Elliot seems so handsome here (in fact, his tag reads "handsome elliot") but he has been a horrible self-mutilator ever since I brought him home all beat up and scrawny from the SPCA 6 years ago now. All these years I have been working with him, determined not to have to put him to sleep or put him on drugs like the many vets I have taken him all want.
The thing about Elliot is that he attacks his tail brutally, leaving blood everywhere (even on the ceiling) and his poor tail constantly mutilated. Nothing can stop him completely from doing this... I've researched in depth, tried everything with him from bitters on his tail to dietary changes, homeopathic drops, sporting him with a neck cone, trimming his nails regularly, on and on.
After all this time I have come to the conclusion that he has some sort of injury/nerve damage from the idiot who abused him and broke his tail, and I believe that he may also have some sort of brain damage as well. When he become irritated about something, anything, he automatically starts twitching his tail, and then soon he will attack. Like feral crazy cat fight attack, screaming, blood and all. It is truly horrible.
So I was really worried about Elliot when I was pregnant - if not having the bed made, or the house a little messy sets Elliot off - what about a new baby?? But I am amazed at the result with Elliot since bringing our little Adelaide home as he has become so much better with his tail since. I am not sure if it's the extra attention he gets, or the fact that I am home more often to give him his pats, or if our loose routine agrees with him, or if he feels that he has an important role in taking care of the new little one, or perhaps it is because I myself am generally happier and calmer as a person and he picks this up? Or maybe a little of all of these things.
Handsome Elliot is still far from perfect, he still has his attacks and I think he always will. I still spend a lot of time cleaning up blood. But this is the best I've ever seen him. I know he's trying, and he's pretty much perfect in every other way... I've been referred to as the lady with "that friendly orange cat" so many times!
and, nobody is ever perfect... many times I feel like Elliot and I are meant to be together and he is here to teach me to have patience and faith in him, others, and myself.