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.
As a lifelong Florida resident, I’m fairly used to hurricanes. I personally have only been in one, and technically it didn’t come on shore, just squeezed by really close. That was 1985, and I was 3. It’s actually the earliest memory I have. Evacuating to what would one day be my high school.
The number of POTENTIAL hurricanes I’ve been through, that’s a different story. Weatherpeople positively salivate over the slightest inkling of a storm brewing. You can see the excitement in their eyes. Personally, I find them fascinating. I always wanted to be a hurricane hunter, which would conveniently combine my love of hurricanes and my love of flying, but unfortunately it also involves something I would dislike, which is joining the Navy. I think it’s the navy. Either way, my aversion to authority makes that a not-so-awesome option.
Fortunately, it looks like Isaac is moving away from my little peninsula-on-a-peninsula. Which means I’ll have to work tomorrow, but it also means I don’t have to sandbag my sliding glass doors. Or put up shutters, or worry about roofs flying off. Thanks to the kitties drinking only distilled water, I am able to justify my large bottled water purchase, and it will not go to waste, like the last time I bought a bunch of water for an almost-hurricane, and let it sit in the linen closet for years (I don’t know why I stored them there, I suppose it must have seemed like a good place at the time) before realizing they’d expired. Did you know water has an expiration date? I don’t know why, maybe it’s the plastic leaching into the water or something. Either way, I’m an avid follower of the expiration dates (except with peanut butter, I’m reasonably sure that never goes bad) so I poured out the water and dutifully recycled the bottles.
I’m slightly annoyed that I didn’t buy more food for the week, as I didn’t want things to go to waste if the power went out. And I completely forgot to buy more Rescue Remedy (a natural de-stresser) for Taco. Hurricanes pose more of a threat to Taco than just blowing over his home. The Feline Idiopathic Cystitis, my vet says, seems to flare up in cats when there are hurricanes around. Sensitive little things they are. And he doesn’t even have to worry about boarding up windows!
It’s also good that we don’t have to evacuate, because I only have one cat carrier…I keep meaning to buy another one but the prices are outrageous for what is essentially a glorified gym bag.
Now I’m off to go do laundry until it’s time to pick up the boyfriend from his 2nd fantasy football draft. Draft #2 for me is online, so at least I don’t have to drive anywhere else in the crappy weather that the outer bands of Isaac are supposed to bring. Traditionally, a hurricane party could still commence (as long as you did some sort of preparation because the chance of getting hit was there, that’s the only prerequisite), but that would make for an even worse Monday.
I love black cats. I don’t know why. I also love the color black. I’m not goth or anything, it just matches with things so well. And it’s slimming.
Fatty, he lives with my mom, he’s rotund (as the name implies). He’s got medium length hair so he’s extra fluffy, and he’s got big, wide greenish-gold eyes.
Jager, he was our little kitten that we lost to FIP (I always want to write about him but it’s too personal to a story for me to share just yet), he was wiry and had amber colored eyes.
Moosh, he’s a big boy (like a panther, not like Fatty) and his eyes change color, but they’re mostly midway between Fatty’s and Jager’s.
They all look completely different to me. When we lost Jager, the boyfriend didn’t want another black cat, because he felt like it would remind him of Jager too much. To me, this is like saying all girls with blonde hair look the same. That’s ridiculous. Moosh won him over anyway, so that was a moot point. When I talked him into a 2nd, I wanted another black one, but he thought it would be confusing. This is why we don’t have children. What if we had twins? Chaos would ensue. Also a moot point, because Taco came along, and although he has a black brother, I didn’t have much choice in the matter, because Taco was up for grabs, not his brother Zorro.
So because all cats have slightly different facial features, eye shape, eye color, etc., it greatly surprises me when I browse around other cat blogs to see pictures of kitties that look strikingly similar to my own. This is not to say I couldn’t pick mine out of a lineup. Moosh has one little fu manchu whisker on his chin and stray white hairs here and there that I know the exact placement of. Taco has a freckle on his head and a little one on his chin.
I can usually even tell which one of them is sleeping on my feet at night, just by moving. Moosh is more bulk. Taco is more snake. He just melts into wherever he is.
Last night I was out with some friends, including the one who gave us Taco. She still has Zorro, and the momma of the two. We often compare kitty stories, but her boyfriend hadn’t heard them before and was amazed to hear that they’re so similar even though they’ve grown up in two totally different environments. Granted, my friend is one of the awesomest people that I know and a fellow crazy cat lady, so I’m sure the parenting skills are on par with my own, but cats do form their own personalities so it is pretty interesting that their genetics have such an effect on them. They’re both loud, jump chest high and get into EVERYTHING. Zorro doesn’t pee on their couch though. I got the lemon. But lemon cats are my THING, apparently, so I roll with it.
Sigh. This makes me want another black cat.
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’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.
It’s really frustrating to have your cat pee on the couch. Taco, for all his shortcomings, isn’t a BAD cat, per se. But he peed on the couch because he has this Feline Idiopathic Cystitis.
