The Saga of Meatball
Several weeks ago, a bony, scrappy kitten decided it wanted to live with us and our kitten-eating dogs. When it first showed up in the yard, we put it outside our gate, only to find it back in the yard again an hour later. We put it back out on the street, but it came back again and followed Jeremy up our stairs to the front door. To prevent a kitten massacre, and because it was a pathetic but affable kitten, we took it in with the hopes that our dogs would learn to distinguish between "kitten" and "kibble".
All our attempts to teach the dogs the kitty wasn't food failed. Maybe it didn't help that we ended up calling the kitten Meatball. For his safety, we kept Meatball in a separate room, with kitty litter and bowls with water and food. He slept in Zoey's kennel. Zoey got a couple heavenly weeks sleeping in our bed.
While Zoey enjoyed lounging on our pillows and cleaning up un-eaten cat food, Cody developed what can only be described as an obsession with eating the cat. He would pine away in front of the door to the cat's room for hours. I had to drag him outside for his walks. He would leave his food half-eaten (which Zoey took advantage of) in order to run back to his vigil by the cat's room.
We tried to train Cody to sit with us instead of fixating on the cat. But even while we ate dinner, his attention was fixated on the cat's door. When we weren't looking, he would crawl away from us towards the door. He would freeze when we told him "no!", only to inch forward a moment later, like a game of "red light, green light". We tried holding the cat around him, to get him used to it. His obsession remained, regardless.
Cody started losing weight, and Zoey was becoming agitated that her playmate no longer had interest in running around with her. Meatball was getting fed up with staying in one room alone most of the day. Jeremy and I were at our wits' end trying to care for a kitten and two dogs, one of which was neurotic and feli-cidal. We decided to look for a new home for Meatball.
Luckily, our friend Jason agreed to take Meatball. With an easy-going and fun personality, we thought he would be a good fit for the boisterous little kitten. We packed Meatball's cat food and litter box into Jason's car, feeling relieved that our dogs would soon be their happy, healthy selves again.
Leave a Reply.
I have worked in economic policy and research in Washington, D.C. and Ghana. My husband and I recently moved to Guyana, where I am working for the Ministry of Finance. I like riding motorcycle, outdoor sports, foreign currencies, capybaras, and having opinions.