Thursday, March 28, 2024

You won the lottery kid, what's wrong with you?

Over a year ago, we adopted a cat who had an undisclosed but clearly rough start. Freddie is in a weird spot between feral and pet-like: will occasionally let me pick him up, never sits with us on furniture, sometimes sleeps at our feet, doesn't want to be pet except in passing, head butts our shins. 

I can't put him in a carrier unless I throw a sheet over him and put the whole bundle in the box. I got pretty good at that during our move to New Mexico last spring. Since then he's had the run of a slightly larger house with windows to watch from and cuss out of. 

But there has been no softening of his personal space issues. Then we offended him by moving the cat box into the garage. Nod cut the door between the kitchen and garage and installed a pet door. I made sure cat could navigate through. It was all very promising in the opinion of the humans. But when I put down the flappy door, that was too much to be borne. The cat used the door successfully, I made sure. But then pooped on the couch to register his complaint.   

I cleaned up the couch and taped the flappy door up out of the way. Cat went back to using the litter box. Mostly. He peed on the couch right before we had houseguests. And he's done it several times since. The circa 1970s cushions all smell terrible now and are propped up so there is no flat surface available. 

And that's it. I feel the compact is ruptured. I could live with a cat who is weird and unaffectionate. But I can't live with that type of cat who also pees on my couch. We're considering several not-good options. The most appealing one is a friend who farms and keeps barn cats. Freddie probably won't have a long life but hopefully it's better than the pound. 

I've never gotten rid of a pet before and it feels pretty bad. And yet I am committed to a Freddie-less future. With new couch cushions. 


Surprise update - cat has run away. Sunday morning before I left for a classical guitar concert, I couldn't find the cat. And we haven't seen him since. We guess that he ran out of the garage when a car was going in or out. 

Uncooperative to the last, he's taking his own form of exit from this household. It's the worst option - I would never turn a pet out on the streets of ABQ. I have put food on the back porch and I go out and call a few times a day. He could still turn up, cats have been known to do so. It was raining when I woke up this morning. I'm sad for him but there's not a lot I can do.


But wait, there's more. Freddie was on the back porch eating the food I put out, two days after disappearing. When I opened the door to see if he'd come in - Panic! and he hopped over the wall. This means that we now have an outdoor cat, against my wishes. That little gremlin continues to provoke me. 

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