Toxic duty

by Michael Alderete on 6/5/2003

I wrote this posting at the beginning of January, but never made it live, by accident. It’s still a good post, so I thought I’d make it live now. Especially since I want to make a follow-up post to it. (Hold your noses!)


Ever since Cecil died, Basta has been getting more and more bold, and taken more and more of the house away from Billie, to the point where Billie can only count on being safe under our bed, or on our shoulders.

So we got a new cat, the week before Xmas. Luigi is a 3-year old male, black and white shorthair, with a really sweet, cuddly, docile temperment. We adopted him to be pals with Billie, which will hopefully tilt the balance of power in the house somewhere back towards even. So far they’re not quite buddies, but at least Billie has stopped hissing whenever he looks in her direction.

Luigi has a serious problem, though, something not disclosed to us when we adopted him. A lesser household might have shipped him back to animal control, a virtual death sentence. There’s no way to say this nice: Luigi has toxic poo.

The first time he crapped, Rochelle and I were sitting in bed, watching TV. At first, we were “What’s that?”, followed closely by “Eeeewww, open the window!” The smell continued to grow, and opening the window and holding the bedsheets over our noses still wasn’t enough, so Rochelle braved the stench, and ran the litterbox to the kitchen, and came back and lit a scented candle. That solved the immediate problem, but later we discovered that the kitchen reeked, and Rochelle retched.

The next time Luigi did his business in the box off the bedroom, we sprang into action immediately. I grabbed the box and took it into the hall, and scooped the offending material into a plastic bag, while Rochelle opened the window and lit the candle again. It worked reasonably well, and that has been our routine about every 20 hours.

This morning it happened around 6am. I was barely awake, and Rochelle was asleep. I decided I was too tired to get up, and simply put my head under the bedcovers, with the intent that if it woke Rochelle up, we’d handle it then.

Well, not only did it wake Rochelle up about 10 minutes later, but the odor was so powerful that before waking she dreamed that Luigi had pooped, woke up grateful that it had only been a dream, and then shreaked when she took a good whiff and realized it was real.

Our vet tells us that there’s nothing obviously wrong with Luigi, or his poop, which was tested earlier today. But it’s definitely one of the more fragrant samples they’ve encountered, and they don’t believe it can be normal, so Luigi will be getting general antibiotics later today.

Please, god, let that take care of the problem!

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