DEAR PET LADY,
Once upon a time I paid $75 for a Persian kitten, who grew into a big yellow cat with a lot of hair and definitely NOT a Persian. Nevertheless, I loved him and took my revenge for the overpayment out on society by deliberately leaving him . . . how shall I say it? Intact. After installing a kitty door so he could enter and leave the house at will, I felt, as a childless woman of a certain age, that I was populating the neighborhood vicariously via my pet.
The trouble came later. I fell in love with a female cat on a visit to the pound and took her home. My thinking: Since she was a female and he LIKED females, he would be, if not pleased, at least not especially upset. I was wrong. He expressed his express displeasure by peeing expressly on my pillow. There was a definite issue of who was in charge, of my house, of my kitchen, of my bed. When not peeing on my stuff, the cat stalked around pissed off in a testosterone frenzy. So I took him to the vet and had him . . . how should I put it? Whacked. My question: Is there a better way? My cat still lived a full life, killed just about every available urban animal, and remained manly as ever (never once, not once, did he purr). But still, I've always wondered . . . is there a better way?
DEAR MS. LOU,
The Pet Lady is—how shall she put it?—nonplussed by your tale of further burdening our sad world with more unwanted baby kittens as a means of seeking some strange vengeance for, apparently, a number of wrongs done you. The deployment of the intact male cat seems at best misplaced and at worst sociopathic; perhaps the subsequent sullying of your possessions might be seen as some sort of karmic retribution? But it may be that this part of your missive is but rhetorical device, and it comforts the Pet Lady somewhat to think so, so let's move along, shall we?
Is there a better way? Indeed, a question for the ages. In this case, no, there is not a better way, and even after availing your cat of this way, he may still exercise the animal instinct to mark his territory as directed by Nature within his small brain. Perhaps you ought to consider a move to the country, where you might get some much-needed rest and where the pets roam free. As evinced on the Pet Family ranch in lovely Eastern Washington, pets need not be furniture spoilers; they may live the fullest of full lives in the great Outdoors. Think of them less as lap-sitters and more as weird little furred visitors for whom you leave dinner out, and who gift you with large rodents on the doorstep in return, who may or may not allow you to pet them, and who may or may not eventually be eaten by a coyote. In the real West, kittens come from neighbors and go unnamed (as the Pet Grandmother once said, "They're just cats; I don't want to get attached to them") or, if absolutely necessary, are named after the former local sheriff (Bert Guns) or the obstetrician who delivered the Pet Father back in the day and subsequently had a heart attack and died on a hunting trip (Dr. Hiroshi Furukawa).
Whilst you ponder your move to the country, Ms. Lou, it would behoove you to repay your cat-debt to society with generous donations of time or money to the pound that provided you with your beloved female cat. You might also take some time for yourself with a few nice martinis—being a childless woman of a certain age has its advantages, you see.
The Pet Lady
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