The chronicles of Taco are neverending.
So I decided that since Taco is having a flare-up, we should try the laser therapy again. It’s not as expensive as you’d think, and my vet said that she has had success with cats who have worse flare-ups than Taco. Last time we only did one session, this time we’re going to try for the recommended 2-3. The weather is crazy windy out right now and for some reason that seems to freak Taco out more. I mean, I don’t like wind either, but it doesn’t cause MY mental issues to flare. Then again, my hormones do that for me once a month. That’s totally another story.
Taco is again a laser kitty. I don’t know why laser sounds amuse me so.
I also went to the pet store yesterday, a real one, not one of those big fancy “we don’t really know anything about pets” places. I love small businesses. I swear, I have been a cranky old lady since I was 14. I refuse to shop at Wal-Mart. Anyway. I needed more cat urine cleaner. The one that I had sucked. Or Taco’s pee is just really really strong. Anyway, I got a new kind (still smells like pee, this last episode of his was a doozy, none of the other couch pees have been this strong especially after cleaning, AND it was on the boyfriend’s favorite seat…yeah, that went over well). And I talked to the pet store guy, who was super friendly and you could tell knew what he was talking about, like the kind of people who own businesses because they actually give a shit about what they’re doing rather than making a boatload of money. He made a lot of suggestions. And they were all things I’ve already tried. I could see the surprise on his face, I don’t think that he’s ever had such a thorough crazy cat lady asking for help before. He quizzed me on my number of litterboxes vs. number of cats (2 cats, 3 boxes) and then he THOUGHT he was going to stump me when he asked if I used 3 different kinds of litter…and the answer is yes. Yes, I buy THREE different kinds of litter. I felt like passing this test elevated my crazy cat lady status. Unfortunately, it doesn’t get me any farther in fixing Taco. When I say I have tried everything, I really really mean I have tried everything. I even spray the couches with cat repellent.
Here’s what I did do. Because, you know, my parents always taught me that you should always ask for what you want, because the worst answer you can get is no. So I emailed the cat behaviorist people. I told them I can’t afford their $225 phone consultation. I told them that I have done everything I can possibly do and I just want to help my kitty. So I threw it all out there and asked if I could barter. Granted, my skills may not be in their demand (I work in marketing, they already have a really nice website and it appears they don’t need any help getting business) but I can do copywriting, proofreading, research…I even threw in fantasy football tips (although this may not be the year to ask me those, I’m doing miserably). I did leave out crafts, I’m not sure “decoupauged tissue box” is a viable offer. I haven’t gotten an answer. But even so, I tried. I didn’t ask for charity, although I certainly would accept it from them if they offered. So if they say no, I’m no worse off than I was before. It at least made me feel good, because I’m not giving up. I’m hard headed like that.
Taco peed on the other couch. The one that he hadn’t peed on yet.
This is ultimately frustrating. I consider myself a loving, caring, well-informed kitty mommy that tries really hard to give her boys the best life possible. I know he’s not doing it on purpose, but it’s a slap in the face.
I’m sure you’re all getting sick of me bitching about this. I’M getting sick of bitching about this. And I’m gonna be honest, I’m sick of hearing the boyfriend bitch about it. This isn’t to say that he’s wrong for being upset. But here’s what happens…he gets pissed about it. I’m pissed on a different level, like a “this is what mommies have to endure but sweet jesus stop” level. And sometimes I feel like he’s pissed on a “let’s get rid of the cat” level. This has not been expressly said. So then I am dealing with my own frustration, his higher level of frustration, AND trapped between that and defensiveness for my baby.
From a logic point of view, I see why this combo causes a higher level of upset for me. I understand (for the most part) why cats do what they do. The fact that I can’t figure out how to make Taco stop peeing on the couch is a frustrating conundrum but out of all the things I DO understand about cats, this one thing is a fraction. The boyfriend loves them. But he is not a crazy cat lady. He didn’t decide that he liked cats more than humans. He just decided he liked me enough to put up with a crazy cat lady for what is going on 10 years. He doesn’t GET them. What bothers me most is that he should know how upsetting it is to me just merely not reinforcing strongly that he would never ask that we re-home Taco. Just because he hasn’t said the words indicating that he wants to doesn’t mean I’m not afraid that he’s going to ask that. My boys are non-negotiable. But so is my relationship. So it hurts that he doesn’t understand this very big part of my life, the crazy cat ladiness. Or at least give in to understanding that he can’t understand and be on my side. And be upset WITH me…not because our cat peed on our couch, but because I can’t fix Taco no matter how hard I try. I don’t even know if this makes sense reading it. And he will probably be upset with me for being so brutally honest here, but frankly, I had to get it out.
