The Furry Children

A few months ago I posted about our less-than-tolerant attitude toward our cats. They used to be our babies, our furry children. Then we had a real, non-furry, human child and sadly, they kind of got knocked down a peg or two on the Priority Scale.

I know that part of it is my fault. I should make more of an effort to pay attention to them. I should scoop their poopy litter box every day instead of just a couple times a week. I should dangle a furry mouse-toy in front of them and let them chase it for a while. I should scratch behind their ears for 45 minutes like they want me to. I should constantly be checking to make sure that their water bowl is filled with fresh, clean, cool water and their food bowls are free of moldy cat food.


I can barely keep up with anything lately. Having an active 15-month to chase around, plus a business to run and clients who need emails answered and phone calls returned, makes things a little crazy. Then there’s dinner to cook, laundry to wash, phone calls to make, tripping over cleaning up of toys to do… at the end of the night when I should be taking care of the cats, I want to collapse onto the couch and stare at the wall for a while before bed.

It goes way beyond just the day-to-day stuff too. For the last couple of months, the cats have been really ridiculous. Peeing on the carpet downstairs- which they’ve actually been doing for a while, but we’ve been down there more often (somebody likes playing on the steps so we end up down there) and DUDE IT SMELLS. This weekend we’re tearing it all out and just leaving concrete for now- at least that won’t stink so bad. And several times in the last week, I’ve had to clean up cat puke and I HATE CLEANING UP CAT PUKE. Especially when I also have to keep Maggie from coming over to play in it. And also when said puke has noodles in it FROM MY DAUGHTER’S DINNER LAST NIGHT. (Scotty likes to steal food from her high chair, which is another issue altogether) We are constantly tripping over them int he kitchen because they are RIGHT THERE ALL THE TIME, and when we’re up with Maggie in the middle of the night if she’s sick or fussy, trying to get her back to sleep, they think it’s playtime and start meowing and hissing and playing Wrestle Mania and OH MY GOD I WANT TO KICK THEM ACROSS THE ROOM.

Basically, I’m in the business of making my life easier and as stress-free as possible. I constantly have eleventy-billion things going on, and the cats are just one thing on the list I can’t deal with.

So, I am seriously considering finding a new home for them.

Before you hate me or think I’m evil and irresponsible for giving up on the responsibility of having pets, just know that this is not a decision I’m making in a few heated moments after cleaning up cat barf this morning. This is something we have been talking about for a few months. Could we? Would we? Where would we…? Who would we…?

There’s been talk of letting Scotty live at my sister’s MILs house, though her cats are outside/garage cats. She offered, even though she’s heard the stories of Scotty’s antics. I think he would be fine with that after a while, he’s been outside a few times and seems to like it. But I don’t think I could just let them both outside here in our neighborhood. I really think it would lead to other issues- Where are they? Who are they bothering? What garden did they just poop in? What small defenseless animal did they just eat? And, oh yeah, THEY’RE MEOWING AT THE DOOR, THEY WANT TO COME INSIDE AGAIN. No thank you. And I don’t think that Gracie could handle being outside, she’s very skittish and shy, I don’t think she’d survive. I think splitting them up would be okay if we had to, Gracie pretty much hates Scotty because he tries to eat her and she hisses at him occasionally when he just happens to walk by.

So I don’t know what to do. I could never, ever just take them to a shelter and leave them there. The only way I could do this is to give them, either together or separately, to someone we knew would take good care of them.

Dan is on board if I am. But he wants to make sure I won’t regret the decision. And to be honest, I’m not sure about that. I tried to picture myself physically handing them over in their little carriers to their new Humans and I will admit, I got a little sad and teary. But I’m not sure if it was because that meant I wouldn’t get my head stepped on by a big orange furball at 3am anymore (do I secretly enjoy that? I don’t think I do.) or was it because I felt bad and like a failure because I’m giving away my two kitties? And what kind of example am I to my daughter if I tell her one day that, yes, we had cats but Mommy was a Big Mean Lady and gave them away because she didn’t have the energy to deal with them anymore?

