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Topic: Getting old sucks.
Message: Posted by: Jeff J. (Jul 11, 2012 10:27AM)
I have an elderly parent who's getting worse by the month, both physically and mentally. I moved her into my house a couple years back and she started hoarding cats. I now have about 20 stray cats in my back yard. They want to keep her in the hospital because her condition isn't good, but she is fighting to leave because she's afraid the stray cats won't get fed. Does anyone else deal with things like that?

I can go to a judge and have her admitted, but I hate to do that.
Message: Posted by: ClintonMagus (Jul 11, 2012 10:49AM)
I can't stand cats, so I am biased, but I would feel the same way about dogs:

It's your house. Call animal control. Tell her the truth.
Message: Posted by: Michael Baker (Jul 11, 2012 10:53AM)
It's a weird transition, but there sometimes comes a point when the role of child and parent have to reverse. When my father-in-law came to live with us during his hospice care, my (then) wife and I had to set rules, regarding driving, smoking, and some other things. We had to do these things not only for his well-being, but for ours, as well. It feels odd to have to take command, but it is YOUR domain, and it would be assumed your judgement is better than theirs.

I don't know your situation, but that many cats (most probably feral), are probably getting expensive to feed, may cause issues with neighbors, and is probably not great for the cats, especially when winter sets in.

Just my opinion, but you need to get a handle on this soon.

If she does end up in a hospital for a more than likely permanent stay, then you can use your own best judgement as to how you handle the cats and the story she gets.

Good luck.
Message: Posted by: Jeff J. (Jul 11, 2012 10:57AM)
[quote]
On 2012-07-11 11:49, ClintonMagus wrote:
I can't stand cats, so I am biased, but I would feel the same way about dogs:

It's your house. Call animal control. Tell her the truth.
[/quote]

Don't get me started on animal control. I've been calling them for months. I have yet to get a call back from them.
Message: Posted by: Jeff J. (Jul 11, 2012 11:05AM)
My main focus is trying to keep her in the hospital on her own free will. I don't want to "force" her into an extended stay. I'm working with social services at the hospital.
Message: Posted by: Octopus Sun (Jul 11, 2012 12:09PM)
Live animal traps, easy solution, she won't know.
turn them into animal control.
you don't want her being raided for the cats because of neighbor complaints
I worked as a repo man for a few yrs and encountered 2 cat ladies
the smell was enough to make me throw up
and talk about disgusting
cat people have no respect for the animals they horde or themselves.
disease and dead cats in the house.
nasty nasty
Message: Posted by: Jeff J. (Jul 11, 2012 01:30PM)
She's open to animal control. She if fine with them taking the cats and kittens. She just has a problem with them out back hungry. My problem is getting animal control to even call me back. I've been trying for a couple months. On a positive note, I talked her into staying in the hospital at least another day. That gives me time to figure out my options.
Message: Posted by: Pakar Ilusi (Jul 11, 2012 01:42PM)
Getting old sucks?

It's when you're not sucking anymore that worries me... :ohyes:
Message: Posted by: critter (Jul 11, 2012 01:44PM)
[quote]
On 2012-07-11 14:42, Pakar Ilusi wrote:
Getting old sucks?

It's when you're not sucking anymore that worries me... :ohyes:
[/quote]

Dude! That's his Mom!
Message: Posted by: Jeff J. (Jul 11, 2012 02:11PM)
[quote]
On 2012-07-11 14:44, critter wrote:
[quote]
On 2012-07-11 14:42, Pakar Ilusi wrote:
Getting old sucks?

It's when you're not sucking anymore that worries me... :ohyes:
[/quote]

Dude! That's his Mom!
[/quote]

It's all good. He didn't mean anything personal by that. I'm not that fragile, but thanks critter. :)
Message: Posted by: critter (Jul 11, 2012 02:17PM)
Pakar knows I wasn't attacking him. We be bros. :)
Message: Posted by: Pakar Ilusi (Jul 11, 2012 02:19PM)
[quote]
On 2012-07-11 15:11, Old Scratch Johnson wrote:
[quote]
On 2012-07-11 14:44, critter wrote:
[quote]
On 2012-07-11 14:42, Pakar Ilusi wrote:
Getting old sucks?

It's when you're not sucking anymore that worries me... :ohyes:
[/quote]

Dude! That's his Mom!
[/quote]

It's all good. He didn't mean anything personal by that. I'm not that fragile, but thanks critter. :)
[/quote]

I apologize for the misunderstanding.

I did not mean that Scratch. (critter, it wasn't meant for his Mom.)