Taco is my baby. He might be a lemon, but he’s my lemon. He’s at least in a home where he will not be abused for peeing on a couch. He gets the best I can give him. I can’t save them all, but I can at least give one a little bit of leeway for being an animal. I just really really really really wish I could stop it. Boyfriend, I would. I even spent my lunch hour trying to figure out how to become a cat behaviorist (I haven’t really figured that out yet, but usually if I can’t afford something I try to do it myself. This is proving difficult in cat whispering Taco).
And despite all this, I successfully completed week 2 of smoke-free weekdays. I wanted to smoke this morning when the boyfriend told me about the loveseat desecrating, but I made my boss talk me out of it. Knee jerk reaction when I get bad news. So I have that to be positive about! At least I have control over something…
I will never understand why it takes Taco two full days to stop hissing at Moosh when he gets back from the vet. It’s not like his scent isn’t EVERYWHERE. Sometimes I think they’re really smart, and sometimes I agree with the boyfriend about them having pea brains.
This is where I vent.
I have no help with this couch pee thing. My vet has helped with all of the medical issues possible, and I’ve taken all the advice possible about helping him stay stress and FIC-flare-free.
Yet he peed on the couch again the other day. I don’t even really want to talk about it, because that means facing it, and yeah, I know, it’s a COUCH, but it’s OUR couch and while I’m totally ok with my crazy cat lady status, I’ve completely accepted that IS my life, I’m not ok with my house smelling like cat piss. I’d like to have people over. I’d like to utilize the couch for more than just the puppy pads that are currently adorning it. I’ve done everything to stop it. I don’t know what else to do. It’s a fairly new couch. Do I just accept that it’s never going to stop? Do we just get rid of the couch? What if we have it professionally cleaned and all and he pees on it again? What if we get rid of the couch and he just pees on the loveseat? I’m fully aware that there are worse problems in life. But this is MY life and I want a damn couch I can entertain people on. *I* would like to sit on my couch. MY usual seat was on that couch.
This brings me back to my failed bid at My Cat From Hell. When they responded that they wouldn’t be coming to Florida, they said that Jackson Galaxy sometimes does Skype consultations, and I could try. So I did. I got a response yesterday that he is currently filming and not available, but referred me to another cat behaviorist. So I checked that out. It’s TWO HUNDRED AND TWENTY FIVE DOLLARS for a HALF HOUR PHONE CONSULTATION. I’m in the wrong effin’ business. Do I have to go to college for that? I’m already the go-to cat problem person for people I know. I need to start charging. Not trying to brag or anything, but over the years I feel like I’ve amassed enough cat knowledge through personal experience and my undying devotion to the babies that I’m probably pretty qualified already.
Wow, what if the reason I always get the lemon cats is because one day (today?) I realized my calling? I’m 30 years old and I still don’t know what to do with my life. Maybe I’m supposed to be the girl Jackson Galaxy. I DO have tons of personality and tattoos. And I can thing of worse things than dealing with cats all day. And I could be MEAN to bad kitty owners, because I would get paid upfront, like these $225 consultation people.
But first, I need to fix this couch thing. So far I can’t find an answer. This is one of those times where I just want someone to tell me what to do, and I do it, and it works. This one is over my head.
So if anyone knows anyone that will help me help Taco to stop peeing on my couch for significantly less than 2 hundos, let me know. I’m tired of thinking about it.
The boyfriend and I went to Ikea this weekend to buy a new desk, one that makes me feel more grown-up (I’ve had my old one since high school) and a bookcase. This weekend has been a whirlwind of putting stuff together and reorganizing (not even remotely finished with that).
This may be me overreacting, but Moosh is acting weird. I mean, he’s a weird cat anyway so that alone wouldn’t be cause for alarm, but I also noticed that when I cleaned out the upstairs litter box yesterday (which I’d forgotten to do all week), the one that Moosh frequents, there was no pee. None. There was enough pee in the downstairs one that it could have been the work of two normal, healthy cats, but it struck me as odd.