I have an email saved in my ‘Drafts’ list going out to everyone I know, to see if anyone knows anybody who might be interested. But I haven’t sent it.



  1. Priscilla

    July 10, 2008 11:51 am

    I know how you feel. When we had my parents’ cat, we loved him and took good care of him but then he started peeing wherever he wanted and we just couldn’t have that. We were constantly cleaning up the pee. So, we decided to give him back to my parents. That was hard for us, even though he was going somewhere where we often visit! I cried and Chuck was upset.

    Good luck in your decision making…I will watch out for the email….if you send it!

  2. Nichole

    July 10, 2008 12:29 pm

    I know it is hard, when Sami was 7 months old and I was pregnant with Liam we found a new home for one of our dogs. He snaped at her and was alway running away. So we put him on Craigs list and he went to a super nice single man and I get email updated all the time. It worked out for the best with him and I know how luck I got. Now we have one wonderful family dog and I just found a kitten!!! that most days I like him but sometimes I fear I should not keep him, someone droped him and a sister off in our field. My neighbor has the sister. but I understand how you feel, you could alway tell who ever takes them that if it didnt work out you would take them back, I made that clear with Jake so I knew he was not mistreated or dumped at a pound. Good luck and I know how hard the choice is.

  3. Allison

    July 10, 2008 2:17 pm

    You’re not evil or irresponsible for wanting to find a new home for them! It’s the opposite, actually. You want to find a loving place, that you can no longer offer. I think it’s great.

    If we were up for a cat, I’d offer our home.

    Good luck making the choice…I’m sure you’ll make the right one!

    Allisons last blog post..Why Can’t I Look Cute?

  4. Kris

    July 10, 2008 2:32 pm

    You are not alone. While I love my dog, I do think A LOT about how much easier life would be without him. I think that’s why he spends as much time as he does outside in his run. I just can’t handle him and all the other stuff in the house.

    Its sad, he was my first baby, and now, he’s just one more nuisance to me. And, honestly I feel really guilty about it.

    I understand where you are coming from. Good luck with whatever you and Dan decide. I’m positive you will make the right decision for your situation.

    Kriss last blog post..Shake, rattle and roll…

  5. Andrea

    July 10, 2008 3:09 pm

    Coming from the other side of the table, Brad and I adopted Max from a family (with a 3yr old & a 18month old) who couldn’t handle her anymore… I know it killed the mom to give up Max, but we were more than happy to take her!!! You have nothing to feel guilty about, if you’re giving him/them away to good families!!!

  6. Jenn

    July 10, 2008 3:27 pm

    I understand how you feel. Though I don’t have any kids making life difficult, sometimes pets can be more work than we are able to give. Before I moved in with my husband I had a dog that was about 40lbs. The place didn’t allow dogs that size and my parents did not want to watch him because it caused problems with their dog. Not to mention M didn’t care for Rusty. I finally listed him in the paper and found a new home for him. The family had land with a huge yard for their animals and he hit it off with their dog. I cried and felt horrible, like I lied and betrayed Rusty. I soon came to realize though that he was better off. He never had a huge yard with me, nor the exercise he needed. I know that what I did was better for his quality of life, giving him the love, attention and exercise he deserved. It is hard to do, you will cry if you do it, you will feel horrible but eventually you will be okay with it if it is what you choose.

    Jenns last blog post..Furniture Furniture Furniture!

  7. Backpacking Dad

    July 10, 2008 6:31 pm

    After my daughter was born two of our cats died from renal failure and the third developed diabetes.

    I don’t think there is any causal link, but it’s hard not to feel guilty about the lack of attention after the baby came.

    Backpacking Dads last blog post..Suburbanity and the Future

  8. Melissa

    July 10, 2008 11:22 pm

    Crap, and I was just going to ask if you wanted MY cats… :P

    I know exactly how you feel – we’ve often contemplated this issue about our two cats since Oliver was born, with the same mixture of frustration and guilt. George and I feel horrible about not doing much more for our cats than providing shelter, food, water, and occasional petting. At this point we’re trying really hard to hold out, but I often feel like we’re being unfair to them and they’d be happier with people who could give them more time and attention. I don’t know.

