Wednesday, December 16, 2015

The Great Turd War

Just look at the beautiful Christmas scene in my living room. It's like a vintage greeting card, isn't it? Except... Why are the presents scattered all over the floor? Well, that would be due to the Great Christmas Turd War, now being waged in the living room. By the way, notice how lovely the mirror I repaired in my epoxy tutorial looks now that it's painted and displayed!

Remember that sweet Himalayan cat we rescued and nursed back to health? Remember how she was such a perfectly behaved angel? Yeah, well, much like children who test you once they've been adopted, our cat now feels comfortable enough to push us and see how far the boundaries stretch. At least, that's our theory. My husband's Internet research indicated cats might have such a turf war when moving in together. Our teen said, "Actually, it's more like a 'turd war!'", and the name stuck.

Our new cat

Our kitten, who was furious at first when we adopted the second cat, calmed down. The cats have been actually playing and eating together. We decided to see if we could downsize to one litter box. That fateful decision occurred around the same time we put the Christmas tree up. Turns out, it was a really bad idea. The cats, once pushed into such close proximity, apparently felt the need to assert their own specific territories, and both wanted the Christmas tree. First, Snickers the Himalayan peed in the plastic plant trays next to the tree. Oreo, the kitten, retaliated by pooping on the floor next to the plants. This has been escalating until this afternoon, when Snickers peed all over the tree skirt and presents under the tree. Just as soon as I mopped that up, Oreo came in and pooped on the floor right in front of me! It was the last straw.

The presents the cat peed on

I mixed up a cat repelling oil blend and rubbed it all over the woodwork and the floor along the entrance to the room in the hopes I can keep them out all together. The recipe is: 10 drops each Young Living rosemary and Citrus Fresh essential oils mixed into 1/4 cup olive oil. This scent is supposed to be particularly abhorrent to cats. I sure hope it works! Luckily most of the expensive presents aren't wrapped yet.

As disgusting as all this has been, it was a welcome distraction today. I finally came to the conclusion it's time to let Ilse, our 13 1/2 year old Sheltie, go. She never really recovered from her illness this summer and over the past month she's become increasingly frail. She can't really see and can barely walk. I have to lift her out of her bed. She also sits around shaking, as if shivering from cold, all the time, even when the weather is warm. She doesn't do anything other than eat and sleep, but until this week she seemed to enjoy eating, so I thought she might as well continue to have that pleasure. This week, however, she won't even eat her special treats. She just lets them fall out of her mouth and our Spitz takes them and eats them. Ilse has lost a significant amount of weight as well, and she's arching her back in a way that looks painful to me, so I'm sure it feels so to her. A couple times when I've tried to take her outside she's tried to bite me, and she's bitten our Spitz several times. She's clearly miserable, so I made the call to have her put down. Her appointment is Friday morning, a time when I could be there with her for the procedure. I feel like a horrible person who's betraying her on the one hand. On the other hand, if I could have done this for my grandmother when she was dying I would have.

Ilse, our Sheltie, wearing her sweater.

As much as I know Ilse's painless passing will be a gift unavailable to most humans, my heart is breaking. Thirteen years ago when she came into our lives we were still in our twenties, the young parents of a toddler who wasn't even in pre-school yet. That toddler drove himself to and from the orthodontist's today and is out running right now, getting in shape for the spring track season. The world of Ilse's puppyhood is gone, and holding on to her is becoming selfish, but that doesn't make it any less painful.

I hope you have a wonderful holiday season, free from turd wars, and that your 2016 opens into a beautiful new world.

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