the morning's surprise

This morning definitely did not start out well.

We overslept, for one thing. After two mornings of waking up early and having plenty of time to get ready for school, we ALL overslept today!

After I got the kids dressed, I went into the kitchen to get their breakfast ready. The first thing I see when I turn the light on is the place where Gizmo, aka Evil Kitteh, aka Bane of My Existence, left a present on the kitchen floor. Completely missing his litter box.

It was, quite frankly, the last straw for me. Y’all excuse me while I rant for a little while.

The ONLY thing that saved that cat from going outside permanently this very morning was my baby girl’s tears. I couldn’t let her go to school like that, upset about that dang cat.

He started out as an indoor cat when we first got him, about 8 years ago. When our daughter was a baby, she stayed sick all the time and was finally diagnosed with asthma before her first birthday. So outside he went. He seemed to love being outside, so I didn’t worry about it.

Then came the time for us to move here. I had no idea about the animal situation in the neighborhood, whether there were dogs running around, cats that would beat the snot out of him. (Let’s face it, our cat got picked on a lot.) So we made the decision to let him stay inside the new house for a while, until we figured that out. Our daughter’s asthma was better, and that has yet to be an issue.

At first, everything was okay. He wasn’t so bad inside. Then its like he got a little too comfortable in his surroundings. He jumped on the furniture. He’s a long hair cat, and I cannot stand having cat hair on everything. He was smart about it, he never did it while we were in the room. Eventually my beloved microsuede couch started to have a distinct cat smell. I Febrezed the crap out of it, and I started spreading blankets on the couch every night before bed so he wouldn’t touch the couch fabric. I’d get up every morning and roll the blankets up so we could sit down without cat hair getting all over our clothes, and I’d wash the blankets once a week. But then I started noticing the blankets never would become free of cat hair no matter how many times I washed them. I bought him a cat bed, which he turned his nose up at for a solid month. He sleeps in it during the day, and at night gets all over the furniture. He also gets in the kids rooms and lays all over their beds, and that is something I can’t tolerate. He bats their small toys around and gets them under the dressers so I have to dig them out, not to mention I suspect he has eaten a few tiny pieces of our daughter’s toys. So my latest tactics have been to shut off all the bedrooms every time we walk out of them, and I have taken to spreading three laundry baskets across the big couch and a big wicker basket on the recliner so he can’t get on them. Its quite a scene, and I’m so sick of having to remember to cover everything up and shut all the doors, and having to clear a spot just to sit down.

And I haven’t even mentioned the litter box! I spend the first twenty minutes of every morning, after I get the kids off to school, cleaning up the cat’s mess in the kitchen. He has a huge box, should be plenty of room for him to do his business, yet he still manages to fling litter all over the floor. So I got him a “sticky” mat for in front of the box, so when he steps out the litter would stick to that. Well, that only made him fling the litter further out into the floor, completely missing the mat most of the time. When he eats, he knocks food out of the bowl constantly, and whereas most cats will eventually eat that too, Gizmo will not. He’s apparently too good to eat his own food off the floor, and also to eat the last bits of food from the bowl. I spend more time sweeping up cat litter and food from him than I do having to clean up after the kids.

Not to mention, lately he has taken to pawing and slapping at the kids and me to show us that he’s ticked off. He’s left scratches on our daughter more than once, and our son swears he bit him one night.

I have been impatiently waiting for the weather to warm up, just so I can put him back outside. This morning’s surprise was it for me. I put his food and water bowls out on the back porch, and I picked his big ol’ 20 pound butt up and put him out there. It’s screened in, and has a cat door on one side of the screen. While the kids were eating breakfast, he jumped almost 5 feet in the air and landed against the sliding glass door twice, scaring the crap out of them. When I turned around, my daughter was in tears. So I let him back in for today. But this weekend, he goes outside and he does NOT come back in. The weather is warm enough now that he’ll be fine. I have NEVER had a cat that I have disliked more.

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