Sorry.
Message: Posted by: Jeff J. (Jul 11, 2012 02:20PM)
[quote]
On 2012-07-11 15:17, critter wrote:
Pakar knows I wasn't attacking him. We be bros. :)
[/quote]

So you're a willing partner on talking trash about my mom?
Message: Posted by: critter (Jul 11, 2012 02:22PM)
Darned internet. I can't tell if you're teasing.
Message: Posted by: Jeff J. (Jul 11, 2012 02:23PM)
I'm teasing. :)
Message: Posted by: Pakar Ilusi (Jul 11, 2012 02:23PM)
My bad this. :(
Message: Posted by: Jeff J. (Jul 11, 2012 02:24PM)
It takes a lot to get me angry. Nobody's quite gotten to that point yet.
Message: Posted by: Jim Sparx (Jul 11, 2012 02:25PM)
Someday you will be there....
Message: Posted by: Jeff J. (Jul 11, 2012 02:26PM)
[quote]
On 2012-07-11 15:23, Pakar Ilusi wrote:
My bad this. :(
[/quote]

I never said I forgave YOU.....
Message: Posted by: Pakar Ilusi (Jul 11, 2012 02:27PM)
[quote]
On 2012-07-11 15:24, Old Scratch Johnson wrote:
It takes a lot to get me angry. Nobody's quite gotten to that point yet.
[/quote]

Thanks. Good to know you can jest even at times like this.

All the best.
Message: Posted by: Jeff J. (Jul 11, 2012 02:28PM)
[quote]
On 2012-07-11 15:27, Pakar Ilusi wrote:
[quote]
On 2012-07-11 15:24, Old Scratch Johnson wrote:
It takes a lot to get me angry. Nobody's quite gotten to that point yet.
[/quote]

Thanks. Good to know you can jest even at times like this.

All the best.
[/quote]

If you can't laugh at life, you're gonna be miserable.
Message: Posted by: Pakar Ilusi (Jul 11, 2012 02:31PM)
Yes.

Cry if you must, laugh when you can.
Message: Posted by: Jeff J. (Jul 11, 2012 02:32PM)
Speaking of miserable, I just got called into work. I'm supposed to be on vacation. I should have changed my cell number when I left. Let the judge hold me in contempt. They've been doing it for years.
Message: Posted by: Mary Mowder (Jul 11, 2012 02:40PM)
My Dad's neighbor is a Cat Lady in her old age. It has destroyed a once good relationship with neighbors. There would be a huge market for Cat food with birth control added.

I'm afraid you have to set your foot down, this only gets worse over time. If even half the cats are female you could have 30 or 40 more cats in just over two months.
When cats get too crowded diseases can kill many at once or your neighbors could take too poisoning them. You can imagine the effect that would have on your Mother. You might try to explain this to her.

If you can talk to her rationally about it do so, otherwise just do it (trap and deliver to animal control). Look online for instruction of you could be hurt and there are smell issues involved with transport of scared Kitties. Some communities have a trap and spay program. You might check online and see what they suggest.

If you stop feeding them they will eventually disperse some what. You will have to have someone check outside to make sure food is not being snuck out to them because hungry cats are persistent and pitiful and could prove too hard for your Mom to resist.

If you can let her keep one spayed cat (o be fed indoors) it could help.

I feel for you scratch.

Probable future Cat Lady (but I hope not) -Mary Mowder
Message: Posted by: ClintonMagus (Jul 11, 2012 02:53PM)
A dear friend once said "Birthdays are good for you. The more you have, the longer you live."
Message: Posted by: Pecan_Creek (Jul 11, 2012 03:30PM)
"I now have about 20 stray cats in my back yard."

http://www.themagiccafe.com/forums/viewtopic.php?topic=473288&forum=32&7

Hint .. Hint :wink:
Message: Posted by: Pakar Ilusi (Jul 11, 2012 03:46PM)
[quote]
On 2012-07-11 15:53, ClintonMagus wrote:
A dear friend once said "Birthdays are good for you. The more you have, the longer you live."
[/quote]

