Tuesday, 17 August 2010

Terrible Tuesday

Why? Because the human is very upset. It all started last night, but for this one, I think I'll let the human tell it.

I came home from work last night to find that Tia's mum, Cindy, was still off her food. I'd put this down to being separated from Tia, but yesterday, I just felt that something wasn't right. She had a little sore on her ear too, and didn't much like it being touched. So it was off to the vet's, but before I went, I filled up Tia's dried food as it was empty.

The vets took a good look at Cindy, but couldn't find anything wrong except slightly pink ears. They've given me an apetite stimulant and advise me to bathe her ears in this shampoo that I'm using all ready. Poor bean really doesn't like them being handled though.

When I got home, the cat food was empty again. Now I know Tia's a tub, but she doesn't eat half a kg of food in the space of just over an hour. Myself and my guide dog, Molly, have an ongoing battle about this. She's absolutely food obsessed, to the point where I can't free run her without a muzzle, as, if she eats something she shouldn't, she invariably vomits it up in the middle of the night on the carpet. I knew what had happened the cat food. I've caught her at it before, and have always responded the same. I've been told to bring them back to the scene of the crime before teaching them that what they're doing is wrong. I'm never rough with my animals, and as Molly tried to back away (when she knows she's done something wrong she'll belly out of it until she can scuttle away), I scruffed her. This, for dogs, is painless. There are very little nerves in the scruff, so I knew I wouldn't hurt her. Then she did something that she's never done before. She turned and snapped at my hand.

I let go of her of course. If I hadn't, I would have been bleeding. But again I've been toldd that if you let them dominate and dont' challenge the undesirable behaviour, it's all but impossible to break. I approached her where she was on her bed, and for a second time, she snapped. After that I hearded her into the hall and gave her time to burn off her temper.

But why am I so upset? Well, firstly, I have a history with dogs, and had a horrendous phobia of them for years after being bitten as a child. This brought a lot of the old fear back. Secondly, I know I won't be able to trust her again after this. I'm afraid to discipline her with hands now, and I'll never resort to booting her to accomplish the same thing, so my control over my dog's undesirable behaviours, and there are many, is gone. Thirdly, if they snap, I am duty-bound to tell Guide Dogs for the Blind. In nine cases out of ten, they retire the dogs, and given Molly's past history, her misbehaving, growling at people when they come into my house, food addiction, I doubt they'll let her continue working. This effectively means that I lose my dog. I can't keep her if she isn't working. I just don't have the right set up.

At the moment, I'm waiting for a call back from my Guide Dog trainer. I'm thoroughly miserable. Not only is one of my cats unhappy and possibly quite sick, and even requiring apetite stimulants, but now my dog, my almost constant companion for the last four years, is about to potentially be taken from me. I'm not a happy bunny at the moment, I can tell you. I'll keep you updated as soon as I know more, but the outlook's grim at the moment.

Poor human. I've never smelled her so afraid as she was last night when the dog thing tried to bite her. At least when I do it I do it lightly, and usually always lick the spot better once I'm done telling her I don't want her to touch me right now. I guess I'd better make her stroke me. It worked last night when I came and sat on her chest to try and stop the fear smell. Her eyes got runny, but after a while, the nasty smell did go away a bit, so it must have worked. She's going through a tough time, is my human. I' guess I'm along for the ride, but I don't really mind.

Oh, in the battle of the belly as I'm now calling it, I did get a victory yesterday It's a bit hollow though in the face of the human's problems. I didn't eat the rabbit! It was hard, but I listened to the advice of the lovely ladies who commented, quite rightly, that one bite would be the end of me! By the way, Whicky, you're not helping my stand here! You can have the rabbit if you want, but I'm staying firm. So firm in fact that she gave me fish this morning.

Anyway, that's all from me for now. I have a human to snuggle.


Ming said...

