Tuesday, November 27, 2007

a real pystery

Recently, in this grueling month of daily posts, I wrote about this cat and how the whole neighborhood privately cheered when she peed on Sonia's bed.

But please, if you will, turn your attention to the other cat in the house. Allow me to introduce Ramona:

I got Ramona on a whim long before Eloise was even a glimmer in some unspayed and really horny stray cat's eye. We already had two cats (Dora and Boots, RIP, thanks to the fact that we lived on an insanely busy street in the first case, and the fact that he could not stop pooping in the bath tubs and peeing in our beds in the second case, and yes, we tried different litter, different litter boxes, different litter boxes placed in different locations, including the bath tubs) and two dogs, not to mention the three kids. And on top of all those very good reasons not to get another pet, we were set to move in a few months.

But there she was, the last in the box of free kitties outside the grocery store. And I simply could not resist.

We all immediately fell in love. She was wee and sweet and gentle, and--more remarkably--the mellowest cat in the world. On moving day, she lay sprawled out on the dog bed, which we had transferred to the front yard, sunning herself and watching the proceedings. Every so often she got up to nuzzle with the moving guys, who were helpless before her, as were all human beings.

We moved three times in three months (long story, home renovation, contractors incapable of making realistic projections, much aggravation), and each time, we were all, Let's lock her in a room for a few days, she's going to slip out and not know where home is and we'll never see her again. And each time, she was all, Don't worry, be happy, everything is fine.

Any time she came across a new dog, she would just hang out, casual-like, and be all, Yo, dawg, what up? never budging from where she was, often moseying on up to say hi, and certainly never hissing or arching her back or growling.

And this is how she was with our dogs:

And this is how she was with our kids:

Yes, both are fast asleep. Here's a close-up:

So you can see why it never crossed our minds that getting a new cat would disturb her at all, especially since she was still a kitten when we finally settled into our new house and got Eloise, because there she was one day at the pet store, an innocent trip to get more dog food, those ridiculous adoption booths with the cat ladies who totally suck you in with their laser vision, you know how it goes.

And yet. Ever since Eloise came onto the scene, we hardly see Ramona. She has started hissing and growling, where she used to nuzzle and purr. Eloise keeps trying to play with her--hi, I'm a kitten too, how about I pounce on you while you're lying there?--and she keeps swatting and snarling. Even with us, she's been downright bitchy.

Several weeks ago, I noticed cat pee on the bath mat. Actually, if you've ever smelled cat pee, you know it's not something you "notice"; it's something that overtakes you. And then, a few days later, some cat pee on the bath mat we put down in place of the original bath mat because we could not get rid of the stench. And then cat pee in the tub. And then I began to find dried little orange dribbles along the baseboards throughout the house.

Stupid Daddy and I have only found the pee after the fact, so we don't know for sure who is responsible (though we both agree it's a cat, because we're geniuses). We immediately suspected Ramona, who really has seem perturbed about life in general and just angry enough to act out like that. But Eloise's recent performance vis-a-vis the peeing has called this hypothesis completely into question. Right?

So is it Ramona or Eloise? And what can we do to fix the problem? Anyone?


Who She She said...

I would say find another home for the new cat. This happened to us, and there was no fixing the problem. We had to find cat #2 another place. Cat pee is the WORST.

so NOT cool said...

Those photos of the cat just kill me, especially where it looks like it is attached to the dog or child. Heh.

Regarding the situation, though ... I have a large animal family here and whenever I'm curious about the antagonist, I set up my tripod and video camera to catch the culprit in action.

BOSSY said...

Bossy votes for Ramona. Totally. When Bossy had to give away her SPCA puppy because her old lady Golden Retriever was miserably unhappy, Bossy made a sign that said, "This Puppy Wants A Divorce" and hung it in her cute little town grocery store. Within a few days Bossy had placed her puppy with a good home right out of Central Casting.

You don't need to put up with this - and everyone will still be happy.

Izzy said...

My elderly cat hasn't pooped in a catbox since a) my son was born or b) since we took in a stray kitten who has become the world's most awesome cat. Since both events happened at the same time, we're not sure which one rendered her unable or unwanting to crap in the box instead of in the general vicinity of said box but either way, she's now a porch kitty because we just couldn't deal. And? She hates the world's most awesome cat with every fiber of her being, for no particular reason other than the fact that he exists. Why are the little buggers so freaking complicated??

family-of-five said...

why Why WHY do you DO THIS TO ME? You rope me in: I'm in love with Ramona, can't wait to meet her, and then GODDAMNIT YOU BRING IT ALL CRASHING DOWN AROUND MY HEAD.

I'm sorry to shout. REally I am. But I am about to cry? Did I tell you that I have a soft spot for tuxedo cats? This is sensitive issue for me.

I'm really missing my cats right now.

Ashley Forrette said...

oh my goodness. what cute photos!