cats · pets

No Puppy For You!

And because of this sweet but very naughty cat, no kitties for me, ever again, according to my dear husband who, understandably, has had enough of cats and their shenanigans.


Within the last few weeks, several of Daniel’s friends have gotten new pets. His friend Jeff’s family got a Great Dane puppy. His friend Mateo’s family just got a mastiff puppy. (I forget exactly which kind.) His friend James just got a python. He comes home from visiting their houses, full of stories about how sweet and cute the puppies are. (And how cool the python is but that is NEVER happening as long as I am still breathing.)

“I want a puppy,” he says sometimes, rather wistfully because he knows there’s a 0% chance of that happening.

“Sorry. The only pet-related thing we’re getting this week is thyroid medication for Scooby,” I told him, earlier this week.

I’m already WAY over my head in the pet care department. Something I’ve learned the hard way is that getting too many pets close to the same age is a bad idea. Cats can live a really long time and they can become extremely high maintenance when they get old.

Kittens should come with warning labels.

Caution! May drive you to drink 14 years from now.

Frosty, in the photo at the top of the post, is 18-years old. He has kidney problems, an overactive thyroid and dementia but he’s still going strong. He’s such a pain, in so, so many ways. He’s also a super sweet, happy kitty that has lived with us his whole life. For awhile, his personality seemed lost to the dementia but, recently, we’ve seen a return of the old, sweet Frosty.


Those giant feet, while very cute, hold a lot of litter that he tracks all over the house!

Then we have the brothers, Trouble and Scooby. They will be 14-years-old next month. I took Scooby to the vet last week because he lost a lot of weight (and fur) really quickly and he started acting like he was starved all the time. It turns out that he has hyperthyroidism, which is apparently a common problem in senior cats. We have to give him half a pill every twelve hours and try to keep him supplied with food that is acceptable to his picky palate. He now won’t eat out of the communal food bowl and he won’t eat chicken. It has to be salmon or sea bass.

Scooby is much too special to eat what the other cats do.


Scooby is hungry every two hours, which is a problem because his brother Trouble is getting fat and he shows up every time a can of stinky, fishy food is opened anywhere in the house.

Trouble, ironically, is the least trouble of any of them.

Frosty, because of his failing kidneys, is supposed to eat a low-protein diet. Right! Like he’s going to eat his veggie pate when Scooby is getting sea bass. Somehow, I’m supposed to feed the cats all different things, all day long, all while fighting the dog off. It’s so much fun!

To add to the fun, I’ve been waking up to LARGE puddles of cat vomit on the stairs, the tiles in the entry way or any shoes that have been left in the entry way. Don thinks it’s Scooby but strategic placement like this is more Frosty’s style. He’s always been very talented at pooping and puking on multiple, usually grooved and hard-to-clean, surfaces at once.

Then we have our dear Smarty boy.

For some reason, this picture of him really cracks me up.


Smarty doesn’t make messes around the house but he is definitely developing some weird (and annoying) behaviors in his old age. Yesterday he wouldn’t eat his breakfast because he was paranoid that the squirrels, the cats and the dog in the TV (his own reflection) were after it. He won’t eat his dry food at all, unless you mix it with canned food. And the canned food can’t be any of the ones that come from the store closest to our house, they have to come from the super-busy, stressful store or the expensive pet food boutique that shares a parking lot with the super-busy, stressful store. And sometimes, if you haven’t placed the food in the just the right spot (the middle of the living room, maybe so he can keep an eye on that dog in the TV) or done the right amount of cajoling, he just won’t eat. Then he spends the day guarding his food, chasing the cats out of the house and the squirrels off the deck.

I won’t even get started on what walks are like now.

Yesterday was a particularly bad pet day. I spent all afternoon cleaning up pet messes and going out to get their special food. So, when Daniel came home talking about the puppies, I didn’t even hesitate before saying, “Sorry, no puppy for you!”


30 thoughts on “No Puppy For You!

    1. Problems in old age just didn’t cross my mind thirteen and a half years ago when we got Trouble and Scooby. And I honestly didn’t expect Frosty to live this long!

