Motley Moose – Archive

Since 2008 – Progress Through Politics

A View From the Swamp – WTH Have I Done?

So I’ve been here at my parents house in the swamps of Louisiana for almost a month now.  

For those new to the View From the Whatever – I lived on my broken down but eventually sailible boat in Oregon until just before Christmas. I had to come home because I needed help I just couldn’t find in Oregon and my condition was deteriorating.

But it’s been hella weird being here – and I really miss my boat.

So – my parents are “comfortable” (NOT wealthy by any means) FOXbot birthers. Yeah, I’m not kidding. My family was military – Dad was Army, I was briefly  Active Duty Navy until a medical discharge took me out – before I could score any awesome benefits or impress Dad.

But that’s not important right now – it’s this other thing I may have mentioned over at the Orange place in my series…

My Dad has become a Cat Lady.  Just retreat now if you don’t want to hear about that in some detail. I understand.  BELIEVE ME.

I mean Cat Lady, how else do you describe it? There are 12 indoor and at least 5 outdoor cats.  One of the indoor cats is mine, a lovely tempered little manx.  I keep him in our room as much as possible.  His proper food is in here as well as his private litter box.  I also keep a supply of toys and treats in here and dole them out regularly.

Dad turned the bathtub in the loo that used to be my brothers into a giant litter box. Gross.  Necessary I suppose – but gross. As someone who lived on a boat for years, I dreamed of bubble baths as compensation for retreating to the parental units.

Not so much.

One of the reasons I came home was to ease the gap of 23 or so years where I dared to go off and have a life of my own without their control – which was necessary given their level of hyper control I was escaping at the time.

The other was I needed better access to medical care and psychological care than I could get – small town Oregon is very historic and good for many things – but there were not many options for the care I need at the moment. So it took a lot of effort and help and work – but I got here.

And discovered my dad is a Cat Lady.  He gets up at 4 am to feed them all, and has an absolute panic if someone is late to the feed.  My Mum and I – we’re entirely secondary to his herd of  cats.  We cook, we clean – he cats.

BUT.  Now Nigel has had all his shots and the like being a single kitty until now – but I’m not very keen on him mixing with Dads.

One of his older cats uses the hallway to my room (which is just off the kitchen) as his personal litter box – and he’s worm INFESTED.  I know – I’m cleaning it up every morning because I don’t want to walk through worms – or have Nigel walk through them either.

There is hair everywhere. I’m constantly wiping and dusting and sneezing and dripping and who knows how much I will ingest before it’s over. I get that cats think their hair is a seasoning – but 12 is a bit heavy for my palate.

One of the outdoor cats died of Feline HIV before we got here.  We suspect another one of the 5 remaining is infected – if not all of them.  He won’t get them tested.  While they stay outside – he’s constantly going back and forth between them and I know he’s not disinfecting his hands or shoes.

I don’t want him touching Nigel. At all.

He won’t worm them – my cobra gunship pilot Dad that didn’t hesitate a second to snatch me up as a kid and beat the shit out of me won’t corral them – he gets all anxious and weird trying to sweet talk them and they clear the hell out. If it gets done my Mum has to do it – and since she’s busy it doesn’t happen.

So now I have to make sure Nigel is regularly getting dewormed – the others are all contaminated. Another worry I didn’t have on the boat.

Every time I turn around my Dad is in here trying to mess with Nigel – he thinks he “speaks cat”, he does not speak Nigel – Nigel wants nothing to do with him.  Yowling at him hiding under the bed.  Offering him treats he doesn’t like. Trying to take him out of here to “play” with the others. Over my objections of course, because he knows cats better than anyone who ever lived.

I don’t know who this Cat Lady dude is – it does not compute with the man of my childhood.  And I like the other cats – well, most of them, not the floor shitter – and some of them like me WAY more than I would really prefer.  What can I say, animals like me.

But this is getting into weird shit territory – and not all of it can just be scooped up.  Humans no longer matter – it’s the cats.  None of their friends have come over in years because of it.  Their social life together is nonexistent – they used to be on Mardi Gras Crewes. They used to entertain regularly. Now my Mum does her things with her friends in other places – and he stays home to fret over his cats.  

And fret he does. Constantly. To all of us and Sean Hannity too I suspect, though I just avoid the living room all together as the FOX zone. Upsets my stomach that noise on 24/7 as 50 volume.

I wonder some times – how will this affect my ability to get better?  My chances to leave and go home to my boat and the plans I have for my life once I’m better? How will Nigel come out of all this health wise with the lack of concern for contamination, lack of regular vet care, worms, feline HIV – will he survive? Or will I simply end up trapped here forever in the Swamps, covered in cat hair never to see my little floating home again.

SO…yeah.  I live with a Cat Lady Colonel and a food hoarder, but that’s a whole other diary.

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  1. jlms qkw

    my former sis-in-law and i gave them 3 grandchildren in 6 weeks and they adopted/rescued/etc 70 cats.

    my son contracted ringworm.  got kicked out of swimming lessons.  

    one of their neighbors phoned them in to the county, and i made a statement to the county.

    they have a network of other cat freaks.  they move these cats around to keep the county from taking them.  

    my former f-law used my HOME to coordinate some of this cat-swapping.

    there is no way to protect Nigel from the germs for the virus or the worms in that environment, and i am sure it is not good for your own health.

    i have a statement in my divorce decree that my children may not visit  their grandparents until there are 4 or fewer cats.    

  2. sricki

    you’re having such a hard time. That sounds like a really awful situation.

    My parents are nutty FOX-devoted conservatives too. I hope my dad continues to hate cats though, because I don’t think I could handle a tub full of litter and cat shit. I have 4 cats myself, but we stick to good old fashioned litterboxes. 😉

    One of them is actually a manx named Maxi. But I just call ‘im  Manx lotsa times. It’s an awesome breed.

    Sending positive thoughts your way — and Nigel’s too.  

  3. Your dad needs help, of course you know that. As a vet he may have the chance for that many others don’t have.

    Hope you can find a way out. I know how hard that can be, getting caught in circumstances without the resources seemingly necessary. But my opinion is that you should find a way to be someplace else, however impossible that seems. It is highly unlikely that you or your dad will get better in that environment, and if you are not there you might be able to call in help for him without being within his reach to suffer his wrath for it.

  4. dear occupant

    i seem to remember HB III doing a diary for you over at GOS, very sorry the move hasn’t turned out as well as planned.


  5. Mnemosyne

    you need to get outta there. Stat.

    Your father needs help. Your mother too, most likely, although perhaps of a different kind.

    The cats need something in their food that will vaccinate against feline HIV (don’t even know if there is such) and/or ringworm.

    Your manx needs to be outta there, too.

    Did you sell the boat? Got enough money to go elsewhere? Tell ’em you’re allergic to more than one cat at a time. Or re-home yours and tell them you’re allergic, period.

    Best of luck.

  6. melvin

    I will reinforce. Please consider leaving a situation that sounds the opposite of healthy. Hell you could live here with me for a while if we could scrub the catshit smell out first. For old times’ sake, there is even a sailboat parked by the side of the house. A fish out of water, like these mormons working the wineries. You could help me figure out what the hell to do with it. Then we could plot our revenge against the empire. The possibilities are limitless.

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