Coolidge once again astounds us with his patience with us. He knows we are dumb and slow, though bigger than he is, but this time it had to really have amused him as we went progressively nuts over, “Why can’t the Cat pee in his box anymore? Why does the Cat overshoot?”
He had to be amused with our conjectures: feline Alzheimer’s; an effect of a bygone urinary tract infection; spite over our doing or not doing something we should not or should have done. . .we decided finally to leave off looking to a cause and just treat the problem. So we arrived at Petco minutes before closing and purchased a pack of Potty Pads. We figured the Cat can’t help what he does, and what we can do is make what he does easier to clean up.
For the blissfully uninitiated, Potty Pads go under the litter box (or puppy papers) and extend sufficiently beyond the box to catch and absorb any off-trajectory liquid. Having Potty Pads in one’s master bathroom should not at all compromise one’s clean-freak reputation. They serve the purpose of simplifying clean-up, and probably also of psychiatric prophylaxis. What they do is help with the outcome of a problem, but they can’t reach its root cause.
We still need human minds to identify causes of problems, and my husband’s and mine, suddenly and almost simultaneously, but I think he was first, realized the reason for Coolidge’s problem. It was one of those convergent um-duh moments of American history-changing thought: “It’s the Cat’s arthritis, Stupid!” But of course.
I gave Coolidge a dose of Metacam, a veterinary formula for arthritis. The next time he went to his box, he was able to bend lower. He was right on trajectory.
Metacam raises Coolidge’s glucose terribly, way beyond his typical diabetic range. Insulin can’t chase it; we just have to wait till it settles out. Human minds make solutions that generate collateral problems. They’re small, dumb, and limited in the face of the ultimate, unfathomable Mind that created every nuance of everything that is, for reasons we can know very little, if anything, about.
We do our best each day for Coolidge, but it won’t keep him with us forever. His times, like mine, are in God’s hand. I don’t feel at all ready to face my cat’s final day; but nor do I know that he won’t outlive me. At times I think the advantage is his, because he doesn’t think about these things.