:ohyes:
Message: Posted by: Jeff J. (Jul 11, 2012 04:43PM)
Cat food with birth control added? I'm liking that idea. If only that magical cat food came with a coupon so I wouldn't have to spend $300 to bring a stray to the vet....
Message: Posted by: Michael Baker (Jul 11, 2012 04:53PM)
Also not sure about your area, but some parts of the country can be hot spots for rabies. That many feral cats could be an issue in that regard.
Message: Posted by: Jeff J. (Jul 11, 2012 04:55PM)
Rabies is not so much an issue here, but there are other health concerns. The city I live in cut back on animal control costs, so I'm pretty much out of luck. I'm not the one who was hoarding cats, but I'm the one left with all the liability and bills. I'm not even a cat person. I like dogs...lol.
Message: Posted by: critter (Jul 11, 2012 05:25PM)
I don't really get the whole "cat person v. dog person" thing, because I dig both.
Message: Posted by: Jeff J. (Jul 11, 2012 05:30PM)
[quote]
On 2012-07-11 18:25, critter wrote:
I don't really get the whole "cat person v. dog person" thing, because I dig both.
[/quote]

I have a cat that I rescued a few years ago that I have a soft spot for, plus she gets along so great with the dog that I put up with her. :)
Message: Posted by: critter (Jul 11, 2012 05:32PM)
I preferred dogs for years, but I've since had two awesome cats. Now they're about even, although-honestly-my cat Talma was my favorite animal I've ever had.
Message: Posted by: Jeff J. (Jul 11, 2012 05:35PM)
I'm about the same here. I rescued my cat as a kitten when her mother got hit by a car at about the same time some idiot dropped a dog off on the side of the road. They have been best friends ever since.
Message: Posted by: Jeff J. (Jul 11, 2012 07:20PM)
Is going back and forth to the hospital to deal with an unruly parent considered a tax deduction? I'm spending a fortune in gas. And on a side note, is it bad manners to hit on the nurses while I'm there?
Message: Posted by: Mary Mowder (Jul 11, 2012 07:51PM)
It is dangerous to your Mom to treat the Nurses and aides badly (warranted or not). Some of them are vindictive.

Get to know the names of the ones you see regularly and thank them for taking care of your Mom.

Most of the places have an Ombudsman who you should get to know and bring up problems to them.

-Mary Mowder
Message: Posted by: Steve_Mollett (Jul 11, 2012 07:55PM)
I'm a wolf person--but only when the moon is full.
Message: Posted by: Jeff J. (Jul 11, 2012 07:57PM)
[quote]
On 2012-07-11 20:51, Mary Mowder wrote:
It is dangerous to your Mom to treat the Nurses and aides badly (warranted or not). Some of them are vindictive.

Get to know the names of the ones you see regularly and thank them for taking care of your Mom.

Most of the places have an Ombudsman who you should get to know and bring up problems to them.

-Mary Mowder
[/quote]

I thought about that. I've gone out of my way to be extra nice to the staff and I hired a private nurse to check in on her 4 times a day. I'm still waiting to hear back from social services from the hospital though. I need to speak to them to get her extended treatment.
Message: Posted by: RJE2 (Jul 11, 2012 08:04PM)
Start to secretly put cat food further and further away from the house over a period of a few weeks to a month. First couple of nights, dump it out a few houses down. Then proceed to go further and further until you have moved the herd a couple of blocks away and then forget about them. They will forage for themselves.
Message: Posted by: Jeff J. (Jul 11, 2012 08:10PM)
[quote]
On 2012-07-11 21:04, RJE2 wrote:
Start to secretly put cat food further and further away from the house over a period of a few weeks to a month. First couple of nights, dump it out a few houses down. Then proceed to go further and further until you have moved the herd a couple of blocks away and then forget about them. They will forage for themselves.
[/quote]

You are talking like a rational person. I'm dealing with an elderly cat lady. If I move the dishes away, she'll move them back.
Message: Posted by: Mary Mowder (Jul 11, 2012 08:15PM)
The time to deal with this is while she is away.

Tell her that when she comes home she will not be allowed to feed the cats because if the cats keep coming there the county will remove them and you know she does not want that.

Get her a Plush Cat for her bed. I know that for some folks it will help especially if dementia is creeping up (of course I hope that is not the case).

You are a good Son doing a hard job.

-Mary Mowder
Message: Posted by: Jeff J. (Jul 11, 2012 08:21PM)
I've done more than tell her that. I gave her a house (a condo) about 20 minutes from my house to live in. I even offered to sign the deed over to her. I figured she would have her own house and start new. Within a week she started feeding wild animals there and 5 days later she came back here because she "missed the animals". I'm pretty lost. I can't just leave her to be on her own. She took care of me a good part of my life.

I know I am going to have to put her in a long term facility at some point, but that's a hard decision to make.

Thanks for the compliment, but sometimes I just think I should be doing more.
Message: Posted by: Bill Hilly (Jul 11, 2012 08:51PM)
Old Scratch Johnson,

I fell ya brother. Both of my parents are in their 80s and have dementia. I have shut down my business, except for a few hours a week, and moved them into a trailer home next to my house. Now I am living with them as they need 24/7 (literally) care and supervision and there isn't enough money to hire help.

