May 21, 2013

Indoor to Outdoor

Pet ownership can be a delicate balancing act. On the one hand, pets are cute and often fluffy; on the other hand, they’re basically disgusting. When they’re not being cute, chances are good something’s coming out one or both ends, or they’re getting sick, or they’re leaving tufts of hair everywhere.

That’s not to say all of the above doesn’t equally apply to humans, but we cut humans more slack because, let’s face it, we’re flat out better than all other animals combined.

In our household, two cats have roamed the rooms since 2004. They were cute when we acquired them, and they were adequately fluffy for our petting needs, but they’ve gotten progressively more disgusting as the years have gone by. And, yes, I know that applies to humans just as equally.

I’m not sure when I just became accustomed to the late night sound of a cat in the living room making “hork, hork, hork, HORK!” sounds before letting loose a hot pile of partially digested Iams, but I did—it just became part of the rhythm of the house, just as the sound of me cussing a mean streak when I stepped in said cat hork became an expected note in the symphony of domestic tranquility. My wife was even more accustomed to cat vomit than me, probably because, for her, encountering a pile of cat sick only involved her saying “Honey! There’s cat puke for you to clean!”

Conveniently—around the time my wife got pregnant with our first child—she read an article that said pregnant women should not breathe cat litter dust—how they determined this was not explained—which means she hasn’t touched a litter box for nearly five years now. Oh, sure, she’s not pregnant any more, but it’s best not to take chances, particularly when there’s a perfectly good cat hork cleaner in the house who is more than capable of adding litter box cleaning detail to his list of disgusting things he’s expected to do. That would be me, by the way, in case you were wondering.

Anyway, about a year ago, one of the cats just up and decided that the litter box was not a worthy receptacle for his urinary awesomeness, so he started urinating everywhere BUT the litter box. According to the vet, some cats don’t like the feel of cat litter in their paws—who does, really?—so they’ll start urinating elsewhere. Everywhere elsewhere. And, the thing about cat urine is it smells incredibly bad, especially when it’s on a pillow you use to cover your eyes at night. It smells just as bad when it’s been sitting in a pool on the kids’ inflatable bounce house, and then you go to inflate said bounce house and it makes the house smell like we’re cooking rancid ammonia for the fun of it.

All of this was at least tolerable, in a “why are we tolerating this?” sort of way, but then about a month ago, the cat that likes to urinate everywhere started urinating blood. I researched the matter and wasn’t all that surprised to learn that cats shouldn’t probably be urinating blood. So, off to the vet I went. I brought the cats with, because going to the vet without animals would have been a bit awkward. It turned out, both cats had urinary tract infections, which isn’t all that uncommon for older cats, and was in keeping with the “animals get more disgusting as they age” rule I outlined earlier.

After having the appropriate shots administered to keep the cats from urinating further blood, and the appropriate amount of money was transferred from my bank account to the vet’s, my wife and I had to have a talk. Sure, the cats weren’t urinating blood, but they both seemed to agree the vet visit was more than enough reason to increase their proclivity to urinate everywhere that’s not the litter box.

So, we have two outdoor cats now.

Posted by Ryan at May 21, 2013 10:00 AM | TrackBack
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