A Mexico Cat Tale

Day One – The Invader

Fudge my life.

I came home from a long lunch to discover the stray cat that had taken up residence in the yard had somehow got into the house. Well, I didn’t discover it – the dogs did.

Mayhem!!! And that is an understatement. Fur and hair flew (poodles have hair instead of fur as it doesn’t shed – a useless piece of information you will never need.)

The cat finally ended up in my bathroom sink where it remained all night. Once it quit running, the dogs settled and so did kitty.

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I had been wanting to catch this cat to have it fixed and dewormed but this wasn’t how I intended on doing it. The area has too many kittens and it didn’t matter if it was a he or a she – it needed to lose its baby making parts. I had envisioned renting a trap. No need now.

The vet was closed since it was after 6:00 pm so I had to figure out how the four of us were going to live together for the next 15 hours. The dogs kept their distance as the cat put up quite the fight when they first met. I was hoping it stayed that way.

Then it went from bad to worse. I got out the only meat I had to lure the cat: prosciutto. While I was corralling Sherlock, Shasta ate the package. And when I say package I mean plastic and all. I’m not sure how many of the thin plastic sheets were there but in the end there were only two and a half. I tried to pull the other pieces out of her mouth but she chomped my thumb and swallow all of the rest. She was very pleased with herself.

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Did I mention the vet was closed?

So, I fed her a couple of slices of bread and started blockage watch. I had this sinking feeling that this was going to result in surgery as it was a good amount of plastic. But hey – we were going to the vet with the cat anyway. The more the merrier.

It had begun as such a quite peaceful day. Poodles can turn that on a dime.

Day Two – Update From the Frontline

Shasta is fine so far. She pooed so the plastic should at least be in her large intestine. I need the Magic School Bus to see the journey through her digestive tract. We survived the night with that cat even being in the bed at one point. At first I gave kitty a break by shutting the door. Both dogs kept vigil for hours.

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Then I got kitty out and sat it on my lap. The dogs sat waiting for me to give them permission to approach. Sherlock then stood over it until I made him stop because he was drooling on my leg.

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The cat was totally unfazed by them being so close.
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Bed time I put a towel in the corner of the bathroom counter and he settled in.
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But then the night started to go like one where there is a new infant. Mommy (Shasta) got up to lovingly stare at the new wonder. Daddy (Sherlock) got up to wake up the baby in hopes of playing with it.

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Visiting Grandma (me) would get up to get everything sorted out and everyone back to bed. Then it would start all over again.

This morning the cat found all the high places in the house while the dogs were out peeing. I then took it to the vets.

It has worms so I got dewormer for the dogs. Other than that, it is a health approximately nine month old, soon to be ball-less, male. I pick it up tomorrow so I have 24 hours to decide what to do with it. Shasta wants to keep it. Sherlock wants to slow roast it and serve it with a mushroom sauce. And I don’t like either of those options.

As long as I don’t name it or buy cat toys all options are on the table.

Day Three – No good deed goes unpunished.

Last night while petting Sherlock I noticed a sore on his back. I got out the magnifying light and sure enough, there was a cat bite. I had thought when the dogs discovered the cat, the cat got a piece of one of them! It was Sherlock, deservingly so. Therefore, before picking the cat up from the vet for being neutered, I took Sherlock in, as by morning the bite was beginning to abscess.

I knew it would need to be lanced but the vet thought it was best to also needle drain the area and then flush the resulting space. There are some pretty nasty bacteria and viruses down here in Central Mexico. This meant Sherlock had to be put under. Since he is five and has never had his teeth cleaned, we thought it would be good to get that out of the way too so he wouldn’t have to be put under a second time next year.

Meanwhile, Shasta had not pooped again so we decided she needed an ultrasound to see where the plastic was. There looked to be one sheet in the small intestine and two – maybe three – still in the large intestine. They weren’t compacted – yet – so we gave her some “grease” to help things slide. If all the sheets weren’t out in two days another ultrasound would be done and we would look at other options. Of course if she showed any distress, vomited, or became lethargic she would go straight in for surgery.

Now, as for the fate of the cat….

He was given a name but no toys so we are on a “we will see” basis.

Some really great names were suggested online but I have the “different drummer” thing. So my choices were:

“Waffle-head” called Waffles for short because that is what I had eaten right before we found him in the house.

