Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Cohabitation - Part I

Let's talk about dysfunctional cohabitation. I wasn't going to blog about this, but after hearing my friend Kat(i)e in tears of laughter over my situation, I thought it might bring some entertainment to others. Unfortunately, there's so much to tell, that it will have to be done in stages.

I would just like to start by saying that I did not take the decision to move in with a boy lightly. I pondered it, mulled it over, worried about it incessantly, and considered what I thought was every issue that we could face. I then tried to determine whether or not we could handle the issues I conjured. Finally, after a subtle shove from a very diplomatic cousin, I took the plunge - confident that I had considered every angle.

I hadn't.

Let's start with Laney, shall we? Laney is my 6 year old cat. To be fair to her, Laney's world has been turned upside down in the span of 6 months. She was an only cat for the last three years (except for a brief stint when Maggie stayed with us. Poor Maggie. Let's all take a moment of silence for Maggie At least she's in a better place now). This is Laney. She looks evil, no?

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Being an only cat is just the way Laney likes it. She's the queen of the apartment. The only child that I could lavish attention upon - when she feels like having attention lavished upon her, that is. See, my cat loves me, but she's a complete b*tch to everyone else. This is including the boyfriend, and believe me, he's tried to get in her good graces. This is the same cat that took a dump right next to my brother's head when he stayed with me one night because he spent the majority of the evening harassing the cat (by harassing I mean "trying to pet her when Laney was not in the mood.") She's not the forgive and forget type. But I always said, "Love me, love my cat," and the boyfriend has gamely tried to win her favor.

Which brings us to our issue.

Until 6 months ago, Laney thought she was living the perfect cat life. Then I brought home this little puppy. No problem in the beginning - Laney was twice her size and beat the hell out of her. But then the puppy grew. And then Laney had to accept that the puppy appeared to be around for good. She slowly adjusted. They became, if not friends, at least roommates who were civil to each other.

Then I moved Laney into an entirely new apartment with a huge cat-eating monster who's made up entirely of teeth and tongue. (otherwise known as Tyson. I've posted a picture so you can see who he is.) This appears to be more than Laney can handle.

Now, we don't actually know if Tyson is a cat-eating monster. We just know that he shows an inordinate amount of interest in Laney whenever he sees her. The type of interest that causes him to lunge after her, chase her around, and be completely unfazed if she manages to slice open his cheek with her claws, hiss, growl, and puff into a cat twice her size. When we had Tyson/Laney round one, it was in a darkened room, so we're not entirely certain what happened before they were separated. We just know that in the aftermath, Laney was huddled in a ball with HUGE pupils, and she appeared to have been licked in several places (the HORROR!) Can you imagine what this does to a cat's dignity?

So, who does Laney blame for this horrendous living situation? She blames the boyfriend, of course. Entirely. He is now the bane of her existence. He is dead to her.

Except when he leaves clothing on the floor.

The first night in the new apartment, when we were getting ready for bed, the boyfriend threw his clothes on the floor. I picked them up and put them in the hamper. He said, "That's right. You have a hamper. I'll have to get used to that." At that time, it was just something for me to sigh and shake my head about. Boys are gross.

Now, it's a lesson that the boyfriend has had to learn perfectly and quickly. No mistakes. Because if he leaves ANY article of clothing on the floor, Laney has herself a pee party. Seriously. I think she saves her pee for just such occasions. It can be a sock, a shirt, or a duffle bag full of clothing that hasn't been unpacked. If it's on the floor, Laney will pee on it.

I can leave any type of clothing out, and its not touched.

We found this out about a week after moving in to the apartment. There were piles of the boyfriend's clothing in our bedroom that he hadn't yet put away. I came into the room to see him throwing them viciously into the hamper.


"That GODD**N cat pissed all over my clothes. They all smell like CAT PISS!"

(I tried so hard not to laugh.)

"I'm sorry. We'll wash them now and see if we can get the smell out." (I was trying to be optimistic for his sake. If anyone knows of a way to get the smell of cat pee out of fabric, please share suggestions)

A couple of days later, I happened to see Laney pawing at a duffle bag full of the boyfriend's clothes (on the floor of our closet.) I shooed her away - too late. After THAT incident, the boyfriend laid down the law. Cat is no longer allowed in the bedroom.

Laney continues to sleep with us every night.

Okay new law. Cat is only allowed in the bedroom when we're home. Whoever leaves last is responsible for getting the cat out of the bedroom.

This law was in place until the boyfriend was the last to leave the next day. When I came home that evening, Laney strolled out of the bedroom to greet me, and when the boyfriend got home, he showed me the battle scars all over his hands. One of the scratches was even in an L shape, just to remind the boyfriend not to try again.

Because she knows that Tyson is let out every morning, Laney disappears when the alarm goes off. I think she's lying in wait. If the boyfriend puts anything down on the ground, she appears within 5 seconds. It's like magic. He keeps yelling at her and telling her no. She just flattens her ears, and looks at him with narrowed eyes. I'm waiting for her to poop on his pillow one of these nights. She already pooped on the bathmat in our bathroom. While the boyfriend was in the shower. I told him to look at the bright side - at least he didn't step in it.
Yes, these are the issues we are facing with Laney. But she's not the worst one. There's more to come...

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