|Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds. Maybe we shouldn't have named her after a song that might have been about mind altering drugs.|
She was cute, petite, pretty, fluffy, and volatile. She'd be purring and cuddling and affectionately vigorously smashing her head into my cheek, and then turn around and hiss and growl like the devil at somebody else. She went after the dog a few times and I was concerned about his safety. They used to play. It devolved to the point that Dobby chased Lucy across the room, looking for fun, only to have her turn into a screeching dangerous monster.
|Back when they were friends.|
I tried. Please believe, I tried. I worked on behaviour modification, which is extremely difficult with a cat. I tried medication. She gobbled up her pills, and in fact, I was able to pick her up and pry open her little mouth and pop that pill right down her throat. It seemed to help. A little tiny bit. She still had a hate on for the dog though.
She wasn't always like this. When we got her, about five years ago, she was a scared little skittish kitten. I hadn't ever had a female house cat, and it had been a looooong time since we had a kitten, so I waited for her to grow up and settle down. She never did either. I could handle sharing a home with a cat who isn't friendly to strangers. I could handle a cat who would rather be looked at than cuddled. I maybe even could have tolerated her mood swings. But then she started getting violent.
And... this isn't my house. I have to be respectful of the other people I live with.
So what were my options? Take her out to the barn? I'd take the risk of her attacking my beloved barn cats, Moe and Dice. And, probably have her end up having a very difficult end. She'd always been an indoor cat, no outdoor survival skills, and we live next to a busy highway.
Take her to the pound, like where we got her?
They can't take her. They're full to capacity. Plus, we live out of county. Plus, they can't take a cat with that many issues, and will therefore be hard to adopt. She'd spend years in a cage, waiting for someone to choose a cat who may or may not turn vicious without warning.
Let her go? To fend for herself? Maybe become somebody else's problem? End up in the pound as a stray?
Try to give her away to someone without telling them about her problems? Have someone come back and tell me how she ripped open their hand and then what, I pretend she never did that before?
I had only one option left. I took her to the vet clinic, tears rolling down my face, and had her put down quietly and with as much dignity as possible. I'm sure it was the only quiet thing she ever did in her five years of life.
Call me crazy but I am sure she knew what was up. She got really heavy when I picked her up and put her in the crate. She was tense and heavy as we sat on the couch waiting for the vet. I told her it wasn't her fault. None of this was her fault. I don't blame her; I really believe she couldn't help it.
We were told at the shelter she came from that she was part of a massive confiscation. There were like, 20 dogs and 50 cats pulled out of a house. Or 10 dogs and 30 cats. Or 40 dogs and 100 cats. Either way, I can't help but wonder if she missed out on some important socialization, with other animals and humans, or if she had some invisible problem on account of her mother being her sister-cousin. I don't know. It's no use blaming the animal hoarder, or the shelter workers who didn't euthanize the whole lot of them right away. She looked fine. Sometimes she was really sweet and charming. Other times she wasn't, and she got worse, and what's the point in analyzing it now?
This was harder than I expected. It's not like euthanizing an animal that's old or sick or injured.
Dobby is agitated today. It doesn't matter that the cat wasn't a good buddy to him anymore; he's a dog, everybody is a potential friend. He knows she's gone and it bothers him. He's had some solid cuddling today and he'll get more. He and I will both need it. I'll miss the cat chatter. She was talkative. I'll miss those occasions when she liked to be petted. I'll miss the breakfast purr. I won't miss the unpredictable moods and the sinking feeling of dread when the devil growling started.
Goodbye little cat.