The pet problem.

We have an opening for an animal in our house.  We are definitely a two-pet household and after my cat died this fall, my husband and I entered into half-hearted negotiations about whether to get a pet, what kind of pet to get and when this adoption ought to take place.

Goober, indulging his little catnip problem.

Currently our only pet is Goober the cat, a contrary creature whose issues are myriad. He likes people but can’t stand being touched, can’t hunt prey animals but violently repels other predatory animals from our yard, and would rather eat grass than tuna. The list goes on and on.

Most people who meet Goober like him. He’s unobtrusive and has a doofy kind of charm. But our cat has a dark side.

We adopted Goober because we thought he’d be a docile companion to our older cat, Copy.  Now our vet blames Goober for Copy’s death in November. I have a lot of good reasons not to believe that, but I will admit that Goober made Copy’s life hell. It looked playful to me, but recently something happened that gave me pause.

Earlier this week, in preparation for the blizzard, we tried to let Boyfriend the stray cat into the house. Goober, a delicate, neutered creature, waited until Boyfriend’s head was just inside the door. Then he attacked, driving the intruder off our porch and into the yard. I thought Boyfriend, who fights nightly in summer and is missing part of an ear, would be able to handle Goober. In fact, I’d even been a little concerned about Goober’s safety. Now I’m concerned for any small animal that enters his domain.

That rules out several potential newcomers. We won’t be adopting another grown cat, because a challenge to Goober’s feline supremacy will mean blood. Hedgehogs, parakeets, small dogs, toddlers, pot-bellied pigs, small dinosaurs and possibly ponies are also out.

I think we have no choice but to adopt a dog. A large, tolerant, mellow dog. Since I’ve been wanting a dog for a year, this would work out well for me.

My husband however, disagrees. According to my husband, the only creature on this planet insane enough to withstand Goober without posing a threat fits inside a teacup.  I’m not sure it’s wise, but my husband wants to get a kitten.

So it’s either a dog or a kitten. Both of these are exciting choices, but we’re at an impasse. If anyone has any thoughts on this, I would really love to hear them.

The bad cat owner.

She's hell on vets.

Today I broke a promise to the cat.

The promise, which I made about three and a half years ago, went like this: “I vow that unless you get really, really, horribly sick I will never bring you to the vet ever again. You may live out the rest of your life in peace, without a person in a white coat ever approaching you. That is my gift to you.”

That might sounds like irresponsible pet ownership, but give me a second to explain before the finger-wagging begins.

My cat is terrified of the vet. Not scared in the way most animals get when they go to the vet, because I’ve taken other animals to the doctor. My cat is a 12-pound ball of screaming, fighting, clawing, squirming rage. When we were going regularly, they used falconer’s gloves to hold her down. They asked me to drug her before I brought her in.

For a while, because my cat likes to maul her own tail, we were at the vet’s office all the time. The cat spent something like four to six months with her head in and out of a plastic cone. Four months of appointments hadn’t gotten her any more comfortable at the vet’s office, and I hated drugging her. So when we got the tail under control, I decided that I’d give her a break from the vet’s office, a permanent one.

Well. It lasted three years. The cat really needs a check-up and I can’t put it off any longer. This morning I called the vet and made an appointment. I took the guilt trip laid on me by the receptionist and then I looked over at the cat.

I’m out of tranquilizers. I won’t be able to sedate her for them this time. I hope they’re up to it.