About 4 years, 30 pounds, and 3 cats ago my luck on animals ran out. As a child, I had the most patient, kind husky, Nick. My cat who moved out with me, Tiger, was one of the best roommates I’ve ever had despite the fact he owes me $6,240 in rent. He paid me in cuddles so no grudges here. My girlfriend’s dog, Maddie falls into the patient category as well. I’d call her kind but she steps on my face at night to get closer to her “real mother”. Grudges are held, Maddie!
Then there was Jordy…
When my girlfriend, Rachel, and I started dating and I was over at her house I would do what any normal nervous person would do and insistently pet the cat, Jordy. The more I visited the stronger my relationship with Jordy got. Did I mention I was there to build a relationship with her human parent? Yeah, I went in to get one girlfriend and ended up with two. Definitely not complaining. They had dark hair, so both were my type.
Turns out the human girlfriend ended up being my favorite as she never started to eliminate on my stuff, humans are good like that. You guessed it, Jordy did. My backpack, guitar case, pillow and spot on the couch. All of it had fallen into the grasps of her evil urine of doom. Maybe that’s an exaggeration, but having a cat who won’t use a litter box is something I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy. Ok maybe my worst enemy, but definitely not my second worst enemy. It was awful, and the house was a handful and a half to clean.
My girlfriend and I tried everything. New litterboxes, more litterboxes, different litter, secluding her to a smaller space, nothing worked. Finally, my sister, behavior counselor for Real Pet Behavior, Tara Houser, stepped in to help. She noticed Jordy’s behavior linked to me. Although obvious, I didn’t spot it at the time; in hindsight, I’m an idiot. Tara knew just the right questions to ask and got to the bottom of it. She went from being in insistently petted to basically nothing. I got busy, things were less awkward around my girlfriend and I had less focus for the cat. We established that I needed to start paying attention to her. Yes, it was a little frustrating at first to come home and only pay attention to the cat for five minutes so she felt like she was still the number one girlfriend in my life; but hey, my new backpack makes all the ladies love me and it doesn’t reek of urine. Win.
Cat urinating is one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to deal with. It’s difficult and smelly. Good news? My sister (and me!!) are here for you. It’s common and solvable and buying new things after the fact makes the whole thing worth it. Like who doesn’t like shopping?