i killed my cat

well, not literally, like with a butcher knife or a lawnmower.

but did i feed my cat to death? i can’t get the idea out of my head, so you be the judge. it’s been a while since i had to put my cat to sleep, and i can just now talk about it all publicly. it was definitely really upsetting.

kirk belongs to all these online survey organizations, and he fills out their questionnaires assiduously, so he gets lots of free stuff. he got me a free ipod shuffle with his incessant survey-filling-out, so i can’t complain about that. he also got a boatload of free dandruff shampoo, which worked well for him and was very effective until he shaved all of his hair with the number 2 blade of a wahl clipper.

and my beloved 18-year-old cat jeff, who admittedly was not in the best of health to begin with, and was probably within a few weeks of dying anyway, was the guinea pig-cat for one of his online survey companies. along with her two “sisters” morgan and pd. that’s right, jeff was a girl. that’s what her name was when i adopted her from the humane society in gainesville, florida. don’t ask me. i couldn’t sex a kitten either, if i had to. she would have had a 50% chance anyway if it had been up to me, and i probably would have named her chris or some other unisexual name, just to cover all the bases.

anyway, the survey people sent us a 25 pound bag of a new cat food to try, and so we fed it to the three cats. well, not all 25 pounds of it, just a bowlful. they absolutely loved it. couldn’t get enough, jeff included.

except that what went in one end had trouble coming out the other end of all three cats. it took us a few days to notice, because frankly i don’t spend a lot of time watching my cats poop in the litter box, and jeff usually pooped outside the litter box anyway, so when she wasn’t pooping outside the litter box, i thought she was pooping in the litter box because the new food agreed with her. there was poop in the box, just, as it turned out, not from her. the other cats pooped in the box as normal, but had trouble, as i discovered when i happened to be in the kitchen and heard morgan yowl and jump out of the box after a fruitless session in a just-cleaned litter box.

i promise not to use the word poop or discuss my cats’ bowel movements any longer in the rest of this post.

did i ever mention, by the way, that when i was a kid i asked my mom what “am” and “pm” were, and she either didn’t know that it stood for “anti-meridian” and “post-meridian”, which they do, or she just wanted to fuck with the little kid’s mind, and so she told me that “am” stood for “after midnight”, which it kind of does, and “pm” stood for “p-fore midnight” and that it couldn’t be “bm” because that would be the same as “bowel movement” and would be too tacky?

and i believed her, and didn’t know any different until i was in college and the subject came up in class, and i explained to everyone about “pm” and “bm” and “bowel movements” and everyone laughed so hard that the teacher thought i was intentionally trying to disrupt class and got mad at me?

but i digress. jeff ate the food and it took a couple of days for us to notice that there was a problem, and we then switched her to canned food, and she was going downhill anyway but really went downhill after that.

and i’m mad at myself for not paying closer attention, but i’m really mad at the survey company for sending me crappy cat food that constipated three different cats and contributed to the hastened death of one of them.

we still have the bag of food. we want to throw it out just before the garbage guys come, just in case anyone tries to take it and feed it to someone, or in case the wild animals in the neighborhood get any ideas. but we haven’t gotten around to it yet, so it’s still in our kitchen cabinet.

and, needless to say, kirk excoriated the food when he filled out our survey. he wrote paragraphs of bile. he thought he might hear from them. i’m pretty sure he won’t–they don’t want to encourage us to sue them, i’m sure.

we had to put jeff to sleep a few weeks later. like i said, she was 18 and very sick to start with, but still, it pisses me off.

and every time i listen to my ipod shuffle, i feel a little bit guilty.