Posts tagged depression

Poop, poop everywhere

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Well, we had a bit of a catastrophe yesterday.

It started in the afternoon. Nathan and I had just gotten home from a busy day out when I had to use the bathroom. I was in there for less than five minutes. When I came out, Nathan was playing with his brand new firetruck in his bedroom.

*sniff sniff*

I smelled poop. And it wasn’t Nathan’s.

So I cautiously peeked my head out of Nathan’s bedroom into the kitchen and lo-and-behold! There was a big ole clump of poop SMEARED into the kitchen floor. My cat ANDREW had taken a dump in the floor, and NATHAN HAD PLAYED IN IT, dragging it about 2 feet, leaving a trail of smeared poop glistening on the floor.

Furious, I broke out the Clorox and cleaned it up. Afterward, I went into the living room for some relaxation. To my utter horror, however, THERE WAS MORE CAT POOP SMEARED ALL OVER THE COFFEE TABLE. And a 4″ poop log sitting defiantly on the floor next to the coffee table. Furious does not even begin to describe how I felt. I was utterly LIVID. I am a huge animal lover. HUGE. I donate to animal-welfare charities. I cry when I see dead animals on the side of the road. But for a moment, as rage coursed through my quivering veins, I wanted to hurl Andrew outside and let him fend for himself against the road. Or cook him in a pot of stew.

I’m sick and tired of dealing with this. It is not a medical issue, as I initially thought it was. Andrew is jealous of Nathan and I think he’s depressed. See, I feel guilty because before I got married and had a kid, I treated that cat like he was my child. I doted on him. I was one of “those” people who irritatingly treats their pets like a human. But now? I still love him just the same, only I don’t have the time to give him the same amount of attention that I used to. I still love on him, but only for five minutes at a time. I still have conversations with him, but after a while the incessant meowing (he is quite the conversationalist, believe me) can become irritating when I am dealing with a screaming toddler. I have been trying so hard to dote on him like I used to… and for about three weeks, it worked. He was pooping outside the litter box up to 5x a day… and with all the extra time-consuming affection I gave him, he went for THREE WEEKS without a single accident. But now? Now, my schedule has gotten busier, and the love I was showing him is now no longer enough. He follows me around like a lost puppy dog, his sad little eyes staring at me, wishing me to love him.

I can’t get him to understand that I DO LOVE HIM, but he is making it VERY hard to love when I’m cleaning up his poop multiple times a day. I don’t want him around me right now. I have to grit my teeth just to extend my hand to him. I’m SICK of this, and my toddler playing in his angry poop pile is the LAST straw!

And it gets worse. So after I cleaned up the coffee table, I grabbed Nathan to clean him up, change his clothes, and check his hands.

His hands were clean, except for some minute traces of poop.

You know what that means, right? I can’t even think about it at this point. I took him into the bathroom and washed his hands FIVE times for a minute each time, then sanitized his hands twice. And when I was done, his hands still smelled of cat shit.

Afterwards, Nathan was playing with his firetruck all over the house, and every time he walked past me, I got a whiff of poop. Nathan had a clean diaper. I checked his body, no poop. His hands still smelled faintly of poop, but not enough for me to notice unless I specifically smelled his hands. Paul and I were quite befuddled as we tried to ascertain from where the odor was originating.

And then we saw it.

IT WAS CAKED ALL OVER HIS FIRETRUCK WHEELS.

My son had rolled his BRAND NEW firetruck through Andrew’s poop. That’s where the smears came from. It never crossed my mind that Nathan would use a toy to roll through the poop. And then Nathan had rolled the poop-caked wheels ALL THROUGH THE HOUSE.

So guess what we did all evening? Cleaned the carpets, furniture, mopped the floors, and sanitized all surfaces that may have come into contact with that firetruck.

I’m STILL pissed. For once, I am at a loss trying to articulate the depth of the anger I feel towards that cat. Enough is enough. I can’t have my child playing in SHIT. And I would have more compassion if Andrew was sick or needed medical attention, but to cause potential harm to my child because the attention I have been giving him was not good enough is UNACCEPTABLE.

