M. Giant's
Throwing stuff at the internet to see what sticks

Friday, November 08, 2002  

Last winter, Strat was getting a little, shall we say, less than discriminating about where he was shooting his whiz (I’m talking about my cat, in case you’re just joining us today). After a few weeks of having to smell our clothes before we put them on, we appealed to the veterinarian for help. The vet subscribes to my number one rule of problem-solving, to wit: when narrowing down possible causes, the first thing you check for should be the easiest thing to fix. That approach has served me well in the past, although it does have limits; for example, filling a dying car with high-octane gas is only going to do so much when the clutch has worn down to a featureless disk. But in this case, the vet suggested we try to rule out a bladder or kidney or UTI infection before we tried to address psychological causes.

All we needed was a urine sample. No problem, I’ll just wander around the house wiping up noisome damp spots on the carpet, or I’ll wring out something from the laundry hamper, or I’ll scrape those golden crystals off my dress shoes—what’s that you say? It has to be in liquid form? Oh, fine.

At this point we had two options. One was to park the cat overnight in a cage at the vet’s office, and they monitor him and collect the sample when…you know. When it’s time.

The other option was to send him home with a collection kit. This consists of a bag of plastic beads and a plastic catbox liner. What you do is take the regular litter out of the litterbox, put the liner down in it, and scatter the beads onto the liner. The beads don’t react with cat juice, so it allows for a clean sample. Then you lock the cat in the bathroom overnight with the plastic litter. It has to be a small room because a cat would rather pee anywhere than into a catbox filled with components for cheap jewelry. Then, in the morning, you gather up the warm yellow slushie, double-bag it, and drop it off at the vet’s office for analysis. The urine goes to the lab and the beads go to the factories that supply Claire’s Boutique. Pretty ingenious, really. Vastly preferable to following the cat around the house all day holding a vial under where his little kitty winky used to be. Naturally, we went with the option that was less expensive and less traumatizing to the cat, even though it involved a little more work on our part and lacked the reliability of the other option.

Yes, we had spent weeks trying to get rid of cat pee, and now we were trying to get some. We’re all about the irony.

The first night we did this, Orca was thrilled. She was so happy to not have to share us and the bed with Strat for the night that she woke us up at four a.m. to express her joy. Yeah, I’m happy too, cat. Now stop headbutting me.

In the morning, I discovered that Strat had peed in the litterbox, but he had pushed the liner aside to urinate directly into the plastic bin, shredding the liner in the process. The sample was useless. We’d have to get another kit and try it again.

It was another couple of nights before we got around to it. One of these nights, I had a dream that Strat had actually died from a kidney infection, and it was all my fault for not getting it diagnosed and taken care of in time. I had no idea how close to prophetic that dream of my cat’s death would prove to be. Although not in the way you’re thinking.

That next day, I was using our bathroom in its non-cat-confining capacity. I was just sitting there, minding my own business. Strat came in, looked at me, turned around, and peed on me.

Let me say that again, just in case you were skimming: MY CAT PEED ON ME.

Once again, for the Google searchers: MY+CAT+PEED+ON+ME+!!!!!

I know I should come up with a funnier way to say that, but it’s still too upsetting, even months later. One second I was sitting on my throne, receiving a respectful visitor, and in the next second my leg, pants, underwear, and sock had been baptized with pure liquid ammonia stink.

Trash heard my cry of shock and disgust and more shock, and came to see what happened.

“Your cat just pissed on me!” I accused as I chased him down. Any of you with a household of three or more beings knows what the phrase “your cat” or “your dog” or “your kid” or “your roommate” or “your Attorney General” means, so I’ll just assume I can move on without clarifying.

“I think this proves that he’s sick,” Trash managed between poorly suppressed guffaws.

“He fucking better be!” I bellowed, holding the cat by his tail and using mighty overhand strokes to crack his head repeatedly on the top of the doorframe.

What the hell kind of cat will come up (more accurately, back up) to the person who has for over a decade provided him with food, water, shelter, and unconditional love, and VOID THE FOUL CONTENTS OF HIS BLADDER on that person? On CHRISTMAS EVE?!?

I’ll tell you what kind. The kind that spends Christmas Day stuffed into the Brita™ pitcher in the fridge.

We got a usable urine sample the next business day (since I lacked the presence of mind to squeegee piss off of myself into a bottle when I had the chance) and the vet confirmed that Strat did indeed have a fire in his loins that could only be quenched by antibiotics. That’s why he’s still alive. Not because the antibiotics saved his life but because the excuse did.

The antibiotics were contained in a colloidal suspension that we had to squirt into his mouth twice a day using an eyedropper. God, he hated that. God, I didn’t care.

After ten days, the infection was cleared up. Since he didn’t feel like his litterbox was sticking live electrodes up his peehole any more, he struck up his relationship with it anew. He’s been much better behaved, urine-wise, ever since. Maybe the reasons for that are purely medical.

Or maybe he knows that even though the medicine is gone, I still have the eyedropper. And payback’s a bitch.

posted by M. Giant 4:56 PM 0 comments


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