    It’s a hard decision to make, but your heart is in the right place, either way… good luck.

  9. Animal Rescuer

    July 11, 2008 7:23 am

    I am involved in different animal rescues. Many of the homeless animals come from people like you. The thought their animals were cute, but when a baby arrived or they lost interest, they placed the animal in rescue. They didn’t realize that having a pet is a lifetime commitment to the pup or cat involved.

    Even if you find new homes for them, they will still be traumatized by having to become acclimated to a new home. And the people you place them with could have adopted other homeless animals, so there will be two that will never find homes because yours were placed with them;

    Everyone reading this thread, please do not take an animal into your home unless you are willing to love it, care for it, and cherish it. For life. Not only when they behave. When they puke, when they get sick, when they want a few minutes of your attention even though you are tired. And it scares me that so many people who commented here agree with you and are ready to give up their loving pets too.

  10. Karen

    July 11, 2008 7:44 am

    I know where you’re coming from. There are days when I realize that we just have too much going on here and wonder why on earth I have so many dogs in the house. (I think the answer is clear – I’m mental.)

    When a dog retires from our kennel we’re more selective about finding it a good home than we are the puppies, actually. We want to be sure that it’ll get the time and attention that it deserves, and when it’s placed in a good home I have no guilt or regrets. If you decide to downsize, I’m sure there’s a wonderful home for your cats as well.

    Karens last blog post..Micah’s View of the World

  11. Jen

    July 11, 2008 8:52 am

    @Animal Rescuer: I appreciate and understand your feelings, but I have to tell you- I NEVER thought that I would feel this way, EVER. Growing up, I always wanted a cat and as soon as we bought our house, we got Gracie and Scotty. I knew it would be work and they weren’t just furry and cute- but I am just in a different place now. My priorities have completely changed. Do you have a child? If you do, I’m surprised that you can’t understand. I never thought I’d be running a business from my house and at the same time, taking care of a child. Of all the things in my life right now, unfortunately, the cats are the one thing I could ‘give up’ and let someone else handle. It sounds harsh and horrible, and believe me, I know that! But I just feel like I need to be honest with myself and our family and acknowledge that they have become more of a stress than an enjoyment. Isn’t that what pets are for, to enjoy and love? And lately, nobody’s been having much enjoyment, not even the cats since we have to yell at them for whatever ever 2.5 seconds. It’s not just that ‘I’m tired’. It’s that they are starting to destroy our house that we have put a lot of time and money into!

    That being said, I will not be taking them to an animal rescue or shelter and just leave them there- I would never be able to forgive myself not knowing where they ended up. If we can’t find a specific home where we know they are taken care of, then we will keep them and try to deal with it. We may need to transition them to be outside cats, which I really don’t want to do in our neighborhood, too many people too close together.

    Again, I appreciate your comments and I realize that you have seen a lot of sad situations, which gives you a different perspective. But I’m just trying to be honest and realistic about the situation!

  12. Bobbi

    July 11, 2008 9:13 am

    Several years ago, we had a cat named Skittles that we ended up giving away because she got jealous of the new dog (and later, another cat). She turned into the biggest bitch and peed on everything – my sister’s doll stuff, backpacks with our schoolbooks IN them, etc. My mom just couldn’t handle it anymore – Skittles was taking over our lives with that crap! We all really felt bad because – well, she was our cat – but we knew she would be better off with a family where she was the only pet and could get more attention, etc. You really have to think realistically. At least you aren’t just dropping them off at a shelter. Nine times out of ten, they are killed because there isn’t sufficient room. So I think you’re doing what’s best. Good luck with that decision :-/

    Bobbis last blog post..Holly’s Fund

  13. Jen

    July 11, 2008 9:23 am

    @Andrea: so no labor yet???? :)

    Thanks for your comments… I still have no idea what we’re going to do, we keep debating and debating and debating. We’re tearing out the downstairs carpet tomorrow so maybe after it doesn’t smell so bad and we can actually use our basement, we won’t be so frustrated. And hopefully it will stop the cycle of peeing. argh.

