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How to be your cat's best friend

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We arrogantly imagine that we possess the cat.  The cat, purring all the while, knows the truth of the matter, that in reality, we belong to him. While a cat appears to be sleeping, it is observing everything in its environment.

-- Charles Towne

When I was a kid I was dumb as a stump.  I had great difficulty with reading skills.  In fact, one of my teachers told my folks that I was retarded.  When I was 12 old I had my tonsils removed.  Supposedly they were poisoning my system. Do they still tell kids that when they have their tonsils removed, “you can have all of the ice cream you can eat”?  Back then they used ether to put you to sleep; boy does that stuff make you sick.  Anyway, after having my tonsils removed I learned to read overnight so perhaps they were right about the tonsils poisoning my system. 

I’ll let you decide on the retarded issue.

Shnoodles, my little boy puppy kitty is not having a reading problem and it’s not his tonsils that I am worried about. He is about six months old and I have to take him to the vet to have a very special operation.  Please don’t tell him but I am going to take him in to be neutered. He has been flexing his muscles lately and asking me about little girl kitties. In fact, he noticed the neighbor’s little Siamese the other day and afterward told me that he, “digs them oriental chicks!”  The next thing I know he is going to want a couple of tattoos and body jewelry... so the trip to the vet is none too soon.

Usually, toms start spraying when they are about six months old and unless you enjoy that not so delicate bouquet or you are going to use your purebred tom for breeding purposes, neutering is the answer.  Lady cats also spray but the result is somewhat less insulting to the senses than that of the male. 

 Another benefit to neutering, with males and females, is the fact that they are much calmer afterward, and less likely to climb the curtains and bounce off the walls. Remember, spraying is a territorial thing common to many members of the animal world.  This behavior is especially obvious in dogs, as well as cats, for the simple reason they live with us, you might say it is “In your face, up close and personal.”

 If you have a cat that has already started spraying, don’t despair. The behavior can be altered and stopped with a gentle hand and patience. The six-month time period is optimum but if you discover kitty backing up to furniture and lifting his tail while his rear end makes these cute little quivering motions he probably is spraying. When this behavior is observed, gently speak to him and press his tail down, he will get the idea, eventually; sometime in the next century.

If you know where your cat has been spraying, take advantage of his desire for clean surroundings and place his water dish or food bowl near the area.  Believe me, he doesn’t want to soil his food.

Cats will spray where they have sprayed before. This is simply renewing the signpost, so clean up any sprayed areas, furniture, walls, and floor, with a good strong detergent. There are times when the urine has soaked through the carpet into the pad underneath; in that case, the pad should be cleaned also.  Some pet owners might say that having a cat in the house is just not worth the labor, but remember, you are paving the way for years of pleasure, a pleasure that cannot be obtained in any other way.  Cats are such a delight, so loving, so wonderful in their cattishness that whatever the cost it is cheap enough. Remember, silly as it may sound, kitty diapers work.

Have a beautiful day and may your cats teach you.

Dear Lord, please help us to be patient.  We do realize that you have been very patient with each of us.  Thank you, Daddy, Amen.

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  • rmsommerfeld

    A truly informative article, Chaz! My sister is heavily invested in animal rescue and the statistics' on how many kittens an unfixed cat may account for are staggering! spay and neuter are more humane than most people realize, animals just reproduce due to biological signals, not as a source of pleasure or a recreational activity!

    I do however take issue with your assertion that kitty pee can be cleaned chemically. As a former flooring contractor I can tell you that if your cat has been peeing in your house, you cannot clean the area with detergent or odor control products! Cat urine is oil based and of a specific gravity that allows it to soak through carpet, padding and into the cement foundation. the only workable remedy is to remove the carpet and padding, throw it out and hope the garbage will take it, wash the affected concrete with bleach, cover the area with a layer of baking soda and install new carpeting! In my opinion, it may be easier to get rid of skunk odor than the odor in an area where cats have been peeing!

    Wednesday, May 18 Report this