Today, I was turned down by the third nursing home for my father. One said he was not in bad enough shar, one said he was too bad, and this one will not accept him because we can't pay the $3500 per month for his care.

I have no advice on the cats. But know that there is someone here who is sympathetic to what you and your mom are going through.

My best to you both,
- B.H.
Message: Posted by: Jeff J. (Jul 11, 2012 08:55PM)
[quote]
On 2012-07-11 21:51, Bill Hilly wrote:
Old Scratch Johnson,

I fell ya brother. Both of my parents are in their 80s and have dementia. I have shut down my business, except for a few hours a week, and moved them into a trailer home next to my house. Now I am living with them as they need 24/7 (literally) care and supervision and there isn't enough money to hire help.

Today, I was turned down by the third nursing home for my father. One said he was not in bad enough shar, one said he was too bad, and this one will not accept him because we can't pay the $3500 per month for his care.

I have no advice on the cats. But know that there is someone here who is sympathetic to what you and your mom are going through.

My best to you both,
- B.H.
[/quote]

That sucks. I feel bad for you. I only have one parent to deal with. I'm with you on shutting down business though. I've already shut down 2 offices and I'm working on shutting down my third. That's gonna leave me with one, and even that's too much.

I'm very fortunate. I don't "have" to work, I just want to. Some people don't have that luxury. I didn't have that luxury until about 8 months ago.
Message: Posted by: Bill Hilly (Jul 11, 2012 09:14PM)
Thanks. I think emotionally having one go through that is just as bad as two. Two makes it more physically taxing on me, but your pain is no less than mine.

It's good that you have the "luxury" of being able to stop working for a while. I have enough saved to go eight months, maybe a year by working the little I still am. I bet neither of us will regret the sacrifice though, right?

The way I see it, it's my turn to care for them. They put their time, etc. in for me. I also saw them take care of their parents when the time came. So it's now a tradition :)
Message: Posted by: Jeff J. (Jul 11, 2012 09:47PM)
Whether I end up regretting it or not is irrelevant. I don't see it so much as a sacrafice as what I have to do.

I'm sorry about your financial situation. I hope things get better before you start feeling the financial pressure of caring for elderly parents.

What kind of work do you/did you do?
Message: Posted by: Bill Hilly (Jul 11, 2012 10:36PM)
[quote]On 2012-07-11 22:47, Old Scratch Johnson wrote:
Whether I end up regretting it or not is irrelevant. I don't see it so much as a sacrafice as what I have to do.[/quote]
That's exactly what I meant. I hope it didn't read differently and I apologize for the confusion. I never saw or see it as a sacrifice either. It's just what we do, right? I'm with you all the way.
[quote]I'm sorry about your financial situation. I hope things get better before you start feeling the financial pressure of caring for elderly parents.

What kind of work do you/did you do?[/quote]
I was a full-time performer & private music teacher. I fininshed all the gigs I had on the books and have suspended taking any more (except if any very local, repeat clients call). I kept 10 students that have been with me for 2 or more years and so have a little money coming in. I couldn't just up and abandon them.

So yeah, it ain't the greatest financial time I've ever had. But we've been through tough times before and at least we're together and we'll stay together as long as we can. Although my dad may not be able to be at home much longer.

- B.H.
Message: Posted by: Jeff J. (Jul 11, 2012 10:44PM)
[quote]
On 2012-07-11 23:36, Bill Hilly wrote:
[quote]On 2012-07-11 22:47, Old Scratch Johnson wrote:
Whether I end up regretting it or not is irrelevant. I don't see it so much as a sacrafice as what I have to do.[/quote]
That's exactly what I meant. I hope it didn't read differently and I apologize for the confusion. I never saw or see it as a sacrifice either. It's just what we do, right? I'm with you all the way.
[quote]I'm sorry about your financial situation. I hope things get better before you start feeling the financial pressure of caring for elderly parents.

What kind of work do you/did you do?[/quote]
I was a full-time performer & private music teacher. I fininshed all the gigs I had on the books and have suspended taking any more (except if any very local, repeat clients call). I kept 10 students that have been with me for 2 or more years and so have a little money coming in. I couldn't just up and abandon them.

So yeah, it ain't the greatest financial time I've ever had. But we've been through tough times before and at least we're together and we'll stay together as long as we can. Although my dad may not be able to be at home much longer.

- B.H.
[/quote]

Ouch! That's tough when your taking gigs and caring for parents. You can't really do both. I had an office built on the top floor here so I could work and keep an eye on her and it was still hard.

