Monday, 9 July 2012

Cat Wars

I absolutely love cats. I have two moggies of my own, and have always thought that they are adorable. Having grown up with dogs, I am definitely a cat person. However, the last few weeks have made me realise that not all cats are created equal. My cats, Alfie and Poppy (or Patty as Fifi likes to call her) are the cute, cuddly type, who like to sit on my lap and sleep, eat and sunbathe in the garden. Recently though, we have been coming downstairs in the morning to the most awful stench of cat wee. The entire downstairs would stink for days, and no amount of Febreeze or Jo Malone scent diffusers would get rid of the smell, to the point where I was actually apologising to the postman and pizza delivery people when I opened the door. This culminated in Mr. G, who rides a motorbike into work, staggering through the front door on a very wet day gasping for breath after a long day at work. My first thought was, oh dear, he's found the hidden credit card statement, but quickly realised that something was very wrong with his crash helmet. He wrenched it off his head and threw it to the floor, looking a bit green. It turned out that the cat wee had got into his helmet and he'd been forced to ride to and from work with it permeating his hair and face, while he felt increasingly sick. He also had to send an entire day in meetings smelling very bad. Awkward.

So, we sat down and had a think about what to do. Should we get rid of our weeing cats, who were making life a bit hard? Coupled with the huge amounts of food that the cats were eating suddenly, at great expense, and their recent aggressive behaviour (including attacking Fifi once), we felt we had no choice. They were also covered in cuts and scars the whole time, which we put down to them fighting each other and being unhappy, but seemed very out of character. That evening, we had a barbecue, and while sitting in the garden heard the strangest noise, a sort of baby wailing crossed with a peacock being plucked alive. Looking around in confusion, we saw the largest, ugliest cat, with the hugest balls I have ever seen on a cat, trying to get through our cat flap, which had 'been broken' recently and the microchip catch snapped off so any cat could get in. It all made sense. This horrid animal was responsible for spraying, not weeing (hence the intensity of the smell) all over my sofas and rugs, ruining Mr. G's crash helmet (and his reputation as a clean sort of chap), eating all of our cat food, terrifying my cats so that they started being aggressive to each other and us, and making us seriously consider giving them away.

So, war was waged. I instantly ordered a new cat flap, which arrived a day or two later, and tried to slot it into the hole in the window where the old one lived. Sadly, I pushed a little hard and smashed the window. Cue, builders, plyboard, new glass, a glazier to fit it, and you'll get an idea of the cost. Once the new flap was fitted, I felt confident that this bully cat would get bored and terrorise my babies no more, if the food was less accessible. I was wrong...

Instead, he would sit outside the cat flap, stopping my two cats from coming in or out, so they'd get stuck out in the rain rather than he attacked, or be trapped inside (with no litter tray, this was not ideal). He would make the awful wailing noise, as if to tell me he was there, and refuse to run further than the other side of the fence, so i couldn't reach him. I decided to try throwing a bucket of water at him next time I saw him to try and put him off coming into our garden, and yesterday night sat by the patio doors until he came into the garden. Poppy was cowering under the garden table as he made his way into the garden, and I pounced, throwing the water in his direction. Sadly, I have never thrown a bucket of water at anything before, and 90% of the contents of the bucket ended up on me. Mr. G filmed the entire thing.

Later, when slightly drier, I grabbed the 'cat training spray' which is basically citronella, and decided to spray him with it, as he had sat yowling by the cat flap again. I figured, if it was designed to train cats to stop scratching sofas, then it might stop this cat from scratching my cats. Once again, rather than hitting the target, I dropped the bottle on the kitchen floor in my haste, and the house now stinks of citronella, which neither Alfie or Poppy are very grateful for. So, whilst laughing at me, Mr. G decided to go on to the RSPCA's website to look up the law on aggressive cats. They recommend putting a paper collar on the said cat, that kindly requests the owner to call you to discuss the issues. Suffice to say, I have decided that this will not be a strong enough warning.

So, I am now at a loss, and when you add up the food bill, cost of upholstery cleaning (2 sofas, an armchair and 2 rugs), the broken cat flap (I know he forced his way in, even if Mr. G says that's speculation), the broken window (again, Mr. G thinks it's my fault, but would I have been fitting a new cat flap if not for the bully?) and the stress of the situation (ok, I mean embarrassment at soaking myself in wate and then citronella, and Mr. G being known as Mr. Urine at work), it comes to a lot. Any suggestions on my next course of action would be greatly appreciated.....

1 comment:

  1. Oh we too have this problem, big black farm cat bullying my two cats, my tabby one took to pulling all his fur out in a sign of distress, poor boy! We realised the problem one night when said black cat come bounding in through the cat flap chasing after one of mine and OH chased him out. We have had some incidents when he has been stalking them in our own garden, so when we had suspected he was there OH went outside and banged loudly on a saucepan, it was defining and scarred the cat off, we now think we may have solved the problem by scarring him when he was in our garden, we had to do it a couple of times but has seemed to have worked!


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