Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Our Blog-Neglected Daughter

I'll bet some of you who have been reading my blog didn't even know we have a little girl. She arrived just months after we were married because I told my husband that we just had to adopt as soon as we found a place to live. She will be turning eleven years old in a few weeks, and she rarely backtalks, fights with her brothers, or complains about her dinner choices. She also has been a great sleeper and was potty-trained when she was only weeks old. Isn't she gorgeous (and fluffy)?

Her birthname is Bumpkin (we got her out in the country), but we have referred to her as "Boo Boo Kitty" (a' la Shirley from the sitcom Laverne and Shirley) ever since I can remember. She is a purebred Persian whose owners apparently didn't believe she was "show quality," so we lucked out and she moved in with us at about nine weeks old. She and I are the only girls in the house, and like me, she is very girly. We joke that she should be frolicking around the house in a tutu, except -- also like me -- she is a bit on the klutzy side for a cat. She weighs a mere six pounds, and my best guess is that two of those pounds are purely fur.

Like most Persians, she is a quiet kitty who only meows her sweet "mew" when she is happy or wanting a treat. She also has this amazing ability to "chirp" when she is scratched at the perfect angle under her chin, although this unique noise of affection is saved for special occasions. As a younger cat, she frequently ran down the stairs and then did a crab-like gallivant which finished in one final spectacular hop in front of us. We called it her gazelle impression, although, in all honesty, I have never seen a gazelle or any other animal put on such a performance. Lastly, Boo Boo frequently tells us that she loves us. Don't believe me? Well, I read the book 277 Secrets Your Cat Wants You to Know by Paulette Cooper and Paul Noble soon after we adopted our little girl, and I learned something I had never known about all the cats I loved growing up: Cats communicate their contentment, friendship, and love by blinking at another creature. It is a very slow, intentional, deliberate blink, so it is easy to see. I tried blinking at her immediately after reading that passage, and she blinked back! Now it has become habitual for us to blink at each other, and she blinks at my husband as well. (I once got a fearful cat down the steps of my dad's house by patiently blinking at her every so often. It sounds a bit silly, but it works!)

But as I said, Boo Boo will be eleven in a few weeks, and she is now a "senior cat" as our veterinarian informed us. And maybe her age is to blame for her forgetfulness, because she has been "forgetting" to go to the bathroom in her litter box and chooses to go on the carpeting in the hallway or on the carpeting in our master bedroom. (Sidenote: she has had blood and urine tests and has been declared totally healthy! So, this is a behavioral issue and thankfully not a health problem.) We have moved litter boxes to her chosen places, we have had our carpets professionally cleaned with animal deterrent, and my husband has used every cat product known to man (some more costly than others) to keep her from continuing this nasty habit to no avail. We finally gave in and paid for a prescription of anti-anxiety medication for her (the vet said this often helps), but she foamed at the mouth for several minutes after barely tasting it. We have since paid for another medication that can be inserted in her ears, but when my husband and I saw the rubber gloves and the child warnings, we became a bit skeptical.

Finally, if it isn't enough that our two-year-old human child is now in a clingy stage, for the past several months now, Boo Boo has chosen her perfect sleeping spot out of all five bedrooms and various other rooms: on top of my head on my pillow. Trust me; we have tried to move her. My wonderful husband has even attempted to put her on his head on his pillow. Nope. I tried the child sleep techniques like saying nothing and moving her out of my bed right away, and she simply does not tire of jumping back up (and at one point, she actually hissed, which I have only seen her do twice in her life). Anyway, I am more tired than usual. And my husband is more tired than usual of cleaning cat pee out of carpets.

But we do love our little Boo Boo dearly. She is our sweet, furry little daughter. However, if you know of any cat whisperers, please send them our way (or if you have any tricks, pass them along, too!). I guess we should look on the bright side: at least one of our sons isn't peeing on the carpet and sleeping on my head, right?!?


Lisa said...

What a sweet girl. I am imagining how my husband would swell up if she came to live with us. ;-)

My youngest boy does still pee on the floor and sleep on my head at times. So, you are definitely lucky!

If not a tutu, what about a big pink bow in all that hair?

Kelly Vasami said...

What a cute little girl! It's fun to blog about our fur children, isn't it?

Kristin said...

Haha! She sounds like an all around sweet kitty! I love cats! I would love to get a cat. I've lived with cats all my life. But then I go and marry someone who has a serious cat allergy. My luck! :)

Gemma said...

She IS a very sweet kitty. I hope her anxieties clear up at some point. It must be very frustrating!