Thursday, April 2, 2009

Cat People

There comes a time in the life of most animals when they disappoint you. No matter how much you love them. No matter how fondly you recall them sleeping on your shoulder when they were young. Doesn't matter. At some point, they crap on the carpet.

Our cat Streak is 11-years-old, which in human years is more or less my age. Since I don't crap on the carpets - yet - I don't think it is time for her to start, either. Without actually holding therapy sessions, I can't be sure, but both LK and I think this sudden bad form has started because one of our neighbors has introduced a new black cat to the neighborhood. And this dude is an alpha cat, taking over territory from any animal he meets.

So Streak is suddenly driven indoors to do her duties, because this alien black cat has taken over her territory in our back yard. Which may explain why she's doing it, but it doesn't mean we are ready to blithely get the paper towels and can of carpet cleaner a couple of times a week just because she's intimidated.

What to do? Linda suggested we get one of the cat carrier boxes, get the cat in it, remove its license so nobody knows where it belongs and drop it a couple of miles away. I thought it made sense but then found out she meant the black cat, and I was thinking she meant Streak. But rather than catnapping, I thought of another solution.

Sure, Streak hasn't used a cat box since she was a kitten but maybe that would be the easiest solution. So off I went today to buy a cat box and kitty litter to see if Streak would choose dishonor before death.

They were in the car when I picked Lily up after school. She is in love with Streak and was quite upset when I told her yesterday that naughty Streak had pooed in the house. Lily was very happy that Bampy had come up with a reasonable alternative. She wanted to help me set up the cat box and introduce Streak to it.

The good thing about cat boxes is that there is nothing complex about them. About the only question to be resolved is where to put them. That's where the debate began. Lily suggested near Streak's food bowls, which are just behind the table we eat at every day.

Don't think so, I told her. I don't think we want cat poo near us when we're eating. Let's just put it in the bathroom next to your bedroom.

No, she said, how about the hallway.

Nope, I said. I don't think we want people having to walk around cat poo when they visit us. How about the bathroom next to your room? After all, that's what bathrooms are for, isn't it?

But Bampy, if you put it there I have to smell cat poo when I wee, she said.

I finally convinced her I would remove any remnants of Streak's dinner every time Lily had to use the loo. We settled on the spot furthest from the toilet, brought Streak in to show her her new box and are now anxiously waiting to find out if Streak is smart enough to use it, even if she isn't smart enough to know that she should just tell the black cat to piss off.

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