Meet the Cats

Today, I’m back with another post about the rest of the animals in my crazy house. This week it’s the cats’ turn. I meant to post this last week, but I got a bit overwhelmed last week and needed to take a bit of a break.

We’ve always had cats at my house ever since I was born. My house already had dogs, so somehow I ended up acquiring cats. We currently have three, which I now know in hindsight is WAY too many. Given that I’m 22, living at home, and have three cats, I tend to come off as some crazy cat lady, so let me defend myself really quick, because I’m not. I like all animals. If it were possible, I’d probably have three sloths instead because I find them quite amusing and adorable, but I assume they don’t make good pets. I’d have dogs if I didn’t already have two, and I didn’t have to let them out. For my lazy lifestyle, cats just work better. I can leave for a day or two and as long as they have some food and a flushed toilet {more on that in a bit…} they’re okay. They don’t require that much care.

So that brings me to the cats I have now.

abu-mokey-kittens

The oldest is Abu, named after the monkey in Aladdin. He’s around 9 years old. I got him and his “adopted brother”, Mokey, when I was in high school. He could fit in the palm of my hand when I got him. Now he’s a massive 19lbs. Mokey sadly passed away, but Abu is still quite active for a fat cat. He’s got the personality and looks of Garfield usually, but he can be quite silly at times especially when he poses like this.

abu-silly

abu-remi

Back Camera

After Mokey passed away, I felt Abu needed a friend. I found Skyler at a local Petsmart. She was adorable and also quite cuddly and accepting for a kitten. She came home with me a short 30 minutes later. I honestly wondered what I had done when I brought her home. Abu HATED her, and she turned into a completely different cat. It was non-stop growling for about a month until I discovered the Comfort Zone Cat Diffuser, and Abu and Skyler became friends. Abu accepted her, but unfortunately, she never really accepted anyone else in the house. She’s a few years old now, but she still hates every person in the house but me. I almost feel bad for her because she wants the attention so bad, but if anyone gets near her, she screams bloody murder and goes into full on attack mode.

Normally two cats is the magic number in our house. With only one, they tend to imitate the dogs. Two gives them a cat role model and someone to play with.

BUT… my former roommates cats ended up getting together and having A LOT of kittens. I’m not even sure what the final number was, but I ended up falling in love with one of the first four. I didn’t need another cat. I just figured I could provide a better life for him than he’d have gotten anywhere else, and I already had 2 so honestly what was one more… Apparently that one more is the magic number that makes you seem like a crazy cat lady.

chase-remi-kitten

 

In any event, I brought Chase home. Again, Abu hated him, and Skyler was confused. This time I was prepared with those diffusers though and the process went much more smoothly. Now two years later, they are all best friends. Abu has someone to cuddle with at night. Skyler has someone to run around the house with. Surprisingly, his favorite friends happen to be the dogs in the house, and now I’m not entirely sure he understands he’s a cat. He’s chewed up a number of shoes and other things in the house. He plays fetch. He sits and speaks on command. He even sits on the sofa just like the dogs and watches the birds with them.

abu-chase

all-three

So now you know the cats who have thankfully become one big happy family, so I guess I have to explain my reference to a flushed toilet earlier in this post. This is usually the part that solidifies everyone’s idea that I’m a crazy cat lady….I toilet trained my cats. Yes, I know that it’s weird. I myself still find it weird to be woken up in the middle of the night to a cat in my bathroom, but the practicality of it all outweighs the weirdness in my opinion.

Vets advise that the rule of thumb for litter boxes is 1 box per cat + 1. Well in my case, that’s a total of 4 boxes. My cats stay in my room when I’m not home, and my room is large, but not large enough for 4 litter boxes. Not to mention, can you imagine how much of a chore it would be to keep 4 of them clean! I obviously didn’t stick to that rule. They happily shared one massive box that I kept in my bathroom. Twice every day, I had to clean out the box. If I was particularly motivated, I took the old litter outside. Otherwise it went in a litter trash can until I felt like taking it out. When I wasn’t cleaning the box, I was sweeping up litter because Chase thought he needed to dig his way to China. My life, needless to say became dominated by that litter box, and I hated it.

I had heard about toilet training cat before and actually considered training one of my previous cats, but we decided against it because at the time, it would have involved my parents’ bathroom which is also accessible from our family room. I imagined someone waking up in the middle of the night or worse a guest not realizing the litter and being pretty annoyed at me so I decided against it. Things were different now though. The cats’ used my personal bathroom, and I was a bit more understanding considering I was the one dealing with the litter chaos. On a whim, I took the plunge into what ended up being one of the most worthwhile but frustrating projects I’ve ever undertaken.

Morning, day, and night, I found myself potty-potty training cats. {It’s still so freaking weird to say…} The package said it could be done in 8 weeks. I’m here to say that’s a flat out lie. Maybe it’s different with just one cat, but I’ve lost track of how long it’s been since I started. I’m on the very last step of the kit (just the seat part that held the different trays), and I really don’t see that ending any time soon. Given our downstairs kitchen sink {that we never use} or a bath mat, they still would rather use them, but I try to look at the bright side of things. I’m always mindful of what is on my bathroom floor so that it doesn’t become a place to pee or poop so now it’s always tidy. I’m not making weekly trips to Petsmart or lugging almost half my weight in cat litter up and down the stairs all the time. The money I save on cat litter can now be put to use buying them better food and other things. I’m not spending my days with litter pieces stuck between my toes. I don’t have to scoop a litter box twice a day or more, and I don’t have to see one either. A simple toilet flush is a lot easier especially when I have to ask someone to watch them when I’m gone.

So there’s my little rant on toilet training. Is it weird? Yes, totally. It makes me look like an insane crazy cat lady, but do I regret doing it? Absolutely not, because I know I’m not crazy, I’m just a lazy pet owner, and I have saved myself a lot of time and money. The convenience of it is has been so worth it.

 

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