Wednesday, June 30

Tough Decision

I hate making really tough decisions. I always go back and forth, weighing the pros and cons until my head is about to explode. Andrew and I are in the middle of making a tough decision right now, but I feel like it's mostly me making the decision since Andrew already knows what he'd do if I weren't here. But I think I finally know what has to be done.

Here's the deal. We have this baby, whom we love more than anything. It is our job to protect him and care for him above all else. We also have this cat, who can be...vicious. And we have to decide whether or not to keep the cat. This cat has never been aggressive toward Milo. She ignores him for the most part. But when he's crawling around, reaching out and grabbing her tail, will she remain so passive?

I took Gary (the cat) to the vet yesterday, and she was absolutely terrifying. The vet said she was the most aggressive cat he's ever seen, almost to the point that he'd describe her as feral. She hissed and swiped and bit. It took fifteen minutes for the vet to wrangle her enough for the vet tech to give her her shots. Andrew had told me Gary was bad at the vet, but this was the first time I'd witnessed it. I was honestly afraid of her, and I was so thankful that my MIL was watching Milo. For the first time, I felt that Gary was a real and true threat to my family.

But the thing is, 90 percent of the time she is sweet and cuddly. She purrs so much, drool just drips out of her mouth. She's like a puppy; she waits by the door when we get home. She loves to sit on our laps and snuggle next to us at night.

The other 10 percent of the time, however, is a completely different story. She swipes at us when startled or when she doesn't want to do what we want her to do. She hisses at our guests. She pees wherever she feels like it, often right in front of us, as if to say, hey, eff you guys, I'll do what I want and you can't stop me. She scratches on the furniture when she wants food or attention. She shreds the carpet when a door is closed to a room she wants to be in. This morning Andrew reached down to pick her up and she swiped at him, leaving a bleeding scratch on his lip.

Honestly, do I even have a choice? Something has to change. Do we make her an outdoor cat, hoping she'll work out her aggression and energy outside, but risking that she'll become even wilder when she's home? Do we try to find another home for her, somewhere where she can be outdoors with lots of land to run around on? Or do we go with Andrew's preferred choice and have her put to sleep? But I couldn't do that. We've had her for five years, and despite her many, many faults, I love her and feel responsible for her. She's my first pet, and the first pet Andrew and I got together.

But there's Milo. And I have to do what is best for him. And if there is even a chance that Gary would hurt him, then she has to go. I can't wait until it happens, then feel regret that I didn't take action sooner. We're planning to ask Andrew's aunt and uncle, who live out in rural Missouri, if they will take her. Take her back, actually, since it was they who found her in their barn when Gary was just a day or so old. (Robin, if you read this, whaddya say?)

In my heart I know Gary has to go. But I swear, I'm gonna miss that goddamn cat.

Just look in those kitten eyes. You can see the future staring right back at you.

Eventually Gary would conquer this sofa and shred it all to hell.
Look at that tongue!
Gary reeeaaally hated wearing that jack-o-lantern hat. For the life of me, I can't imagine why.
Maybe in the end, this decision isn't so difficult after all.


Linda and Matthew said...

If you end up still needing to find a home, I can ask my step father in law in Belton if he's willing to take on another cat at his place. He has a whole bunch of outdoor cats (mostly strays) that he feeds and lets roam Bedside Manor. Let me know.

Kenton said...

Sorry to hear all of this. I can relate. Leroy is on my "watch list" so far things have been fine, but I hate to think about what would have to happen if he starts to get to ruff with Eli. You got to do what you got to do.

Anonymous said...

Our neighbors cat bit him on the hand and he spent almost a week in the hospital. It was not something for a baby to go thru...I vote country living.
Linda Conley