It was good to sip coffee this morning, look up, and see the ceiling in the hallway with a second coat of mud dry and ready to be sanded (which made last night’s dry-air nosebleed worthwhile.) It was good to hear this morning that my main freelance client has plenty of work planned for 2005, which means Jen won’t throw my ass out on the corner to shake my moneymaker. It was also good to get a call from a consulting client last night looking for more help (and letting me know that the stuff I’ve already done is working fine.) I may not have two pennies to rub together, but things are still moving along.

Fixing The Little Orange Wagon. As you may or may not know, we at the House Of Cats have a problem child. Penn has been banished up in the office/atrium extention for the better part of eight months while we try various medications to settle him down. (Recap: He began to get aggressive towards Geneva, the lone female, almost immediately after the Tribal Merge, until he was actively seeking her out for fights. Geneva is no pushover, but when the stress level started affecting her eating habits, we separated the two boxers into their respective corners.) We’ve gone through four different meds for Penn, each with its own effects:

  1. Paxil: mellowed his orange ass out for a week, and then gave him a pleasant buzz, like a month-long amphetamine binge. We switched when he started yowling at the wall during the day like a mental pateint.
  2. [forgot the name]: The switchover was a peaceful three or four days, and then it was back to yowling. He slept and ate more at this period, too.
  3. Prozac: this was probably the best of the lot, although he still lunged at Geneva when she walked past. We switched when he began picking out the food with the medicine on it and eating the rest.
  4. Valium: I’d heard through second-hand sources that the Big V was supposed to be King Daddy of chillout drugs, but this is LIES! Valium is sort of like a kitty crystal meth for Penn—he paces the room constantly. When he hears my voice, he starts a methodical clawing of the door that sounds like we have the Mother Under The Bed from that X-Files episode trapped upstairs.

So, we brought him back in for $450 worth of bloodwork, having his anal glands unclogged (eccchh) and a bag of special kitty food worth its weight in gold. The diagnosis now is that he has some kind of inflamed bowel syndrome (an abnormally high white blood cell count), which means he needs steroids, expensive steroids, and we haven’t even paid off the bloodwork bill yet.

The bottom line here is that he’s not gotten any better. He wants to be the Alpha cat, but Geneva has already locked up the nomination and crushed all other opposition. He can’t be out in the general population while he’s aggressive, and we can’t condemn him to a solitary life in the Penn-itentiary upstairs. We’re going to give him the steroids and then try whatever medicine worked the best (probably the Prozac again) for one last shot at feline harmony; if he can’t fit in we’re going to have to put him up for adoption in a single-kitty home.

Gift. When I do get some bucks together, I am totally buying this T-Shirt for my wife.

Date posted: January 28, 2005 | Filed under house | Leave a Comment »

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