It started in the darkest corners of the basement, where neighbor cat Boo Radley (yes, really) liked to sit in the window wells and taunt JJ T. Cat. It smelled musty, sure, but “Hey,” I told myself oh-so-naively, “that’s just what basements do.”
I didn’t put two and two together until JJ brought the fight upstairs and I witnessed him at work.
JJ was spraying.
I didn’t know it yet — not until I bought a little black light and investigated just like I was Horatio Caine and JJ was a Miami uber-criminal — but JJ was spraying everywhere. The walls. The front door. The filing cabinet. And most hideously of all? He was spraying into the heat register in Pete’s bedroom. (We discovered that when we turned the heat on for the first time last fall and suddenly the kid’s room smelled like the swamps of Dagobah.)
We were at war against the cat, and the cat was winning.
A little Google research let us know that the war would have to be waged on two fronts simultaneously. I couldn’t make the house smell clean if JJ was still spraying, and JJ wasn’t going to stop spraying until the house smelled clean again. So I set to work cleaning every surface — Pledge wipes on the walls, carpet deodorizer on the floors and Nature’s Miracle Urine Destroyer on every surface — and we took JJ to the vet for a checkup.
The cleaning worked well. The vet? Not so much.
JJ was perfectly healthy, the vet said, but nothing was going to make him stop spraying. He was unhappy being inside, where the neighbor cat could taunt him at will. We had a choice to make: JJ could be an outdoor cat, or we could have a funky-smelling house of horrors. Emotionally, it was a difficult choice to make. I never wanted an outdoor cat. It’s dangerous out there. But logically, I knew what we had to do.
JJ T. Cat has been outside for almost a year now. I’ll admit to missing his presence inside every now and then. He was an excellent snuggler. But now he’s the king of the yard. Boo Radley keeps his distance, and JJ gets to lounge on the sidewalk to his heart’s content. He also has his own private entrance to his suite in the garage, because it gets cold here in the winter and I have a softish heart.
It was a tough decision to make, but you know what? I’m really looking forward to the house still smelling clean after I turn the heat on this year.
Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post for Acorn: An Influence Company‘s #SmellsClean campaign. The “sponsored” part means money and some product changed hands. Acorn didn’t tell Nichole what to write, though, which was probably obvious as they almost certainly wouldn’t have suggested that she write about flying cat urine.