notquiteold

Nancy Roman

Feline Issues

My old cat is driving us crazy.

She was our neighbor’s cat. But our neighbor had some personal issues, and somehow her little kitten got lost in the shuffle. Cats are not like dogs. So often, dogs are loyal even to mean or neglectful owners. Cats are more like, “Oh you’re too busy for me? I’m outta here.”

And so she was. Outta there, that is. A seven-month-old kitten came over from two doors down. We brought her home. She came back. We brought her home. She came back. We brought her home. She beat us back to the door.

We kept her.

Her name is Snickers. I’ve never liked that name. I liked Audrey. But she was already named, and even though she was more than ready to join our family, we only changed her last name. Snickers Roman.

Snickers was tiny. And she stayed tiny. At her biggest, she has never weighed much more than six pounds. But she has the attitude of a lion. Here she is on the roof of our garage – age twelve.

snickers on roof

 

Snickers probably should have been named Snoopy. She loves roofs. And trees and ladders.

She loves people. She runs to the door when the doorbell rings. Our other two cats head in the opposite direction. Snickers also likes to visit. Before we moved, we had lots of neighbors. She liked to explore everyone’s house. One day our neighbor Lil heard noises in the attic. When her husband got home from work, she told him that a squirrel must have gotten in. He climbed up into the attic, saw a pair of big eyes, and said, “I think that’s the Roman’s cat.” And it was. Lil did not know how Snickers got into the house, never mind the attic.

Snickers hates dogs. And birds. And deer. And also cats. Yeah, she’s not much of a cat person. She’s a very bad sibling to her sister and brother. She hits first and asks questions later.

I adore her. She’s pretty and she’s fearless. That’s a combination I admire.

But she’s nearly eighteen now. Like lots of old ladies, she has gotten even smaller. She’s about five pounds. And it appears that her little body isn’t really absorbing nutrients very well any more. Because as tiny as she is, she’s starving all the time.

And she tells us about it. Loudly.

Snickers has a new habit. She screams. It’s impressive – the decibels that come out of her little body. It’s not a meow. It’s not even a lion’s roar. It’s a scream. A human scream. It’s ‘The Shining’ meets ‘Psycho’.

And when is Snickers hungriest?

4:45 AM.

This is not like a spoiled kid having a tantrum.

Wait,  I take that back.

This is exactly like a spoiled kid having a tantrum.

The difference is that she doesn’t tire herself out and give up.

No. She can scream an amazingly long time.

So we stumble out of bed and open a can and stumble back to bed. We take turns. My husband has more turns than me.

So yesterday at 4:00 AM, I woke up with the need to pee. I am a 64-year-old lady with a bladder the size of a Nic-L-Nip. Remember those?

wax_bottle_candy5

I usually get up to pee at 2:00 AM. So making it till four was an accomplishment. But then again, it was an accomplishment I needed to take care of really soon.

But I lay in bed several extra minutes, just wondering. Can I get up and pee quietly enough so I don’t wake Snickers? Will she start to scream? Will I have to maneuver the stairs in my sleepy state and open that smelly can? Isn’t it my husband’s turn?

We love our pets and our lives revolve around them.

But come on. Do I have to wet the bed because I’m afraid to wake the cat?

 

snickersandroses1

Snickers with the Valentine’s Day roses. Trying to look pathetic. It’s an act.

 

*****

 P.S.  You can still buy the Kindle edition of my “best-selling” (#5 in Humorous Literary Fiction for ONE WHOLE DAY!)  novel JUST WHAT I ALWAYS WANTED for only 99 cents (through Fri Mar 13)…  here’s the link!

55 Comments

  1. Ha! I suspect my moms could relate to this. Snickers sounds like she could give my old lady sister, Ethel, a run for her money!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’ve always loved her tough as nails attitude. Until she started to scream.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Deb

    Been blogging about this for some time now with our old, very senile lady. Her yowling seems never ending at times as well, and what is it about the 4AM hour…same general rule here with the demands.

    Liked by 1 person

    • We’ve been through “the elderly cat” once before about 1 1/2 years ago. He was pretty senile and drove us crazy – but not the howling. This is new. And annoying.

