Nervous Breakdown

For the past few months, I thought I was in the midst of a nervous breakdown (or quarter-life crisis), but it seems that all the things wrong in my life were pretty inconsequential compared to that of my cat. For the past few weeks, my good feline friend Doyle has had a little rash on his belly. He has also been spending a lot of time in my closet, in the dark, all by himself lately. He would only leave during feeding time or if he had to take a shit.

So there he sat, lonely, in my dark closet. Over the past few days though, said rash on his stomach kept getting bigger and bigger. All he ever did in my lonely closet was bite and lick it, no matter how many times I told him that the ladies don’t like self pity. He was never to kick it with a chick that way. He didn’t care though. Nothing phased him.

I started to sense that my poor little kitty was super depressed. He didn’t even get excited at the sound of the can opener anymore (when tuna was afoot). The rash kept growing and growing, and soon began to leak fluids, before finally, he would leave a spot of blood everywhere he sat down. That was no good for business.

After a few days of this, I decided to run him to the emergency hospital (as trying to get an appointment at any vet’s office sometime this century seems a bit impossible in this town). It was 9:00pm on a Tuesday. Doyle hates car rides, and even worse, hates being put into a cat carrier. He’d rather throw himself off my balcony.

After sitting in the patient’s room for a while (where there was a sweet HDTV set up with Planet Earth playing on loop), the doctor came in and examined him closely. Doyle is a long-haired cat, so his stomach area was mangled with all the blood and saliva of the past few days. They took him in the back and shaved his belly. I don’t think he liked that very much.

She brought him back into the room and began a serious discussion.

“It appears that Doyle here is suffering from a bout of depression,” she says casually.

“What? Are you serious?” I ask in a rather surprised fashion.

“I would say it may be due to stress, but you have said there is nothing really stressful going on in your home. How has he been behaving lately?”

“Well, he has been spending a lot of time in closet, all by himself, in the dark.”

“Oh, see? Anti-social behavior in felines is one of the sure signs.”

The conversation continued. Basically, my cat was a depressed messed and was taking it out on himself.

“What Doyle is doing in comparable to a human being a cutter. So if your cat was a human, he’d be a cutter.”

Was she telling me that little Doyle, had he came out of a woman’s vagina instead of a felines, would spend his days listening to The Cure and wearing tight black jeans and cutting himself? What kind of parent am I to have inspired such an awful lifestyle?

She gave me two things to treat his problem with – a topical spray to help heal the wound and a prescription for antidepressants, which I had to pick up at the nearest human pharmacy. The lady also gave him a shot for something or other.

Now Doyle seems to be doing alright. I have to hide his medicine in these weird cat treats with holes in them. Hopefully now I won’t have to worry about coming home and finding him in my tub with his wrists slit.

Doyle and the Razor Blade (4/2008)