  1. I have one pet… Lucy, a cat on meds because her liver enzymes are much too high. She is also very finicky and on a low protein diet due to the liver issues. Royal Canin discontinued the hepatic formula and now she is on the Renal A, which she doesn’t much care for. However, other than Hills, which she’d rather eat her own fur than eat, she has no other options. All that being said, I don’t envy you on your 4 very different sets of pet issues… especially Frosty. How do you know that a cat has dementia anyway?

    1. Frosty’s most obvious dementia symptoms are yowling and his lack of consistency with using the litter box. Sometimes he poops in it and other times on the floor near it. The yowling is horrible. He sounds like he’s dying. I’ll run to him to see what’s wrong and he’s just fine. Sometimes he looks a bit lost or is staring at a wall but usually he’s just going about his usual routine.

      I feel bad for the kitties that have to be on low-protein diets. They’re such carnivores that I can understand why veggie mush can’t be appealing to them. I’ve got to see if I can find a different food for Frosty. I think he’s feeling the same way about the Hills as Lucy.

      1. I first gave Lucy the hills wet. She looked at me as if I were trying to kill her. She walked a wide birth around that bowl until I took the case of food back to the vet and got her the dry version. She was crazy about it either, but after what had graced her bowl earlier in the day she didn’t complain too much. I miss being able to feed her chicken. She misses it too. I’m sorry about Frosty. That sounds horrible for both of you.

        1. Sometimes it seems like Frosty may be feeling lost when he’s yowling but as soon as we go “find” him and comfort him, he’s happy again. We’re used to the yowling episodes but my mom was ready to kill him the last time she stayed here! LOL

    1. Aw, that’s sweet that you take a stroller for the dog who gets tired! There’s just something extra special about old dogs. My husband follows several old dog rescues on Facebook and I think he would like to do that once we have a more dog-friendly home. Thankfully, my puppy wanter appreciates our old animals too. He’s really good with them and has become Frosty’s favorite person. He thinks all the weird, bad things Frosty does are hilarious!

  2. It always seems such a great idea to have puppies and kittens young together but of course that means you end up with a bunch of aging pets and sad times as you say goodbye to one after another. Good for you and all the other commenters who don’t put senior pets in the “Too hard” basket. Pets are family too.

    1. Yes, they are family! It is hard, knowing we face so much loss in the near future. Smarty and Frosty are both right up near the end of their life expectancy. Of course, we knew that when we got Smarty last year but it doesn’t make it any easier. As I read your reply, I realize that maybe this has something to do with the funk I’ve been in lately. I’m coming up on too many endings.

      1. It’s heartbreaking but what can you do? Not having pets is not an option for people like us is it? At least with pets you know that when they are suffering and no longer enjoy life you can ease their pain.

  3. Running a nursing home for pets seems like a real pain in the butt. It’s something I’m not particularly prepared for since the pets we had when I was growing up (A lot of which were basically neighborhood strays using a house full of animal loving kids as a safe harbor) did not live very long. Ody turns 7 in a few weeks, and that was a milestone only two pets we ever had managed to reach. What scares me is that due to its nature, he must share his brother Spilly’s fatal affliction, and while he survived his growig years without it showing up, cats are just as vulnerable to FIP in their senior years….

    1. It was the same for me growing up. I thought 7 years was the average life expectancy of a cat! I do feel blessed that I’ve had so many years with so many of the cats I’ve had as an adult. Aside from the vomiting epidemics, none of them have really been a problem except for Frosty. He’s the most aggravating, infuriating cat I’ve ever known.

      I don’t know anything about FIP but, if it’s anything like other cat viruses, it may never show up in Ody. All my cats have to be infected with the feline herpes virus because of Frosty (of course) but none have ever developed symptoms. As skinny and weakened as Scooby is right now, I worried he would but, so far, he hasn’t. It’s weird how viruses can get the best of some of them and never effect others. I will keep my fingers crossed that that’s the case with Ody.

