Sunday, July 31, 2011

8 Lives too Many

Oh... if we only knew then.

We have four cats.


I've mentioned them before. Little Walter (not so little. Fat, really), and Little Roy. Zoro and Sammy. They're a fun little furry bunch. They play, and eat, and fight, and snuggle with each other (and us when we're lucky). Oh... and they pee.

God damnit do they pee.

If you think this sounds ominous, like one of those blogs where the crazy person telegraphs the murder spree they're about to set forth upon... You may be right.

Let me state again, and for the record, that I love these cats. That love is tried every day by one cat in particular. Roy has decided to have separation anxiety like nobody's business. When the TM leaves the house? He pees. When she gets home after a long time away? He pees.

On the bed. On the couch. On the extension cords. On my socks. On the power strips. On the floor. On the mail. I'm certain there are more.

I live in fear that I'll sit in cat pee. Or that I'll go to open my mail, and it will be yellow and damp and stinking of ammonia. It's no way to live, I tells ya.

So, we've now become slaves to the cat. It's amazing. He's the smallest, shyest one, but we are fully wrapped around his left paw-paw.

It started small.

The TM bought us rubber sheets. She'll argue it wasn't as bad as all that, but yeah. Rubber. Sheets. Like we're fucking bed-wetters. This wasn't exactly a preemptive measure, we realized, but our understanding of the psychology of the cat was primitive at the time.

In conjunction to the shameful rubber sheets, we also started rewarding the cats with treats when they peed in the litter boxes in front of us. Just to be clear, we were now rewarding the cats for doing something even baby kittens figure out in about 6 seconds.

This worked for a little while. We call this period in our history "The Great Pee-ce". I realize this needs a little work, but we can't all have a "Black Death".

So this time of prosperity lasted for a long time. Well... you know...there was a weird time over the Winter when this strange cat was prowling around outside, and we had a couple of sporadic incidents, but still.... a relative peace.

Nearly a whole year. Unfortunately, about 3 months ago, the TM and I decided to re-do the floor of our bedroom, and things were... disrupted. Suddenly we started noticing a distinct "pee smell" on things like extension cords... Floors. And then again... the bed.

We started to realize that his pee habits were connected to the TM's comings and goings. The crazy ass cat has fucking separation anxiety. The TM started making a beeline to the litter boxes as soon as we'd get home and wait to reward him for "making the peepees". It's certainly not dignified.

Whenever he'd have an "accident" she'd blame herself for not paying closer attention to his signs. She was doing some research after a particularly nasty and wet week, and read all kinds of "solutions". The one she felt had the most credibility was this DVD called "Cat Sitter" where it shows hours worth of footage of various small wildlife doing their things... Rats, Hamsters, Butterflies, Parrots, etc... Apparently the trigger times for anxious cats are the 15 minutes before people leave and the 15 minutes after the get home (I have no idea how people know this).

So we head to the pet store and buy the cats a video. I was very sad for us that day. We tested it out in our living room and yes... the cats were HYPNOTIZED. They stood there pawing at my beautiful flat screen, and I started twitching. It was working, but I had this horrible vision of coming home to find my TV on the floor with cat scratch marks all across her screen...

The TM must have sensed my worry, so she suggested getting a little TV for the kitchen where the cats could paw with impunity. This was a pretty aggressive suggestion on the TMs part since she barely tolerates TV for humans. A TV just for cats is... like whoa.

So out we went. I was thinking we'd get some cheap little TV at a cheap little store, but no... The TM went all out and she bought a DVD/TV combo that is really the nicest kitchen TV a cat could have. Really more like a nice dorm TV.

Now we have a TV for our peeing cats. She turns on the TV before we leave, plays their little video, and sets the sleep timer... Crossing our fingers each and every time that the damned animals will be distracted just long enough to forget that we left.

And you know... it's working... mostly. We had a snag when we went to New York for 2 days a couple of week ago, and when we got home, there was like a pee explosion. On the table. On the floor. And most horrifically... our couch. The place where I sit most of the time at the house. It was like a punishment.

So... To Recap...

Rubber Sheets
Litter Box Treats
Routine Pee-Watching
a TV

and still... there was pee.

We were at the pet store, loading up on pet odor remover, because that's what our life has become, and we come across this pheromone thing that plugs into the wall. It looked intriguing, because it claims to put out some sort of crazy hormones that tell the cats to calm the fuck down. So we bought that. And of course, if it works, we're tacitly agreeing to also buy the monthly refills.

An endless money pit, these cats.

And so far? It's working. I mean... we assume. Since this cat is smarter than us, we can only guess that the most recent remedy has made the difference, but for all I know the fucker is angling for me to buy him a car or something. Or have a daily fish delivery or whatever.

Can I get rid of him? No. He's the TWIN BROTHER of the sweetest, most well-behaved of the cats, and they are bonded so tightly we could never separate them.

The cat has us over a barrel. It's a pretty defeating feeling, I must admit.

How can you stay mad at this:He very likely is plotting where he'll pee next. Probably on this laptop.


Laurie said...

Oh, this was hilarious! But, I feel for you.

I, too, have been held hostage by a peeing cat although not as bad as your situation. My cat, the aptly named Little Devil, would pee on the carpet in the middle of our hallway every night (and day sometimes) for years. I tried to always keep an eye on him to catch him before he peed and tried to figure out his motivations, but I can't say for sure his reasons. Of course, when I finally resigned myself to cleaning up his pee for the rest of his life, he stopped doing it. (I've probably just jinxed it, and he'll commence with the peeing tonight.) I think what made the difference is giving him two litter boxes in two different places, but really, who the hell knows!?

Unknown said...

This. Post. Not funny. But totally hilarious. My little monster pees when I move the litter box to vacuum. I hope your pee treatment efforts are working!

Beefy Muchacho said...

Laurie- Thanks for commenting... I think you've captured the part that makes me feel the worst about the whole thing.. it's the "Who the hell knows?" aspect of it. It MIGHT be working, or maybe he's just not doing it right now.

GuppyandWhaleShark - I'll keep everyone posted. Maybe I can find a blog plug in that's sort of like "This Blog Accident Free for ____ Days".

mary said...

I have a big cat who has elevator butt and pees right over the litter box. I even bought a rubbermaid big container for the litter box and he still shoots right over. So I just wash the floor continually. The other cat was licking himself bald because of stress. I don't know what stress - they live indoors, have plenty of space (run of the whole house, a huge human bed, toys), love from their human and attention galore. Then I bought the pheromone spray. I sprayed it on their bedding and a month later, he has all his hair back. It was a miracle! Expensive but so worth it. I don't know how it works but it does. Now if his brother with just keep his butt down! Good luck with your crew.

Anonymous said...

Whoa...I feel for you. There are few things worse than the stench of cat p***.

Caren said...

Urine Gone aka Urine B Gone or Urine Be Gone. I've tried several and this one works the best. I hate that I know this.

Annie said...

Dante annhilated the carpet in his Inferno. I stopped trying to get the pee smell out. That room will smell like pee until they tear down the house and, even then, it will be haunted by a mysterious eerie ghost of pee smell.

I.... I don't like him anymore... He is one of the cats that comes before the horses during the Appocalypse.

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