But now I think he’s acting funny. I couldn’t find him this morning and finally did in Jason’s shower. He likes to jump in there, but usually right out. Not like, hang out there. Especially when treats are offered. Other than that he’s just acting funny. Sometimes he’s acting totally fine, and then he does random things. He spent all day under the bed, but I think that’s his new spot, so that part might be ok. And he’s eating fine. But there was only one pee in the downstairs box today and Taco peed on the couch again (that’s a whole ‘nother story) so statistically it seems likely that the pee in the box was Moosh’s, right? I pushed him in his a bazillion times and he keeps jumping right out and looking at me like I’m an asshole.
If you have a male cat, you may already know about crystals. Crystals are a male cat owner’s nightmare. They stop up the peeing process and kitty gets sick. Really sick. And if you don’t get them to the vet in time, they can die. Best case scenario is a very expensive vet visit/stay.
I THINK, though, that crystal-inflicted kitties still go in the box and try. Moosh hasn’t. So I’m trying to not worry. The rational part of me (rarely the part that wins out in a worry situation) says he’s probably fine, he’s probably acting funny because a) when we came home from Ikea yesterday, there was a smashed glass on the kitchen floor, which I deduced that Moosh decided to go in the cabinet and at some point knocked out a glass that hit the counter on its way to the floor, so that may have freaked him out a bit and b) there’s two new, large pieces of furniture in the house that he doesn’t recognize.
I’m still worried. I will continue to worry until there is a properly soiled litterbox or until I take him to the vet. Worry, unfortunately, is what I do best.
Surprisingly, I received a response from the My Cat From Hell people, asking where I was located. In case you missed the post about how I answered their casting call, you can see that here. I was overly hopeful because in the past, they only asked for people living in the LA are, which, if you’re familiar with geography, is rather far from Florida, although not in the grand scheme of things. Hawaii is much farther. I am incredibly grateful that I was able to vacation there a few years ago but they really need to do something about the long plane ride. Frankly, I’m amazed that no one has come up with a less deadly version of the Concorde yet. How were they more technologically advanced in the EIGHTIES??? So back to the point, that they didn’t have a requirement, and the fact that they answered me back in what seemed to NOT be a form email got my hopes up that my cat pee couch dilemma was interesting enough for them to consider our little family of furballs.
Until I got the email that said “Thanks, but you’re too far.” (That’s not a direct quote, I paraphrased.) Oh well. I think Florida is a perfect place for Jackson to come. We have many unique kitty challenges, like not having real dirt, just a dirt-like sand that is the favorite of fleas, as well as not having a winter that gets cold enough to kill off the fleas, and even if you have indoor-only cats (which of course I do, because in addition to sociopaths and vehicles, we have alligators and supposedly coyotes but I’ve never seen one of those) fleas will come in unbeknownst to you clinging to your socks like a hobo on a train. They’re a bitch to get rid of. How come dogs don’t seem to have as much of a problem? They go out every time nature calls. And they ROLL AROUND in the dirt that the fleas love so much. Cat fur better? Everything cat is better. I could do without the fleas, though.
But alas, the boyfriend and I are just going to have to bite the bullet and do something about the couch and the figuring out of how to ensure that Taco never uses it as a litter box again. For now, though, I’m going to continue to procrastinate. Would have been so much easier to have someone to fix the problem for us. For a smart girl, I’m awfully lazy.
I really wish Jackson Galaxy would come to Florida. I watched the first show of the new season of My Cat From Hell last night and while it’s great and all, I am NOT taking Taco for a walk around the block here, which was one of his suggestions for a Bengal on the show. Maybe that works in California and New York but I can just imagine the flea party that would ensue here. Plus, Taco absolutely hates fresh air. He freaks out. Which in turn, will stress him out, which will cause a flare-up of his Feline Idiopathic Cystitis and then he will pee in MORE inappropriate places. I still have a shower curtain and puppy pads on my couch. And a weekly spraying of cat stay-off spray, whatever that is.
