A personal and true fable about Felines, Urination and Death. (FUD)
My house is run like a miniature Kingdom, complete with Divine Right and Royal acts of Fiat...and my subjects? Two toddlers and five cats (we co-exist in an autonomous enclave within another Queendom run by mixed-up monarch whom I married in order to forge a peaceful alliance with the Norse.)
Anyway...one of my cats, the Tom, has always had 'tude. He was alone with my wife and I many years ago when we were thin and had hair. As each new addition has come into our lives, he got crankier and crankier -- occasionally expressing this crankiness in the way cats do, by scratching the shit out of any leather shoes, bags or coats we owned (easily solved by clipping the offending claws regularly) or by -- and this is the nasty part -- peeing.
Think of that Clarence Carter song "Strokin'" and substitute the word Peein': "He's peein' to the east, he's peein' to the west he's peein' on the fluffy pillow I love best ...he's PEEIN'!"
We became used to his moods, and eventually learned not to leave anything provocative lying around. Any stray article of clothing or shoe, jacket etc. that was let to fall to the floor (and neglected long enough) would fall victim to the Midnight Expressor. As we learned his limits, and ours, we were able to keep the 'improper elimination' to a minimum, mainly only when we went on vacation, and then it could be contained by shutting the bedroom doors with anything precious and unwashable put inside...afterall, at least he was avoiding the carpet and the furniture.
Well, as King's do, I capriciously took on another
wife kitten. This was the last straw (P.S. DON'T use stray to absorb cat urine - it doesn't work!). The peeing came back in full force, and now the kitten, watching in adolescent amusement decided to mimic this behavior. It was a veritable pee-party. On our return from Christmas vacation, we could brook no more; the cat (all 20 lbs. of him) was banished to the garage (it's just too cold outside.) My wife and I held court, found him guilty of six counts of malevolent urination, including three against our minor children (beanbag chairs, stuffed animals and sheets.) This 12 year old was about be put down if he couldn't change his ways. We had modified our lives over the years, using all the tricks the books and our vet suggested...no dice. The vet had one last option, we could try valium and see if his anxiety lessened or else -- the gas chamber.
I had a long night thinking about the idea of euthanizing the guy, afterall I am morally opposed to the death penalty for murder, why is it more acceptable for urination? But the fact remained, we couldn't live with him like this. I explored ridiculous alternatives; having him confined to a portion of the basement with a complex series of blockades, leaving him outside in a (to be built) custom wood shack with a heated rock inside (like they use in lizard terraria), even giving him up to this local looney cat family with about 200 other cats who don't mind (or even notice) urine smell...and while I was thinking about the ultimate penalty I was rapidly accepting that I would impose, my second youngest female cat jumped up on my son's bean bag chair, smiled and winked at me and pissed all over it.
I had put the wrong guy on death row.
Sure the Tom was peein', but there was now an absolute doubt as to the authorship of the last several protests. I was ashamed, relieved and pissed off...oooh, bad pun, but you get the idea.
EPILOGUE: The Tom is happily on valium after a diagnosis of "extreme anxiety", and is back with us and sweeter than ever (no duh), we will back him off the dope eventually, but it's been a traumatic couple weeks for all involved, and he's got plenty of positive energy now. The bean bag chairs were destroyed and all traces of them removed from the house. The second youngest cat is now on probation and recieving "love and attention" to counteract her newfound pissiness. So far, so good. The kitten has the run of the place, and is still quite amused, but is now firmly engaged with the litter box.
We are stain and pain free now for the first time in weeks. Knock wood.
This ridiculously absurd and banal tale (tail?) has reinforced my liberal guilt and convinced me more than ever of the barbarity that is the death penalty and misfired justice by assumption.
I have abdicated my throne and will serve out my days as benign dictator subject to the people's laws.