Cat boarding? Urine trouble!

The plan was to go through my house horror in chronological order here, but recent events demand that I skip ahead.

So. The termites. We had to fumigate. Which means you leave your domicile while people pump a bunch of poison in to kill the little shits.

Obviously you can choose to find a pet-friendly hotel and bring the cats along, but because tenting ain’t cheap and this is Florida, where people actually travel to on purpose and therefore it is rather expensive to get hotels in, we stayed with my best friend, who graciously welcomed us into her home.

But she has two pitbulls. I will preface this bay saying that I’m COMPLETELY on board with the idea that pitbulls are not bad dogs. It really is all about how they’re raised. Cutty and Moose are the sweetest. That being said, we decided to board the cats at the vet rather than subject them to our housing arrangements for several reasons:  a) my cats are terrified of everything b) my cats and cats in general do not like change c) we thought the cats would pee everywhere in fright and d) I love my vet, so it was a safe choice to leave them where I know they’ll be taken care of.

We got off to quite the auspicious start when we didn’t have an *actual* time to be out – “either the morning or afternoon,” she said. But it was ok, they would give us time to get out before they started pumping full of poison.


We decided 10am was a good time to vacate without sending the cats into further panic by introducing the mere possibility of being tented over and poisoned – and also what they’re most afraid of – strangers.

As it usually is, getting them into the carriers was a super fun ordeal, full of singing and beautiful harmonizing. It’s always the happiest of times when they sing the songs of their people at full volume! To make things ever-so-much better, when transporting them from car to vet, it was pouring. Glorious! Outside air AND wet! Their favorite combo! So I said goodbye to my very angry and wet cats, after discussing Taco’s blood poop (that’s been a thing) and went on my merry way to the house of dogs.

After 24 hours of poison, the tent comes off, then they open all the windows (a concern of ours since most of them don’t open) and use giant fans to blow all the remnants of poison bad stuff out into the ozone. It sits overnight until some person who is (I hope) extremely well-trained in measuring poison gas levels comes in and deems your home at “acceptable” levels. They remove the “DANGER THIS PLACE WILL KILL YOU I’M NOT KIDDING” signs and put up ones that say “HUMANS WON’T DIE HERE I PROMISE.”

Of course, who believes that these people REALLY do their jobs properly? I certainly didn’t, so we tested it ourselves before picking up the delicate kittles. After 3 hours of re-airing and cleaning and not dying ourselves, I went off to get the babies.

It just so happens that both boys refused to poop until the morning of pickup. Was their poop in any way alarming? Of course not. Perfect tootsie roll nuggets without a hint of blood.

As I patted myself on the bad for my fantastic luck, I headed off for a happy reunion between cats and home.




About halfway through the ride and the caterwauling, I noticed a smell. The smell got stronger and stronger. I checked my AC settings. Did I have recirculated air turned off? Did I have it on defrost? As I did my mental checklist, it dawned on me. IT WAS CAT PEE. THE HAUNTINGLY AROMATIC SMELL OF AMMONIA.

Lemme tell ya what an awesome rest of the drive that was. Which cat was it? Is it sloshing all over my car seats? What am I going to do upon arrival to manage this?

SURPRISE! It was Taco (shocker!). The husband met me outside with a towel and help. Fortunately he was in the hard carrying case with a pee pad, so while it didn’t slosh or soak through all over my car, he did get to sit in it for a good 15 minutes. Did I mention it was rush hour?

Options: try to bathe a cat that’s already clearly traumatized? No.

Wet paper towel wipe down, towel dry – hope for the best. Whattya gonna do?

He still smells like pee a lil. We accept this.

It’s also amazing that the vet put Taco in the hard case and Moosh in the soft. I usually give Moosh the hard because he’s a TINY bit fatter (they’re both obese by vet standards though).

Plus side, I stopped worrying about poison gas pockets. I ALMOST thought that maybe finding one and inhaling really deep wouldn’t be the worst thing at that point…

Clearly, we’ve all made it through this alive, except for two baby geckos (I was horrified) and ideally all of the termites (also a pile of ants in my bathtub that established where a point of entry for them was) – also hopefully every other insect in the entire world and please don’t tell me that some of them are good, like spiders, because I appreciate them as a whole but RESPECTFULLY I DON’T WANT THEM IN MY GD HOUSE.

Oh, and as you can see, the cats are full over their traumatizing experience.

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