Dogs can bite? I thought they were all barks and belly-rubs and big paws!
I don't know you, Tia, but I hope you give your human lots of purring. She needs it right now. If my people had almost been bitten by a dog - even a babydog - I'd want him to know he had a kitten that wouldn't hurt him. I hope you're all right too, Tia's human. Maybe your dog is sick or hurt and tried biting you because you either hurt her by mistake or scared her. I know it doesn't make you feel any better maybe, but it's all I know. I wouldn't snap at you, even if I ate all your food and you thought you had to punish me. I might nibble or cry or even run away, but no mean biting. We kittens just don't have it in us.
You should both find things you like doing and do them. That's what I do when I'm upset. It makes me not think of why I'm upset to start with. Maybe that will help a little.

KC said...

I just gotted this in, even though it looks like it was sended early today.
It is posted on tha Cat Blogosphere, so you should be getting some support.
We's already purring fur you, really loud.
Can you hear them?
Love & Purrs,

Brian said...

Oh my, you have so much going on, but since we are not a doggie house I can't really give you any good advice. My sisters and I sure do send purrs your way!

The Creek Cats said...

Please know we are sending our most positive purrs and comforting vibes your way!!

Dr Tweety said...

We are so sorry. You must be feeling disconnected from all that is right. We would like to extend purrs of light and hope that you know that you are not alone with your life challenges. I will let Dr Tweety speak on our behalf:
Pleeze do nots givez up da fight. It iz mosty unfortunate dats da dog dats you count on & love iz turnin' on you. At dis point you must do a ting dats you do not want to; pleeze surrender da dawg & den dey will givez you a more sootabull companion. I know dat dis iz eazier den it soundz, but you must be protected & not unsafe. What if da dawg were to become veree violent & harm you or da kitty? Lettin' go cannots be eazy. Buts we send you many many purrz & hopes dat it will all be resolved & dats you will not be despondent.
Love, Dr Tweety & hiz momee

Noll said...

Hi...nice to meet you. Sorry you are having doggie troubles. I have had two dogs who loved catfood. The way around it was to always have the cat food up off the floor. I know that isn't training, but it was the easiest way around the problem.

Luna T. Katt said...

OMC we're purring and purraying fur you!

Jan's Funny Farm said...

Have you had your dog checked by a vet? If you grab a painful spot on the dog, it will snap at you. The pain might not be noticeable to you.

If there is nothing physically wrong with the dog, you might be best to give it up. You're already facing that and I know that isn't easy.

I'm sorry you're going through this. Sending purrs and tail wags from the Funny Farmers and a hug from me.


Nico, Simon and JayJay said...

My goodness, you have your hands full! I am so very sorry to hear about all of your pain, I wish I could offer some helpful advice about your guide dog - but I'm afraid I don't know much about them. I hope that Cindy starts eating soon, if only you had to deal with one problem at a time - but life just doesn't work like that.

I truly hope things get better for you - & the cats are sending their loudest purrs to help!
Cory (Nico, Simon & JayJay)

Ikaika said...

We are so sorry to hear about the dog problem ... how sad for you. We aren't a dog family either so have no real advice, but for safety's sake, it does seem better for you and the dog to either retrain her or re-home her. You should not be afraid of your service companion. I don't know if Cindy cat's issues with food have anything to do with what's been going on with the dog, but cats do respond to stressful situations in the home. Could this be Cindy's response? Whatever is causing these issues, we hope things get resolved quickly and positively.

'Kaika's mom

Fin said...

Purrs that things work out!!

Sweet Praline said...

Special purrs that things will work out. My mom and I can't help out too much because we don't have any woofies around here, and it's been a long time ago since my mom had a woofie as a young girl.

Samantha, Clementine and Maverick said...

Purrrrs to you!!! We hope it all works out!! We will keep you all in our purrayers!!
Your TX furiends,

momsbusy said...

we are praying that the situations at hand will improve.

Jade and Myst said...

We hope everything works out for the furry & human family members. Purrs...

Ozark Mountain Cats said...

First of all I'm sorry you're having a bad time adjusting to your new doggie. It's going to take a while for the three of you, the cat, the bean and the dog to become a family., especially since the bean has had an issue with a dog before.