  4. ah rough day! I just got a puppy this weekend, so I know exactly what you are talking about/ My 3 cats are not coping so great, but I’m hoping they come around. Puppies can be a lot of work! Actually, all pets can be a lot of work all the time! I love mine 🙂

    1. Aw, a puppy. How exciting! I’m sure your cats will come around. I was surprised how well mine did when we brought Smarty home. Maybe someday, after I recover from all the years of taking care of my problem cat, I will be ready for a puppy. They are so cute and so sweet!

  5. Cat messes are no fun! I crawled into bed the other night after a very difficult day and found my bed covered in cat vomit. That was the last thing I needed to deal with. But I also felt bad because I don’t think my cat Baby is feeling very well, she hasn’t been as interested in her food lately. All of our animals have been a bit ‘off’ lately here. Rachael’s dog Teddy has been having more and more accidents in the house. At 15, I’m afraid it’s only going to get worse. 😦 Good thing we haven’t gotten around to having our carpet replaced yet. I love dogs, but after Teddy goes I probably won’t ever have another one (partly because I’m allergic anyway), but I will always have a cat. I dread my cats getting old, they’re 8.

    1. Cats seem to have a knack for barfing on beds right when we are least able to deal with it! Mine do that so much that it’s something I’ve come to expect on really bad days. I’m sorry you had to deal with it, especially discovering at night like that. 😦 It’s hard when pets get old. So much work and also so sad. Hopefully your kitties will be like Trouble. He’s 14 and still seems to be as healthy as ever. I want to take him to the vet just to show them that not all my cats are scraggly and skinny!

  6. It’s such a helpless feeling to see your pet grow old and sick .. we are facing a similar issue with one of my mums cats … I don’t even want to think about what the future holds 😦 … Your cats are adorable!

    1. It is such a helpless feeling, especially when there’s really nothing you can do to treat the health issue. I don’t know why, but I expected there to be medication to treat Frosty’s dementia and there apparently isn’t. Poor old kitties!

        1. Sorry, I somehow missed this comment! Frosty’s dementia symptoms are wandering around the house while yowling, sometimes stopping and staring at the wall or a piece of furniture for awhile and pooping in front of the litter box instead of in it. When he’s having a yowling episode, we find him and hold him or pet him and he’s quickly comforted. It’s like he gets lost and once he knows where we are he’s fine.

  7. Oh man. I have only one dog. Katie. And there have been times I’ve wanted a 2nd…really badly. And then I remember all the work one is and I hit myself up the side of the head and stop wishing for a 2nd.

    1. I completely understand! I often want a 2nd dog too. If I didn’t have three elderly cats making messes around the house, I would probably give in and get one!

  8. I totally understand you! We had 1 cat at first. She was 7 years old when I found a very young and dying kitten on the road. So we decided to give it a try and take the kitten home. He was only 4-5 weeks old and according to the vet wouldn’t have made it to the next day because he hadn’t eaten in days and was way to young, and it was winter… So we raised the little pain in the ass who doens’t seem to digest food well, has panic attacks, can’t be alone… So after 1 year, our 8 year old cat dies and leaves us with this little panic kitten who is now all alone. So what do you do then? You adopt a 3 year old cat at the pond. Now we are stuck with two trouble cats, for a lot of years to come… I know your struggle! They are so cute an sweet but every day a pain in the ass 🙂

    1. It’s so wonderful of you to take on a high-maintenance kitty like that! Well, two of them now. 🙂 Your last sentence is so true – “They are so cute and sweet but every day a pain in the ass.” Yes! Yes, they are. I love all my animal friends but some days they make me want to run away from home!

      1. Yeah well the moment they look into your eyes and make you fall in love with them and make you decide you’ll keep them you don’t know about their health issues… that part they let you know after you gave them a name, took them into your house and to their first vet appointment… also my second cat from the pond. Seemed he has the same heart diseas my first cat died from what made us have to adopt him… he won’t get old and can die any moment. Karma is a bitch, covered in furr with cute eyes sometimes 🙂

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