Sharing my tail of woe

One of my biggest pet (no pun intended) peeves in life is when otherwise interesting people only talk about their cats. So forgive me, because I am about to tell a tail (pun intended) that will not just be one column, but two. Getting the cats settled in our new house has been a more difficult challenge than resolving myself.

We own two cats. Cally, the female, is 15 and Legolas (Lego) is a male around 8. When we first brought Lego into our home, Cally was not amused, but being an indoor/outdoor feline, she could choose to ignore him most of the time. He, however, took every opportunity to stalk her even when their first encounter went awry. Let’s just say Lego lost and it cost me $300 to get him repaired.

He doesn’t learn, though. What he’s trying to achieve by getting in her space is a mystery to everyone except him, because he’s more or less a wimp in the face of danger. Cally remained the master of the house, as she was much tougher than he ever thought of being.

The chaos of the move upset and unnerved Cally. One day Lego took advantage of her weakened mental state and jumped her, riding her down the hallway like a cowboy rides a bronco. Besides being dismayed at him catching her off guard, she seemed fine and we continued on with packing.

We moved Cally into the new house first so she had a couple hours without him. When we brought him over, she seemed to settle into keeping her top position as queen and ruler. But then she slowly lost ground until I had to take her to the vet after a couple weeks because she’d become lethargic and lost weight. Turns out she had a huge cyst on her side, compliments of Lego’s midday ride. It had been festering for quite awhile, because the point of entry had healed. I felt horrible that I hadn’t noticed sooner and that it cost me another $600 to have her put back together.

She enjoyed a quiet month or so when she looked like a bad-ass with her half Mohawk haircut and gnarly scar from the surgery. After she healed and most of her fur had grown back, Lego started in with his evil ways and regained control. She barfed everywhere and often in a sort of anger strike of solidarity. She was an indoor cat now and didn’t have the luxury of escape. One night my husband and I were in our room and she was sleeping on our bed. Normally we’d tell her it was bedtime and she’d head on down the hall to find a corner to sleep in. She growled and swiped at us. She slept in our room that night and has every night since. There’s a nice princess and the pea set up on a chair in the corner. No Legos allowed. Though we’ve always been adamant animals, human or otherwise, were not allowed to sleep with us, it was apparent she did not feel safe anywhere else.

We did our best to keep them away from each other and Lego often got locked in my youngest daughter’s room for a time out. I was about resolved that Cally needed another trip to the vet because of her excessive vomiting, when she suddenly charged Lego for no apparent reason, chasing him off a chair and down the hall. The balance of power has been restored ever since.

Oh, but my tail of woe is not over, and I am at my word limit for the week. Tune in next week for the continuing story.

Gretchen Leigh is a stay-at-home mom living nearby in a neighborhood near you. You can read more of her writing on her website, or follow her on Facebook at “Living with Gleigh by Gretchen Leigh.” Her column is available every week at under the Life section.