Monday, March 9, 2009

My Cat Has a Drinking Problem (but I'm going to heaven)

People, I am living in a house with special needs cats. Seriously. I've already shared with all of you tales of my youngest kitty who has applied for Poster Cat of Cat Allergies, and I'm pretty sure he's going to win that one. Well, he is not alone in either 1) quirky cat behavior; 2) health issues; or 3) some combination of the two.
I have a beautiful tabby boy named Toivo. He is a rez kitty. I found him on the Navajo Reservation walking home for lunch one day. I picked him up, put him in my bathroom so he wouldn't give any weird cat illnesses caught on the rez to my Jacob, and decided I would return home at the end of the day and find him a home. Guess I didn't realize at that moment that I'd already found him a home. Toivo is my big boy and he's a big baby. His health issues, you ask? Well, he has inflammatory bowel disease (that's right). This could be due to the fact that he eats plastic and lately CARPET! He likes to pull up single plies from the carpet and EAT THEM. Little tasty treats, apparently. A friend mentioned that I should pull a bunch up, keep them in a baggie and toss individual pieces to him as rewards for good behavior. Nice.
His latest health issue began around a year ago. I have a ground floor, an upstairs and a basement. The bedroom is upstairs. Because I have no children and my cats are my life and I get weird notions in my head occasionally (largely because I have too much time on my hands), I decided to put a water dish upstairs in the bedroom for the kitties. May I say, in my defense, that the other special need kitty, Estelle, has weight issues, and I thought it might be a relief to her to not have to navigate the stairs to get to the water dish. I know, I know, I wasn't thinking that the stair climbing would be good exercise for her. Hindsight is 20/20, people. Well, Toivo thought that having a water dish in the bedroom was TERRIFIC! He started getting all his water from that dish. Then, he started protecting that water dish. Now, he has to have some level of activity, so there were occasions that the other cats would drink from that dish. He was having none of that. So, apparently, his resolution to this was to drink all the water himself. Here's a little anatomy lesson: Cats are supposed to have highly concentrated urine. Their bodies are set up to drink little water. So now, Toivo, in his territorial madness, has created his own health problem. His system flushes from all the water, the urine can't concentrate, his body realizes that, so he craves more water in an attempt to produce urine, he flushes his system, the urine can't concentrate, his body realizes get the crazy cycle that's going on here. Yup! That's my boy. I'm not going to tell you how much I spent at the vet's office with tests and whatnot to figure this out. All that lab work. To learn he's basically neurotic. Lovely.
Here's the deal. Kindergarten teachers are going to heaven. That's just gotta be a fact. Have you seen a kindergarten classroom? I tried; I tried, because I, too, want to get to heaven. Ladies and gentlemen, I'm not cut from that cloth. Those little guys, cute as they are, would drive me to all sorts of hysteria if they were my full-time job. But, I'm thinking that these cats are definitely my way in.

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