The Troubles of Living With Oliver

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So Friday night, I get home from work, the cats all greet me, I eat dinner.  Nothing out of the ordinary, except after a while I noticed I hadn’t seen Oliver since he greeted me. He usually begs for food the entire time I am eating, and he usually wants to be near Tony’s daughter when she is over. Tony’s daughter eventually  went to bed and the house was just too quiet, which means one of the cats was getting into trouble. Harley and Jewel were laying in the living room but Oliver was still missing.  Since Oliver was just finishing the last of his medicine for a UTI, I thought maybe it didn’t work and he was downstairs  trying to use the litter box the whole time.

When I started walking down the stairs, I heard a bit of noise but didn’t see anything.  As I took a few more slow steps, Olive poked his head slowly around the corner. So I walk into the laundry/pantry  side of our basement and couldn’t figure out what was all over the floor.   There were some light-colored looking squares and some broken pieces of whatever it was.  Oliver looked at me and then laid  across the mess as if to say “pay no attention to the crumbs”. So I pick up a piece and realized it was a Saltine cracker.  I had forgotten we even had them in the house! I  started looking around for the box and he starts inhaling the crumbs like a vacuum, trying to hide the evidence!

I found the Sams Club Sized  box on the shelf.  It looked like this:OliverEatsCrackers

So I bring the box up, set it on the counter to show tony, and the little shit stands on his hind legs, rests his chin on the counter  and starts staring at the box. God only knows how long he has used the box as his all you can eat buffet! Luckily the other sleeves of crackers were safely tucked away in a cabinet in the kitchen or already eaten by us.

Today I went down to scoop their litter and I heard a noise behind me.  It was Oliver pulling out full crackers from under the washer and dryer! Apparently he had stashed them there before I had a chance to clean up on Friday. He is one smart, resourceful kitty!  Just to be sure, I checked ALL the food on the shelf to see if he had gotten into anything else. Luckily everything was intact except for a few holes in the case of Ramen Noodles.  The individual packages are ok, it was just the plastic that went over the case that had teeth marks.

I am convinced Oliver has PICA, and at least dietary deficiencies and medical issues have already been ruled out by our vet.  His blood and urine tests always come back good. Some cats are more likely to eat, lick and suck, things they shouldn’t due to genetics, others do it out of boredom.  Others do it as part of a compulsive disorder, which is what the vet thinks Oliver has.

Oliver has previously eaten through bags of bread/rolls/bagels, A bag of Miracle Grow, Bags of various bird seeds, a plastic container of catnip plus lots more.  He loves licking plastic rubber bracelets as well.   Oliver also has compulsively sucked our cream-colored fleece blanket since the day we took him in.  The vet thinks it reminds him of his mom or siblings, and brings him comfort.  He does suck other fleece blankets, but the cream one he just goes crazy with!  The vet thinks something traumatic happened to him at a  very young age, maybe he was taken from his mom too soon (maybe he wandered too far and got lost, or she got hit by a car) and it scared him.  Plus, when we first were able to bring him inside, he had a NASTY gash on his hind leg.  Our first encounter with Oliver was him jumping out of the dumpster when Tony went to throw the garbage out. At the time he was used to having to be a scavenger and hunt for food, whether it be people’s garbage, or birds visiting our feeders.  He just hasn’t ever grown out of the habit of scavenging for food at night. At the vets suggestion we bought a ton more toys for him, including a 6 foot tall cat tree, plus we give him a little snack at night so his belly is full, so he doesn’t feel the need to go “hunt” for his food. We also have invested in lots of heavy-duty containers to hide stuff in so he can’t get to it.  We even lock the garbage in the bathroom at night so he doesn’t get to it.

I guess I’m going to have to get clear plastic bins to put on the pantry shelves downstairs to keep him out of our food!  He has been SO GOOD lately not getting into any trouble since we eliminated all the temptations, but we obviously forgot about the food in the basement!

 

Do any of you have kitties that get into lots of trouble?

 

 

 


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7 thoughts on “The Troubles of Living With Oliver

  1. Alana Mautone (@RamblinGarden)

    One of my childhood friends responded “I have a cat who likes to chew plastic (shower curtains, zip lok bags etc.) According to my vet some cats just do that. Just keep your food in closets and bins and try to convince him he isn’t hungry. We had to put a cat on a timed feeder so that he wouldn’t eat everything at once.”

    Reply
    1. Diane W Post author

      We tried the timed feeder when we feed only dry food to cut down on Harleys binge eating, but now that we are only feeding wet food, Harley and Jewel only start bothering us about a half hour before each meal. Oliver never bothers us, he just goes and “hunts” whenever he wants

      Reply
  2. Carlana

    Olive sounds like one spunky cat! He definitely has a personality of his own. I think the food hoarding my have to do with the fact that he used to scavenge. It’s the same with kids who live with food insecurity. The moment they get food they tend to hide away some for later of fill up as much as they can.

    Reply
    1. Diane W Post author

      Thats why we feed them 2 meals, 12 hours apart to try to keep his belly full so he doesn’t “feel” hungry. His latest rash of hoarding food may be because we found out he has crystals in his urine. Im sure eating the salty crackers wasn’t helping anything : (
      He is on rx meds and rx food now and we go back in 3 weeks for a bladder x ray to see if he is improving. The good thing is we caught it before he was fully blocked, so it is MUCH easier (and cheaper) to treat!

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