We have a cat. Her name is Zoe. Zoe is a very sweet cat. We love Zoe.
Debbie has a cat. Her name is Alara. Alara is a very sweet cat. We love Alara.
We have two cats in all. Together they are a problem. Today that will change.
Before Debbie moved in with us and brought Alara with her, everything was fine. Zoe's litter box was in the laundryroom. Once in a blue moon she would pee somewhere in the house, but only because Pepper had shut the laundryroom door, closing off her litter box access. When Alara entered the picture, the trouble began. Both cats felt is was necessary to mark their territory. So they did, in various places around the house including but not limited to: the closet under the stairs, Pepper's bed, Matt's briefcase, the pile of clean laundry in the living room, my favorite sweater, and the wet towel left on the floor in the kids' room.
We began locking the cats in the laundryroom every time we had to leave the house. But two cats don't like being locked in the laundryroom, and by the look of the laundryroom when we came home, you would think two large dogs had been left in there instead of two small cats. So we moved the cats and litter box into the garage. All went well for the first week or two. And then we discovered something about Alara: she won't use the cat box if it is not cleaned out at least once a day. Unfortunately, by the time we learned this, she had already begun using various hard-to-reach places in the garage in lieu of the litter box. Of course, Zoe had to retaliate. End result--a garage that reeks of cat urine, which is, in my opinion, one of the grossest smells on earth!
The cat pee smell is no respecter of doors, and seeps into the house from the garage. NASTY! I have been burning candles constantly, and regularly opening windows to air out the house. This morning when I came home from Bible study, I walked in the door and was almost knocked over by the intensity of the smell. Debbie had left the door from the kitchen into the garage open. That was the straw that broke the camel's back. I put down my purse, put on my iPod, and charged into the garage to rid it of the stench.
The garage is also set up as a playroom for the kids. All their books are on shelves out there, and almost all their toys are there, too. They have a large table for drawing and playdough, and plenty of open space in which to ride their bikes. This morning that room needed to be cleaned up, so while I began sweeping, Snapper came out to put books and toys away. As she cleaned, she discovered that Alara has taken a liking to peeing on books (yes, we can tell the difference between Alara-pee and Zoe-pee). Almost every book Snapper had left on the floor overnight had been peed on. The lid of the toy box had been left off, and Alara had peed in the toy box. The trunk of sports equipment had been left open, and Zoe had peed in there.
As I cleaned I got angrier and angrier. The more I cleaned, the more pee I found. Pee on bag of lawn fertilizer. Pee on rollerblades. Pee on jumper cables. Pee on workbench. Pee on top of refrigerator. Pee on crib mattress. Pee on work gloves. Pee on table. Pee on floor. Pee on suitcase. Pee on disc golf bag. PEE FREAKIN' EVERYWHERE! So for close to 3 hours I cleaned with a vengeance. I swept. I mopped. I gagged. I threw away books, stuffefd animals, and other unwashables. I cried. I steamed. I mopped. I gagged some more. I sorted toys to be washed. I reorganized boxes. I thanked God that I stored all my Christmas ornaments in sealed plastic tubs. I mopped. I sprayed odor-stopping spray. I burned candles. I plugged in the Glade air freshener. And then I crashed. In that mad process, I used a whole spray bottle of Lysol, 3 Swiffer pads, and almost a whole container of Swiffer fluid.
My garage looks beautiful, and smells much better. The kids once again have a sanitary place to play. My next task is moving everything I keep in the laundryroom out to the garage. That way there will be nothing for the cats to destroy in the laundryroom, because they are moving back in there. With nowhere to pee but the litterbox or the floor, things should improve. I will be cleaning the litterbox MYSELF every day, because I don't trust anyone else in teh house to do it. If things don't improve, though, Alara is going back to Spokane in January when Debbie goes to visit. And Zoe will be having a catheter installed!