I feel terrible for saying it, but I love the peace and quiet now that she's in the hospital.
Message: Posted by: Bill Hilly (Jul 11, 2012 11:02PM)
I'm not going to do any schools at this time. If any they will be preschools and nursing homes. In fact I did a nursing home in May and they let me take my parents with me. They enjoyed the show and even chatted with some of the residents there. It was very nice.

Don't feel guilty about enjoying the peace. It's tough being on duty 24/7. She might just tell you that she felt the same way when you were a baby and would finally go to sleep for a few hours.

My mom says to me, "I bet you're glad you can get out of here and do your lessons. You neede the break." She smiles when she says it and I just smile back and say, "And you get a break from me too."

The most important things to remember are to try and keep a good sense of humor, remember to love each other, both of you will get angry at times and get upset with each other at times. But it's the disease that you're angry at. Don't forget lots of hugs and kisses.

Oh yeah, and go feed the cats :)
Message: Posted by: Jeff J. (Jul 11, 2012 11:06PM)
Oh, right. The cats. Thanks for reminding me.
Message: Posted by: Jeff J. (Jul 12, 2012 01:34PM)
I almost lost it a couple hours ago. My mother checked herself out of the hospital against my wishes (I have power of attorney). I was going to just kick her out, but I made a deal with her. She has 7 days to check into the hospital or she's on her own. I have to draw the line somewhere. She agreed to that, but I'll have to wait and see.
Message: Posted by: Tom Jorgenson (Jul 12, 2012 01:48PM)
At a certain point, your mother needs professional care, the cats need to go and you need rest.

It sounds like you've arrived at that point. Don't feel guilty because she needs care beyond what you can provide.

The animals can be gone in one day. That's another hard decision that has to be made logically, but the sooner you have that done, the sooner you eliminate that nuisance and trouble. More serenity time, instantly.

Good luck with it all, none of it is ever easy.
Message: Posted by: Jeff J. (Jul 12, 2012 02:50PM)
It's not an issue anymore. She's moving in with her daughter. I'm not even going to live here. I'm moving to my other house and she'll have her own place. Everbody is happy.
Message: Posted by: Mary Mowder (Jul 14, 2012 04:12PM)
Scratch, I'm glad things will get better for you.

Warn your Sister(?) about the cat thing and be as supportive as you can. Are they going to be in the house with the cats in the back?

Give her Daughter a pre-arranged day off when ever you can.

Best wishes to all involved.

-Mary Mowder
Message: Posted by: critter (Jul 14, 2012 04:18PM)
What you do is leave a trail of catnip leading into the mountains...
Feral cat attack!
Message: Posted by: Jeff J. (Jul 14, 2012 04:26PM)
[quote]
On 2012-07-14 17:12, Mary Mowder wrote:
Scratch, I'm glad things will get better for you.

Warn your Sister(?) about the cat thing and be as supportive as you can. Are they going to be in the house with the cats in the back?

Give her Daughter a pre-arranged day off when ever you can.

Best wishes to all involved.

-Mary Mowder
[/quote]

Unfortunately things didn't work as planned. Her daughter (long story, but we aren't related too closely)is hesitant about her moving there, so I'm keeping her here for now. She's still in and out of the hospital because she's afraid of being there for an extended stay so she can get well.
Message: Posted by: Mr. Mystoffelees (Jul 14, 2012 09:23PM)
[quote]
On 2012-07-11 21:21, Old Scratch Johnson wrote:
I gave her a house (a condo) about 20 minutes from my house to live in. I even offered to sign the deed over to her.

Thanks for the compliment, but sometimes I just think I should be doing more.
[/quote]

If you do, you stand a good chance of that condo being owned by cats. I have been there, and you should not think you should be doing more. You are to be commended for what you are sacrificing!!!
Message: Posted by: Octopus Sun (Jul 14, 2012 10:50PM)
What's wrong is when you can smell the house a football field away,
and it's gets worse the closer you get.
Then you have to deal with all the dead cats under and in between appliances,
those litters of kittens born and dying in the places only little creatures can crawl inside.
It straight up becomes animal abuse, and cruelty to animals, and it's not animal care.
suddenly in 2 yrs you'll be wishing you dealt with this problem by nipping it in the bud.
You are the care provider, and not removing the over abundance of cats, will create serious
health problems for your mother, especially with breathing.
not good for her and you.
Message: Posted by: landmark (Jul 14, 2012 11:37PM)
As someone who has had experience with cat ladies and a former owner of cats, my feeling is the same as David's.