I can’t do it.

May 4, 2009 at 9:25 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 15 Comments

So Baby O is VERY adventurous. He crawls everywhere. Gets into EVERYTHING.

About 6 weeks ago we installed a safety gate between Puck’s litter and the rest of the kitchen. And usually we’re good at keeping it shut when Baby O’s awake and puttering around. But as soon as he leaves the kitchen? We have to open it.

Because Puck WILL NOT jump over it to get to his litterpan. In fact, he’d rather pee on the foyer landing instead ANYWAY.

So today I was at work, and the sinking feeling hit me.

I hadn’t opened the gate when Baby O and I had left the house.

On my lunch break, instead of eating, I drove home so I could encourage the fool cat to pee in his litterpan. Or at least, remove the obstacle so that he COULD pee in his litterpan if he wanted.

He had already gone, of course. On top of the tinfoil we left on the landing carpet. Which, you know, fine. I screwed up, and he doesn’t need any more encouragement to pee there. It’s his favorite place. My bad, my bad.

So I cleaned it up.

And as I was cleaning it… I discovered ANOTHER SPOT. Where he’s clearly been going for a WHILE now. The one place not covered by foil, because it was under a plantstand.

Fuck.

It’s no better.

Yeah, we can add more litterboxes. Yeah, we can rip out the not-even-two-year-old-carpet and replace it with hardwood. Yeah, we can give him kitty Prozac and more attention and try and make him feel better about the fact that there’s a baby in the house.

But. He’s TWELVE YEARS OLD. And this has been going on for more than a YEAR now.

It’s NEVER going to get any better.

So I called J. And, in the heat of the moment, I told him that I was going to advertise on pet.finder dot org and crai.gslist to see if we could find another home for him.

Puck’s unhappy. WE’RE unhappy. I wish I could say that I’m okay with him peeing in my house. I’m not. I’m really not. I’m TRYING to be okay with it, to make my peace that he’s 12 years old and I signed up for all of his life. I’m TRYING to love him anyway, because he’s part of the family.

But I’m not okay with it. I wonder EVERY DAY when I’m going to step in the next puddle of cat pee. I look in his litterbox EVERY DAY to see if he actually went in there.

But then tonight I went to put an ad up. I went as far as establishing a new email address in order to do it. And I sat there, with the pet.finder website up, and tried to find the words to post so that he could find another home.

And I can’t fucking do it.

I can’t give him away.

Because he’s supposed to be part of the family. Because I always got mad at the people who would put their animals in a shelter when they had kids, because they couldn’t commit to being a pet owner through good and bad. Because I always said I’d put my cat down when he’s in pain, and he’s not. He’s healthy. His bloodwork is totally normal. His urinalysis has come back completely normal. EVERY TIME.

Because he’s my cat. And I love him.

And I don’t know what to do. I hate living like this. I wonder what’s going to happen when we take up all the carpeting in the house – because that’s what we’ve been doing. Will he pee on our bed?

I wonder. Where is my breaking point? How much is enough?

Argh.

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15 Comments »

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  1. I’m sorry. This sounds like a no-win situation. I’m sure you’ve exhausted every possible solution so I won’t try any assvice. I just want to say I feel for you.

  2. There’s no harm in just seeing if there’s someone on Petfinder who might want to take him. Even if you never go through with it, perhaps it would bring you some peace to know that finding him a new home IS an option. I too am reaching breaking points with our animals since the baby came. Sucks. I can tell you that even when you have family willing and happy to take the pet from you, the guilt is still insane.

  3. Yes, you signed on to take care of Puck for his whole life, not just when it was easy and fun, the bad with the good. He is part of the family, I agree.

    However…
    Here’s how I see my cat: He’s not an equal part of the family. I don’t place him in the same heirarchy as P or K. If his actions were doing something to harm K, or create a situation where I had to worry about what he was doing and where? That would be a deal breaker.

    He may be physically healthy but mentally something is clearly going on. He is unhappy with the new situation and it’s not like you can reason with him. You can’t sit him down and talk it out. You shouldn’t HAVE to deal with him peeing outside the litter box.

    I guess what I’m trying to say is I totally understand why you are having a hard time with putting the ad out there. However, you do need to consider your real breaking point. When will it become a matter of we MUST get rid of him: will it be when he pees on your bed? When Owen climbs the stairs and puts his hand in a puddle of pee? When you slip and hurt yourself?

  4. I completely understand. We’ve been in the same boat with 2 cats since M was born. We did end up tearing out carpet and putting down hardwood, which has helped, but it is annoying as shit that we can’t put any rugs down or they will pee on them.