First of all a nip at the cat was a warning. The dog is telling the cat, "this is mine, leave it alone. I live in a house hold of two dogs and six cats. The dogs own the kitchen, their food dish, and the water bowls. If the cats go near them there is a warning woof and snap. If the cats were humans you could hear them say,,,"Look at that big wuss trying to scare us." They promptly walk by the dog and proceed threw the kitchen. So much for kitchen ownership. It will take a while for the house ownership to be settled between your cat and dog. Trust me, it will happen.

The cat food needs to go UP. For example ours is on top of the washing machine. As hard as they try to be good that yummy fishie smell is just too tempting. The cat water goes on top of the dryer. It is stuck down with double sided sticky tape. The cats love to push the dish off the dryer I suspect on the dogs heads.

If you don't have an available "up" safe spot then put the cat food/water in a box with a hole just big enough for the cat to get in.

Also I think the most important thing is to work on your fear of dogs. If you've never lived with one a crash course on how to interact with one might be helpful. Maybe you have a Petsmart near you where you can get their dog trainer to come to your house and help you bond with your dog. I know with having adopted two used grown dogs that it can be intimitating at first but with time it almost always works out.

The Lee County Clowder said...

Is your woofer OK? If she is feeling sickly or has a wound somewhere on her, she could wind up snapping at you. If Molly is OK physically, you might have to trade her in, for your safety if nothing else.

If you do have to give Molly up, how long would it be before you could get another Guide Dog?

Everycat said...

That's a truely Terrible Tuesday. We're all so sorry that you are all going through this.

We wonder if an issue with Molly has been going on in the background and affecting Cindy too? Animal dynamics can be really subtle and not always easily spotted. Perhaps a Feliway diffuser set up in Cindy's room would help her relax a little? They can really make a difference to a stressed feline. We hope that the appetitie stimulant helps her to eat and her ears settle down. Could she just be overgrooming because she's upset?

The snap from Molly must have been awful. Would it be possible to have Molly checked out at the vet to establish if she has a pain or other health problem. Sometimes that can swing a dog's temperament to the dark side, just like humans when they hurt, they get grouchy.

Putting Tia's food up high is a great suggestion. Food on the floor is sometimes just too great a temptation for dogs.

All in all, if your human Mum's nerve around dogs has been rattled badly again and Molly doesn't have any health issues that have caused this temperament problem, then it might be for the best if Molly is retired from active service. We hope that it doesn't come to this, but you know yourself how important it is to feel 100% comfortable around a service dog.

We send you rumbly purrs and love and hope that the situation can be resolved with a good outcome for all.

Thanks for the rabbit Tia, very, very tasty.

Whicky Wuudler

Kaz's Cats said...

We're sending lots of purrs and purrayers to help you all - we don't know much about living inside with a d-o-g, but we hope you get some good advice to help all of you,


Gypsy & Tasha and Karen (Mum)

Mishkat said...

We came over from the Cat Blogosphere to let you know we are sending you many purrs! We do not know a lot about dogs, but we do know they love cat food, so it's hard for them not to eat it. So some of the suggestions about feeding in these comments are very good.

We hope everything works out for the best with your human and Molly - and we hope Cindy feels better soon too!

XXX from the Mishkat cats

brandi at Catitude said...

Purrs, purrs and purrs from me, brandi. Take your woofie to the vet. Maybe there is pain from something you don't know. We hope everything works out okay for efurryone and your bean!
((hugs)) also to all.

AFSS said...

Well we are a dog family but without knowing you or the dog it is hard to offer real advice. Thankfully our doggie is really nice about his foods. He even lets us cats eat his food, he just goes lays down and waits till we get finished. Mommy has to feed him by hand sometimes just to get him to eat. We cats thinks he is kinda weird.

But we agree with Brandi take the woofie to the vet, it is possible that Molly is in pain and you unintentionally hurt her and that is why she snapped. The fact that you have a history of being afraid of dogs probably adds to the problem. The one time our woofie snapped at Mommy she just grabbed his muzzle and held his mouth closed and told him NO. He never snapped at her again and he was in pain he had "growing pains" in his legs.