Roughly a year ago, I finally caved and bought a big proper bug zapper for the house. One of the side effects of having cats is that the food – if they don’t eat it all immediately – attracts flies. It can be pretty skanky – particularly in Spring and Summer.
I’d had other smaller and different zappers over the years, and none of them had been particularly impressive or effective. So this one was slightly more expensive – but still less than any two of the previous zappers.
I wasn’t sure if it would last into this year, but so far it’s doing well, and is thus also making itself into even better value for money than buying a lesser zapper every year.
Obviously I’d rather not need to have any bug zapper – but while I do need one, this one seems to be a good option.
Updates have been a bit sparse over the last couple of weeks. No particularly good reason, life has just been a bit dull.
Following on from the departure of FatCat, it’s been a lot quieter. The Bengal has, thankfully, settled a bit too, and seems to be OK with being a solo cat. She’s not behaved anywhere near as badly as I was expecting, and the entire experience has been OK.
What I’ve noticed more than anything is the hindsight with which I now realise how bad FatCat had become. I’ve had two weeks where I haven’t had to clean up puke, where she hasn’t had accidents of not getting to the litter tray in time (or just deciding that she couldn’t be bothered, and the floor would be fine) and there’ve been none of her normal noises and behaviours as well (obviously)
All told, it’s reinforced that I did the right thing, that she was getting worse and would’ve continued to do so.
But that doesn’t stop it from sucking. For me I think it’s the worst part of pet-owning, this whole process of making decisions about whether they should live or die, having that control and so on.
Anyway, things are OK. I still look at some of the stuff in the living room, expecting to see her asleep on it (particularly the Sky box, which was always a favourite) and then remembering she’s not here any more. But it’s OK, and it’s only been two weeks.
Today, FatCat was put to sleep.
Over the last couple of months she’d slowly been going downhill – not eating as much, not keeping food down, losing weight, blood in the poo, and a bundle of other things. I’d initially put it down to a change of diet (for whatever reason, I hadn’t been able to get their usual food, so I’d been changing things and giving them whatever was available) but she should’ve got used to the changed food in that time.
She’s never been in pain, and I’ve kept a close eye on that as well as everything else, but I’ve been aware she’s doing less well.
This week, though, she took a bigger downward turn – more lost weight, worse poo and so on – and the really significant thing for me is that she was a lot more cuddly, and was actually choosing to sit on me or against me most of the time. That was absolutely new behaviour – she normally avoided that sort of contact like the plague – and definitely not a positive sign.
As the week went on, things didn’t improve, so I made the appointment with the vets. And today, we went in. She didn’t even fight going into the cat carrier, so she knew things weren’t good.
I’ve always known that this was how it would work out – she’s antisocial enough that even taking her to the vets for an examination would’ve led to her not trusting me as much for [x] weeks, if not months. (It usually takes her about two to four weeks to recover trust of me after I’ve applied anti-flea stuff to her, so God knows how long it’d take after a vet visit) Similarly, traumatising her daily in order to get meds into her would’ve utterly knackered her quality of life, so it was always likely that this was how it would all work out. (The same is true for the Bengal, so that’s something to look forward to…)
The vets themselves were really good – the entire process has obviously changed in the current Lockdown, but it was all done as well as humanly possible.
As it is, I still feel like an absolute shitbag. I know it was the right thing to do, I know she wasn’t well and that this was the best (indeed, the only) way to do things that kept her life as good as possible. I know she wasn’t in pain, I know she had a really good eight years here with me, and I know the end wasn’t a vile experience. But I still hate being the one to make that life or death decision, it just doesn’t sit well with me.
I’m going to see now how the Bengal – a change-averse little twat at the best of times – handles things, as she’s never been a solo cat before. She’ll either do fine and accept it, or she’ll be a nightmare for a while.
All told, a shitty, shitty day.
As we’re heading into Spring, I assume that somewhere nearby, frogs are spawning.
Why do I assume this? Because the bloody Bengal is having a field day, bringing frogs into the house.
Now, first things first, did you know that frogs scream? I didn’t, until a couple of years ago. It’s the weirdest thing/noise, and doesn’t half freak you out the first few times.
Also, I assume that they exude something on their skins that tastes really nasty – so most of the time, the Bengal brings the frog through the cat flap and just goes “Ptuh!” and spits it out in the kitchen. She then stands around licking her mouth/face, watching the frigging thing crawl and hop around.
Sometimes she then ‘plays’ with them, and I’ve come home a couple of times now to frog bodies with catastrophic damage, but that turn out to still be alive (or at least still with plenty of automatic twitch responses – I’ve not wanted to study too closely) and need to be removed from the house.
Cats. They are just such a joy to have around the house…
Three years ago, soon after I moved in here, I got the cats a big base thing, which they turned out to love.
It’s done well in that time, but obviously it’s three years old, so I made the decision to get a new one.
In recognition of the Bengal’s intolerance for change, I was lucky enough to find the same base again, and got it delivered.
It’s all installed now, and the monsters seem to be settling in to using it, even though it obviously all smells different and new and Not Catty.
But my God, the old one was vile – you don’t realise as it’s there day to day, but yeah, dismantling it I got covered in old fur and scabby stuff.
Mind you, if the new one lasts three years too, I’ll be happy.
A while back, I wrote about not being practical, yet still getting stuff done when the need arose. A similar thing happened last week, and I’m equally chuffed with how it’s worked out so far.
Basically, the fence panels around my back yard haven’t been treated in a long time – since the cottages got revamped, at a guess, which is probably about ten years now. I’ve been in mine for three years, so I know for sure it hasn’t had any treatment in that time.
So basically, I decided to do the whole wood-painting thing, and sorted it all out. Basic preparations got done – purchase of supplies, and cleaning off the fence etc. of all dust, spiderwebs and general grut. The paint is ‘woodland green’ – I kind of like it, and if the landlord doesn’t then I can paint over it easily with something darker when it comes time to move on/out.
And on Sunday, because I was up horrifically early, I just got on with it. I’m really pleased with the results, too. Even better, I didn’t cover myself, and didn’t cover the rest of the yard with it either. Some small specks, but nothing major.
I’ve got a couple of bits still to do – one of the fences also has a lagged water-pipe against it (don’t ask, I’ve no idea) and I still need to do under/below it. (I hadn’t bought any small brushes to get into those tight spots, but I’ve got some now) And it all dried nicely, to a decent colour – and without being trampled through the house by the bloody cats.
I’ve got some other ideas for the yard, for doing some extra stuff with it in the next couple of weeks – once I get ideas in my head, I like to get on with them – but all told it’s been remarkably positive, and I’m deeply cheered with how it’s gone so far.