I’m going to have to figure out what to do about this. What a shame. I love that cat… he was my baby. I loved him more than any other cat I’ve ever known. He was so cool, so full of personality. Everyone who has ever met him has commented on how awesome he was. But this acting out can’t be tolerated. I don’t know what to do short of either putting him on antidepressants (how weird would that be?) or giving him away… but who’s gonna want a cat with poop problems? I don’t know if anyone would want to adopt him. He needs someone who can devote a lot of time and attention to him, something I don’t have. I don’t *want* to give him away, and I certainly don’t want to put him to sleep. But I don’t know what other options I have.

So if you have pets, please take this into consideration if you are considering having kids. If you baby your pet too much, it could very well come back to haunt you.

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Turbo: Gone but never, ever forgotten

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Keeping watch over his favorite buddy, Nathan.

Big Turb liked watching the birds and squirrels with Andrew

Paul and his kitty

Keeping each other warm while Andrew meows in his sleep.
(Yes, you read that right! Andrew totally talks in his sleep!)

Turbo as an adolescent snuggling with Paul

Turbo was very happy and content with his big belly in the air,
a habit he picked up from Andrew.

Turbo may be gone physically, but the love he filled our hearts with will always remain. He wasn’t just any ole cat… he was a member of the family. His loss has affected us deeply, and we will miss him for a long, long time.

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Turbo, we miss you terribly

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We shaved Turbo two weeks ago because his fur was crazy matted. Worse than it had ever been before- we don’t know how it got so bad unless it was because he recently started going under the couch. We have noticed that within the past couple of months, his coat has gotten duller, more coarse, and would knot up and mat more easily than ever before. After we shaved him, he seemed to be embarrassed and started hiding under the cat-tree in the back room of the house.  He would still come out to eat, drink, socialize, and use the litter box though. He would even walk around the house or sit with us for a bit in the living room but always retreated back under the cat tree. So we thought he was just a little embarrassed and that he would get over it in a couple days. But then I think his embarrassment turned into depression because I noticed the litter boxes weren’t as dirty, so he must have started eating/drinking less. But he was still eating and drinking- I watched him do it. He would wait patiently at his food bowl, nosing his way past the other cats as usual.

And then this past Wednesday, one of our cats started peeing on the floor (in the backroom on the tile, always near the litter boxes or water bowl). We knew it wasn’t a behavioral issue and that it was medical because the pee was kind of thick and a dark yellowish/orange color. We cleaned the water bowl (one of those fountain ones with a filter) but we didn’t know who was peeing outside the litter box because we didn’t catch any of them in the act until Friday afternoon, when we saw it was Turbo. Then, after the first time we caught him, he peed out this weird puss or something, so we thought he was ill because he had a urinary tract blockage and that the puss and gross matter we saw was him passing it. So we thought he would be ok because the next time he peed, his pee was paler yellow and more normal looking. So we just thought that the blockage was making him sick and now that he had passed it, he would recover nicely. We thought we would try to get him through the weekend and if he still wasn’t better by Monday, we would take him to the vet.

But we shouldn’t have waited. Had we only known how sick he really was. I wish we had known. 

On Saturday, we initially thought he was doing better because his pee started looking even more normal yellow. But then around 6pm, we brought him out from his hiding spot and tried to get him to eat, but he wouldn’t. We noticed he had suddenly lost weight and you could see and feel his spine and shoulder blades, and his abdomen was bloated. Turbo was so weak he couldn’t hold himself up. He was lethargic and just laid there on his belly with his poor little legs splayed out. He would try to stand up but he just couldn’t. Paul tried to hand feed Turbo some wet food and was able to get a couple tablespoons into him. It seemed to help Turbo. After he ate, he gagged and heaved a little, but he seemed to get a bit of energy and looked alert. Then he managed to walk/slink/shuffle his way back to his hiding spot under the cat tree. But he was looking better. He was holding his head up and looking around the room.  

Again, we thought he would be ok, that we just needed to get some food into him.