My cats have some of the same issues these cats on the show have, but there’s always something just different enough that his solutions won’t work for me. Moosh bites randomly. Sometimes I can tell when he’s about to by a tail thump but sometimes it’s out of the blue. He’ll be purring, belly up getting pets when BAM! Bite. It’s not a certain spot that I touch…I’ve poked and prodded to check. I know what DOES provoke him, and according to last night’s episode, I am not supposed to be doing what I do, which is using my hand as a toy. I pet his head backwards and smush his face, and his eyes get big and black and he lunges as I move my hand away. Sometimes this ends badly for me. But I can immediately get him out of attack/play mode by putting my face in his face. It’s like his off switch. It’s like he knows face is a no scratch zone, and he nuzzles. Here’s the thing, though…Moosh is such a weird cat that he’s not really into toys. He has a passing interest in some occasionally and that’s about it. Taco, on the other hand, plays with anything and everything. He must know I’m writing about him because 5 minutes ago he was DEAD asleep on the bed and he’s just entered the room meowing at me. He is a SUPER attention hog.
Jackson also says that cats are either tree dwellers or bush dwellers. Moosh is definitely a tree dweller, he wants to be on top of everything. I found him in my cabinet once. Next to the clean glasses. Taco has no interest in jumping on much unless there’s something for him to mess with. He can, however, jump chest high. I wish I had a better camera that was capable of catching him in a leap, because it’s really a sight to see. I assume that’s the Bengal in him. I don’t know what any of this means in terms of making my cats behave better, though.
I was tempted to buy a cat wheel for Taco to get out his energy, as I saw on an older episode. I found out they are rather expensive. I decided running up and down the stairs is exercise enough.
In summary, PLEASE COME TO MY HOUSE, JACKSON GALAXY! I know that my cats are not threatening lives but I would like to use my couch again. And sleep in a little on weekends. And make Taco stop eating Moosh Moosh’s food. And find out why Moosh licks blinds, which isn’t harmful but really freakin’ weird.
I admit, sometimes I’m not the best kitty mommy. For example, I let the boys go without wet food for almost an entire week because I kept forgetting to go buy some (but then, I also forgot to take back my Redbox movies for a week too, I might as well just keep them at this point). In all fairness, there was a tropical storm going on earlier in the week that hindered errands a bit, and I do work two jobs. But I felt bad at my forgetfulness nevertheless.
Sometimes I forget to clean the litterbox. This is rather hard to do when there is a big stinko in there, but if there’s not or it’s covered well I’m prone to forget. Then I feel awful when I finally do and discover they’ve been slogging around in 10 pounds of waste.
I also don’t completely change out the litter every 2 weeks. I let it go sometimes. I’m pretty sure this is bad.
When it’s kitty dinnertime, if I am doing something more important, I make them wait. I also don’t completely clean their dishes all the time, or at least as well as I should. This is shameful.
On occasion, I torture them for my own amusement, like holding them on my lap and laughing at them as they struggle to get away. The horror!
Once, I left Taco in my car for 3 minutes while I went inside a store on the way home from the vet. It was a very nice and un-hot day, and I was parked in the shade, but I felt like I deadbeat mom as I waited in line and craned my neck to look out the window.
I’m not even remotely the best kitty mom in the world, but I justify it by telling myself that my love for them is so enormous that it eclipses my bad momminess. So far, that still assuages the guilt.
The kitties would like to wish their father and grandfather a very happy Father’s Day. They even got their daddy a card. I had to sign it for them, though, because they don’t have thumbs.
It’s not easy being a Cat Daddy (unless you’re Jackson Galaxy)…you have to be rather quiet with the snuggle talk because your friends will mock you relentlessly. I have the utmost respect for the cat daddies out there who fly their kitty flag proudly.
Honey, your boys love you. And I know you love them, even though they wake you up, cover your clean laundry with fur and step on your man parts.
Grandpa (Dad, I’m sorry, but furry grandchildren is all you’re gonna get) has two Daddy’s girls of his own — one human, one cat. Joanie, my dad’s kitty, has hated me for most of her life. Hisses when I come near. Very jealous. But she’s mellowed with age, and I love her anyway.
Dad, I love you! Thanks for teaching me the sky’s the limit (literally — when are you going to finish teaching me how to fly?) and for being an awesome cat daddy to Joanie (and Fu). You’ve taught me how to be a jack (Jill?) of all trades, because life is boring when you stick to just one thing. You’re the best! I miss you and hope you have an amazing Father’s Day. Tell the kitties to be extra nice to you today.
I’m vegan. This is partially because I have never really been a big fan of meat, partially because I find slaughterhouse stories revolting, partially because I really like animals and helped along by reading Skinny Bitch.
