Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Bad Habits

Rory and I both like the Book Review section, but for different reasons

My basement has had a bad odor for a while. I wasn’t too concerned at first. All the houses on my side of the street get water in the basement, so it always smells kinda funky down there. But this wasn’t the usual mildew smell. And it wasn’t a dead animal smell either. I don’t have to worry about that. I have the Fur Patrol Pest Control service. My cats catch and kill any vermin that sneaks into my house and then deposit the remains on my kitchen floor for me to dispose of.

No, this smelled very much like cat poop. Which was very strange because my guys have excellent litterbox manners. The smell has been growing stronger. I finally decided to have a look around this past weekend while I was dragging ornament boxes upstairs. I was horrified to find . . . a big pile of cat poop. Horrified not because I have cat poop in my basement. That’s easily cleaned up. I was horrified because it means that at least one of my cats is having litterbox issues which usually signals illness. The question was which cat?

My basement does not have a door so all three cats wander freely up and down the stairs. It’s their favorite hiding place when visitors come to the door. Except Rory, of course. He works very hard at fulfilling his duties as Official Greeter. When he is not welcoming guests, he too likes to spend time in the basement. I usually see him in the laundry room.

Today, I lucked out. I heard the familiar sound of post-poop scratching and ran down the basement stairs to see who it was. And there was Rory, hiding under a table looking very guilty. He was probably very surprised when I didn’t yell at him.

Another piece of luck: I have to make an appointment to take Tuvok, the big Maine Coon, to the vet for his annual check-up. At 22 pounds, it’s always an event when he goes to the vet in his enormous carrier. Everyone in the waiting room wants to know what kind of an animal is inside because all they can see is a big ball of fur quaking in fear in the back. I’ll make two appointments and bring them both in at the same time. I’m only willing to do that because they travel in carriers.

Many years ago when I was married and owned two dogs, the vet suggested that I bring both in at the same time instead of making two trips. Much like Communism, this was an idea that sounded good in theory but in practice was disastrous. Getting two dogs into the car was a breeze. What dog doesn’t like going for a ride in the car? No, it was once we were underway that the trouble began. Both dogs decided that the best seat in the car was in my lap.

My dog, a Cocker Spaniel, fit into my lap very nicely. It was a little difficult reaching around her for the stick shift but still doable. Then the Dalmatian, my husband’s dog, climbed into my lap. Not only was there no room, but he was so large that I couldn’t see around him. Imagine that you are driving down a local New Jersey road and come upon a Volvo seemingly driven by a Dalmatian and weaving all over the road.

Fortune was smiling on us that day. We made it safely to the vet and back. Ever since then, I have always brought my pets to the vet one at a time.


DebMc said...

Ahhh, the joys of pet ownership. I hope Rory has an easy to fix problem. Litterbox issues are no fun.

I had to LOL over taking two dogs to the vet at the same time. I've always done that. The best day was when I had a baby in a backpack carrier and my two German Shepherds. Luckily, my 'girls' the German Shepherds were well trained and obedient. Still, it was a challenge.

OldRoses said...

It would be so much easier if pets could talk and tell us what is wrong.

Yolanda Elizabet said...

That last bit of your post cracked me up, what a great sight that must have been to see a Dalmatian drive a car. ;-)

I hope Rory is OK, it doesn't have to be a health problem, it can be something else too. Perhaps he _feels_ he's not getting enough attention from you? My cat Chuck used to poop on the doormat when he felt neglected. That would be my cue for putting in extra cuddling sessions with Chuck and all would be right as rain once again. As you have 3 cats, it could be the same thing. Worth a try if the vet can't find anything wrong with Rory.

BTW my vet came to visit me every once in a while because going to the vet with 8 cats or more would be silly. ;-)

OldRoses said...

Strangely enough, now that the Christmas tree is out of the house, there has been no more pooping in the basement. I have my fingers crossed that Rory was just upset at the change in his environment.