I have always been a dog person and have owned a dog most of my life. First I had Doolittle, which was a cocker spaniel and she lived to be thirteen years old. Then I got a chocolate lab and named her Kisses and a few weeks later, I got another lab and named her Hugs. Hugs was a yellow lab and she and Kisses each lived to be a little over twelve years old. I lost Kisses last March and I lost Hugs this year in May. Right now I don’t have a dog, but I am sure when the time is right, I will find my perfect four-legged companion.
Being the dog lover that I am, I never personally had many encounters with cats until LP and I moved in together twelve years ago. LP had a cat named Chloe, and Chloe was definitely LP’s baby. I didn’t think Chloe liked me at first, but I quickly learned that cats are completely different from dogs. Once I figured out how to deal with cats, Chloe and I got along fine. I’ll let you in on my little secret that I learned about cats. If they think you want them to do something, they won’t do it. Unlike dogs, they do not want your approval nor do they care what you think about them. You don’t own them; they own you, and they will come around you only if and only when they want to be around you. But, if you act like you don’t want them in your lap, they are damn determined to get in your lap.
So here’s my secret about cats. You must use reverse psychology on cats. If you ignore them, they cannot stand it, so you will get their full attention. So with Chloe, if I really wanted to pet her or if I wanted her to sit in my lap I would look at her and say, “No, you can’t get up here. Go away.” And Bingo! I would instantly have a cat in my lap. So, remember that – reverse psychology is the key when dealing with cats.
After five years of being together, LP and I thought Chloe needed a companion, so we got another cat named D.C. D.C. loved Chloe and I suppose she thought Chloe was her mother, but Chloe was not very fond of D.C. Being a little kitten, D.C. wanted to play all the time and when she tried to play with Chloe, Chloe would pound on D.C.’s little head a couple of times and then walk off. Chloe lived a long, good life and when she passed away, D.C. was so lonely. Of course LP and I were upset about Chloe, so we really didn’t want to get another cat. But, about six months later, my niece called and told us that a cat had shown up at her house and they couldn’t find the owners of the cat. She didn’t want to keep the cat, so she asked us to give the cat a home.
This cat was about two years old and she was part Himalayan and part Siamese. We went to my niece’s house to see the cat and LP fell in love with her. At the time, the cat’s name was Sparkle, but when we took her in, we changed her name to Sky Blue. The reason we chose that named for her is because my mother had just passsed away and I wanted to name the cat something to pay a tribute to my mom. That day after my mom’s funeral, we went to my niece’s house to pick up the cat. After we left my niece’s house, we were driving home with the cat and we thought of the perfect name. That afternoon, three rainbows appeared in the sky and within minutes the rainbows disappeared, and the sky turned bright blue. So, we named our new cat, Sky Blue.
D.C. hated Sky Blue and every time Sky got close to her, she would hiss and smack at her and then take off running and screaming like a child. Sometimes she screamed so loud, it startled me. Even though Sky was two, she still had a lot of kitten left in her, so when D.C. would take off running, Sky would chase her. That made things worse with D.C., and this went on and on for days upon days. It went on so long, LP and I thought we were going to have to find Sky a new home. But, both of us were growing very attached to Sky, so we decided to give it a little longer. D.C. was pretty much mad at the world.
We researched online about what to do about cats that don’t get along. We tried every idea on the world-wide web, but nothing worked. Nothing. When it was time for D.C.’s yearly shots, we talked to our veterinarian about our situation. She told us to give it time and they should be able to work out their differences. She said that even if they never liked each other, they would learn to tolerate each other. We gave them four months, then five months and on the sixth month, we were about to give up on them ever getting along and we didn’t know what else to do.
It was Sky’s turn to go see the vet and the appointment was on a Saturday morning, so LP and I took Sky to the vet together. The vet asked if D.C. and Sky were getting along better now, and LP said, “No. They can’t stand each other. We have set up separate feeding stations and we now have three litter boxes in the house. We purchased mood calming mist for cats, a relaxing herb to put in their food, and we have practically spent a small fortune on these different ideas, but they still fight all the time.” I told the vet, “They keep us awake half the night chasing each other and D.C. continues to scream and hiss off and on throughout the entire night. I wish they made Prozac for cats. I am to the point where I think I might need Prozac.” I started laughing and the vet looked at me and said, “Well, they do make Prozac for cats. It’s called Kitty Prozac. It’s in a liquid form and is made especially for cats. If you would like, I can write you a prescription for it and you can try it. Once you start giving it to them, it should start taking effect in five to seven days.” I thought, “You have got to be kidding. Prozac for cats?”