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      • Deb

        could it be a female cat thing I wonder…

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  3. Hi. My older kitty was losing weight, always hungry and crying. Turned out to be a thyroid issue and I give him his medicine, which is in a cream form, right inside the tip of his ear. Your kitty is beautiful! Hope she feels better. And, I hope you all get some sleep!😊

    Liked by 1 person

    • We do the thyroid medicine in the ear. I think it’s helping. A little.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. We thought our dog Cooper would die any day now for 3-1/2 years. We were really nice to him but he didn’t scream

    How about a bowl with A removable lid so you can get some sleep?

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Not as far as I’m concerned. Go. ON! Do your best. What do I know anyway/ Might be use-full. Interesting possibilities.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Aaaah, a very similar situation played out with kids in my household this morning!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ha! It must be a constant challenge not to wake the kids!

      Liked by 1 person

      • In two weeks, the littler one turns one and moves out of my room! I am so excited. I SHALL PEE WITH ABANDON! (Just not, y’know, in the bedroom.)

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  7. I love this post! You make Snickers seem like an almost human cat who has the whole house bamboozled! And your fear of wetting the bed so as not to wake up the cat is absolutely hilarious! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Snickers may be five pounds, but she is the alpha cat for sure. And I admit I was very sleepy and wasn’t thinking clearly when I thought I’d rather wet the bed than wake the cat.

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  8. My patches, when she feels particularly needy, calls to me from another room – it sounds like a demanding howl. I don’t think it’s really a scream, but it sure gets my attention. This week, she’s been needy – 2 visits to the vet in a month. Enough to drive a poor cat nuts as well as her Mom.

    Liked by 1 person

    • When our 21-year-old Merlin got really senile, he would cry out to us from another room. I think he just forgot where he was. “We’re in the den!” we’d holler back, and he’d come limping in.

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      • That is so cute. I talk to Patches (as well as Rusty and Romeo) the same way – as if they were real children. Scrap that – they are real children!

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  9. Our Manx that we just put down in January lived for THREE years on our dining room table. Cat food on one end, blanket in the middle, Kitty box on the end. Howled at 3am for food every night. 5:30am for… What? We don’t know. More food? Brushing? Attention? All of the above. Whenever I had a dinner party I moved the entire table into the office and just put another table in the dining room. He was 20 years, 4 months when he finally just couldn’t get up any more. My sympathies. It doesn’t get better.
    The things we do for our pets!,

    Liked by 1 person

  10. June

    My old lady cat is 12. She adopted me when she was a tiny stray kitten. Although she’s a tortoise shell, the vet told me she had some Siamese in her mix because of her narrow, straight tail. Since she’s gotten older, that Siamese scream comes ou when she wants a treat. I’m sure the neighbors on our hall (we live in an apartment) are sure someone is getting killed in our apartment. Thankfully, they haven’t called the police YET!

    Liked by 1 person

    • No Siamese in Snickers… just straight mongrel blood-curdling scream.

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  11. We had my old guy, Fagan, from birth to 22. Needless to say, he was a panther like cat, the real alley cat of the neighborhood, and tough as nails. When he got to be 18, he started to slow down, but would still scare all the other cats (and mice and birds, etc.) off. As he got older, and started to get thinner, we babied him like crazy. He still would stumble around the house at all hours yowling out, as though he was lost. I would open the bedroom door and he would lie just at the foot of the bed, fairly content. We finally had to put him down 2 weeks after his 22nd birthday. It broke my heart, but he had a very long and full life, so it was a bit of a blessing. The photo of your little old lady reminded me of what Fagan looked like near the end!

    Liked by 1 person

    • It’s amazing how bony they get. We had friends who had a cat so old, he had outlived his vet. The cat’s name was “Ick” and the older he got, the better the name suited him. He was a sight!

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      • Poor Fagan got an ulcer in his cheek and the food would just fall out of it. That’s the day we had to put him down, it was just too cruel to keep him alive after that!

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  12. Oh, those wax pop bottle filled with sugar water…I remember those. I didn’t know what they were called. I love that analogy.
    If I had to open that smelly can at any time I would probably throw up. My husband would have a lot more turns than me.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. I’ve gone through the end of life drama and trauma with four different female cats (and two males) in my lifetime and all were just a little different. Maybe Snickers yowls to let you know, “I’m still here. Don’t go thinking I died on you in the night.” Or it could be she’s going deaf and doesn’t realize how loud she’s ‘talking’ (or maybe she thinks YOU’RE going deaf and wants to be sure you hear her). Its certainly got to be tough to deal with but the silence when she’s gone will be worse. Just love her while you can!

