Thursday, February 16, 2012

Couch? Toilet?

Yes, that's my couch enveloped in a flashy layer of aluminum foil. It's all the rage now, yo.

Potty training a puppy is one thing - you expect to have accidents throughout the first 6-8 months. But what do you do when your cat, who is old enough to know better, decides the world is his litter box?

I use the term “potty training” loosely, obviously the dog isn't using the toilet. You know what I mean.

It took a good 6 months to get Meatball to signal properly when he needed to go outside, then another three months before he could hold it long enough that he wasn't signaling every hour on the hour.

The cat is another thing.

Leo's been a good cat. He learned to use the litter box quickly, and never had accidents. Unlike our first cat, our beloved Tracy-Cat, who frequently enjoyed playing poo-hockey with her desiccated turds. Thankfully, it only lasted for a few weeks during kitten-hood.

Leo's sedentary life was turned upside down once we brought the dog home. Did you know that dogs eat everything, and ANYTHING? This would include dog food, cat food , cat litter - including said litter's tasty tasty contents.

The cat box resided in a closet, so the door was closed up except when the puppy was being crate trained, and therefore, unable to access it. Same with the food. Up on the counter so puppy can't get it. There was ample time for Leo to eat and do the needful, but he was usually indulging in more interesting things like sleeping, or teasing the crated dog.

Most of the time this situation worked out okay, but one day we noticed the couch in our back room looked....weird. It had a blotchy yellow sheen to it. Since I don't work from home anymore, we don't use the room much. As you can see from the photo above, it's an old, putty colored, “leather” (or so they claimed) lump. Ugly and oversized for the small back room, but it served it's purpose for 12 years. Apparently it's purpose now was adjunct toilet for the cat.

Why he picked there, I have no idea. Maybe because the room isn't used often, maybe he had an axe to grind with the couch. He must have been doing this for a while, because the underside of the cushions showed each subsequent level of urine stain, much like rings on a tree.

At this point, everyone is thinking, “Didn't you SMELL it?”. Well, actually... no.

I have no idea why. Maybe he drinks a lot of water, but it didn't smell, and I'm just thankful for that anomaly.

Of course I was completely skeeved out – I wanted that thing GONE. The carpet too, simply because it was too close to Leo's pee cooties.

Hubby wanted to see if we could salvage it, or at least make it less likely to get peed on until we get it to the dump. We bought several bottles of Urine Off and saturated the couch. Urine Off works great by the way. It didn't matter, I wasn't EVER sitting on that piece of furniture again.

I should also point out that the back room is a small, sunken room, accessible only by bare wood steps. Meatball is afraid to go down them, and we've reinforced that. Maybe that's why the cat picked that room – the one place the dog isn't allowed. With that revelation, I moved the litter box back there too.

Leo christened the couch a few more times, so after dousing it with magical Pee-B-Gone, it's now engulfed in aluminum foil. Oh yeah, I find little pin holes in the foil now and again, so I know he's tried to walk over it, or taste it, but we haven't had any pee problems as long as we keep the couch covered.

There's only been one other incident.

I'm very diligent about cleaning the litter box. However, I went on a business trip, and the day I came back it was time to clean the box. It was late, I was tired, I went to bed. Bad decision.

Next morning, the entire downstairs smelled like a sewage treatment plant on a hot day. There had to be a turd somewhere, probably one the size of a football, I just couldn't find it.

Then I did. Under my desk. A turd of epic proportions. A protest poo.


Anyway, I think we've fixed everything now. As long as the couch is foiled and the litter box is consistently cleaned, "V For Vendetta" Kitteh rests quietly at my feet.

By the way, on the next nice day above 50 degrees, you best be sure Hubs and I will be outside chain-sawing that lump of leather into pieces and hauling it to the dump. And the carpet too.


Cheryl said...

Yikes! Leo is acting like a child that regresses when a new baby is born! Hopefully no other "accidents". We understand with the doggie nibbles as well. Dobby's food is on top of an old 2-drawer file cabinet so chubby beagle cannot reach it and his litter box now resides INSIDE our guest bathtub because he was eating out of it. For Alamo it's more of a concern because of his past medical problems eating the poop or cat food could kill him. Love my animals, but sometimes things are quite difficult.

Jen said...

It's always a challenge with the doggie and kitteh. I just want to stop feeling like I'm awash in urine :)