Pets challenge my marriage? - Veterinary Secrets with Dr. Andrew Jones, DVM (2024)

Well, Dr. J., you’ve really opened a can of worms this time! Does Catherine know that you’ve offered this topic to discussion for your many readers and fans? If anything would challenge your marriage, I would think this would be a bigger issue than fur on the sofa.

I agree that it’s probably the newness that makes her want to keep everything sparkling clean, and she just needs a break-in period. If you’ve been married 10 years, she’s probably accepted the most important of your values, and hopefully vice-versa. Do you happen to be familiar with the website, Dogs Deserve Better? If not, you might want to check it out.

And if Catherine wants to feel really good about her own house, she’s invited to visit me in Austin. I rescue animals, and currently have 40 cats and 2 pit bulls. Only about 10 of the cats are adoptable; the rest are either old, have health or behavioral issues, or came from one of my feral colonies that was unsafe, and I didn’t want to release them back there.

I won’t declaw, or allow adopters to do so. The trim on every doorway is scratched through to the hollow space inside. What the cats couldn’t thoroughly destroy, the dogs take over. So my back door, where they go outside, has been clawed through almost to the outside. These hyper pits can be lounging on chairs, totally relaxed, but when they decide to go out, they just can’t wait, and it’s suddenly so urgent, they try to scratch their way through before I can open the door!

Being an ethical vegan, I would never buy leather sofas, but I would guess that some of my furrkids would manage to destroy leather anyway. You should see the furniture in my living room–actually, every room in the house. I pick up wads of stuffing from the sofa, chairs, my bed: there’s no cover that provides much challenge to my beasts.

Lest anyone think I like living this way–I don’t. I wasn’t raised this way, and before I began rescue, I was a normal person who enjoyed entertaining, having dinner parties, or just sitting quietly listening to music and reading, in a home that gave me the serenity I so miss these days.

If I could, I’d buy a house with some kind of mother-in-law setup, and I’d have that section of the house as a sanctuary, though I’d live with the animals most of the time. My kitchen table is covered with 4 bed pillows (my cats prefer the contour pillows, which I’ve gotten from chiropractors every time I was hit by a car and had to deal with whiplash and migraines). I eat at my desk.

By the way, my front bedroom used to be my home office, sanctuary, library, kitchen… But last summer the cats invaded, depositing hairballs on my papers and knocking sorted stacks to the ground. They came from nowhere and jumped on my keyboard, vanquishing whatever (always long) email I had been writing. Lately they’ve started working on my bookshelves. I had to throw out many of my favorite books of poetry, because once they got them on the ground, they became fair game for *accidents.* Oh yes, I have 22 litter boxes throughout the house; I scoop constantly and dump and wash them every 2-3 days.

Well, I moved my computer and files and desk to my garage, which is now my *sanctuary,* though it’s hot in summer and cold in winter. Oh, except that it’s not cat-free either. I have 3 Siamese that I caught at one of my colonies when they were about 6 weeks old–one was a runt that fit in my hand, and didn’t even run from me. He was all ribs and bone, and probably wouldn’t have lived much longer. Now he’s a really big boy, like his 2 brothers, but he’s the only tame one, and since they’re so bonded, I can’t adopt them. I have to keep them in my garage/office until I can afford the combo tests so I can put them in the house.

And when it rains, or there are fireworks, my 2 dogs want to come in the garage (I guess it’s like a cave for them). But they want to lie under my desk, so there’s no room for my feet.

Much as I’d love to have a man in my life, I’m waiting for my vegetarian Prince Charming to come along. Unfortunately, I spend so much time on animal care, I never go anywhere, so I’m not likely to meet anyone.

I haven’t even found the time to bake, and my vegan baking business is supposed to be supporting me (disability income is a laugh). By the way, I haven’t forgotten that I promised to send you some samples, and as soon as I start baking, I’ll send you a box of delicious baked goods.

After reading the posts from Betsy Rambo, I wish she were a man–I’d marry her! But no leather.

I may write more later–or I may not. Right now I have to give fluids to some sick cats. I have 5 cats that developed stomatitis when I entrusted a (now former) friend to keep them in her spare room because I needed some space for other rescue business. But she let some sick cats in the room. She also *somehow* let one of my cats get out. Caesar was born in my house in 1994, to a very pregnant, precious Aby who was one of 40 cats and kittens that I took from a hoarding/cruelty situation. Caesar had never, ever been outside (once I get a cat tested and vaccinated–those #%&+ rabies shots are the law, unfortunately), they never go outside again. My *friend* lives outside of town, in an area that has coyotes, and I’m still grieving over Caesar.

Although the general consensus is that stomatitis is an auto-immune disease, I joined a yahoo group, and some of the files discuss a possible relationship between this illness and either bartonella or calici. All my cats had URI when I got them back. Beauty had gone from 9 lb. to 6 in just a few months, and this woman didn’t even notice that she looked very thin, and her collar was just hanging like a pendant.

I gave all 5 cats a shot of doxycyclene last week, but it won’t last long. I want to try some lactoferrin and interferon, and other things that are discussed in the stomatitis group, but don’t have the money right now. Just buying a/d and baby food is wiping me out.

Guess I got off track there…. Sorry, I just have to vent about this every so often, because I made a bad choice, and my cats will suffer for the rest of their lives–as will I.

In conclusion, though, I want to say that loving animals is definitely a mixed bag. I feel that God put me here to help them, but He’s giving me too much credit for strength (that old adage, He never gives you more than you can handle).

Well, if you show this post to Catherine, I’ll bet she’ll be grateful that her only concern is fur on the sofa. So give her a kiss and grab hold of a lint brush!



Pets challenge my marriage? - Veterinary Secrets with Dr. Andrew Jones, DVM (2024)
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