    They mostly pee out of the litterbox at night (maybe because of stray cats outside? that’s our working hypothesis). So we have been confining them to a bathroom at night, where pee would be easy to clean up and they can’t ruin anything else.

    Our vet actually suggested that as a permanent option – keeping them cooped up somewhere (bathroom, basement) and suggested we buy a tv and dvd of nature scenes to stimulate them. That was a little too much for me, but we seem to have a somewhat ok balance with the bathroom at night plan for now. But we still can’t put down rugs.

    Anyway, just know you’re not alone!

  5. Heather said everything I was planning to. The bottom line is that you said it yourself: HE is not happy, YOU are not happy. If you were dating Puck, you guys would break up right now.

    I don’t intend to sound callous because I truly do understand the love you feel for a pet, but if everyone is unhappy and his behavior is destroying the house (and your sanity), then it might be time to break up.

    This is a terribly hard decision, I’m sorry you have to think about it.

  6. This is a terribly terribly hard decision. I have no assvice. I just wanted to let you know that I completely understand how torn you feel. Big hugs.
    T.

  7. I am sorry that you are in this situation. I think its really tough that Puck is an older cat. (Both emotionally and physically). Maybe you could have Puck live with a relative?

  8. I can’t even imagine how hard this decision is. I’ve thought about what I would do if we had a situation like this with our dogs and I just don’t know. I’m sorry you have to come to a decision and I’m thinking of you!

  9. I do the same exact thing as Carrie said. My cat gets free run of the house during the day, but at night he goes into the bathroom where his litter box is, food, water, bed, window, etc. etc. etc. It is his routine and he is fine. My cat is 11 y/o and before I give him to someone else; I’d probably put him to sleep. I don’t trust other people……And I would want to be with him at the very end. My other suggestion is using a product called “Cat Attract” – you put it in their litter box and it sorta lures them to it. Also, if you have a cover on your litter box, try taking it off. Hydrogen peroxide is a good way to clean up cat urine. You can also get a waterproof mattress cover and put it over carpet to keep him from ruining carpet.

  10. Long-time lurker here — I completely understand where you’re coming from. I’m a professional dog trainer and have had dogs all of my life. I have my own story about my wonderful-but-neurotic German Shepherd who we ended up finding a new home for after my son was born and we had to move from a house to a tiny condo….he is in a MUCH better place now, living on a beach in Mexico with a retired couple who have the time and patience and love for him.

    I think when a pet starts to make your life worse instead of better, and when you really have put the time and effort into trying to fix the problem, you shouldn’t feel guilty for thinking about finding Puck a new home. I know that you would be very careful about choosing the right home to give to Puck, and it wouldn’t be haphazard “FREE CAT!” thing. And, if turns out that he isn’t really happy in a new environment, you can work something out where you would take him back. I know it’s a difficult decision — you’ll be in my thoughts.

  11. I’m so sorry you have to make this decision. I honestly don’t have any assvice for you. About a year ago I thought we had to give away our two bunnies because of my husbands allergies and it was heart-breaking.
    I hope you can find a solution that works best for you AND Puck.

  12. I have some a$$vice but feel free to disregard it. Have you seen the baby gates with the pet door in them? This allows the cat to crawl through but keeps baby safely in another room. (I found a couple just by googling baby gate pet door but you might be able to find one on Craig’s List.)

    I can’t picture how much space is available on the litter side of the gate, but maybe the cat could just hang in the kitchen until Baby O is no longer interested in playing in the litter box. (Not sure how long that would take.)

    I feel your pain and dilemma. My DH is allergic to cats — though allergy shots have now made him immune — but we have had countless discussions about finding a new home for the cat. I just can’t do it for the same reasons you listed. She is my responsibility, she is also 12 and no one is going to want to take her in. So, we will live with her for another few years and then no more cats for me.

    One of the previous commenters said something about this being a mental issue for the cat — that could be the case. But I wonder if it is actually an age / physical ability issue. When cats get older they lose their agility and the cat might not be able to make it over or might not be confident enough to try.

    End of a$$vice. Good luck!

  13. Im so sorry this is hard…I dont have assvice either–dont have a cat, but I know that if I had to deal with this type of situation with our dog, Id be heartbroken…there is no easy decision. Hoping it all works out, sweetie.

  14. I’m so sorry you’re in this situation.

    We had MIL’s cat at our house for years, then hers, then ours again. He would go a while and be fine, then he’d start peeing. It’s stinky and gross.

    A trip to the vet confirmed good physical health – it was a psychological issue. We tried the cat pheremone spray stuff but it made no difference.

    Eventually she chose to euthanase him. Very very sad, but who else would take on a pet with probs like that?

  15. I missed some stuff. Did you end up resolving the situation yet?

    Bea


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