Suzanne Sweetness Chortle Skittery Cromwell jr. – and the Sensitive Cat Syndrome

Suzanne in one of her 'hidey' corners of my basement. (photo by mare)

It is early Saturday morning and I am sitting in my bed writing this. A faint odor of kitty pee wafts around me and just ten minutes ago I discovered the dampness on the other side of my bed – through all the blankets and comforter.

Thankfully, it is not a single bed. I actually noticed it last night but was too exhausted to do anything about it. I’ve experienced this before…too many times.

Suzanne, my beautiful calico kitty, has peed on my bed…one more time. Sigh.

She even whiffed around the far end of the bed very tentatively before she lay down at a safe distance from the aroma just now.

I have a sweet, sweet kitty who suffers from the Sensitive Cat Syndrome. And when she gets upset, she immediately heads to a bed and can’t control herself.  I had to replace my guest room mattress several years ago because of her. Animal communicators have tried to talk with her about it and the only thing they could get out of her was a quiet whimper: “I can’t help it…”

She also has that lovely habit of cats and dogs of eating some grass and vomiting on the floor. She did that this morning too, though I can’t figure out what she ate in the house over night that caused her to vomit.

So this morning, I wake up to the perfume of pee with the background music of kitty vomiting.

And here’s the dilemma. (No, the dilemma is not whether to clean it up or not!)  The dilemma is what am I going to do with this extremely sensitive kitty who freaks out at any odd noise in the house as I move into a house with five other people living in it. This present house is very quiet since I live alone right now. Suzanne is about to take up residence where a wide variety of noises and voices will be heard all day long. I can already envision her cowering in the corner of the closet with her wide eyes of terror throughout the day.

My bed is about to be stripped and sheets and wool blankets washed, along with a tough old cotton comforter that I’ve had since 1977—for the umpteenth time. And while I’m going to do this, I will tell Suzanne that I love her very much and everything is okay and will work out and her world is not going to crash in on her.

But for her, the world is crashing in around her. Empty boxes are strewn around the house. Clothes and other assorted possessions are starting to fill various corners of each room. The world that she has known is beginning to look a little crazed. I am moving in three weeks and this chaos is only going to get worse in the coming days.

I personally am trying to keep the chaos of all of this sorting, packing and moving in my brain down to a dull roar. I can’t control her and her hypersensitive self as well.

I know what triggered her yesterday. My realtor arranged for a home appraiser to come into the house while I was gone so that he could do his work as part of the house closing process. I realized yesterday afternoon while working elsewhere that this would probably set Suzanne off since I was not there to comfort her. Nor had I covered my bed with the plastic sheets that I use most days to protect it from her uncontrollable bursts of emotional peeing. I was hoping that she would not get upset. But she did.

The day of the home inspection was worse with men stomping on the roof at the time that people were poking around my basement. The only reason that she did not pee that day was because I witnessed her start to freak out and took her outside and fed her copious amounts of kitty treat crunchies. The tarter control ones.

She is lying serenely at the foot of my bed right now. She is such a beautiful kitty and is so sweet. She still plays like a kitten at the ripe age of eleven and a half. Her kitty soccer skills are rather good. She likes to rub against me and get some good kitty scratches from me before I go to bed and just when I wake up. Many times she will sit on the bed about two feet from my head and just stare at me, willing me to start giving her those favorite scratches along her chin.

I could go on and on… It took me two years to get her to finally let me pick her up but even then she’d fight it and scramble out of my arms in seconds. Now, eleven years later, I can actually pick her up and she relaxes—a little—and allows me to scratch her under her chin, her sweet spot. She even purrs now, and that has gotten incrementally louder every year. She did not purr for the first three years. The first time she did it, it registered in me that she had not been doing it. This was a shock.

Beyond all of that she is truly a beautiful presence of love and affection in my house. She has taught me so much about patience and sensitivity. I had to learn that punishing her when she peed only made her sensitivities worse. I tried to shut her in the basement numerous times. “Threw” her outside to live for a couple of days. Yelling only made it worse.

I came to realize in those early years when she was already terrified, which pushed her to pee, I was only feeding that harrowing pit of terror more when I got angry. I had to learn how to control my anger. If I did get ‘pissed’, her sense of vulnerability and security was only more tenuous and a whole new bout of peeing was released. (Yes… very bad pun.) I had to learn about compassion and gentleness.

This has been a bit of a roller coaster. Yet I am deeply appreciative of all that she has taught me.

I love Suzanne. I love her sweetness, her purring. The way she trots across the floor and how her skirt (that extra abdominal flesh that female cats get after they are neutered) sashays back and forth. I love petting her soft fur and the way she tucks up next to me on the bed, a mini-bedwarmer. She loves me too. And she is a part of my life.

And a waft of kitty pee just hit me again.

In less than twenty days, I will have packed my house up, donated half of it, and Suzanne will be put in the kitty crate to live in a small bedroom with me. In a rather noisy household.

She will live in the small bedroom along with me, her kitty litter, wet smelly catfood and her favorite sleeping basket in the corner of the closet.

I think I will keep a large stash of catnip close by to calm the nerves. I’ll drink the catnip tea. Suzanne will get it intravenously.

About Mare Cromwell

Referred to as “The Voice of Earth Mother” by a gifted Shoshone elder, Mare Cromwell is a multi-award-winning author, Medicine woman/Lightworker and healer. She has also been told by another gifted elder that her work with Earth Mother is in the prophecies. Her books include: "The Great Mother Bible"; "Messages from Mother.... Earth Mother"; and "If I gave you God’s phone number.... Searching for Spirituality in America". She has studied with Native American teachers for twenty-two years and sat on the World Council for Wisdom Gatherings for three years. Mare leads workshops on our Sacred Planet-Earth Mother, Womb Wisdom and Sacred Silliness and more. She is the visionary and producer of the 1000 Goddesses Gathering in Washington DC. Mare loves to be involved in Ceremony. She is also a former worm herder. She calls Western Maryland home.
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4 Responses to Suzanne Sweetness Chortle Skittery Cromwell jr. – and the Sensitive Cat Syndrome

  1. Phila says:

    Empathies, Mare! As another sensitiive kitty-mom I relate completly to your dilemma. Have you tried Rescue Remedy or Feliway?
    Terri Diener at may also be able to suggest some other flower essences…Good luck!

  2. thanks, phila,
    i’m going to take it day by day… And Rescue Remedy is an excellent idea. Excellent… I do have it. Don’t know about Feliway though? Must look into that.

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