Monday, January 14, 2008

A new family member

No, the addition to our family isn't of the two-legged variety, but he does cry an awful lot, is very needy, has the other "kids" jealous, and, I'm afraid, is going to require that we do some home remodeling that we never intended.

Dusty is a tom cat who appeared in our yard back in the fall. He was scrawny and mean. So, as Chris says, we treated him like a wild bird, putting food out for him but not even trying to pet him. Gradually he became friendlier, it's amazing what a little food will do for your attitude, and when it began to get cold (even in Georgia it can get cold) we decided he had become our cat and we needed to figure out how to incorporate him in the family. We already have a very scaredy, indoor cat named Miss Kitty and a pomeranian who is small, but in charge.

We (the royal "we," it was actually Chris) wrangled Dusty into a crate and took him to the vet to be checked out before bringing him in the house with the other animals. They pronounced him healthy, gave him his shots, and we made an appointment to have him neutered after Christmas. But he continued to spend most of his time outside. He likes it there.

Now, thanks to an undescended testicle that required abdominal surgery, he's an inside cat until Friday--and he's driving us--including the other pets--crazy with his constant meowing as he roams from window to window gazing longingly at the great outdoors. (That's in between attacking our feet, hissing at the dog who dares to eat and live in his prescence, and scaring Kitty into hiding under a bed in a room she's not supposed to go in.)

We brought him home following his surgery, this cat who has never lived indoors, and discovered that the concept of using a little box is not inbred in cats. He didn't go to the bathroom anywhere for about 30 hours. I had visions of him exploding and sending cat s*** all over the house. After many phone calls to vet, mostly along the lines of, "are you sure it's worse for him to go outside with stiches than to never go to the bathroom again?", we trapped him in the laundry room with the catbox, now filled with dirt, and he finally went.

The remodeling we'll have to do is figuring out some way to keep Miss Kitty, who after discovering that Dusty wasn't going anywhere, decided she could jump the baby gate that has successfully blocked her out of the guest bedroom for 6 years, from snuggling up on the guest bed. We have too much company that's allergic to cats. Besides, as soon as Dusty's stitches are out, he'll figure out that if Kitty can make the jump into the guest room, he can too.

I'm thinking about putting a screen door across the door. I could paint it some bright beachy color. We can't just close the door. In the winter it isn't too bad, but in the summer it would wreck the air flow and we'd have mildew growing in the closet. I know this because it's happened before.

So, despite the fact that the bathroom is what I wanted to tackle next, thanks to a new family member, who we don't yet love, I think we'll have to get a new bedroom door.

1 comment:

Jennifer said...

Have you seen the screens that you just pull across... like a roll up shade on its side? That might work well. We are considering those for our french doors.