the final straw

First, I want to thank everyone for their comments on the last entry. Hearing others’ experiences and opinions (even the contrary ones) really does help. To be honest, I was afraid to write about what is quite a personal and somewhat sensitive decision for us. You just never know what you’re going to get on this here Internet, ya know?

So today, I think we’ve come to a final decision. We are going to be finding a new home for the kitties.

We spent from 9am this morning until about 4pm in the basement, ripping out the carpet, cleaning up the floor, nearly gagging from the pee smell, getting increasingly angry and frustrated at how much they’ve destroyed things down there. We have worked so hard making improvements throughout our house, and they’ve done nothing but undo them.

It started before we even had a baby, so I’m not even sure we can ‘blame it’ on that. (And someone asked about them going to the vet recently- they were both there last fall, well after the peeing started, and they are both perfectly healthy. It’s purely a behavioral thing.) In the last year, I have tried all the sprays and concoctions I could find: stuff from the pet store, homemade mixtures of vinegar and water, even mothballs which I read were supposed to work. Nothing did- they knew they had peed there before, so they just kept doing it.

It was soooo much worse down there than we knew. The carpet is (WAS!) dark brown, so we couldn’t see the pee. We could just smell it. When Dan brought out the first piece of carpet out from the back corner of the room- the corner where we could smell it the strongest- my jaw dropped. There were HUGE stains on the underside of the carpet and the smell was just… I can’t even explain it. Nearly suffocating. Very very gross. At one point Dan was so mad, HE WASN’T EVEN YELLING. He was just calmly repeating, I can’t believe we had this in our HOUSE. I can’t believe we had people over to house with THIS IN IT. THIS IS SO DISGUSTING AND WRONG. And you know what? He’s right.

the back corner piece

It was a long and tiring day. My mom came over to watch Maggie while we worked, so we used the opportunity to not only clear out the basement, but clean out and organize the garage as well. We’re still trying to make room for all of Maggie’s old baby things (her swing, her exersaucer, etc) that we need to keep for Future Baby #2, whenever that is. So we alternated between Dan ripping up the carpet while I was out in the garage, and then I’d come in and scrub the concrete floor with a bleach solution while he went out the to garage, etc etc throughout the day until we were both completely and totally exhausted.

But it’s done. And the basement smells infinitely better, even though the floor is gross-looking concrete at the moment. The plan is to get new carpet installed, but not until we resolve the Cat Issue. I am not spending $1000 to carpet the floor and have them do it all over again. I might just lose it.

I am sad. I wish so much that my kitties weren’t doing this. All of the other annoyances we complain about- the stepping on our heads at 3am, the stealing of our food when we’re not looking, the constant need for attention- those are not the reasons we are giving them up. Those we can deal with. Those are just cats being cats. But the peeing? That is just not something I am willing to put up with. I am so sorry, Kitties. I really really am.


  1. Nichole

    July 12, 2008 11:13 pm

    WOW Jen that’s gross!!!!! I am having second thoughts about my “found” kitten!!! like I said some one dumped him in our yard and I dont know why I feel I should keep him!!! I just feel so guilty and dont know what to do either.

  2. Elisabeth

    July 12, 2008 11:50 pm

    Hi Jenn,

    We are the owners of two cats who we love so much, but we’re trying to have a baby and now you’ve got me scared! :) But if they need to leave, then they need to leave (especially because of the peeing! *shudder*) , and as long as you find good homes for them I think you are being responsible about it. One question, though: are they fixed? If not, that could part of the peeing problem. Good luck whatever you do!

  3. Sandy

    July 13, 2008 12:21 am

    We had the same problem with our old housemate’s cat. We were living in a rental which SPECIFICALLY said in the contract “no pets”, so what does he do? He buys an un-neutured kitten who was a little terror. Constantly needing attention which our housemate never gave him (so we were the ones who ended up feeding it, loving it, letting it sleep in our room etc). Cat peed EVERYWHERE (interestingly, on our housemate’s stuff). But when James and I started going to work/uni, the cat got spiteful and peed on his clothes and on our blanket (which no amount of washing or drycleaning could get the smell out). When we finally moved out, the cat was no longer using the litterbox (which was never cleaned out anyways) and just peeing EVERYWHERE. James went back to the old house a few weeks ago, and apparantly the smell was so overwhelming, he actually puked.

    I think my story went a little off track – but I sympathise with the cat pee smell!! It’s really the most repugnant smell!

    Sandys last blog post..sunday foodie block

  4. Jenn

    July 13, 2008 12:33 am

    It is hard to deal with that type of behavioral problem. My parents had a cat that didn’t handle having other cats around so it decided to do the pee things as well. Only he did it on a chair. Over time the smell got so bad you couldn’t sit in the chair (I think it was like a $350-400 chair too) so they gave up the cat to a no kill shelter because that vet said there was nothing wrong except the cats behavior. You got to do what you got to do.

    Jenns last blog post..Children

  5. Backpacking Dad

    July 13, 2008 3:18 am

    I haven’t owned a couch in 6 years, because one of our cats took to peeing on the side of it. She also peed on the side of the couch we got to replace the one she peed all over.

    So we’ve been in chairs in the living room ever since.

    Part of her problem was kidneys, and bladder infection. But it became a habit that she couldn’t give up. She’s gone now, but we still don’t have a couch.

    Backpacking Dads last blog post..Suburbanity and the Future

  6. Elisabeth

    July 13, 2008 6:59 pm

    P.S. Me again. If you’re willing to separate the cats, have you thought about finding a new home for Scotty but keeping Gracie? Sounds like he might be the bulk of the problem.

  7. Jen

    July 13, 2008 7:54 pm

    @Elisabeth: hi :) We did consider that, but we really think it’s both of them doing the peeing and I REALLY do not want to put in all new carpet downstairs and have her do it all over again. So it’s got to be both of them, sadly.

  8. Melissa

    July 13, 2008 8:05 pm

    :( I know it’s going to be hard, but you’ve got to do what is best for everyone, including the cats… I hope you’re able to find them a good home quickly…

  9. sparkyd

    July 13, 2008 8:49 pm

    Been there. Totally sympathize. If you can find them a good home (or homes), everyone will be happier.

  10. Priscilla

    July 13, 2008 10:18 pm

    Hey, I got the email….after seeing the underside of the carpet, I would myself have a hard time not finding a new home for the kitties. Really, you are showing them your love by not just dropping them off at a shelter.
    I hope you find a new home/s soon. I will forward the email on!

  11. Corrie

    July 13, 2008 10:58 pm

    I would like to find a new home for my dog. She likes to pee and run away. I feel for you!

    Corries last blog post..Fit for a Princess

  12. Burgh Baby

    July 14, 2008 3:45 pm

    I thought for sure that we were going to have a similar problem with our poofy dog. She was formally known for eating kids, so I figured when we had a kid, she would take her newfound lower level of importance personally and attack. I’m so glad we didn’t end up in the same place because I know how hard it sucks to part with a pet.

    Also, we have a phantom cat peer, but he has NEVER done THAT! OH.MY.HELL. No wonder it smelled funky in your basement.

    Burgh Babys last blog post..The Follically Challenged Apple Doesn’t Fall Far from the Tree

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