Posted on | July 21, 2010 | 3 Comments
We just had a moment on the sofa, The Mutt, Thing 1 and I. The Mutt was nuzzled into me on the right and Thing 1 jumped up to sit at my left. And he actually purred! And The Mutt behaved himself impeccably – no growls, no agitation, just a bit of a hard stare.
And while I don’t envisage them swinging Coca-Cola bottles and living in perfect harmony – like, ever – they seem to be tolerating each other in ever-closer quarters.
But then it’s my other cat, Thing 2, that’s really the problem. He’s the pee-er. He’s the protest poo-er. He’s camped out permanently in our bedroom, which is neither healthy for him nor pleasant for us, given his propensity to soil.
Too much information? Sorry but you signed up to it when you logged on. Home really is a four-letter word in my world. And isn’t it true of everybody’s? Even the picture-perfect households have dark, pet-stained secrets. I’ll bet Michelle Obama swore at her new pup. I’ll bet Oprah has had to get down on her knees and clean scoot marks off a carpet at least once in her billionaire life.
Which brings me to Daisy Fuentes. The actress and her spoiled brat English bulldog, Alfie, appeared on an episode of The Dog Whisperer, my new TV fix And Hubby and I were too distracted by the whiteness of her carpets and the generally impeccable interior of her home to focus on the behavioural issues at hand. This did not look like a house designed for dog ownership.
“What is she thinking?” Hubby kept saying of those carpets.
“I know!” I said. “Hasn’t she heard of hardwood, or concrete, or Marmoleum?”
But back to our progress on the pet war (because I just know you want to know). I’m glad to report there has been not one accident in six days. That’s pretty major. I feel like I’ve been released from a sentence of hard labour. I feel like the opposite of Lindsay Lohan.
How did this happen? Like all good army generals, we covered all our bases, provided no escape opportunity, and thwarted any chance for counter-attack. A baby gate went up to sprevent the dog from running through to where the cats hang out (our bedroom) and terrorising Thing 2. The cats got their own new corner of the house, with litter tray (this was previously in a cat run outside, but refusing to use it was part of their evil revenge for us getting a dog). And, on the advice of a dog trainer friend of mine, we positioned their food high up where The Mutt can never get at it. That’s only actually a step or two above ground level , but since The Mutt has the shortest legs on the planet, it suffices. And giving cats height, I’m told, makes them feel more powerful.
And, lastly - a tip found on one of the countless “help! my cat won’t stop peeing” websites I consulted (most of which had nothing new to say and simply consisted of pet owners comparing notes on all their ruined furniture) – I laid a shower curtain under a blanket on our bed, thus ensuring that if Thing 2 does try it again, we won’t have to strip all the bedding.
Having a litter tray inside my home is not ideal. I loved that my cats did their business outside. But right now I’ll take just about anything over laundering a complete bedding set every day.
And anyway, as we keep telling ourselves: “It’s not forever”. This is a euphemism for “They can’t live much longer, can they?”
They are sixteen years old. Thing 1 survived two weeks of radiation to zap a hyperactive thyroid gland. Thing 2 is missing a kidney and half a spleen.
“They’re doing great!” cooed the vet at their last check-up just recently. But I was not cooing. I was instead harboring some not-very-humane thoughts. At the height of the pet wars (last week), I had a conversation with a friend of mine about the morals of euthanizing an animal just because of its remonstrative peeing. She, a dog lover, shrugged and said, “It’s not like the cat’s got a great quality of life anyway right now…”
But I have dragged myself back out of that pit of immorality and, now that I see cute fluffy creatures again rather than warring, soiling beasts, am enjoying them. And I no longer dread going into my own bedroom for fear of what the cat has done next.