COMMENTARY

Know your pets’ signals

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Last week, Abbey, my cat, started urinating all over my house as if she was a four-year-old boy who’d just discovered that the world was his urinal. After doing some online research, I cleaned out her litter box more often than usual and moved her food. I did everything I could but to no avail. I like having a fresh-smelling, clean house. I could stand no more, so I finally took a page out of Fred Flintstone’s book, took her to the back door and dropped her on the back porch. That lasted all of two minutes before I brought her back inside. I worried about her too much. 

When dropped, cats always land on their feet. Twenty months ago, she landed on her feet and landed with me. I honestly wasn’t sure if I was going to keep her or not. I’d never had a cat and Ruby, my dog, had never been around one. Ruby had dibs on my house, but if they got along well, I was all for it. They get along better than

Fred and Barney. 

By her erratic behavior, poor Abbey was trying to tell me something; I just didn’t know it at the time. I mentioned my dilemma on Facebook, and all the cat ladies of the world converged on my page to tell me that she most likely had a UTI—the dreaded urinary tract infection. I let it go on for a couple of more days, because I just didn’t know any better. I also hadn’t noticed her doing her business either, so I thought that maybe she was showing signs of improvement. Then, one day I caught her doing her thing and noticed traces of blood, so I immediately took her to the vet. 

I didn’t want to take her to the vet, because that meant a car ride. I’ve had a lot of miserable experiences in my life, but riding in a car with a cat tops them all. I spent almost three years in Iraq, and I’m fine, but three minutes in a car with a cat almost did me in.

I used to get a kick out of Chyna, my black lab of 15 years, riding her invisible motorcycle on the carpet around the living room. I thought it was hilarious, only to find out she was trying to tell me something. Her booty was itching, and her anal glands needed expressing. Nobody likes an itchy anything. I felt bad for laughing, but once I found out, I had them expressed regularly. Ruby gets hers done regularly, too, so she will most likely never experience the displeasure of riding an invisible motorcycle.

Our pets are our babies, and they rely on us for just about everything. If they do something out of the norm, it most likely means they are trying to tell us something, so when they do, take notice and get them to your vet immediately. If you don’t, I hope you ride your invisible motorcycle until you do. 

 

Jody Fuller is from Opelika, Ala. He is a comic, speaker, writer and soldier with three tours of duty in Iraq. He is also a lifetime stutterer. He can be reached at jody@jodyfuller.com. For more information, please visit www.jodyfuller.com.

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