“Sock Monkey from Outer Space” called Monkey for short because he goes limp like a sock monkey when I pick him up and he appeared from outer space since all the doors were closed when he was found. I can also call him Socks since he has white socks and Spacey if he turns out to be dingy like me.

“Brain Worm” to be called Worms for short because not only did he have worms, I have had the brain worm of the Meow, Meow, Meow song from the Meow Mix commercial playing in my head ever since setting eyes on him.

“Cyber Kitty” to be called Cyber to be spelled Syber because that is how I like my cats – on the internet. And how I like to spell – wrong.

I was having a tough time choosing but when the vet ask for a name for its charts, Monkey came out. So “Sock Monkey from Outer Space” it is.

What I decided to do was keep him inside for the next week to recover from being fixed and keep his diet healthy during recovery. His food, “house,” and litter box were put in my bathroom/closet and he also had the run of my bedroom. I was not thrilled with this situation at all but it is the only way to keep him from the dogs and not escape out an open outside door. I didn’t want to put him in my guest bedroom as he sheds and I was on target for starting Airbnb in two weeks.

After that, I will have to let the cat choose where it wants to be because there is no way to keep the doors closed to make sure it doesn’t get out. My doors are glass and wrought iron and are intended to be open in pretty weather. Plus, the housekeeper can’t be carrying a bucket of water to dump outside and worrying if she lets the cat slip out, she will be fired.

If it wants to still live inside at that time, I will move it’s litter box to the mop area. And he will be more than welcome. If it prefers street life I will have a box built to go over the dryer and put food out, and catch it for deworming , flea and tick control, and it’s shots. I also am having a tag made for a tear away collar so if he does meander, people finding him will not vaccinate him twice.

I have always been of the opinion that if you own a cat it should be kept indoors for the safety of the cat. But I have seen the number of unadopted cats in the shelters and think living in danger is better than living in a small cage. I really don’t think a shelter will have luck adopting this guy out because there are so many cute tiny kittens to pick from. Monkey certainly would not have been my pick at the pound.

When I went to pick up Sherlock from the vet I left Shasta alone with the cat. I figured this was fine because the cat was passed out from surgery under my bed.

I came home – no Shasta. I looked under the bed for the cat and found – both. I thought Shasta was stuck under there so I went out to get two 2 x 4’s to wedge the bed up. When I turned around after getting the two boards unburied from the shed, Shasta was right beside me. How she got her 75 pound body out is beyond me.

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Monkey sticks his head out for Shasta to lick him. They are buddies. Sherlock and Monkey not so much. Sherlock is too rough for Monkey’s taste and Sherlock thinks Monkey will be tender to taste.

And someone had asked me if I wanted to buy a Pygmy goat kid today. Aye yai yai!!!

Day Four – Feline Friend

I have a very good dog. Care to guess its name?

Wrong! It is Sherlock. I know! I’m as shocked as you are. Shasta loves to lick Monkey but she is also muzzle punching the cat. Plus, she will not obey me at all. No leave it, no come, no sit. She is obsessed with the cat and has lost her hearing.

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Sherlock on the other hand is backing off when I tell him to and comes when I see he is getting wound up and call him. I have said Good Boy to him so much the last 24 hours he and I are both beginning to believe this Fake News.

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I saw how mellow Monkey was with me holding him, him wanting to snuggle, and how quickly he adjusted to the dogs, and can’t believe he didn’t live with people at some point. But when a cat eats your garbage for a month, has tapeworms hanging out by his bunghole, and isn’t fixed, ya kinda are sure he is stray. He might have been dumped after he grew out of the really cute kitten stage. But I know there is one more his age out there so it seems like he may have been from a feral litter and is just freakishly a good cat.

It has been bothering me that he isn’t symmetrical in his markings so I’m taking a Sharpie to try to even him out. I don’t know what to do about the one black dot on his nose. White-out? (Oh! Booger. I should have named him Booger. To late now 🙁

My allergies are really starting to get to me. I know when I had an allergy test ten years ago, cats were towards the top of the list. I am snorting and swallowing meds to get me through till I can find an allergist.

And….

Drum roll….

Shasta pooped out a piece of plastic. So, if the train is on schedule, the rest should make reentry tomorrow. I will be so happy not to serve as Poo Inspector anymore.

