Bye Bye Kittie Kitties

We are now a one pet household. After years of waffling, we finally decided to make the cats outside pets. Anyone who knows our cats will wonder, at least for one of them, what took so long. For everyone else, mostly for myself, here’s the reasoning.

They’re outside primarily because they are both a major pain in the ass. They have all the usual cat issues, from scratching the furniture to the foulness of the cat box, but these two also have their own unique issues.

Merton is satan. Seriously. This is the only cat I’ve ever known who has to be locked up whenever company enters the home. He will attack anyone who does not live in this house. Not just a hiss and a swat, either. He makes the most hideous, demonic, awful cat scream, bares his fangs and then goes for blood. Worse, just prior to attacking, he’ll often purr and mewl while rubbing the victim’s leg. So it’s “Ohh, what a sweet kitty, come here . . . .OUCH, M.F.’n cat, what they hell!?!?”

Scratchy, on the other hand, mostly hides whenever people enter the house. When he does make an appearance, he loves being petted. Unfortunately, he also has the weakest stomach of any animal I’ve ever met. I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve awoken in the middle of the night to the lovely sounds of a cat barfing on the floor. Even better is when I wake up in the morning and step in a nice cool pile of cat puke. Nice way to start the day. And despite ninety per cent of our floors being hardwood, where does he always barf? Yep, the carpets.

Still, they’ve had these issues for years and we’ve dealt with it. We’ve had Merton since he was six weeks old. For all his faults, he’s a great lap cat. Sure he has his issues, but more than one person has pointed out he is the feline version of me. Maybe that’s why I’m the only person he never attacks; I can toss him across the room and he only wants to come sit in my lap again. As for Scratchy, we’ve had him almost as long as Merton. The kids like him. He’s part of my daily routine: Every morning I fix my breakfast, eat, and let him lick the leftover milk from the cereal bowl when I’m done. So every time I got mad enough to want to toss them, I thought about all the things I liked about them.

But lately we’ve had a new problem. In their middle age, they’ve gotten much, much, MUCH pickier about the cat box. For the first five years or so that we had them, they never used the bathroom anywhere other than the box. I let it go for way too long between cleanings, too. Then they started to find other areas to relieve themselves if I let it go for more than two days. Now? It does not matter how many times I clean it, every day I go into the laundry room and find cat turds on the floor.

I tried cleaning the box daily. I made sure to clean and disinfect the whole floor whenever they crapped on it. Tried different food. Nothing worked. So unless I wanted to set an alarm to let me know every time they took a dump so I could immediately scoop it out, my choice was to either let the cats use the floor as a bathroom, or to have outdoor pets. I picked the latter.

I don’t know how they’ll do outside. I tell myself they’re trading a long life of ease and security for a shorter one of excitement and thrills. One of them is probably happy with that trade. Strange enough, that one is Scratchy. So far he’s explored the yard and ran from me when I’ve gone out to pet him. Merton, on the other hand, has sat outside the back door and whined ever since going outside.

The other question is why this is such a big deal. They’re animals. They belong outside. They don’t have feelings. Yet I worry they’ll be cold, or wet, or hot. Anthropomorphically, I worry they feel betrayed. When I lay on the couch in the winter reading a book, I’ll miss Merton laying on me keeping me warm. On the rare day I sleep late, I’ll miss Scratchy jumping on my chest and whining so I’ll come feed him. On the one hand, it’ll be nice to roll over in bead without having to kick a cat out of the way, on the other hand, those overweight fur balls were comforting. Despite the relief of having a cat free house, this whole experience really has me depressed.

That’s why I gave them months worth of chances hoping the problem would end. But it didn’t. I had no choice. That’s how I’m consoling myself, anyway.

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3 Comments on “Bye Bye Kittie Kitties”

  1. james H Says:

    I predict they will be back in the house in a week. Their constant sad eyes of why their lives have been turned upside down will get the best of you 🙂

  2. wheeler Says:

    if it was just me making the decision, they’d already be back in the house.

  3. KC Says:

    Got some of the same issues as our 2 get older…that and not being very bright after our youngest started college last year , I deciced we needed a lab puppy ( our old one Buddy had passed a few years ago) so now the cat problem is compounded by 95 pounds of goofy.

    Oh, and our daughter got a dachsund that seems to spend more time at our house .Did you know it is ALOT easier to house train a lab than a dachsund?

    Long and short of it is , I feel your pain!


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