  14. Jen

    July 11, 2008 9:25 am

    @Backpacking Dad: Holy crap, that’s a lot of kitty-drama! I do feel a little bad that we brought a baby into their house and totally threw everything off. But also, it’s a human child which, sorry kitties, is higher on the list than you. Still though: The Guilt runs deep.

  15. Jen

    July 11, 2008 9:27 am

    @Melissa: lol NO MORE CATS, sorry! Dan has already put a moratorium on any new pets, EVER. Of course, I told him that might change when Maggie looks up at him with those big green eyes of hers and says ‘Daddy, can I get a puppy?’ That will be so hard to fight.

    Didn’t I read once that your cat was peeing on your bed?!!? Seriously if ours were doing that, I wouldn’t have even debated: they’d be OUT. That’s just so wrong. You are incredibly patient!!

  16. Andrea

    July 11, 2008 9:53 am

    No labor… Some contractions yesterday morning, but they tapered off and nothing since then… :)

    Just a warning, Max was peeing on the downstairs carpet. We tore it out, and she still peed on the cement floor…. So, I wouldn’t count on tearing the carpet out to stop the bad behaviour, but it is easier to clean up on cement!!! Our vet said that she was sensing that our lives were changing, and she was anxious about it. (We were painting/redoing the baby’s room at the time, so it made sense.) :) The vet suggested paying some extra attention to her. And if the extra attention didn’t work they have these plug-ins that release faramones to help relax cats. We (well, Brad, b/c that’s who she really cares about) makes sure he spends ~5 minutes a night petting her, letting her lay on his lap, cuddling, etc… 5 minutes seems to have done the trick! (For now, we’ll see how it goes once this kiddo gets here!) Of course, Max is a totally different kind of cat than Scotty…. She’s a lot lower energy, I think… She’s 10 year old, she never (EVER) steps on our heads when we’re sleeping, or steals human food, etc…. Scotty just sounds like he’s a handful!!! :)

  17. Jen

    July 11, 2008 6:26 pm

    @Andrea: Yeah we’re not holding out much hope that removing the carpet will stop the peeing… but there’s always a chance, right? As for giving attention- Scotty sleeps with us every night (hence the paws on my head at 3am, heh) and he gets plenty of snuggles in the evenings after Maggie goes to bed and we’re watching tv, so I’m pretty sure that’s not it. It’s just that he’s a pain in the ass. lol He has always been a handful for sure, but it’s just that now my tolerance is down to ZERO.

    Keep us posted on the contractions!! I went swimming at Kristy’s parents’ yesterday with her and the kids and we were making a list of possible names we think you might use :) We can’t wait to know!!!!!!

  18. Just Me

    July 12, 2008 6:57 pm

    I agree with something that was touched on in previous comments…more than likely the cats are reacting to the changes in their home. Acting out or differently = getting attention, which they probably really miss. Ours did the same thing when DH went to work fulltime after having been at home all day with them for a couple years. Two of them also licked themselves half bald just from nervousness. They adjusted. Yours probably will too given time and patience and a little attention. I don’t hate you or think you’re evil or anything, but I also agree that it is a lifelong commitment. I also feel horrible for the poor human kiddos who may well someday think “Mommy gave the kitties away because they were ‘too much trouble’…am I going to be next?”

  19. Just Me

    July 12, 2008 6:59 pm

    Also should add…have they been to the vet lately? Often peeing in a different spot or behavioral changes can signal an underlying health problem. That is the only way they have to let you know about it. As for the carpet…even after you clean it, sometimes they can still smell it there and so that is where they go. Try Odoban or UrineOff or something else with enzymes that can specifically eat pet odors. Do NOT use bleach as the ammonia smell will act just like previous pee markings to them.