It is absolutely AMAZING to hear the reactions from people when I tell them I am vegan. Sometimes they feel the need to defend their meat eating, as if I care. Some ask me “Well, what do you EAT, then?” Dirt. I eat dirt. What exactly do you think I eat? What do YOU eat that you think meat, dairy and eggs are the ONLY sources of sustenance?
My favorite is when people ask me if my cats are vegan.
I am a lover of science. A devotee of evolution. A student of logic. I understand, know, and appreciate that cats are carnivores. Their little bodies are made to eat meat. I probably know more than I should about how they have different enzymes than humans do, to help process all the flesh they eat. How their stomachs are longer to digest, but have a smaller intestinal tract. Why would I buck the trend and try to perfect what Mother Nature already perfected? There’s a food chain. Some things are meant to be eaten. Some things are meant to eat. I could make the argument that humans are meant to be herbivores, but I’ll refrain here. Vegan conversion is not my goal, it’s my personal choice.
So yes. I feed my cats what they are supposed to eat. I am a little too squeamish to do the raw food diet, and with Taco’s Feline Idiopathic Cystitis, he’s on prescription food anyway.
Here is where I will rant. Cat food is CRAP. Total and utter crap. Grocery store brands? You might as well serve your cat roadkill that’s been sitting out for days and crapped on by other half dead animals. It’s disgusting. I’m sure there are plenty of people who think I’m ridiculous for only wanting to feed my cats organic food without chicken meal and grain and fill, but I wouldn’t stuff myself with fast food pink slime, so why would I do it to my cats? This prescription food he has to eat, it helps him not form crystals, avoiding a very expensive-to-fix blockage, but it is made with CRAP. My vet had an amazingly long discussion with me about my aversion to feeding him this ick. Because I trust her and because she had this amazingly long conversation with me about my aversion to feeding him this ick, I listened. In the end, he’s eating the ick. I’d rather not rush him to the emergency vet or have him die because I am too stubborn to feed him what is apparently the ONLY scientifically proven thing to help him. I tried feeding Mooshie the good stuff and Taco the prescription, but Moosh is a stupidly picky eater and will only eat the crap. He won’t even touch wet food, which I know is bad but I can’t FORCE him to eat it. I will shamefully admit that I have, once or twice, KIND OF smushed his face in it a little, just to nudge him into eating it. It doesn’t work. I just give them lots of water and leave it at that.
I have two cats. I had two litter boxes. One preferred one, the other preferred the other.
Then Taco started peeing on the couch and in my attempts to try everything to discourage this, we added a third.
They say that you’re supposed to have one box per cat plus one, but I had resisted this as there is really no good place in my house for various litter boxes. As I write this, I have one next to me, in the spare bedroom that serves as an office/craft room. Another is in my boyfriend’s bathroom under the vanity. The third, the one that I tried not to have, is in my “dining room,” which is really just a space with cat stuff. We tossed the table a year ago, we never ate at it and it was ugly. We keep meaning to get another, smaller one, but haven’t gotten around to that either.
I buy three different kinds of litter. I refuse to use clay, because, if you don’t already know, it’s incredibly bad for the environment, the cats and yourself. If you’ve ever poured a batch and inhaled the cloud of dust that ensues, you’ll understand. So I have S’wheat scoop, Feline Pine and Feline Pine clumping. Taco always preferred the pine and Moosh likes the wheat, and I did the clumping downstairs because it’s miserable to step on those f&^#&ing pellets.
Nothing really stops the stench, and now BOTH cats have taken to almost exclusively using the downstairs box…the one I would really prefer them NOT use, as it is right next to the kitchen.
I cannot fathom why. They both spend the majority of their time sleeping upstairs. Moosh’s current favorite place is in my closet, and Taco’s is under or on the bed. They have developed relationships with the boxes they’re already used to. Why is this new box so special?
They are both total opposites when it comes to USING the box, too. Moosh digs to China. He spends a good 15 minutes covering. This leads to what we have affectionately labeled “the poop face,” because he is covered in pine/wheat dust. Then he likes to do what we have affectionately labeled “the poop run,” which is running up (or down) the stairs excitedly, ending with a little prance. I assume he feels lighter and freer and wants to show it off.
Taco rarely digs. His poop run consists of dropping a deuce and then hauling ass, leaving the stench to permeate. And boy, is he stench-y.
So this is why, sometimes, I am really tempted to train my cats to use the toilet. In the end, though, I’m personally too selfish to give up the use of one of MY toilets to do so. Nor do I have the patience or time. Sigh.