my sister came home and took my cat away // vlog #4
My Cat Sent My Sister to the ER, and I Kept Him Anyway
Who could resist that orange ball of fluff in our vet's office?
"An abandoned litter," the receptionist said. Work crews had rescued them from a construction site in the L.A. County Jail parking lot. Little did we know his birthplace would foreshadow his behavior.
Veterinarian staff bottle-fed the kittens until they were old enough to adopt and then waited for softies like me to walk through the door. My daughter and I took him home as a companion for our older cat and dubbed him Mickey Jr. (a family name for red kitties).
Junior was a typical kitten, full of frisk and vinegar. Sometimes he bit, sometimes he scratched, but no more than most young cats.
However, he changed over time. Asserting dominance, Junior turned playful tussles with our other cat (also named Mickey) into actual fights. I segregated the two when I wasn't home, locking old Mickey in my bedroom.
Junior started biting us more if we moved suddenly or an outside noise startled him. And he hissed at visitors.
I tried dousing our home with cat pheromones that were supposed to soothe nervous felines. We sprayed furniture, doorjambs and anyplace Junior slept. Nothing changed, so we spritzed Junior with a water bottle whenever he crossed the line.
Still, he was just a cat. How bad could it get?
When old Mickey died, my daughter said Junior could sleep with me now and began closing her door against him at night. If I shut my door, too, he yowled and ripped holes in the carpet until I let him in.
The severity of his attacks increased. If I moved in my sleep, the searing pain of cat teeth jolted me awake. I joked about ninja training when coworkers eyed the band-aids crisscrossing my arm, but I knew something needed to change. Getting rid of Junior did not seem an option. Our family always said pets were for life.
A friend recommended a home care veterinarian, who specialized in cats. Not only would I avoid Junior's annual checkup — complete with me wearing a coat and leather gloves to pry him from his carrier — but it would also allow the doctor to assess Junior in his home environment.
Dr. Gibson sat on the floor at cat level. After interviewing us and studying him for more than an hour, her assessment made sense. Junior exhibited displaced aggression and was easily startled, a bad combination. His tendency to bite was probably due to his being a bottle-fed kitten. No mama cat swatted him for biting her. Or maybe his feral background had bred in some fighting genes. Whatever the cause, the best solution was drugs.
I had to order customized kitty downers from a compounding pharmacy, but before we had time to buy them, disaster struck.
My sister, between apartments, was sleeping in the living room. One night Junior nipped her toes under the blanket and she jerked back her foot. The cat went ballistic.
I heard her cries and ran to help, unsure what I was facing. I never expected to see our cat leaping from the floor again and again to bite her arms and legs in a frenzied attack.
I threw a blanket over Junior and locked him in my bedroom. We drove my sister to the emergency room. Naturally, the doctors wanted to know what attacked her.
A house cat.
They spoke of calling animal control, and I knew that would seal his fate. My daughter was devastated. As difficult as he was, Junior was the cat she had raised from a kitten. My sister also came to his defense and said she didn't want him destroyed. But after such an incident, did we even have the final say?
Eventually, the medical staff decided not to call because they said a frightened cat could do a lot of scratching damage.
But I knew the truth. Teeth, not claws, scored those wounds. If Junior had been a dog, that would have been the end of him, but as a cat, he was given one more of his nine lives.
Luckily, the little green capsules worked. Junior calmed down and allowed me to sleep through the night. We lost our fear that he would lunge at visitors like a rabid wolverine.
By the time Junior died of cancer a few years later, he was a fat, furry lap cat that only picked up speed when he heard kibble drop into his food bowl. We cried; we missed him; but we never, ever want another cat like him.
Video: My Sister's Reaction To Meeting My Kitten For the First Time | Dog Meets Cat
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