  20. Claire

    July 13, 2008 8:20 pm

    Let me see if I got this right: you have two cats, and only one litter box, that you clean out only a few times a week? Um, I don’t mean to sound snarky, but that’s probably the reason why they’re peeing all over your carpet. Not that many people know this, but a good rule of thumb for happy kitties is that you should really have AT LEAST one more box than the number of cats that you have–so for your two-cat household, you should have THREE litter boxes (if you really want to push it, you CAN sometimes get away with just one box per cat, but the cats will be a lot happier if you give them an extra). And, of course, they should be cleaned every day, if AT ALL possible. Cats show their displeasure very directly, so if they’re not happy with their litter situation, they’re GOING to start peeing outside of their boxes, and disciplining them isn’t really going to help. I know that it’s no fun, but come on–neither is peeing in a filthy box that you have to share with your sibling.

    Anyway, I know that you’ve basically already made your decision, but I just wanted to point this out.

  21. Jen

    July 13, 2008 9:02 pm

    @Claire: Yeah I’ve heard the multiple-litter box thing before. The thing is, for three years, sharing the box was just fine for them. They didn’t pee anywhere else! But then something changed (not just the baby arriving, because we’re pretty sure the peeing started before the baby) and that’s when it all started. As for cleaning the box (or boxes) out daily, FORGET IT. I have enough stuff on my list each day, I don’t have an extra half an hour to scoop and clean out three litter boxes every night. Plus seriously? I have no idea where I would even PUT a second or third litter box. The laundry room is already full, and I am sure as heck not putting them out in the main living areas.

    You are right, we have made our decision. It’s not based solely on the peeing, or solely on the annoyances of the kitties for the past 6 months. It’s just an overall quality of living for everyone involved- including the kitties. They’re obviously not happy about something, and we are just at the end of our ropes with how to deal with it. I just hope we can find someone who is able to give them the time they deserve.

  22. An appalled long-time reader

    July 16, 2008 4:00 pm

    Obviously I am in the minority, but I am appalled at you and the majority of your readers who just want to give up their animals because of a behavioral reason that you yourself acknowledge is at least partly your fault. If your daughter is a bed wetter, are you going to put her up for adoption? While that may seem drastic, that is the same message you are sending – that those in your care who have a bad habit that has not been broken yet should be abandoned or pushed off on a relative who has more compassion.

    Seriously? I am surprised you and your readers can turn your/their emotions on and off like that. Obviously you wanted and at least cared for (if not loved) your animals before this. And now you want them out of your life? All your husbands should be scared that you (a collective you) will turn on them in much the same way if they dare miss the toilet seat repeatedly or forget to close the cabinet doors or some other bad habit.

    Honestly, you all would be better off bringing your animals to be euthanized and I write that with the utmost respect for the animal. All they have known is your care and it is difficult for them to know they are being kicked out of your home because they are relieving themselves, but not in a place you approve of. Have you worked with the cats recently? Taken time each day to train them until it becomes second nature? Instead of getting mad at them, teach them, the same way you would do with your daughter. There are so many animals abandoned in shelters already (though I do now you indicated above that you will not bring them to a shelter, which leads me to believe you are just frustrated at this point but considering a drastic action to alleviate your feelings) – but heck, if all 15+ of your readers that responded and said they want to be rid of their animals brought them all down at once, you could open your own shelter. This is a sad observation.

    I offer with best intentions some ways your cats could remain part of your household: 1) commit them to a small area with the litterbox – just like you would a new kitten, and retrain them to use it 2) See if giving them attention, even as you watch tv each day, changes their habits as you mentioned that this might be an issue in your home 3)bring in a behavioralist if their problems are above your threshold.

    But please, don’t EVER bring another living thing in your household – animal or human. Both have needs and if you are so quick to give up on two of the three already living in your house, I pity whomever else enters under the false pretenses of livelong love and committment you initially present.

    Flame away if you must, but your actions need to be called out and I am riled up enough on behalf of your cats to put on my flame-retardant suit take it.

  23. Jen

    July 16, 2008 9:08 pm

    @An appalled long-time reader: heh I have to say- THIS is the reaction I was expecting when I hesitantly posted about our Cat Issue. Though I thought that at least the nay-sayers would be brave enough to leave their names.

