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BAD CAT MOTHER: Why hath thou forsaken me? by Janice Taylor for Beliefnet
I speak not of Mary, God, my angels, my husband nor my children. I speak of my cat, Rayne.
Rayne, cat of all cats, why hath thou forsaken me?
Why have you taken to scrunching into your oh-so clean litter box, placing all four paws inside of it, and at the same time, allowing your furry little tush, butt, can, behind, hang out of it, so that all your ‘doings’ whether liquid or solid in nature, land on the bathroom floor? Why Rayne, hath thou forsaken me? After twelve years of aiming perfectly, tell me … why now? What’s up?
Each time, little Rayne manages her balancing act, her aerobic feats of cat strength, I have to clean like crazy the floor, and change the litter because the outer bag is dripping with liquid. I then have to (and I mean have to) scrub the bottom of the litter box (Liquids tend to seep underneath. Sorry, if I am too graphic in explanation).
I have spent more time cleaning the bathroom than any other activity this week. I smell of bathroom cleaner (luckily not the cat stuff). Oh, you see, there is always something that one can latch on to be happy about.
To that positive point of view, the bathroom is a natural no food zone. I’m spending so much time in there, hours upon hours, cleaning and also smelling the mix of cat urine and cleaning fluid (one must breathe) – an appetite suppressant for sure – that I’ve lost one of the three pounds I recently found.
Am I a Bad Cat Mother?
However great a weight loss aide the cat is providing for me, I am left to wondering, “Am I a bad cat mother?” It must be my fault, as all children’s behaviors and ‘issues’ are their mother’s fault (my mother not withstanding).
So, I decided to do a bit of research on cat behavior to unearth all that I’ve done wrong and perhaps come up with a solution to one of my life’s most current glitches.
Our Lady of Weight Loss’s Top Nine Tips on How to be a Good Cat Mother and Create a Healthy 9 Lives for Your Cat (and YOU!)
1. Choose the right cat. Cats can live up to twenty years. It’s a big commitment. Okay, right off the bat, I’m in trouble. Rayne was originally my daughter’s cat. My daughter moved into an apartment building that wouldn’t take cats, so we did what most parents do – agree under great duress, buckets of tears and platterfuls of guilt, to take in the cat. But, I swear, we love her now.
2. Be loyal to your cat. I only have one cat! Although, I confess that I did pet my friend Heather’s well-behaved, sweet, adorable and quite beautiful cats, Lexi and Madison, who are purebreds, and yes, they use their litter box properly. Still I never mentioned one word of it to Rayne. I wouldn’t be so cruel.
3. Play with your cat. Cats do enjoy regular play sessions that provide both physical exercise and mental stimulation. These play sessions your bond. Oh My! It’s not like play time with the Rayne is on my calendar. But she does crawl up on me at 5:30 a.m. and purrrrrrr till I scratch her head and feed her. Is that not play enough?
4. Feed your cat a nutritionally balanced diet. I do change Rayne’s water every day and feed her. And I have tried time and time again to feed her a variety of wet foods. She hates wet food. She is finicky. She loves dry food. Am I supposed to cook for her? Oh goodness, more kitchen challenges. (Will I have to tape my mouth shut while cooking the cat’s dinner too?” (Chef out my dysfunctional chef video.)
5. Spay or neuter your pet. This keeps them healthier and will reduce overpopulation in the cat and dog world. Done! As soon as I could, I took her to the vet. Yea! One thing right!
6. Groom your cat; keep her coat healthy, soft and shining. Whether your cat is short haired or long haired, it is important to brush her to remove as much loose hair as possible. When cats groom themselves (endless hours of making licking noises while sitting on top of me, driving me nutzso), they are likely to ingest a great deal of hair, causing them to form hairballs and make those awful hacking noises. Yea! My husband, bless him, loves combing the cat. Daily! Woo hoo.
7. Take your cat to the vet for regular check-ups. I do this, and I have to tell you that it ain’t no picnic. The amount of scratching and hair flying to get her into her traveling case ain’t pretty.
8. Cat proof your home. Danger is lurking around every corner, starting with your cat chewing on electrical cords. If I were a good cat mother (alas, I clearly am not), I would coat my cords with a pasty mixture of cayenne pepper, hot pepper sauce, nail biting nail polish, and/or lemon and orange peel. Oh well, just get the cat shrink on the phone. We need to go together.
9. “Remember that the vast majority of behavior problems can be solved, “so says the Humane Society. Check with your local vet and local chapter of the Humane Society. (They have just been added to my telephone list).
If you have any insight into my cat’s crazy behavior, please advise post haste!!! All thoughts welcome.
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“Janice is a kooky kind of genius.” ~ O, the Oprah Magazine