Feb 14, 2009

Need Advice from you cat lovers, please!

This is Joey. I call him Joey the Killer Cat. He looks sweet, doesn't he? And he is sweet -- when he wants something (food, treats, a good chin scratch). After we had to put our beloved dog, Lucy, to sleep I chose to get a cat from our local animal shelter. I have always loved cats, but the kids and husband always wanted dogs, so I was out-voted. Once the kids and the dogs were gone, I got myself a cat. I couldn't wait to have that furry body cuddled up in my lap, purring away, happy to be petted, happy just to be... the way cats do. Joey came to us when he was eight weeks old and I was so happy to have a cat back in the house! Joey doesn't like me. I don't know why. Not a clue. It's not just that cat-standoffish-way -- he literally attacks me. Right now I have four long bloody scratches down the side of my leg. Joey snuck up on me while I was answering the door for a package delivery, wrapped himself around my ankle and scratched away. A few weeks ago, I walked by the door of our laundry room and Joey jumped out and grabbed me -- to the point where it tore a hole in my jeans and bloodied my leg. I swear, I have done nothing but try to love this cat. This is not an abused cat, this is not a mis-treated cat. Joey prefers to be outside hunting (and he is an incredible hunter -- dead mice, moles, and rabbits are constantly lined up for exhibit on our back deck, sometimes three and four at a time!). Because we have extensive woods behind our house, Joey is outside more than he is in. He is free to go in and out as he pleases. Joey also attacks Mr. B. Admittedly, Mr. B is the typical three year old and might push Joey a bit too far. But other times, Mr. B is doing nothing more than walking down the driveway, and Joey will ambush him -- jump up as high as Mr. B's belly and push him over or leave hefty scratch marks in trying to do so. The attacks have gone from one every month or so, to almost daily. Sometimes I can tell it's coming because his pupils get giant and black, and his tail twitches just so. But other times, he lays in wait under furniture or around corners, and I don't know I'm about to be attacked. It's making me jumpy, to be honest. So what do I do? I have never, ever not had a pet that wasn't with us until it passed from old age. But Joey's attacks are getting more and more serious and causing injuries to both Mr. B and I. I know there are a lot of cat lovers out there -- has anyone ever experienced anything like this? Cat lovers - I know you're out there (and I'm one of you!) -- anyone have any advice?? I'm considering bringing Joey back to the shelter (this makes me very sad), but want to know if there are any alternatives I can try first.

7 comments:

Karen said...

I got nothing for ya, Joan, but I'll ask Nick cause he volunteers at the animal shelter and might have some ideas.

Lucy said...

I've had cats all my life. I've had some good ones, some bad ones and one Russian Blue cat that had the personality of Satan. I hated that cat. I don't know what to tell you. I finally went down to the cat rescue place last September and got Hank. He was three months old. He's nothing like my last one that died at 16. I can't even warm up to him. I do know that the 'kitten' in them takes a couple of years to work out the bugs. Hank does the same thing with the legs...but that's a cat sneak up trick they like to pull on anything going buy. So I understand that and I understand that there's a lot of past feline (wild cats, lions, etc.) genetics in them that still pop out at times. It's the hunting thing in them, I guess. Hank has found more trouble to get himself into that all my other cats combined. So they really are born with different personalities. And it doesn't seem like those go away in time either. I guess if he's getting as bad as he sounds, I'd probably take him back and try to find one with a nicer personality. It's a hard call. The fun of having them is the comraderie you can have with them. It's possible that the kitten in him is taking longer to outgrow. I've just considered that mine is the way he is because he's a male. I've never had a male cat before. I like females. They're nicer. In every species. :)

Karen said...

Was just listening to your music list as I was reading your blog and heard "He's the Man!" Hilarious! I put it on my Realplayer list and played it for Hubby. He roared with laughter.

Lisa said...

I'll ask my coworker who takes in wild cats if she has any suggestions. I've never experienced this type of problem before - and how very strange that it seems to be getting worse nearly 3 years after you got him. I guess if it were me, I would first do some research on the internet, then if there was an indication he could be sick, I would take him to the vet to get him checked out and see if they have any suggestions. If this fails, I agree that he probably needs to go, but I would probably put out an ad seeing if anyone would like him as a farm cat. It sounds like he may be too "wild" to be an indoors cat. Sorry you are going through this; I know it must be tough.

The Calico Quilter said...

It's so heartbreaking when you lavish love on an animal and get nada in return. I had that problem once; George (orange tabby) came from the shelter and never liked either of us. Fortunately, he liked a friend and went to live there. I would also suggest that you try to find a barn cat position for Joey. He would be much appreciated as a mouser. One thing came to me - is he neutered? Toms can be awfully aggresive, a trait which can be ameliorated by neutering.

Anonymous said...

There are rescue cat groups. I once had a really wild cat that was raised on a farm and was just terrible inside our house. I turned him over to CISCA and they promised me that he wouldn't be put to asleep and they would find a good home for him. A lady with a farm took him and that sounds what Joey needs. A lot of cats that "room around outside" simply aren't good house cats because they crave the outside. I assume he isn't neutered either, so that is a lot of it too.. Why not get yourself a new inside cat and have him declawed and neutered? He/She will be a nice indoor pet and no more scratching and dead animals on your backporch! That is the only way I would have a cat now and it makes a world of difference.

abc said...

Very Nice Blog...U are really too good as Mother, granma and WIfe(housewife)..I always fail to be housewife..like u...:-(..I am very bad at it..Pls give me some good advise that will change my life..