Friday, July 29, 2005

The Cat Issue

I have a problem. A big ethical dilemma. We moved into Grandma's house on the basis that we'd do the basic upkeep, pay the mortgage and utility bills, and inherit her cat. So a female cat, who we’ll call b&w because she’s black and white, joined our troops. Now I feel bad for b&w. She had a friend, Grandma's labrador, who passed away about a year to a year and a half before Grandma did. So first she loses her buddy, then Grandma dies a year later, then she's all alone except for someone coming in once a week to fill multiple food and water bowls and do her litter. She's alone in this predicament for six months. Then, lo and behold, we take her in with two cats and a Chow Chow. And as if that wasn’t bad enough, March brought a 110 lb. German Shepherd.

Some of the problems existed before anything bad happened to b&w’s world. Back when grandma was healthy and the lab was there, b&w was sort of a mean cat. She'd bite Grandma periodically. I also know that she didn't always use her litter box because I'd see cat turds three or four feet away from the box in the basement, and also I saw a couple behind Grandma's couch. (Which I cleaned up when she wasn't looking.) So although the cat has been through hell, and I feel bad for her, she's proven she's no angel.

Here's the deal now. She's meaner than hell to the other animals. We have a big animal family. Everyone has to be nice. She attacks my other cats. I've seen this. She also likes to go to the bathroom anywhere she feels the need to go. Laundry baskets full of clothes. Hampers. Pile of towels on the bathroom floor. I've NEVER tolerated that sort of behavior from an animal before. So we ran a bit of a test to make sure we weren't crazy. We put b&w in the basement with her own litterbox and supplies. Our cats were upstairs on the second floor. This remained for three months. There were no cat fights. No surprise bouts of smelly cat pee. No dried up turds cropping up behind the couch. Life was beautiful. However, any time I left baskets or piles of laundry in the basement, they'd magically be peed on. Hmm. I guess b&w, without a doubt, is the culprit of all evil, right?

So we talked about getting rid of her and how to go about it. We felt guilty. It was Grandma's cat and all. So we decided that maybe she was just angry being all alone. We let her upstairs. She peed on my faux fur blanket. The upstairs suddenly smelled faintly of cat piss. (I have moved ALL furniture and shampooed carpets up there no less than six times since we've lived there. All because of this cat.) Peeing on the faux fur blanket was a problem for b&w. I happen to be queen of the house, and I was very displeased. B&w was banished once again to the basement, and I emailed Sweetie's dad to ask for advice. His advice was not welcomed. He simply said to kill it or put it to sleep and then tell the family it just died. Well, I can't bring myself to do that. Or at least I couldn't. Now things are a little different. We came home last night, and I flopped down on the bed. My two fingers ended up in a small pile of cat crap. Yes. Right there on my BED. No lie. I screamed and jumped up, then realized what the deal was and cleaned it. Sweetie went hunting and found b&w, and took her to the basement by her scruff. That kind of behavior is pure acting out on the part of an intelligent animal. She's pissed off, and she's letting us know.

That was the last straw. But I don't know what to do. Do I leave this cat permanently in the basement, say nothing, and then just inform Sweetie’s aunt that we're not taking her when we go? Or do I give her away? Or do I have her put down?

I refuse to live with this ongoing filth. Gross. She doesn't bother me in the basement, because she either goes in the litter box or on the concrete floor, which is not hard to clean up once a week. (Although I can say I would never do it for a cat that wasn't Grandma's and I didn't feel horribly guilty about.)

What would you do? In my shoes, I mean. Honestly people, it shit on my bed. What should I do?


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