Apr 1, 2011

Pet Parenting 101

Let me just start off by saying that introducing a new kitten into the mix has been a rollercoaster. Some people manage to have 5+ cats and life is a breeze... but not me.

Misty is actually a great cat, just terribly shy. Naively I was expecting to get another "Smudge" so having her be so timid and shy has been driving me nuts. I know it sounds crazy, but I was truly expecting to get another insanely social, affectionate cat. I've been trying to be patient and give her time to adjust to our house, but I'd be lying if I said she didn't have a countdown clock ticking over her head. I'm not naturally a cat person so the fact that I have not one but two cats is still kind of bonkers to me.

It's been about 2 weeks and her and Smudge are getting along for the most part. I didn't grow up with cats so I'm still not sure what constitutes playing vs fighting, but I'm learning. They both sleep all day, eat, and poop.... poop... and pee. I think the biggest difference I've noticed is that I'm now cleaning out the litter box at least 2-3 times a day. Before I would clean it out about once a day... maybe every other day... but I honestly feel like I'm ALWAYS. CLEANING. CAT. SHIT. I think the litter box is actually a huge source of stress for me. I was not prepared for the difference adding another cat would make and it's quickly wearing on me.

One minute they're like this...
Topping that off are the late night scuffles the cats get into. I think it's mostly playing, but I hear the occasional hiss. This has caused me to do everything from freak out, put one of the cats on timeout, or close my door and say "fuck it" altogether. When I first brought her home and they were getting into it I felt like I was having a breakdown. Almost like a mother suffering from post-partum, I was on all of these cat owner forums trying to research ways to help them get along.... only to realize that cats are like people and will do things on their own time.

Then the next they're like this...
Oh yeah, did I mention when we brought her home we found out she had worms? Yes!! Tapeworms. I nearly fell out when I saw them coming out of her butt. The most we experienced with Smudge was a slight cold, so seeing worms was a new monster. We rushed her to the vet ($$$) and had to get meds for both her and Smudge (preventative) and that was on like day 5 of having her. That was probably when I thought about taking her back the most. I was SO overwhelmed and it really hit me that I may not be up for this. I'm all about animal adoptions and rescue, but I do believe in making sure that the pet is placed in the best home possible.

Fast forward 2 weeks later and my husband has fallen for the cat. I'm still on the fence about her... even as I type this the two cats are running around like crazy lol... but we'll see how things go. I want to be patient and give it a full month before I make a decision.

Has anyone else felt overwhelmed with their pets? I really felt like the biggest A-hole having a nervous breakdown over a cat...


~Decidedly Imperfect~ said...

I took in a 2nd cat a couple of years ago. He was living around my apaartments & I took him in just in time. He needed quite a bit of medical attention but my 1st cat wasn't having it. She hissed at him & there were plenty of late night scraps that woke me up. Plus he wasn't fixed so she was tired of time trying to have his way with her. He woke me up every morning at 3am as he howled at the window & begged to get out to where all the action was. Fast forward a few more weeks and I was breaking up far less fights. Now they really take care of one another. After a while, the stress of multiple pets will ease. Give it a bit more time and I'm sure you'll feel better.

Anonymous said...

I have a small dog who always stares at me accusingly with her "Aren't you gonna do something?" look. I adopted her 2 years ago and she still doesn't understand the difference between me and her toys. But she's great at keeping me company.

South Loop Social Light said...

Thank you for the encouraging words. My husband loves cats and grew up with them so he's been very relaxed through all of this. I get worked up and tend to freak out more often lol, but you do give me hope that things get better. I can say that I'm almost 100% sure that I will NEVER adopt another pet. This is it for me... lol I'll be a super volunteer moving forward.

P.S. I love this... said...

LOL.. those cats are the cutest. First photo they are all like, "I'm gonna tear your head off!", next pic, they are all, "Come here, Boo." Hysterical.

You're right cats do whatever they want in their own time. I love cats.. love that their self sufficient and quiet...for the most part.

Poor thing with worms.. but yuck. One of my dogs had that. Instant puking for me..

It'll get better.. and you'll love them to pieces. =)

Special K said...

I thought 2 pets was something that I wanted but as soon as I got the dog in my car I knew it was ALL WRONG. My short experienced was totally different from yours... atleast you gave it a try. are great but I'm not sure if I'd be able to have more than one at any time LoL!!!

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