me.

 I’ve never had a cat in heat before because we’ve always spayed or neutered our animals.  I innocently asked the vet if I should watch for the same crazy symptoms in about six months.  Don't animals go into heat about twice per year?  I was pretty sure it worked that way for dogs.  Ha!  Did you know female cats, once they go into heat, are in heat perpetually unless they are bred or spayed?  Yes.  They are.  And they are C * R * A * Z * Y while they are in heat.  I know that now.

Don't worry.  Your fur will grow back.
But, not wanting to rush into any unnecessary surgery I marked her “crazy time” on the calendar and watched and waited.  It wasn’t long til the same pattern of rubbing and rolling and meowing and attention-demanding began again.  And even though she didn’t pee on Dean again, when she began to leave her mark in other places I decided enough was enough.  I took her in for a “re-do.”  And then I held my breath and crossed my fingers they would find that other ovary.  And I worried.  I had no idea what I was going to do with a yeowling, frantic, pacing, rubbing, rolling, marking cat if a remaining ovary HADN'T been the cause of her lunacy.  How much IS kitty psychotherapy anyway?  Do you pay by the hour?  What if she decides to nap through therapy?  Do I still need to pay?

I waited.  And a few hours later my phone rang.  It was the vet.  And she did have another ovary!  A tiny, tiny little ovary.  An ovary floating around out there all by itself.  An ovary about half the size of the nail on your little finger.  And they took it out.  And they promised me there would be no third ovary.   

Haii yaaah !!

So now little Maisie has had her do-over and is much more like herself only better.  She still hides from strangers but she’s much more willing to be picked up and spends more time in our laps.  She cuddles with us and plays with Sophie and we are all very close.  


 But we are not joined at the hip.  Cats have too much dignity to be found bouncing against the hip of a waddling human no matter how much they love that human.  They do, however, find it amusing to watch dogs humiliate themselves.



Abby said...

At least when my cat peed on me I was awake. That's not something I would like to be woken up to.

Leslie said...

Kind of like when Blackbeard had to have a declawing redo, except there was no craziness!

Art Elser said...

Ah yes! Halfway through your description of Maisie's wild behavior I figured the little critter was in heat. I suppose a human with a dog attached to its hip would seem like a valid spot to mark. After all, how many cats would own a human with a dog attached to its hip. Maisie could brag about "her" human with a dog attached to its hip to all the other neighborhood cats.

Any chance of getting a video of Dean and Shadow almost falling into the street to post on your blog. It would be almost as funny, but not quite, as your usual blog humor.