Okay, not so little. I’ve decided to pull up all the carpeting in my entire house. My house is small in comparison to most homes these days, but it’s still a big project by my standards. Especially since I’m going to do it on my own.
I’ve had a little problem over the past four years, and that problem has four paws, a tail, and the sweetest little round face you ever did see. My Lil’ Bit is one of two sister tabbies I adopted over eleven years ago. It started with a urinary tract infection and has been an on-again, off-again problem with inappropriate behavior. Which means: she thinks of the wall-to-wall carpet as a soft, two-ply, cat box to pee on.
That was about the time I got laid-off, and once she was treated for the UTI and back to her box, I replaced a section of flooring in my entry and hall. I chose a beautiful ebony finished bamboo, thinking I could expand it throughout the house later. It has always been my dream to have wood flooring, and I saw no reason to think I couldn’t eventually have it.
Then came the long nightmare of being unemployed. The years passed, the cat continued to do her thing, and I had no choice but to live with the heartbreaking problem. Year after year, I harbored the hope I’d find permanent work and be able to do something about the ruined carpet.
In the meantime, I did everything I could to get her to stop. I was a regular at my Vet’s office, so much so, I stopped counting the money I spent. I even took her to a behavior specialist but most of what she suggested I had already done. I tried special drops in her water, essential oils and pheromones to calm, sprays she liked and sprays she didn’t like. I keep four cat boxes and converted my main bath to be their own private powder room. I clean at least twice, sometimes three or four times a day. They are provided with both covered and uncovered cat boxes, and I mix a special blend of litter for them after testing different options, and make sure to keep it at a certain level, not too much, not too little.
I buy cleaner by the gallon, and have cleaned, and cleaned, and cleaned. I’ve even invented new things to do, the latest small bath rugs (cotton, with no rubber backing) folded in half inside a cat box that she seems to like for peeing on. I wash a load every day with bleach, two to four rugs a day (note: cats are actually attracted to the scent of bleach, thus the reason some cats pee on piles of laundry).
I researched online, read books, and cried buckets and buckets of tears. Out of desperation, I started letting them both outside in my fenced back yard (my girlies are very tiny and cannot get over it – so they are protected, promise) and they do love it – even beg to go out when I’m home. Lil’ Bit gets anti-anxiety medication every day to calm her nervous nature (another note: pill popper – it’s a miracle thingy) and still, she likes the carpet.
Not all the time, she’d go months using the boxes like a good girl. Then out of the blue, she’d start in. I’d clean and cover each area with plastic carpet runner; I’ve been living with it everywhere, tripping on it a few times every dang day. As I covered one area, she’d expand to another. I was ashamed to have anyone come over; ashamed of my problem. My life was a disaster, and totally miserable. I had been cast into my secret Pee Cat hell.
In the past year, I have realized I love her too much to consider any alternatives, so I’ve stopped struggling with the dilemma. Lil’ Bit is by far the sweetest, most loving cat I’ve ever had. Period. So this time when she started again, I decided I couldn’t live with it any longer. My sanity and happiness was worth more than what it would cost me to replace every bit of carpeting in my house. The logic, remove the temptation altogether.
That, my friends, is the story leading up to my decision to rip it all out. I will be writing as I progress with my project, so stay tuned for the rest of the tale. The next installment – what I have decided to replace it with and why.