    I’m not even sure where to start. First of all, comparing cats to my daughter is just ridiculous. THEY ARE CATS. And while yes, they are living beings and deserve to be treated humanely, they are not humans. They are not my child that I carried in my body for 9 months and birthed. You cannot even compare the two. (And if you yourself have children, I am surprised you would make this comparison.) Also, your comparison of my cats repeatedly urinating on and thus ruining our carpet (and making one entire floor of our house un-liveable) is absolutely not the same as a husband peeing on the seat or a kid peeing the bed. The cats peeing is WAY more destructive than the other two. And it’s way easier to change human behavior than animal behavior, if you ask me.

    As for ‘working with the cats’, what do you suggest I do? Follow them around 24 hours a day and make sure they don’t go in the corner to pee? I have a 15 month old to chase around, and a business to run. Would you like to come to my house and watch my cats for me? I’d be happy for the help! Better yet- do you want to have them???! The problem isn’t that they don’t know how to use the litter box- they use it regularly. I see and hear them pee in it. For whatever reason, they started peeing on the carpet too, and now they just won’t stop. And we’ve tried everything to get rid of the scent, but it will never be completely gone- especially to them because their sense of smell is way more sensitive than ours. So either we move to a new house where there’s no pee smell for them to be attracted to, or they go. That’s the only way to keep them from doing it. We have put way too much time and money into this house to let them ruin it.

    I had to laugh when you mentioned giving them attention and seeing if that helps. Scotty sleeps in bed with us EVERY SINGLE NIGHT, and both he and Gracie get plenty of cuddle time in the evenings if/when we’re watching tv on the couch. Obviously that’s not helping.

    You have a lot of freaking nerve telling me not to bring another living being into my household, human or animal. Talk about JUDGEMENTAL. So you are saying that because I am willing to give my cats to another good home, I’m a terrible mother? That is such bullshit, and you know it. And saying that the cats would be better off being euthanized is just insane. Do you hear yourself?!!? THEY ARE CATS. I am sure they will adjust wherever they end up- and if they don’t, we’ll cross that bridge.

    I suppose it’s just all about perspective. I don’t see that taking my cats to a new, loving home as a ‘drastic’ solution, as you called it. Taking them to a shelter and not worrying about where they’ll end up? Yes, that’s drastic. And we will not do that. If we were going for drastic we would have kicked them out to the curb on Saturday after breathing in cat urine for 8 hours removing the ruined carpet. We were THAT mad.

    I know we will never see eye to eye on this, and that’s fine. I just don’t appreciate someone calling me a bad mother because I want to get rid of my pets. That’s just asinine.

    I’m sure to you, this all seems sudden and out-of-the-blue. But believe me- it’s been months of debate and scrubbing the carpet and trying every spray and cleaner under the sun. We just feel that this is our final option, and however it may seem, I am very upset about it. I sobbed on Saturday night when I realized just how much I would miss my kitties, but this is just what we need to do. They will survive, and we will survive. It will all be fine. You are totally making it into a much bigger deal than it really is.

  24. Danielle

    July 16, 2008 9:20 pm

    I didn’t read through the whole thing, and I didn’t comment before, because honestly, I am not a pet person.

    Whatever makes you happiest will ultimately make your cats happiest.

    And after seeing your carpet… let’s just say I’m sure they’ll be happy somewhere else. Clearly they need something that they aren’t getting in a house with baby priorities (that’s not a dig at all)…

    We had a 100+ pound german shepherd when my first was born. Once the baby came, he was not entertained, not stimulated, I couldn’t take him on walks with the baby because I coudn’t control him and hold (or push) an infant. Basically, he needed to be somewhere where someone could give him something else.

    I loved him. I made sure he went to a great home with my brother, and he is thriving. He would have miserable with me.

    Giving the cats a new home sounds like the right thing to do. And cat pee smell is the worst. It’s not good for a baby…

    Danielles last blog post..Cannon Tries Diet Coke

  25. Backpacking Dad

    July 16, 2008 9:36 pm

    Dear Appalled Long Time Reader:

    Do you know what an equivocation is? It’s a fallacy involving applying the same definition to two different terms in order to analogize. For instance: “I think that all dogs should be neutered. Snoop Dogg is a Dog. Apparently then I think that Snoop Dogg should be neutered.” Now, what just happened here (regardless of whether you believe Snoop Dogg should otherwise be neutered) is that the imaginary person making this argument has equivocated on “dog”: used it in two different ways but argued as though they meant the same thing.

