Saying goodbye to Chaos
There’s nothing worse than seeing a pet go away; be it death or being forced to give it away. This weekend Jackie and I agreed that we’re going to take Chaos to the shelter this week. For those unfamiliar with Chaos, here’s the story.
Jackie and I had been married for less than a year, and living together with her cat Toby who was 9 years old at the time. Toby had always been around other cats, but when Jackie brought Toby up from her father’s house, Toby became lonely, and would cry in the middle of the night, often waking me up and pissing me off. So we decided to get a kitten to keep her company. Shortly after making that decision, my brother Brian found a little black kitten on the side of the road, very young and very thin. He brought it home and when we visited we took her home.
It should have been a sign then- before we got out of the car she had clawed the heck out of me with her 22 claws and peed on me.
Chaos was always a wild cat, energetic and unable to control her claws- because of her paw mutation, she was never able to fully retract her claws and would get them caught in the carpet, the couch, your skin- you name it. I’m not a big fan of declawing cats, but in her case it was the right move. She still liked to use her back claws, and started to take up biting.
She was never quite right after we got her fixed- always sorta angry. Her playful kitten attacks on Toby (who was not amused by the kitten but at least stopped crying at night) became less playful and more mean-spirited. Besides all that, she’d always be in the room around people, in contrast to Toby, who still hides in the closet from me.
The move down to DC didn’t help her temperament. You could barely pet her without her rolling over and trying to kick you with her back claws. Anyone who came over, we had to warn not to pet her. Jackie and I have several permanent scars from when we held her and tried to clip her nails.
The move back to GR seemed to work wonders- she became friendlier, let people pet her, etc… Then Jackie got pregnant. At first chaos seemed to take it well- she kept off the baby stuff, and laid next to Jackie, whereas Toby would still try to walk across Jackie’s belly. We were hopeful that this new attitude change signified that we had nothing to worry about when Ian popped out.
We were wrong. At first the cats avoided him, but once Chaos noticed Ian wasn’t going away, her personality changed. Jackie would often put Ian in his high-chair and park him next to her while she checked her email. Shortly thereafter, she started seeing pee puddles where the chair was normally parked- It became obvious which cat was doing it when Jackie was typing and I had Ian in the other room. Chaos walked up next to Jackie, and peed in the exact spot while staring at Jackie. Strike 1.
She also bounced back and forth between cuddly and irritable. Some days she would climb up on my lap while I was typing, other days I’d attempt to pet her and she’d drop to her back with her back claws exposed. Previously she would attack Toby in the middle of the night and wake us up, but it was always short attacks that we wrote off as playing. The attacks increased in frequency and viciousness. They also started happening during the day. Strike 2.
At this point we were discussing giving her to Jackie’s cousin, Adrian. We didn’t feel good about it, but Adrian just had to put a cat down and was familiar with Chaos. We were running out of options and I was ready to throw her out the back door and call it good. But we still had hope.
Then came the vet visit. Jackie overloaded her schedule and ended up taking the cats to the vet while I did the other stuff with Ian. Chaos has never liked the vet- most animals don’t. She’d plaster herself to the inside of the cat carrier to the point of us having to take it apart to get her out. She’d also growl and hiss at the vet or the assistant who came in. This time was different- she did it to Jackie. She scared Jackie to the point of not wanting to bring her back home. Jackie discussed it with the vet and they gave us the name of a shelter we could take her to if we chose to do so.
The last straw when when Jackie brought chaos home and told me about what happened. Knowing chaos was upset, I attempted to give her a treat and pet her to calm her down- and she hissed at me. It was an angry hiss, one she had never given me before. And that was that. Strike 3.
Her ass is gone.
She calmed down since then, but it’s too late- the bridge is burned. Jackie’s gonna call the shelter and see if they can take her- if they can, we’ll be dropping her off this week. I wish it would have worked out differently. Despite all the problems, I’m still gonna cry like a baby when we drop her off. It makes it a little easier knowing that, when I do drop her off, she’ll be hissing, clawing and biting at me for taking her for a car ride.