Tag Archives: anxiety

The cat who would be Queen

Peaches the cat, AKA The Queen, has done it again. At nearly 20 years of age, she has successfully proven that she still has the upper hand. Or the upper mouth, to be more specific.

Over the years, she has done a fairly decent job of being a cat, despite her tendency toward suggesting she is, in fact, human. Periodically, she chases down birds and rabbits, and deposits them like peace offerings on the front porch. On those days, she stands guard over her catch, meowing loudly to announce that she has done her catly duty.

Her first rabbit offering sent first one, then another, and finally a third, female gagging and stumbling onto the couch, at which time a certain male was summoned to dispose of her catch. She seemed a bit irked by our refusal to place a crown on her head, but dutifully went about formulating her next plan of attack.

Peaches in a rare mellow mood

Just for the record, I’d like to once more make it clear that I do not particularly like cats. Kittens, yes. If only they’d stay kittens. And again, I’m going to blame the addition of Peaches to the household on the Elder Daughter. Soon after we moved into this house almost 20 years ago, the cat showed up and we found Lindsay surreptitiously offering Kitty a bowl of milk. We all know what happens when one does that. So okay, the cat stayed and she’s still with us. She’s had more than her share of nine lives.

Anyway, a few years ago, she began showing signs of anxiety — in the form of loud, mournful howls. She’d stand outside the front door, bellowing until someone would let her in. Instead of hightailing it for the basement, her inside home, she would stalk through the house releasing an increasingly loud howl.

Off she went to the vet, who pronounced her in perfect health except for a bit of anxiety and/or dementia. Hence the howling. Little pink pills (dubbed “Kitty Prozac” by a certain family member) were dispensed. One a day should do the job. Easier said than done. We probably went through five pills before one finally went down her extremely angry throat. And yes, we’ve tried everything…hidden it in cheese and/or peanut butter, begged, cajoled, and… my personal favorite, one person to hold the cat still while the other risk life and limb to shove the pill to the back of her throat while blowing in her face to make her swallow. Here’s the problem. She has extremely sharp teeth and very strong jaws. It’s just not a pretty picture.

But eventually, we gave her a pill three days in a row, at which time she went into mellow mode and the howling ceased. For awhile. Not a long while, but awhile. Periodically, we yank out the pills and begin the routine over again.

So…last night the howling began. Here’s how loud it is. We can see the neighbors peering out their windows to see who is being persecuted. Then they call to see if she is okay. Read: Please tell your cat to shut up.

We tried. We really tried. We ended up with scratches on our hands and a very hairy pink pill clinging to a tiny bit of peanut butter. She managed to eat the rest of the PB. But guess what? She quit howling. It seems all we have to do now is dangle the pink pills in front of her and she gets the picture.

Good kitty. Good Queen Kitty.