Sunday, May 4, 2008

Man Vs. Animal

When we first got Zeus, he was around 2 1/2 weeks old. His eyes and ears were barely open, and his mother was nowhere to be found. I spent the first full day we had him calling around trying to find someone with a mother cat to nurse him because he was so small. I couldn't find anyone with kittens around his age. I can't tell you the amount of money we invested in kitten formula, bottles and later meds for ringworm that we didn't know he had until it was too late. We had to isolate him for a week or two while trying to clear the house of the ringworm that had taken over. Not one person or animal in this house didn't come down with at least one spot. Belle and I had the worst cases of it while Brady got the bad end of the deal when one showed up on his scalp. Almost a year later, while the ringworm was gone, it left a scaly spot behind that is just now clearing up completely. It took me a few days to figure out how to hold Zeus just right so that he would take his bottle without scratching you raw while he was sucking, as if his next meal wasn't coming. I was desperate for him to start eating kitten food at six weeks, only to find he wasn't interested in anything except his bottle until eight weeks.

Around the first of this month, my sweet baby turned one and showing every bit of it. He sleeps on the foot of my bed almost every night. As I settle down to check my email after the kids get on the bus, he jumps up in my lap looking for love. He gives "kisses" as he puts his nose up to mine. He is really interested in you if you are wearing a hat and likes to rub up against the bill almost knocking it off your head. He loves to knock plastic golf balls around the house and pushing the window screen out of the windows so that he can "escape." He also has a big problem. With Hubby.

Hubby can come in every weekend and without fail, Zeus will hiss, growl, and yell at him. He hides if Hubby is in the room. Zeus sleeps on the foot of the bed only if Hubby is asleep when he climbs up or if I put him on the bed before Hubby comes to bed. Night before last, Zeus wouldn't come to me and slept in our bathtub because Hubby was already in bed. This weekend, Zeus took his dislike or jealousy of Hubby to a whole new level. This afternoon, Hubby went to get ready to leave for his truck and came out of our room to inform me that Zeus had marked the "do-rag" Hubby wore yesterday. At time to leave, as he was packing the rest of his shower bag, he discovered that Zeus had also marked his bag. I assumed he did this yesterday as I could smell the odor but couldn't find what he had marked. I know having him "fixed" will help curb his marking, but I've had other male cats that continued to mark despite the fact they had been "fixed." For now, I'm trying to keep them apart when they are at odds, and having Hubby pet him occasionally to reassure Zeus that Hubby is harmless. None of this seems to be working and I dread to see what next weekend brings. While I hope that things improve, the situation only shows signs of getting worse and I am hoping that the jealousy that Zeus has for Hubby when he's home eases as he gets older. We'll see.

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