And speaking of poo. The litter box had to be moved. This morning I went to get “odor control” litter because he gagged the dogs and I onto the sofa at four in the morning. As soon as I could stomach it, I ran in, scooped, and ran it to the outside trash. How can an odor linger so long?

But then, the first go at “odor control” was still out of control so the box went out to the mop and broom area which I lovingly refer to as The Scorpion Den. It would be where I would live if I was a scorpion. Only my housekeeper has the guts to venture in. If Monkey doesn’t want to get a stinger to his behind he will have to look before he squats.

Sherlock’s cat bite sore looks much better today and luckily it is still oozing. He wore a tee-shirt to lunch today though as I thought it would gross out other diners. Also, I had a bug bite on my left boob that looks like a hickey so I dug out a turtleneck to wear for tomorrow. The name of my new fashion line is Bite Wear. To be sold at a creepy abandoned house near you.

Day Seven – I Suffer Alone

What a difference a few days make. This video is of the Sherlock interacting with the cat on the third day. At the end of the video, I had to put down the camera to physically go get Sherlock to settle down.

Now as you can see in the second video from today, he isn’t moving. Why? Because he is pouting. Poor Sherlock has gotten what he wants 99.9% of his life. He tilts his head, puts up one paw, smiles, and sticks his tongue out as far as possible and people hand him their smartphones and wallets. But for two days now he has gotten a firm NO on the cat toy. He is mad and he is glad he is mad. I put the toy in a cabinet and he goes and lays by the door looking up at me with his coal-black eyes. Pulls every cute trick in the book. When all fails, he pouts.

Last night I got up from the sofa and said, “let’s go night night.” I got out jammies and went to brush my face and wash my teeth. When I returned, not only were all three sleeping, they were all three on MY side of the bed. And to add insult to injury, Sherlock was sleeping on my jammies.

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I slid onto the edge and waited for them to shift positions. They finally did after ten years but Monkey woke up ready to rumble. He attacked anything of mine that moved. I was so tired I did what any techie parent would do to get some peace – I gave him my cell phone to play with.

Needless to say – dogs and cat are wonderful. I’m sleepless and battling the cat allergy that gets worse every day. C’est la vie.

Day Eight – Be Still My Beating Heart

Sherlock strikes again. He will give me a coronary one day.

We were all calmed for the night and I was cleaning the kitchen. Suddenly I heard Monkey’s bell on his collar go crazy and knew he was running around like a spaz. I wiped a few more swipes then decided to go supervise before something went wrong.

I turned the corner and there was Sherlock with a limp Monkey in his mouth. I screamed bloody murder and took off after him yelling “leave it.” We went once around the sofa and once around the dining room table before he finally came to a stop where the chase had begun. That was when I got close enough to see it wasn’t Monkey. (I need glasses for distance.)

The dogs can open their own drawers of their toy storage and he had dug around to find the exact toy to freak me out. I think Monkey was in on it because he had disappeared to the back and stayed out of sight during the chase. Needless to say, Sherlock was very thrilled to have gotten a game of chase out of me after my nightly “quiet time had started” I was so shook up, it took forever to sleep. Now I’m tired but have to pick up Sherlock’s toys. It is one trick he refuses to learn.

Day Ten – Walk With Soft Paws

Shasta loves to paw photo bomb.

And FYI…do not join a cat forum and ask how to make sure your big dogs do not hurt a new kitten. After all the suggestions of crating the dogs, putting the dogs in one room, or putting the dogs in the yard while I’m gone; I repeatedly explained that the dogs lived here. It is their house. They have run free in it for nine and five years respectively. The cat is the interloper.

I got torn a new one. I’m thinking I now have to go into witness protection. Anyone care to hide me and the dogs till they find a new villain?

And as for villains…does it look like to anyone else that Shasta is giving Sherlock and Monkey the bird? They won’t let her join in on their reindeer games.

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Day Twelve – The Beginning of the End

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I don’t know what is more surprising: That Sherlock has such a low voice or that he wants to get rid of Monkey. He prances like he is low on testosterone and he is constantly laying by or playing with the cat. Again – I call this fake news. But my allergies are only getting worse. It seems his humor may be the reality. But what to do with a stray cat that is so sweet and cute? And in Mexico???

Please let this story have a happy ending for us all…….

(Here are recient pictures of Monkey. His fur is so much shinier and he looks so much healthier than the first night.  Pretty cat but my snot filled nosterals say he sadly had to go. My heart hurts!!!!)

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