    What you have done with Jen here (repeatedly, but I’ll just point out one) is also an equivocation: “Jen’s cats pee on the carpet. Jen wants to send her cats somewhere else. Jen’s husband probably pees on the floor. So Jen ought to want to send her husband somewhere else.” It sure looks as though Jen ought to want to send her husband somewhere else. If “peeing on the carpet” and “peeing on the floor” were equivalent, which THEY AREN’T. They are each loaded with all kinds of semantic content: cat urine vs. human urine; carpeting vs. floor; difficult fix vs. easy fix.

    Equivocation is a fallacy in critical thinking that they try to beat out of you in the first year of college, if not in high school. It’s probably the one that pisses me off the most, because it’s used by the most obstinate, backward thinkers I’ve ever encountered.

    You have condemend Jen and those readers who support her decision, and you have suggested that she shouldn’t bring any more living things into her home because she would somehow be irresponsible and abandon them on a whim. Do you know something? I used to have 3 cats. Now I have one, and one child. When my first cat suffered renal failure we had no children and we spent thousands of dollars and hours of time every day caring for her. For a year and a half, to keep her alive. After my child was born my second cat suffered a renal failure, and do you know what? KIDS CHANGE THE EQUATION. I no longer had the emotional resources (much less financial resources) to try to pull off another miracle of care.

    So we put him down quickly.

    Kids change the equation. If you have kids, and they aren’t worth any more to you than your pets, then YOU are the one who has a problem. Not Jennifer.

    Backpacking Dads last blog post..Lying is just love in disguise

  26. Andrea

    July 16, 2008 10:17 pm

    Wow, “Apalled” sure had a strong opinion, and was very willing to share it, and yet they were not even willing to leave a first name. One word, Coward!

    Now, two things- I saw your pictures and you & Dan should have been wearing aspirators and not just dust masks when working with all of that ammonium-filled carpet… I know, too late now, and besides who has an aspirator that you could borrow!?!?!? (Silly chemist-girl that I am, I do…) :)

    Second, if you find any cat pee anywhere else, on carpet that you want to keep, I have a kit that- honest-to-goodness- lifts everything out of the carpet! I’ll send you the website once we get home and I can look at my kit and remember the name… :)

  27. Melissa

    July 16, 2008 11:45 pm

    Dear Appalled Long Time Reader:

    Get some balls…and give us the name of your blog. Muah ha ha….

    I surprised you didn’t read MY comment and come jump on me for giving away my cat when he started spraying at MY place. :p

  28. Jen

    July 17, 2008 8:23 am

    @Andrea: Do you think that kit would work on concrete? There are no other carpet spots (we only have carpet left in a few places in the house) but there’s still a faint scent in the corners on the concrete and the wood paneling that I’d like to try to get out before we cover it up with the new carpet.

    Dan did the heavy-lifting when it came to the pee-soaked carpet (I was outside working on organizing the garage) but I made him wear that dust mask (incidentally, the same one you gave us 2 yrs ago when he had to start scooping the litter! lol) I figured at least it would help with all the dusty stuff under the padding… but actually, that afternoon, he had a HORRIBLE headache and had to go lay down for a while. Do you think that may have had something to do with the ammonium?? eeek! Just another reason why I am glad to get that crap out of my house.

    Now go kiss your new baby :)

  29. An appalled long-time reader - Jennifer

    July 17, 2008 4:14 pm

    In the amount of time it took you to reply to that post, you could have cleaned the litter box, changed the water, and put out fresh kibble for your cats. Some priorities.


  30. Jen

    July 17, 2008 4:14 pm

    @An appalled long-time reader – Jennifer: Again with the judging. My cats are fed, the litter box is scooped, and the water is fresh.

  31. Nichole

    August 15, 2008 12:09 am


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