As I mentioned, on what was possibly the worst day of my life, except for my grandpa dying and stuff like that, I arrived home to find my bath mat ruined by inappropriate feline elimination. It kind of felt like the universe was slapping me across the face with last summer’s dirty flip-flops, but I pulled myself together, went to the office, and did the best work I could for the remainder of the day.
After finishing up my Ketel and soda later on that night, I stepped outside to have a smoke and call my sister, who once lived in Crystal City and could fully appreciate the horror of being lost at the Pentagon. I must have left the inside door open while chatting, because when I let myself back into the house 20 minutes later, the stench of fresh cat pee nearly rendered me unconscious. Jake, of course, had crept back into the apartment and was perched upon our front windowsill, chirping happily and picking at my favorite footstool with his hind paws, while I stood, stunned, in the back hallway contemplating the enormity of what lay before me.
“There’s no way this could all be from him,” said Katsumi, joining me in the back hallway with a bottle of Nature’s Miracle and a roll of paper towels. “It’s physically impossible.”
People. If I had eaten nothing but coffee, asparagus, and broccoli for three weeks, and chose not to relieve myself for the duration, I would be able to match Jake’s back-stairs marking neither in volume nor in stench.
The pee started in the junction where the stairs hook left into the second floor apartment, and continued, puddle by puddle, to the lower landing, a full seven steps below. It dripped from one to the next, covering both vertical and horizontal planes and clinging with putrid tenacity. I’ve spilled pints of beer that were smaller than this pee stain, and I’ve spilled glasses of wine that were easier to remove from the carpet.
All this at 10pm, after I’d been up at four, in airports for six hours, lost in a rental car for three, at work for another five, having eaten nothing but United Airways pretzels and covered from head to toe with the clinging sweat of panic and despair. Nothing could make the night more perfect than getting down on my hands and knees and cleaning cat piss off the dirty carpet on our back steps. FOR AN HOUR.
The next day he peed in our bathroom again, and the day after that he made two trips to the corner near my closet, fouling my swank formal shorts from the New Year’s party and my favorite black tank top.
Last night I had trouble sleeping, despite enlisting the help of some of the “knock-you-out-hard-so-you-don’t-wake-up” pills I got from my pharm-happy old shrink, and I jolted awake at 4am to…. guess what…
the smell of cat pee.
So what do i do? jake’s not neutered, and Katsu is reticent to go through with the procedure as it involves digging through Jake’s torso to find his errant testicle, so that could be part of it. We can’t seem to find a litter he likes, so there’s that too. I would never put the poor thing back on the street, but if I come home to find out he peed on my Earnest Sewn jeans, I SWEAR TO GOD I WILL MAKE HIM INTO A FETCHING NECK WRAP TO BE WORN ONLY WHEN I USE THE RESTROOM.