Reality Bites – and Pees (Cont’d)

August 10, 2010

Knock on wood, it appears that Tasha is now a couch soiler in recovery.

Lorelei and I took her to the vet a little while back. A lab mix in the waiting area totally set her off – Tasha, that is, not Lorelei – and by the time we got to the exam room she was puffed up like a blowfish and growling in a menacing fashion.

It should be noted that Tasha isn’t what you’d call a good patient under the best of circumstances. When she was just a few weeks old, back in Chicago, she got startled and chomped the cheek of a vet assistant. The vet assured us that that sort of thing happens all the time, but we never saw that particular assistant again. I think about her sometimes and wonder what she’s doing now – my guess is something far removed from teeth and claws.

Our current vet wisely decided against removing her from the box, pointing out that he’d have to sedate her to conduct any kind of thorough exam (he still bears the scars, both physical and emotional, of past encounters with Tasha). He did weigh her – 18 lbs. including her carrier – which was somewhat alarming given that Lorelei weighs barely half that.

He recommended that we set up an additional food station and an additional litter box – “They actually say you should have one more litter box than you have cats, but three probably strikes you as a little excessive, which I can understand.” He also gave us a kind of Glade plug-in sort of thing full of feel-good feline pheremones, as well as a huge can of industrial-strength aerosol spray guaranteed to remove all evidence of past peeing. He also advised covering the couch with aluminum foil, which cats apparently dislike the feel of.

The vet said that if these measures didn’t solve the problem, he could prescribe Tasha some kitty Prozac. We’re not philosophically opposed to putting her on meds – I don’t think Freudian talk therapy would do her much good anyway – but the stress of having to pin her down and force a pill down her throat once a day would probably require Eric and me to be on anti-anxiety meds as well.

The aluminum foil was a total bust – we found her curled up on it, purring, and it did nothing for our decor (our electrician asked if we were trying to summon the mother ship), but the other measures seem to have done the trick.

Maybe it’s whatever’s wafting out of that plug-in thing, but Tasha is now one mellow kitty. She’s even joined me, Lorelei, and Eric on our bed a few times. She’s totally impervious to Lorelei’s screams – I don’t think she’ll ever pull a Lassie and rush to summon us if, say, Lorelei falls in a well someday – but we’ll take what we can get.

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