Charlie (The Cat) Uses Up Lives 1 through 7

Shared in hopes this will save others from this tragic behavior!

I have three cats that live with my family at home. Normally they are content to remain aloof, allowing us to serve them food at their whim and clean out their litterbox. They allow us to do that out of their desire to obtain every creature comfort they can envision. All we have to do is not ask anything of them in return.

That arraignment has worked perfectly well for a few years now. We put food in their bowl and they empty it. They put poop and pee in the litterbox and we empty it. It is the “Tit for tat” of our understanding with them.

That is until two months ago when my wife noticed a fragrant smell on our new cloth ottoman. It seemed that one of the cats had left a territorial marker on the furniture. In the years preceding this we had never had a problem, so we were shocked. We quickly got out the cleaning materials and scrubbed the fabric. My sister in law volunteered some spray scent neutralizer, from her failed cat experience, for the clean-up. We hoped upon hope that the “accident” was a one- time occurrence!

For a week or so it appeared like we were lucky, until my wife went to grab some freshly washed laundry waiting to be folded. “That’s weird” she said. “Some of the clothes are still wet!”

She dropped the hamper and screamed, “Those damn cats peed all over our clothes! They are your cats, go teach them not to do that.” Now I admit the cats and I do have a relationship, but it only covers where each of us lay at naptime, other than that I am just a member of the “feed and scoop team”.

My wife screamed, “If those cat can’t control themselves – we’ll have to get rid of them — and as far as I’m concerned,” she continued. “Those cats have used up two lives. If they use them all up – they go! One way or another.”

Things went from bad to worse in our home and more accidents happened. My daughter came home from college with a load of clothes to wash. Within just a few minutes the entire load was “pre-treated”! Later that day two upholstered chairs were soaked and to make things worse, we were not totally sure of which cat was the culprit. Although one of them did appeared a little sheepish when my wife interrogated them.

“They used up six lives” my wife pointedly said. “Cats only get nine!”

We were desperate. We actually liked our cats and thought we were bonded. They had recently taught us how to play fetch with them. We pulled up the ASPCA website and typed in Cat Pee. Thousands of articles came up including; “How to break a cat that is marking territory in 200 easy steps.” Another claimed, “High powered cleaners guaranteed to eliminate fabric color and smells!” One other mentioned, “10 foolproof methods to burn a house for the insurance.”

It looked like there might be no answers until my wife spotted, “Pheromones – The natural way to control your cat!” “Chemicals” I said. “I knew that Monsanto and DuPont would have the answer.” We went to our local PetSmart and purchased every sprayer/diffuser/applicator that mentioned pheromones. We also found cat collars infused with Chamomile – guaranteed to give your cat a sense of well-being. And, just for the heck of it we got one more covered litter box to give them another option.

$200.00 dollars later we left the store, but not before a clerk said. “Make sure you have your Vet check your cat, it might just be an infection!”

We got home and deployed our chemicals, put collars on our cat, and set-up a new litter station. We were sure we had found the solution. Our cats would inhale the fumes and float off into an euphoric cat trance, ending our woes.

Two hours later, our young male, Charlie jumps onto a sweatshirt I had just taken off and squatted- peeing all over it. I grabbed him and tossed him out the door. (He is an indoor/outdoor cat) I was shocked the cat just did it right in front of me and what was worse, he was wearing that stupid collar. “That’s seven strikes!” My wife yelled.

We knew we had to take action. We immediately made an emergency vet appointment to have him checked for an infection.

The next day we loaded the cat into a carrier and brought him to the Vet. A quick exam showed no sign of an infection or fever. But the Vet did say that sometimes a change in furniture or the arrival of a new cat in the neighborhood could cause that behavior. She also asked how many litter boxes we had and what type. It seems cat can be very particular about toilet facilities and some don’t like having lids on them. She suggested we take them all off the trays when we get home.

We get home and did what the Vet said to do. We uncovered all the trays, even though we had paid big bucks for them in the hopes it would contain the mess and foul odors.

We let Charlie out of his carrier and he immediately went to the tray and peed in it. It was like he had been waiting for weeks for us to do that.

We have had no further problems with the cat’s pee – thanks heaven because Charlie was running out of lives.

– Clarence Holm

4 thoughts on “Charlie (The Cat) Uses Up Lives 1 through 7

  1. Fun story made funner by the flash fiction story I just wrote about a character named Charlie. After reading your story, I think you may enjoy reading it. If you do, please tell me tell what you think.

  2. I am very happy that you found the ‘cure’. We love our cats–although Dottie’s habit of bringing birds in the house is getting tiresome!

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