Nalla, My Suicidal Cat

It’s good that they say cats have nine lives, as my Nalla has used up a few of hers and my husband keeps threatening to do away with one or two more–especially with our kitty “accidents.”

You should know that neither my husband or I are “cat people.”  When my older daughter earned straight A’s in elementary school, we broke down and got her the kitty she’d wanted for literally years.

“What’s the fastest animal in the world, Mom?” asked my daughter. We looked it up and settled on the cheetah.  Cheetah was the name that our new kitten had.

We loved Cheetah tremendously, and she had the good grace to wander off to kitty heaven before my daughter left for college.  Kidney disease.

Sara with her new kitten, Nalla.

Sara and Nalla – BFFs.

But my younger, special needs daughter, Sara, was not appeased by the wonderful burial or dog she’d gotten through two years of “I miss my Data” campaigning (Data being our first dog, and walking rug that occasionally exerted the effort to scarf up our trash, underwear, and anything else within reach of his ever-hungry mouth).

I wasn’t going to go through two more years of whining and crying, so we broke down soon after Cheetah went “up, up, up to the sunny side layer” and got Nalla.  As with Cheetah, I got the food, put out the litter box and handed the cat to my kid.  That is the extent of my kitty expertise.

Unfortunately, while Sara was a good kitty “mom,” Nalla started showing suicidal tendencies.

Take the time we found her throwing up about six times in a day–a Sunday, of course.  Off to the expensive emergency vet we went–Nalla, Sara and me. Sara was a champ, and listened carefully to everything the vet said.  She didn’t cry or get upset. She watched the exam and looked at the X-rays that showed our kitty had managed to eat about 24 inches of string.  The string wound around the kitten’s internal organs and we could choose to have an expensive operation or put the cat to sleep permanently.

Two cat funerals as well as watching big sis going off to college in one year was more than my husband or I wanted to deal with. Operation it was.

Then Sara deserted her kitty by heading off to that great unified basketball team in the sky.  Nalla was forlorn, but managed to hang in with us.  Still, she made another attempt on her own life by leaping for a bird  outside our bedroom window.  Nalla wasn’t aware, I guess, that cats have enough weight to push through window screens, or that falling out a second story window isn’t good for a little fat cat body.

One huge screech from Nalla followed by one from me, and we were back at the vet’s.  Luckily, part of the nine-lives system meant no broken bones, just some shattered nerves.

cat and dog "play" with teeth showing

Nalla and Trigger working out their “detente”

A couple years later, we lost Trigger, Sara’s dog.  We walked him to the vet’s and said our good-byes.  Then three or four months later, my husband determined that there had been too much sadness in our lives.

Solution? A new puppy.

I’m sure Nalla was thinking that a puppy who started life with us at the same size and weight as her own hefty 16 pounds was just the thing she needed. After all, she was so very fond (NOT) of that Trigger creature who came before Prophet.

Puppy Prophet with tiny toy

What cat wouldn’t want this baby?

A few weeks of scratching and sniffing and Proph and Nalla worked out, if not a friendship, at least a detente relationship.  I have even on a rare occasion seen them cuddle up and sleep next to each other.

But anyone who has worked on the Israel-Palistine situation will probably tell you that detente is a light film over a roiling volcano.  It needs constant attention to keep the peace.

Is it any wonder that when I took Nalla to the vet yesterday (eye infections) we had a thorough chat about the marking and urinating in my living room and the conclusion was “stress?” Ugh!

Unfortunately, the vet said I could try medicines to help “my” kitty relax more, but they are not reliable for this purpose.  I am doing research on ways to stop a cat from marking its indoor territory and will let you know what I come up with.

Meanwhile, I’m contemplating putting a bird feeder outside my bedroom window. Just kidding!



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