Oh, how quickly a furry love affair can turn sour...as quickly as it takes a cat to pee on your bed.
In an earlier post, I wrote about bringing Barney-the-barn-cat indoors. He was my first barn cat, he’s probably eight or nine years old, and I didn’t want him to disappear the way most of the others have done. So I tried to make him a house cat.
Of course, I chose a most inappropriate time to do this. It was early August, one week before my trip to Peru. So for the 12 days I was gone, I boarded him with the vet. I also got him caught up on his shots while there. That cost me $140.
Since then, I’ve left him locked in my bedroom suite up to nine days at a time while out of town. He did fine, although you can imagine the smell coming from the litter box when I returned. My intention all along was to train him to go in and out of the house via an old cat door, so he could do his business outside. To that end, I shoved him through the cat door one day, and he ran off.
I was very upset, and prayed unceasingly for his safe return. He had often disappeared from the barn/pasture area for four or five days, so I kept telling myself he’d come back. Sure enough, five days later, he showed up for breakfast. I grabbed him, hugged him and penned him up in my bedroom suite again.
An affectionate cat who seemed content indoors, he never could adjust to being so near the dogs. When I would bring him into the Great Room to watch television with me, he’d spy the dogs and run back to my bedroom. One day after such an episode, he peed on my bed. Fortunately, I had just installed a soft, thick mattress cover so that my grandson’s occasional diaper leaks wouldn’t soak through to the mattress. But I spent two days washing the new cover, the sheets and the blanket I use as a coverlet. I forgave Barney, though, chalking the experience up to his being scared.
No sooner had I put everything back in its proper place than he did it again. This time, the blanket wasn’t on top to provide an extra layer, and the mattress got wet. Phew! I did my best to soak up the spot with a dry cloth, then scrubbed it with Fabuloso, let it dry, then sprayed it and the room with an odor eliminator. Once more, I forgave him, because the dogs had scared him again.
The third time he peed the bed, however, the dogs weren’t involved. The mattress was. Fuming over having to wash the linens again, I bought a waterproof, zippered mattress cover. I put it on top of my covers, beneath an old blanket that I use when I let the dogs sleep with me. The next two or three times he peed (I lost count), the plastic caught the brunt. It was becoming odoriferously obvious that this was developing into a habit. Oh, and he pooped on the bed once, covering it with the doggy blanket. But I’m here to tell you, it was much less smelly and much easier to clean up than the wee-wee.
I contemplated taking him to the vet to determine whether he had a bladder problem. I contemplated calming pills. Do they make Valium for cats? Either way, I saw dollar signs. And day after day of bed-linen washing. I decided I had already spent enough time and money on this ungrateful creature. So I tossed his butt out.
Yep, I picked him up, opened the back door, and put him down. He hit the ground running. He’ll probably show up at the barn in four or five days. But I won’t be bringing him inside again. Nope, I’ve emptied his food dish, cleaned out his litter box and put it away in the shed. Already, my bedroom smells better.
Some animals just weren’t meant to stay indoors.