For those of you who don’t already know this, we have two cats. Beaumont was Dave’s cat way back before we started dating, and I’ve had Teenie since right around the time of my 21st birthday. (Dave also had 2 other cats back when we lived in Washington, but we re-homed them a couple of years ago, before we moved to North Carolina.)
We’ve kind of done that thing of realizing after we had a kid that we don’t much like cats anymore, but they’re ours and we’re stuck with them. It is what it is. But even though we find both cats pretty annoying now, the one thing about Teenie that’s been driving me absolutely insane? Her neurosis. OMG, that cat is a weirdo.
Teenie was probably always supposed to be an “only cat” (like an only child). She has never jived with other cats, and it’s only gotten worse in her old age. When we lived in Washington, it wasn’t so bad. She basically lived in our bedroom and didn’t interact with the other cats much at all. Then we moved to North Carolina. (Dum-dum-DUUUUM!!!)
Can you sense the foreboding yet?
A big part of Teenie’s neurosis involves the litter box. If another cat has used it, she’ll go elsewhere. Like the floor. She had a few accidents in our house in Washington, but really, she pretty much had her own litter box there, so it wasn’t often. Then, after we moved to NC, she and Beaumont were sharing a litter box, so we had a lot of incidents where Teenie would go pee somewhere else. Her favorite spot was a corner in the dining room. Which is gross, but the floors were hardwood, so I’d spot the puddle, clean it up, and we were fine. No major damage.
Now, we’re in our new house. My beautiful, beautiful dream house that I adore. And within a couple of weeks of living here, Teenie started peeing in the corner of our family room. Which has white carpet. Oh. My. GAH.
(Ok, to be fair, that carpet had about a million other stains within the first month. I don’t know how the previous owners kept it so clean, but they obviously did not have two cats, a toddler, and a Dave. That carpet is going to have to be replaced someday soon, and it’s going to have to be with something at least a couple shades darker. It’s pretty – or rather, it WAS pretty – but it’s completely impractical.)
I tried a million different things to make Teenie stop peeing on the carpet. I made sure there were two litter boxes in the laundry room and that I scooped them at least once a day, so there was always at least one clean litter box available to her. I got one of those Feliway diffusers that’s supposed to help with feline anxiety. I tried spraying that corner of the room with citrus smells that are supposed to repel cats.
Nothing worked, she kept peeing in that one corner of the room. Finally I figured, ok, Teenie, you win. I set up another litter box in that corner (if you’re keeping track, that’s 3 litter boxes for 2 cats). I didn’t want a litter box in my family room, I think it’s disgusting, but I didn’t see any other options. Guess what happened? Beaumont started using it, because, hey! Litter box! And then Teenie found a new corner of the family room and started peeing there.
GAAAAHHH!!! *gnashing of teeth, rending of garments, lots of mixing distilled vinegar with carpet cleaner and scrubbing the floor within an inch of its life*
Finally, I took Teenie to the vet and explained what was going on. As much as she annoys me, I DON’T want to have my cat put to sleep because of a behavioral issue. And she’s too old and neurotic to have her re-homed at this point, she’d never adjust. But at the same time, we couldn’t keep living that way. I was embarrassed to have people over because no matter how much I scrubbed, our house always reeked of cat pee. And there is not much worse than cat pee on the Gross Smell Scale.
The vet suggested Kitty Prozac*. I know how hard it is to get this cat to take a pill, so I asked about other forms that it’s available. And lucky me, there’s a local pet pharmacy that will get me the Kitty Prozac in liquid form, and they’ll even flavor it with something called Triple Fish Flavor (gag!) (and please don’t tell me what the 3 fishes are, because I’m sure I don’t want to know), so it makes it kind of tasty for the cats.
Teenie doesn’t particularly like the Triple-Fish flavored Kitty Prozac, but she takes it. And you know what? She only pees in the litter box now. Seriously, not a single accident since we started her on the meds a month ago. NOT EVEN ONE. I can’t believe it.
Of course, this means that I’ll be shelling out $50 a month for Kitty Prozac for the remainder of Teenie’s life, which sucks. But if it means no more pee-stained carpet, I’ll take it.
* Not a paid endorsement. Although if the makers of Kitty Prozac happen to read this and want to spot me a month’s supply for free, I sure as hell wouldn’t say no.