In several articles, I have mentioned my feisty long time companion Puddy. Mr Puddy is a special breed of kitty. He’s the kind of cat that thinks he is human…seriously! He also thinks that we are the dumbest owners on the planet. He shows his frustration more and more as he ages. In this past year, he has begun to lose patience with his stupid owners (or servants in his mind).
Since January, his aggression has grown and he shows his frustration with us in new ways leading up to present day. I’ll try to sum it very briefly. After the new year began Addy, our dog, was missing for a few days. We received a call from a neighbor that she had been hit by a car. We kept her inside the house while nursing her back to health and continued therapy. Puddy was not happy. He would pace through the house and hiss. He would sneak into the sick room and stare at the dog and growl. He decided he would begin marking his area inside the house (something he had never done before). So basically, he started peeing on anything that was laying in the floor.
I know that there are “cat people” and “dog people”, but I have always been both. Mr Puddy has been with us for over 8 years now & he was an adult when we got him. He was a rescue in 2007 from a veterinary office, where he had lived in a 2×2 crate since he was a kitten. He was neutered and had never “marked” anything before.
Back to the story, he marked Addy. The poor little doggy who could no longer walk was peed on by the cat! It was sad, Puddy was scolded. As the dog healed and went to live back outdoors in March, one of my grandbabies came to spend the weekend with us. The cat was angry and promptly went into the laundry room and marked all the clean clothes in a basket. He was scolded and not happy. On the 3rd day, his behavior was better because my grandbaby went home. He strange behavior continued throughout the year. If his water bowl or food dish was getting low, he would leap out from behind a piece of furniture and attack anyone walking by – then go mark something.
He had a love/hate relationship with my middle son. He would pee on my son’s belongings if he left them in the floor (which he did regularly) and then purr loudly and then compete for his attention when he’d get home from football practice each day. My son would yell at him, scoot him out of his room, and then I’d catch them sleeping together or loving on each other.
Anyway, the strange marking activities continued. He used every opportunity to mark something. He was slowly becoming a markaholic. He was happy, he’d pee on something. He was mad, he’d pee on something. Someone has a birthday, he’d pee on something. Someone knocked on the door, yay – he’d go mark something!! It was a holiday, he’d pee on something. Each time was the same…there was an event to celebrate or be upset about, he’d sneak off & mark something. Then filled with regret, he would come to one of us with a sweet meow, begin meowing, purring, and loving on us. I began to wonder if he was suffering a bi-polar condition.
He was always a very clean kitty, never messy. A couple of months after the strange markings began, he started kicking all of his litter out of the box and carelessly slinging his food all over the floor. All cleanliness had left him and it seemed as though he became a different cat. It was sad, frustrating, and we were all perplexed. His attacks were becoming more vicious and he was dangerous to live with. After eating one tiny piece of cat food, he would demand more be poured in his bowl or risk meeting his sharp blades (claws). His weight increased to 14lbs. He had always carried extra weight, but he was eating non-stop! His addiction was controlling him. I searched online for a resolution and found many possible reasons for his behavior, but none of those fit. It got worse. He stopped obsessively cleaning his fur and began to stink. I called the vet and was told it was a phase that would pass. “But,” I exclaimed, “this he’s addicted and we don’t know how to help him!” This occurred for months and then the worst thing happened.
We woke up one morning and he was laying in the floor covered in slobber. I freaked out! He was sick…very sick. An intervention was imminent and no longer could anyone tell me this phase would pass! We rushed him to the vet and there he stayed for a week while they performed multiple procedures on him to save his life. The vet advised me he was near death. He had an IV, a urinary catheter, antibiotics, and I’m not sure what else. His diagnosis: stones. He had urinary blockages that he couldn’t pass and his bladder had filled up inside his body to the point of bursting. They put him on a special food and I warned them that he wouldn’t eat anything different. After a self-imposed starvation strike of 5 days, he finally began to eat the prescription food. During a lengthy recovery, he was the sweetest kitty 🙂 $880.00 later, we thought we had a new cat – but with no warranty expressed or implied!
Once completely healed, he resumed his natural personality traits and begun the hateful-old-man-Puddy traits. The Vet reminded me that he is 10yrs old & much like someone with dementia, I needed to have patience with him. After several months had passed, his marking was much better. He now only sneaks to his addictive behavior rarely and has almost completed his recovery program.
I never in my life would have thought that I would help a family pet through addiction recovery, but now I can say I’ve seen it all…nah!