Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Soliloquy to the Beast in the Bathroom

Funny Face has been roaming this area for years.  I was sure I got him fixed the first year I moved in, which would have been seven years ago.  Or so.  But the apartment complex tenants claim he isn't fixed and were sure he'd fathered kittens from a tenant's unregistered cat, before she was evicted. I determined to catch him again to be sure.  Sunday was the day that the stars were in align to accomplish this task.  In my defense, for questioning my usually excellent memory, he also does this....

See those marks just behind where he is sitting, in front of a neighbors' garage?  Those aren't paint stains.  In fact, I just missed a shot of him in the process of marking that garage.

But even fixed cats will mark if they feel threatened.  There have been so many big males roaming this area over the years, unfixed.  That is, until they roam into my yard.  They don't leave my yard unfixed.

The apartment complex allows tenants to feed only two cats---Funny Face and a stray female I got fixed several years back.   They like Funny Face, they say, because he's got a bad attitude and drives other cats off.

He uses my yard as a hotel stopover when he's exhausted.  He sleeps in a modified insulated carrier out back, when he wants to, or in the dead neighbors backyard.  When he comes into my yard, he's usually hurting for something, often water, or rest.  He'll come close to me, but then the hissing and spitting and growling will start.   Day before yesterday he came through exhausted, looking for water and for rest.  But I trapped him.

I wanted to be sure he was fixed.  I doubted my memory.  With all these people telling me he certainly is not fixed, I wanted to make sure.  I made a big mistake, however.  I felt sorry for him in the trap and let him out in my bathroom.  Sure he's loud and growly, but he's certainly not a feral, I reasoned.  He'd settle down, settle in, want cuddled!  He's formerly owned. 

For the rest of Sunday, I was unable to use my bathroom.  He perched atop the toilet tank and he was not going to move from there come hell or high water.  He'd hiss, spit and growl.   Then he'd come at me, striking with lightning speed, if I came within a couple feet.  I could imagine, when deciding whether to just use my toilet and hope for the best, attempting to explain to a doctor how it was my butt had been shredded.  Funny Face is a massive cat with street savvy, and potentially dangerous.  I could have thrown a blanket over him or my net and dragged him away from that crucial household appliance, the human litter box.   I didn't.  The situation entertained me, made me smile.

I let him have the bathroom, let him sleep all afternoon Sunday and all Sunday night.  He only woke, and barely so, to hiss or growl or otherwise threaten me, should I intrude on his new space---my bathroom!

So I rigged a bucket in the garage to use temporarily, one I sometimes take out camping for same purpose.  I let him have his long sleep.  He needed it, for attitude adjustment at the least.

I wrote this......to have some fun with the situation....

Soliloquy to the Beast in the Bathroom

What an idiot was I to turn loose such a cat as he in of all places a bathroom, my only bathroom, so that now, I use a bucket in the garage, resigned to this, for the evening, and night, to allow him his space, before, his nuts are lost forever tomorrow. He is loud and angry and tired and he wants to sleep perched on the tank of my toilet. There he shall sleep in peace. Who am I to take this from him? For now, he is master of my bathroom and has somehow elevated that humble room, so rarely spoken of, for the remembrance it bestows, that we humans too are animals with functions. He has elevated its stature to the room where the untamed beast resides, ready to tear apart anyone who might disturb his nap. I will not disturb his nap. No, not I. No.

  It should not be hard to capture him, cage him. No. A blanket and my net should suffice. But I am unwilling tonight to fight that fight, and hear him angry and beaten by me and caged again. That fight is for the morn and I will make it quick and humble. I do not want shredded or torn. I do not long for the fight. I know its coming and will face it and it will be done and he will be confined and soon enough. Tonight I fantasize about his motives and fierceness, which really, are probably not strong nor vicious. Tonight he dozes safely and softly, and the beast he's become has few soft moments, few easy moments like he will have tonight.

The next morning, it wasn't hard to use a blanket over him, to push him into the trap.  Off then we went to Heartland, where, it was found, he was indeed already neutered.  However, the poor boy, when I'd see him eat outside, was troubled by bad teeth.

The vet at Heartland found one broken to the root with the root infected and was able to dig that root out and clean out the pocket of infection.  She gave him a convenia injection to help him heal.  He was crawling in fleas, too, and had tapeworm segments hanging from his rear end.  So he was flea treated and up butted with droncit while under anesthesia.  He was also updated on rabies and three-way vaccinations and given an ear tip.

I had requested no ear tip, but when you're getting all this help for just $40, including that difficult root extraction, you don't complain, because it won't affect him, that ear tip, but the tooth removal and antibiotics and worming and deflea, now that will affect him.  His life will be easier for quite some time to come.

I scrubbed my bathroom top to bottom while he was gone, to kill any fleas that bailed off him and to remove his scent so my cats would not protest his temporary presence in their space.  He's off now, back to his usual, but I hope he got what he needed, lots of sleep, in the day spent in my bathroom.  His parasites are dead and his infected tooth gone.  Good day for a funny stray I've known for years.


  1. An excellent day. Well done. Yet another cat whose life you have improved. Twice now for Funny-Face, neutering and now his tooth (and parasite) issues.

  2. No wonder he was so grumpy with that rotten tooth and the parasite festival going on. Poor lad, he'll be happier in a few days. Sterling work as usual Jody.

    Read a few posts back, you were feeling down, so just wanted to say, do remember that there are people around the world who do care about you and respect you for all the work you do to help cats.


  3. Gerry was Lord High Chief of Marking. Every day, twice a day, eight marking spots in the garden were drenched. For a very small, neutered cat he sure had a powerful set of spray muscles and a huge bladder. He never once marked in the house.

  4. That's why they like him over at the apartments, because he's so territorial and keeps the other cats out of there.