So at 9:00, Paul tried to feed him again. But this time, less than ONE minute after he fed him, Turbo stumbled out of his spot under the cat tree, swayed a few times, and started heaving. Paul gently rubbed his belly, and Turbo meowed. Then he laid his head down and peed on himself. Paul cleaned it up, then picked up Turbo and set him in his lap, draping him gently across his legs. He bent over and hugged Turbo, petting him. But Turbo just laid there, his little legs danging off Paul’s lap. Then Paul looked tearfully at me and said “Jen, I think we need to prepare ourselves. I don’t know how much longer he has.”

I texted my mom, my brother, and one of my dearest friends to pray for Turbo, and right as I pressed send, Paul said “Jen, get back here. He’s not going to make it.” His voice was strained and filled with tension, so I ran back there as fast as I could. He was stroking Turbo’s head and back. I put my hand on Turbo’s head and rubbed his ears.

“Big guy, you’re gonna be ok, right?” I said. I put my hand under his chin and lifted his head up but he was limp. I looked at Turbo’s beautiful face, and to my horror, I literally watched the last bit of light fade out of his eyes. I looked at Paul’s hand lying on Turbo’s back. “Paul he’s not breathing!” I exclaimed. Paul looked down, his eyes widened, and then he put Turbo on the floor and tried in vain to resuscitate him. He shook him saying “Please don’t go. Wake up, big guy! Come on, Turbo, wake up!” He even stuck his finger down Turbo’s throat just in case Turbo had choked on the food Paul gave him, but there was nothing in his throat. He was gone.

My heart hurts so bad. I feel like I should have known he was sick. I feel like I should have seen the signs. But I thought (and hoped) Turb would get better. Deep down, I knew it was serious but Paul and I must have been in denial because it just didn’t seem like it was possible that Big Turb could be that sick. He was such a big, strong cat. It just happened so fast. In a matter of days, our perfectly healthy gentle giant completely spiraled downhill and then died right in front of our eyes. He never cried out in pain, never told us he needed help. Instead, he hid. He even purred and seemed to enjoy us loving on him right up until the moment he passed.

Turbo was Paul’s baby. He loved that cat, raised it since it was about one or two years old. He’s devastated. We’re both physically ill over this. We can’t sleep, can’t eat. Can’t stop thinking about it all.

The “what if’s” are plaguing us. What if we had taken him to the vet as soon as we saw he was the one peeing on the floor on Friday? What if we hadn’t fed him that extra food at 9:00? Because it was right after that that he passed away. What if we had never shaved him? Because what if his depression lowered his immune system and enabled him to get sick? What if the blockage of stuff we saw in his pee had caused him to have kidney failure? If we had gotten him to the vet, would they have saved him?  Was his dull coat a sign that he was already having problems? What if we had taken him to the vet when his fur started matting up more than usual?

What if… what if.. what if?

I saw him die right in front of me, with my hand on his head, I saw the light fade out of his eyes. I keep thinking about those last moments… how he was in pain. Was it even worth him being held? Did it comfort him as the light faded from his vision? Was he disappointed we didn’t save him? Did he know how much we loved him, how much we didn’t want him to go? He was such a big, strong cat. I can’t believe he’s gone. I just don’t know. This is just so hard.

 I wish we had known he only had a few hours, we would have loved on him more. I wish a lot of things, but Big Turb is gone now and nothing will ever bring him back. I have a huge hole in my heart and I can’t stop crying. I just want him back. I want to make him all better and have everything be ok………

If you have a pet, and you think he/she might be sick, please do not hesitate to get them to the vet immediately. DO NOT WAIT IN HOPES THAT THEY WILL GET BETTER, because they could get worse in a matter of minutes, right in front of you, no matter what you do. If money is a factor, remember that money is replaceable but you will never, ever be able to replace your pet. Be diligent in watching their health and TRUST YOUR INSTINCTS. If your instincts say your pet is sick, no matter how healthy you otherwise think they are, please get them to the vet. It could save your pet’s life.

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Beloved Turbo

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Turbo suddenly passed away tonight, in Paul’s loving embrace. My heart is broken. I’m going to take a few days off from writing. Maybe I’ll talk about it when I’m feeling better. I can’t believe he’s gone.

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