At first LP and I were hesitant about give our cats drugs, but we were both at our wits end with all of the cat fighting that was going on. We told the vet we would try it because at this point in time, we were willing to do anything to get some peace and quiet around the house. So, as soon as we left the vet’s office we went straight to the pharmacy to have the Prozac prescription for our cat filled.
On the way into the pharmacy, I looked at LP and said, these people are going to think we are crazy getting Prozac for our cats. We both laughed, but honestly, I was a bit embarrassed to go into the pharmacy and give them the prescription for Kitty Prozac. But I had to do what I had to do. LP and I were both totally surprise when the lady behind the counter told us that it was very common for people to give their cats Prozac. She said they would mix up the Prozac and we could choose from four different flavorings to add to the Prozac. The flavor choices were chicken, pork, liver and tuna. We chose the tuna flavor. Once the Kitty Prozac prescription was filled, we thought this would surely do the trick and our two cats would finally love each other.
Now, I don’t know if you have ever tried to give a cat medicine, but it is almost damn near impossible. And believe me, it is not a one person job. It takes someone to hold the cat and keep it from kicking and clawing, and someone to fight with their little heads and shove the medicine down their throat as quickly as possible so they don’t get their fingers bitten off. But, this was in liquid form so I was hoping that it would be much easier than giving a pill. That night we were ready to give the cats their medicine. We chose to start with D.C. because she was pretty smart and if she saw us giving Sky medicine, she would run off and hide somewhere and it would take us the rest of the night to find her.
While LP got the Prozac out and was putting the correct amount of medicine into the syringe, I went to find D.C. Once I found D.C., I brought her into the kitchen where LP was waiting with the syringe. While I was holding D.C., she was kicking and clawing and trying to worm her way out of my arms. LP grabbed D.C.’s little head and stuck the syringe into her mouth and about the time LP dispensed the Prozac, D.C. dug her back claws into my arm and both D.C. and I jerked and the Prozac went all over my face. Then D.C. bit me on the other arm and I screamed and cussed and put her down.
Our first attempt at giving liquid medicine didn’t work too well. I was a bit ticked from being scratched and bitten and thought, “I am not going to let this cat win this battle.” I went to the closet and grabbed a bath towel and LP went to the bedroom and snatched D.C. out from under the bed. We wrapped D.C. up in the bath towel and the only part of her furry body exposed was her little pin head. We tried it again, and this time the medicine went into D.C.s mouth. As soon as the Prozac hit D.C.’s taste buds she started foaming at the mouth, and I am not lying when I say it looked like a washing machine over flowing with soap suds. We both grabbed paper towels and LP and I followed D.C. around wiping up the trail of foam bubbles she had left on the floor. And of course, D.C. had to run all over the house, so we had to clean up foam all over the house, which took damn near thirty minutes. When D.C. finally quit foaming at the mouth, LP and I started our search for Sky Blue. Sky was a bit easier to give the medicine to. I suppose because it was the first time we had ever given her medicine. I was hoping that she wouldn’t foam up like D.C. did, but I believe she foamed at the mouth worse. And, she too ran all over the house with foam pouring out of her mouth like a soap suds machine.
We called the vet the following Monday morning to make sure that all this foaming at the mouth was normal. The the vet was a bit surprise when I told her we spent damn near an hour giving the cats their medicine and cleaning up foam. The vet said that they probably foamed up because the taste was bitter to them and she asked what flavor I was giving them. I told her we had chosen the tuna because they seem to like the fish better than any other flavor of cat food. The vet told me that maybe we should try the chicken flavor because that would be more bland and it wouldn’t affect their taste buds so much. So, we went back to the pharmacy and got the chicken flavor. The cats reacted the same way with the chicken flavored Prozac. But we continued to give them their medicine day after day. So, day after day they would run all over the house with foam pouring out of their mouths and day after day LP and I would run behind them cleaning up the mess.
This went on for nearly four weeks and the foaming never did stop. Did the Prozac help the cats? Yes, sort of. It seemed to calm them down quite a bit, but they still didn’t like each other. LP and I decided that we would quit giving them the Prozac. One reason was because the cats hated the taste of it so much, but the most important reason was that we felt the cats were too drugged up all the time and we didn’t think the Prozac was really good for them.
At this point, we had exhausted all of our options; we had tried everything. We came to the conclusion that if they wanted to kill each other, then they should just kill each other. So, we quit giving them their Prozac; now they share the litter box and they have one feeding station. We have had Sky Blue for about sixteen months and the cats still don’t like each other, but they do tolerate one another. Every now and then, we catch the two of them curled up together in a chair. And except for the occasional two a.m. cat fight, our house is relatively peaceful now. 😛