Tuesday, October 23, 2007

The Cat

I woke up on the wrong side of the bed. I'm crabby and cranky and just not a happy camper this morning. It's because of the cat. Our cat is 20 years old - which if you don't know, is pretty old for a cat. My sister found him and his sister in a dumpster. They were too small to be away from their mother and were almost dead so she brought them to my house. I nursed them to health and since I had no children at the time they were my babies. The Island King and I were young and moved around a lot and the cats went with us. They were wild cats and no matter what we did they wanted to go out and wander at night. Even after we had them fixed, they wanted out and so we'd let them out. After about six years the female cat (who did NOT like me but loved the Island King)started staying gone more and more. I was out for a walk one day and on the street behind us I saw her sitting on someone's porch. I called out to her but she ignored me. I walked up to the porch and just as I got to her, an elderly woman opened the door. "Is this your cat?" she asked. I tell her yes and she says that a few weeks earlier the cat wandered onto her porch, jumped in her window and went to sleep on the couch. The woman and her husband fed her and now she comes every day. She sleeps on the couch and lays in the sun on the porch and they just love her. I went on home, without the cat, who would not follow me or let me pick her up. She showed up later that afternoon and stayed til dark and then she never came back. Two days later I went back to the woman's house and sure enough, there was the cat, laying on the porch. We agreed to let this woman have the cat since they liked each other and obviously the cat had deemed us unfit parents.
The male cat is a different story. He loves us so much that I think if we dropped him off thousands of miles from home he would find his way back to us LOL When he was younger he would roam all night and then come inside every morning and sleep all day. As he got old he would wander during the day and then come in about dinner time and sleep inside all night. Now he's very old. He doesn't go out much at all and spends most of his time asleep on the floor next to his food bowl. He's not in bad health and he's not in pain but he's not going to live much longer. On Friday he stopped going outside at all. That would be fine except he won't use a litter box. Friday afternoon I came around the corner and there right in the middle of the living room floor was a pile of cat poop. After cleaning up the poop I started down the hall and what did I smell? Cat pee. It was so strong but I couldn't find the puddle anywhere. Luckily I have wood floors in the hall with only a throw rug. I mopped the hall and threw the rug away but I could still smell it just a little. Friday night I walked into the Island Boy's room and was just knocked over by the smell. The cat had been in here. They have carpet so I cleaned that but can still smell it. I sprayed carpet cleaner with a supposed pet odor reducer. (Don't waste your money - it didn't work) If this were any other pet he would be SO gone right now but this is our cat. We've had him longer than any of our children and I know he won't be with us much longer so I'm trying not to be mad. Saturday morning I come into the kitchen and there is a puddle on the floor and the overpowering smell again. I cleaned that up. This has gone on all weekend long. I kept the bedroom doors closed since those rooms have carpet but the rug in the living room took a real beating. Yesterday I mopped and cleaned floors ALL day long.
So all of that brings us to this morning. The moment I opened my eyes I could smell cat pee. The bedroom doors all got left open during the night and apparently the cat used every single floor we have except for the floor the office. The Island Boy's room seemed to be the worst hit and at this point I may have to completely rip out their carpet. I just don't know what to do about this. It's already going to be really hard to get that smell out of here and this could continue indefinitely. I can't put him outside - he's just too old to dump on the porch and he is beyond terrified of the cat carrier so putting him in there for even a short time will probably kill him. I suggested putting him in the bathroom but the other Islanders freaked out and claimed it was cruel to shut an old dying cat in a bathroom. They say he should be allowed to find a sunny spot and lay wherever he wants to. I would agree except that the amonia smell is clouding my judgment. I'm hiding in the office right now, breathing fresh air and really wishing I didn't have to go rip out carpet and scrub every floor in my house - again. And I have to throw away the rug in the living room. The rug we sit on because wood floors are terrible for sitting on and we sit on the floor alot. The expensive to replace rug. Not too mention the expensive to replace carpet in the Island Boy's room. And once I'm finished I will have to start all over again because the cat just keeps on peeing and pooping. I know the cat is old and that he doesn't have much longer but I'm not liking him very much today and that makes me feel bad about myself. What kind of person gets mad at an old cat who has been her faithful companion for twenty years? And it's raining - again. I need some sunshine and a long walk on the beach!
I guess I've stalled and put off for as long as I can and now I have to go clean the floors and douse the house with air freshener. On top of everything else that has to be done today. Yuk.
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