Crimes of a Cat

We have a cat, Joe, who’s lived with us now for 6 or so years. He was a shelter cat, picked up from a no-kill shelter to be a companion for our other cat, Harley. Joe wasn’t a kitten when we got him, but we’re not really sure how old he is. He’s lived a good life with us, been reasonably well-behaved and is definitely a gentle and loving cat.

The problem: we had our basement renovated, including getting new carpet installed. Joe has now decided that that carpet is much to be preferred over his litter box for a portion of his daily activities. Joe’s gotta go.

Just to reassure folks that we’re not animal-dumpers, we’ve actually invested a fair amount of time and dollars in solving this problem with this cat. This has been fairly long and involved, as I’m horribly biased against getting rid of animals for reasons of inconvenience. And like I said, he’s a generally good cat. He just seems to think that this particular carpet is more appealing than litter. The vet checked him out and gave us the non-reassuring news that it’s behavioral, rather than physical. As in, he’s just chosen to do things this way: there’s nothing physically wrong with him.

So, tomorrow (I think) I’ll be taking Joe to live with my mom, in hopes that her carpet isn’t as appealing. This solution has its drawbacks, in that it (of course) comes with strings attached. Mom’s pushing that we not get any more cats because she doesn’t want any more “dumped” on her. I’m allergic to cats and really not a fan of litter box duty: it’s an easy enough constraint, though I’m chafing at the idea that she thinks that because she’s volunteered to take the cat and in fact is unhappy with the idea that I’d give him to anyone else that she’s entitled to then claim that I’ve “dumped” the cat on her. I haven’t decided just how much to point that out to her, or to point out that in fact in our family’s history she “dumped” two cats who were similarly causing destruction in our family’s newly refurbished basement into another home. Keeping those quietly in my back pocket for family peace…

So, Joe, you’ve been a good cat till now, and I’ll be happy to visit you at Mom’s. But your pooping ways just can’t stay and our attempts to cure you have been for naught. Harley will just have to pick on someone else…

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