Monday, September 26, 2011

Kitty Cannabis

For Rusty's first Christmas with us, my sister Sue gave her a blue fake-sherpa catnip mouse about the size of a newborn kitten.  The mouse, which also had a rawhide tail and a goofy felt face and ears, quickly became known as BooBoo the Big Blue Mousy.  Rusty is always deeply suspicious of new things, so she detoured around BooBoo for a couple of months before finally checking him out.  Then she seemed to decide he was actually her kitten; she carried him everywhere, slept with him, and washed him whenever she took a bath herself.  She was an abusive mother, though; every once in a while she kicked the crap out of him.

When Tom and I would go on vacation and leave her with a kitty sitter, we would return to find her sitting with BooBoo on our bed, as if she were saying to him, "It's just us now, kid.  Stick with me and I'll take care of you."  Once when we boarded her at the vet's we sent BooBoo along and he didn't make the trip home; I rushed back to the vet immediately to retrieve him and avoid a feline meltdown.

Over the last couple of years her attachment to BooBoo had faded and he'd become just another one of her toys.  Listening to her wail earlier this week, though, it occurred to me that she might welcome his presence again for a couple of reasons - as an old buddy to snuggle up to and as a conveyance for the cat equivalent of medical marijuana.  I dug BooBoo out of the toy basket, cleaned him up a little, rolled him in the freshest catnip I could find, and gave him to Rusty.  She grabbed him and started washing, and was quiet for the rest of the day.  I've been renewing the catnip whenever she gets a little whiny and the whining stops immediately.  I check under the bed occasionally and they're cuddling as if she'd never turned her fickle back on him.  Apparently he's once more her BFF.

Our current vet, Dr. Hauser (please, no Doggie Howser jokes) told me that all I can do now is try to keep Rusty as comfortable as possible for the weeks or months left to her.  I guess that means I'd better lay in a substantial supply of catnip.

"A cat doesn't know what it wants and wants more of it." ~Richard Hexem

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