If you’ve been following this blog, you will know that my wonderful Dyssa of 16.5 years passed recently and I could not stand a household without a cat. I brought home Himself, who would become known as Elby, which actually stood for Little Boy Blue Eyes. That was on January 26, two weeks ago tomorrow. Oh! That cat!
He is without question a boy. He is such a boy! He doesn’t acknowledge “No.” or “No!” or “NO, ELBY!” He gives me that look… it is both a cat look of utter indifference as to what I might do and a boy’s acceptance of “Mom, this is my job. This is what I do. You do what you gotta do. It’s all good.” Argh!
Claire, the beautiful, reserved Greythound, turned to me – afer Elby launched and in passing slammed his paw onto Claire’s elegant nose, like landing a fantastic bank shot… “Can we take him back? Pleassssse……?”
Claire and I were exhausted within 48 hours. Elby would go into another room and cry pitifully. Both Claire and I would run to check. Elby would be standing in the room and grin that we had joined him. He was lonely… I had bought him the little plastic balls with a bell inside (4 in a package) and soft small soccer balls made of a bouncy rubber material (4 in a package). Huge hit! So far, two plastic balls with bells are missing – one still in the package. The soccer balls – three of four have gone missing. One afternoon, Claire started coughing, trying to throw up, unable to clear her throat. Elby watched in fascination. I tried a little bit of everything from the Heimlich Maneuver to vegetable oil, which Claire licked up, to research that revealed I should take her immediately to the Veterinarian Emergency Room for surgery. Agh! There was no money since Dyssa’s care had just cost $400.
The cause? All I can answer is a baffled shrug. Could have been Claire’s penchant for kitty litter treats, as the Vet euphemistically puts it (thank God, she only touches noses and doesn’t lick me). We use Pine Litter, the greatest stuff in the world. It’s one drawback is that it comes in pine pellets and dissolves when it comes in contact with liquid – great for the box, bad for Claire’s tummy. Dyssa was getting on in age and didn’t fuss much when it came to burying deposits. Elby takes great joy and pride in burying any evidence that he is a pooper. I actually rigged the bathroom door with those stretching things with hooks attached so that Elby could get in and Claire could not. Or was it one of the soccer balls lodged in her trachea?
I prayed and hit on peanut butter. I coated the rims of a bowl with peanut butter and Claire licked it down with unmitigated enthusiasm and the coughing stopped…. and started again after an hour or an hour and a half. More peanut butter… more peanut butter every hour on the hour and a half. She was just fine after about 2:00 a.m. or so and no re-occurrence.
That cat! He can jump four feet into the air and snag something straight out of my hand. He climbs everything. Repeatedly. He is fascinated by a bowl of crystals and loves to flick ‘em out into the paper shredder waiting below. He chomped casually on a lovely innocent plant sitting on my desk/table, carefully wending his way through obstacles, became obsessed with the bereavement card from the Vet’s, lovingly signed with messages from all the staff in honor of Dyssa. Here’s the thing… this abominable cat reforms every 24 hours. He becomes the perfect cat for hours with no notice. Just does it. Then he becomes the hellion from hell. Without intention, he slashed my wrist in passing. At night, when Claire and I are ready for bed and good night treats, Elby is there with growling enthusiasm and then becomes a wild man, running over the down comforter – jumping and hissing at dangers only he can see…. I found a soft stuffed animal and presented it to Elby. He kicked, knawed, wrestled, chewed on ears, feet, tried to carry it in his mouth, tugging endlessly on it across the great space of the bedroom floor. Entertained Himself for a long time. That cat beat the crap out of that poor stuffed creature. Himself is fascinated with the bathroom – every inch of it. I threw one of the remaining jingle balls I had found into the bathtub and that was a success for forty blissful minutes. Elby was like a champion skateboarder or maybe I’m thinking hockey player – whacking that ball up the rim and down! Then he proudly mastered picking the ball up in his teeth and trotting around the house as a mighty hunter….
He follows me wherever I go, every minute of every day of every breath. He climbed into the refrigerator this evening. I shut the door just to see what he would do and opened it after a few seconds. Nothing. He didn’t even turn around, but began exploring once the light came back on… He is such a BOY!
We are very happy.