Wednesday, May 13, 2015

The Bitchy Kitty Litmus Test

I'm pretty sure I have mentioned it to anyone who is near me for three seconds and appears to be able to hear... but I have a bitchy cat (cough, cough, cough).

She spits at strangers, scratches me, and almost always regurgitates her food. She's the worst.

At this point in our eight year relationship, I've come to accept this fact but, for a while, I was sure there was a way Sophie and I could work through her terrible temperament. I googled different options, searched PetCo high and low, read about "natural blends" of substances that calm cats down, researched homeopathic cat medicine, considered googling "kitty lobotomy" but realized the results would be horrific and in no way the funny sarcasm I was looking for, and finally settled on talking to my vet.

I have to point out, too, that Sophie puts on a major show at the vet. Those are the only people in the world (besides me aka her "food source") that she tolerates. Every time I walk in with her, they goo and gah and click at her, and I always roll my eyes and wonder what great animal drugs they just took in the back room to make them excited to see "Bitchface" (as my mom calls her).

I set up an appointment to see the vet to take care of some other things and, while I was there, I asked her about any possibilities of medicine or training that would make Sophie nicer. She petted Sophie while she talked to me about gadgets that worked sort of like air fresheners and would release calm inducing pheromones into the air. She mentioned a few other options and also kind of implied that Sophie wasn't that bad and none of these were 100% proven and all cats are different and maybe I should just love her for how horrible she is. (She didn't say that last part but I heard it).

I left disheartened and went back to work to wait for them to call me to come pick up hell kitty. A few hours later my phone rang and I headed over to pick Sophie up. When I got there, they brought her up in her carrier and put her on the floor and the vet came out and pulled me aside.

"So there was one option I didn't discuss with you earlier..."

I was definitely curious. I wondered what had happened that made her want to follow up with me.


I looked puzzled. I didn't know if she was offering one to me. I cocked my head and squinted my eyes. "What?"

"Valium. There are options to give animals that really need it human drugs that will calm them down."

At this point, a cat that lived at the vet and had a pretty sweet life wandered over to see what was going on. He rubbed against my legs and dragged his tail across Sophie's crate. I bent down to pet him and kept listening to the vet.

"I mean..... Sophie doesn't even like Onion."

OK- I had heard "valium," but now was I hearing "onion?"

I did the confused face/RCA dog thing again. Was there some unknown food trick that I didn't know about to find out if your cat is truly as horrible as she seems? Was there a bitchy kitty litmus test????

She tilted her head toward the cat I was petting. "That's Onion."

I was back up to speed and Sophie was having a full out break down in her carrier while another cat rubbed against it and her owner.

"Onion gets along with almost every animal that has come in here. And Sophie just really doesn't like him."

Sophie's box rocked and weird spit/yowling mash up noises came out of it.

I thanked my vet for the information and headed home with a ball of really angry fur and considered the option. This was quite the commitment. I would need to stay on top of it. Also, I traveled sometimes for work. Would someone else give my cat these pills? I discussed it with my parents and soon after my Dad found a cartoon similar to this one.

Yep. That was enough of a reminder. I liked my face the way it was. And I guess I would have to like Sophie the way she was, too.

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