Sunday, October 11, 2009

Why our cat is now on Prozac and latest belly shot

David has been gone a lot over the last couple of months and his family (i.e., me and our cats, Hugh and Basil) have dealt with his absence in different ways. Basil and I both prefer to whine -- me because without David here, who, oh who, is going to clean the litter boxes and solve my IT problems? Basil whines because my lap is shrinking and, regardless, he has always preferred David's.

To give you an idea of the smallness of my lap, here is the latest belly photo (33 weeks):

Oh yeah, and I got a new haircut, which helps keep me cool during the build up (season in Darwin before the rains when every day is just a little bit hotter and and a little bit more humid.) Below is a closer photo for anyone interested in belly veins. I still have about 1/2 inch of indented belly button so David and I are guessing it'll remain an innie... sigh... I was so looking forward to finally seeing what the inside of my belly button looks like (literal naval gazing).

BUT this blog isn't about my belly, it's about our cat, Hugh. So while Basil and I are whining about David's absence, Hugh expresses his displeasure differently.

As a background for those of you who don't know about poor Hugh's sordid past, allow me this diversion. We got Hugh from the animal shelter when he was about 2 years old. No one knew who his previous family had been, or even if he'd had a previous family. His name at the time was 'Heffner,' named so by the shelter for his habit of flashing the staff. Understandably, I found this endearing ("I'll take that one!"). So we brought Hugh home and gave him a less obviously pornographic name, but the flashing stopped largely due to his recent neutering. However, Hugh did have another strange habit -- he liked to nurse himself on himself. He'd sit upright and bend over his belly and happily suck on his nipples loudly for several minutes. This was especially annoying because he most often insisted on doing it at 3am in between our pillows. An internet search revealed poor Hugh had likely been weaned too early; he'd never known a mother's love. And over time it became clear Hugh had probably been raised by a family of squirrels conducting a psychological experiment. Most cats run away from strangers, but Hugh runs up to anyone in the street (including cars) expecting to be petted. Most cats avoid eye contact (this is a sign of respect), but Hugh will stare at you for hours without blinking. And most cats whine when someone they love is away... but Hugh is special.

When David returned from China (blog in progress), Hugh was happy to see him -- similar to Basil, he was missing a good lap. One evening Hugh climbed up on David's lap and was happily purring away. David and I were having a good laugh about something and I stood up to take the dishes to the sink. The next thing I know, Hugh is no longer on David's lap but clinging to David's face, claws embedded on either side of his head and teeth sunk into his forehead. Here is a shot of the aftermath (for police records):

So the following week, after David returned from Cairns, we took Hugh into the vet who didn't even need the DSM-IV to diagnose Hugh as a 'willful cat' well beyond therapy. So now Hugh is on Prozac (or the feline equivalent) and he's feeling much better now.

David won't be pressing charges.

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