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Snickers, please, don’t wake mommy up when she pees in the middle of the night, just when daddy does. It’s his turn to feed you anyway. 🙂 My cat, Jesse, lived to be about 16 1/2. She used to talk to me all the time (never got to the screaming stage). My ex would tell me she’d be quiet and out of sight until I walked in the door…then it was “mom, mamma, mommy, ma, mom…” She was nasty to everyone but me, was known to hiss at anyone who got too close. But, she was my girl and I loved her!

    Liked by 1 person

    • All my cats… and over the years we’ve had eight… all of them prefer my husband. I am just a spare can-opener.

      Liked by 1 person

  15. Always feel cats are only loyal to whoever feeds it or has the comfiest cushion. However, Snickers (enter own version of ‘nuts’ joke) sounds so sweet…….. until 4am. Maggie used to get us up at 2am for a wee, so we got into the same habit! Since being on the boat though, we are ALL sleeping until 7am!

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Snickers sounds such a character.I can imagine you trying not to wake her up. It’s hard to see them get old. I hope that she will be around to keep you company for a bit longer yet..

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    • We hope so too, despite the yodeling. Her brother Merlin hung around for 21 years.

      Like

  17. Oh to be a cat mom! My little boogers like to wake me up on my days off just so they can ignore me. Sometimes, it’s because their upstairs food dish is halfway empty and they’re too lazy to either finish it or go downstairs to the completely full dish there. Other times, I think they’re just messing with me as the second my toes touch the ground, they are nowhere to be found. It sounds like Snickers is quite the character and has had quite the good, long life!

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    • We had one cat who I swear looked in the pantry to see what flavor cat food we had the most of. And then that was the flavor he decided he would never touch again.

      Liked by 1 person

  18. Not unusual in our house. Jake, our old diabetic cat, likes (or as he says “needs to”) eat between 3 and 4. Sometimes a little later. My first pee is close to 3 (if I’m lucky). I always tiptoe and don’t flush so I don’t wake him up. sometimes it works and sometimes he’s at the door when I come out. Fortunately I just give him a handful of kibble. Much easier. He also announces when HE pees in the middle of the night. At first I thought there was a problem. There wasn’t. Like many males, he just wanted to show off his equipment.

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    • Jake sounds like a handful! Snickers hollers for food many times a day… it only annoys me at 4am.

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  19. Our dog started getting up in the middle of the night to get a drink of water. We usually keep our bedroom door closed at night but we had to start leaving the door cracked open enough for her to get out/in. We had to accommodate for her new “thing.” I hope she doesn’t start screaming though.

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    • We had to buy little steps for our other old cat. Beautiful bedroom furniture and plastic steps. What we don’t do for them….

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  20. Very enjoyable read. I must say, cats are definitely pushy and tend to want to run a household. We don’t have any pets but we babysit our Grandkitty when our daughter & son-in-law go away. Stellie knows what she wants and knows how to get on my nerves. The morning of her very first sleepover, she pooped at my feet when I was taking too long to feed her. Let me just say that starting my day in that manner did not endear her to me. I grew up with cats and dogs. My husband’s family never had a pet. Who does Stellie like the best? The husband. Go figure.

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    • When my husband and I first got married, we had a kitten who was quite a rascal. We had to leave him for two days with my mother-in-law. When we returned she said he was horrible – jumping on all the furniture. I said (with a straight face) “Gee, he never does that at home.”

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  21. She is probably losing her hearing. That’s what started my female’s yowling, toward the end of her life. Sadly, Oliver is only 11 and he has perfectly fine hearing – he just cries for the sake of crying. His life is so darn hard, though.

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    • Yeah, my cat too. She’s probably wailing because Life is so unfair. She always wanted to be an only child. And her own ladder. She always wanted a ladder.

      Liked by 1 person

  22. Britt

    Just read your book – best 99 cents I’ve spent in a long time – and found your blog. As a 56-year-old mom to 2 cats and a chihuahua, I am your newest fan!

    Liked by 1 person

    • That is FABULOUS! Thanks so much – you really made my day!

      Like

  23. My oldest was 26, yes you read that correctly. She was the matriarch of a long line. She was evil to all but me. She did exactly the same thing. I never understood.

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    • Wow. My oldest ever was Merlin, who was 21. I adored him, but I also could not imagine 5 more years of his ancient cranky self.

      Like

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