I have a really great vet so I have a decent understanding of what this is, although apparently the “idiopathic” part of the name is a fancy doctor word for “we’re not really sure what causes this.” The best they can figure is that for some reason, some cats can’t handle stress as well as regular cats (and if I hear someone say “What does a CAT have to be stressed about?!” one more time I’m gonna punch ’em) which in turn causes their bladders to become inflamed. So then it hurts to pee. This is when they pee in places they aren’t supposed to. Which in my case, is my couch.
This is very unfortunate because a) I like to sit there and b) he’ll keep peeing there because he smells it. It’s not like I can just throw the couch in the washing machine with some vinegar. My vet told me to use the cat urine remover, then spray it with vodka. Still smell the pee. Granted, I have to stick my nose right up to it to smell it, but the lil furballs have a much better sense of smell than us.
Currently, my couch is covered with a shower curtain and puppy pads. Oh, and cat repellant. I didn’t know they made that and I don’t know what’s supposed to be repelling about it but it only worked for a little while. We went 2 whole weeks and then he did it again Friday. And then again today.
I am annoyed. Like, really really annoyed. I know it’s not his fault but SWEET BABY JESUS it’s frustrating. Three litterboxes and you can’t pee in ONE of them? I tried reasoning with him once — it was ridiculous, but I was tired of it. I cried… and told him to “stop it for Mommy.” He looked at me quite seriously, then reached out and swatted a pen on the floor.
He’s had a laser treatment for the FIC (I affectionately call this PEW PEW PEW) and about a bazillion other things, but I think his flare-up is over and now he’s just peeing there out of habit.
I decided to introduce Taco next. He’s the newest addition to my harem but by far the biggest brat. By “brat” I mean that he keeps us all on our toes. We adopted him from a friend who’d rescued a preggo stray, Taco being one of the litter resulting from said preggo stray. She named him Fernando, which I loved, but a condition of Jason’s (that’s my other half) was that he was to be named after Taco from “The League.” So whatever. Taco’s fine with me. It works for him.
Anyway, I thought that his introduction to his brother Moosh Moosh would be seamless, as he already had a black brother, Zorro. I seriously live in a dream world sometimes. Like he would be tricked into believing all black cats are his brother. What ACTUALLY happened was an awful lot of hissing on Taco’s part. Moosh was intrigued but pretty much “whatever” about the whole thing.
So we did what you’re supposed to do when introducing a new cat. Put him in a separate room and let them sniff each other through the door for awhile. THIS is when I was introduced to Taco’s lungs. You haven’t heard a cat meow until you’ve heard Taco. This little shit can go for days. This is also when we discovered that he despises closed doors. Whatever’s closed off, he has to be in. But that’s another story.
Now, what makes Taco a brat?
- He cries. All the time. For no reason. He acts like he’s dying. I would have no idea if he was actually hurt because he ALWAYS sounds like he’s hurt. He also has several different types. There’s the one where his tongue kinda sticks out and it sounds like “Mlllooowwwl”…the “MROW!” lookitme meow… and the howling “meooooowwwwwwwwwwwwww” one that will make me run in from another room.
- He HAS to be the center of attention at all times. He can be dead asleep and somehow SENSE that Moosh is getting attention and BOOM! He’s right there. Meowing.
- He can get into the accordion doors to the linen closet. Then he gets fur all over my clean towels.
- He knows JUST where to step on my gut to cause the most pain to wake me up to feed him. Then meow.
- He eats all the food. Moosh likes to graze. He eats a little and comes back for more later. Only there’s nothing left, because Taco already ate it all.
- He fucks with everything. He’ll be sleeping on my lap peacefully and out of the corner of his half-closed eye see a non-moving pen on the desk…and stick his fat paw out to grab it. He somehow managed to find a old bottle of diet pills in my closet, opened it, and tried to eat one, resulting in an epic freakout on my part (it turned out he didn’t eat one, but it was a frantic 15 minutes figuring that out).
- If a bag of treats happens to be left out on the counter and not put back in the pantry, that shit will be on the floor in the morning, COMPLETELY RIPPED TO SHREDS. I once left an open bag of treats on the floor that I had used to coerce Taco into his carrier for a vet visit. When I came back, Moosh was sitting right next to the bag. Untouched. Good son.
- He pees on my couch. This isn’t totally his fault, he has Feline Idiopathic Cystitis. When he gets stressed, his bladder inflames and in turn it makes it hurt to pee. When it hurts to pee, he pees in places he’s not supposed to. This is not fun for all involved.
So why would we keep this drama queen around? For one, I love him. I love his quirks and his meow (just not so early in the morning or when I’m in another room and think he’s gravely ill). And crazy cat ladies don’t give up on their lemons. But he’s also a pretty amazing cat, and he makes up for most of the evildoings. You’ll have to wait for part 2 to hear about that.