Saturday, August 21, 2010

The Gift of the Felii

The smell of grapefruit pervades throughout.

I have spent an astonishing percentage of the last two days dealing with things that can be filed under the general heading of “the price you pay for owning cats.” I am not sure why I am being faced with so many prices and so few benefits of late, but there it is. It probably has to do with our vacation.

The past two nights, for example, have seen epic battles for lebensraum on our mattress, as the kitties seek reassurance that we are still there while we seek a night’s rest without cramps. We always win that battle, as measured by who throws whom off the bed, but it’s not a particularly satisfying victory as measured by REM sleep.

My car has also been covered with all manner of muddy footprints from cats newly liberated from the house and eager to revisit their old haunts in the garage. Tria in particular loves to climb from the hood to the windshield to the roof and then jump up onto the raised garage door. She prowls around for a while and then – WHAM! – she leaps back down onto the car. She can do this for hours. Someday I will try to close the garage door at an inopportune time and what an experience that will be.

These problems are not all that far removed from normal life, however.

What is new is that the cats apparently decided that the nice clean litter box that we left them while we were away was simply not good enough. And, naturally, they decided that the proper substitute for said litter box was the brand new carpeting in my office.

We were gone for fourteen days – twelve if you don’t count the day we left and the day we came back. By my calculations they must have started sometime as the car left the driveway and continued until they heard the key in the door on Thursday evening.

It was, in a way, impressive.

So there has been cleaning. And spraying. And a symphony of creative linguistics enabled by the fact that the girls were safely in bed when the reality of the situation presented itself.

One of the secrets we’ve learned over the years is that if you want to keep cats out of a certain space and there isn’t a physical barrier such as a door, the thing to do is line it with aluminum foil trays (which crinkle in a way they don’t like) and then fill the trays with citrus oil. And since we still have a fair amount of grapefruit essential oil left over from our soapmaking days, this was not hard to do.

It certainly smells a lot better in here these days.

But I find myself inexplicably hungry.


KimK said...

Just don't eat the foil, OK? :) It doesn't satisfy the hunger in spite of its shiny and crinkly awesomeness.

And by the way, no need to be polite. We know the little shit - pun intended - is Tria. T is for Tria; T is for trouble.

Katherine McKay said...

Tria merely expressed her opinion of your choice of decor.

Unknown said...

"Oh NO!! Oh NO!!!" were my first thoughts... then
"What about the cat-sitter?"
"How often was the box cleaned?"
"Is this the first time they were left alone?"
"Is this the first time they were left alone for so long?"
Inquiring cat lovers want to know.
Sorry for your carpet, though.
That's a real bummer.