the Change I Wish to See

...and whatever else it takes to find my pants

by Kevin Steele

I don't really like cats.  So, they get to make my TMI Thursday.

It's not that I hate cats.  I mean I do.  But only in the way we 20-somethings abuse hyperbole.  I don't punt them, or bark at them.  And I still pet touch pet them.*  I actually touched a cat the other day and it wasn't horrible at all.

But I do hold grudges.  And I used to be deathly allergic to our domesticated felinious ones.

I also don't like competing for affection.  Certainly not with animals.  And certainly not with an animal's fragile sense of self.

So it came as a surprise when I moved into my house last summer knowing the roommate had two cats.  Should I have known better?  Obviously.  But do I ever actually admit that with enough time to avert disaster?  Meh.

Normally I have a penchant for embellishment.  But today, and for today only, I will simply list as pure fact the 25 horrible things these cats did to me by way of their owner.  No pretty adjectives, no sexy adverbs.  Fair and balanced.

  1. They existed.
  2. They had three litter boxes.
  3. That equals 1.5 box per cat.
  4. One box was next to the refrigerator in the kitchen.
  5. All three of the boxes were uncovered.
  6. The box under the sink in the main bathroom was on a mat.  This mat was so the cats could scrape their feet.  This mat was larger than the space it was in.  So, to brush your teeth or wash your hands at the sink, you had to stand on the litter mat.
  7. My roommate and her boyfriend did this barefoot and smiling.
  8. One morning, not yet awake, I did too, but with a different look on my face.
  9. One morning, not yet awake, I stepped out of the shower and onto a fresh turd.
  10. I cried on the inside.
  11. Many days, cat #1 would vomit on the floor and then poop on the pile of vomit.
  12. Some days, #1 would then start eating the pile as I watched.**
  13. The cat poop was left in a plastic grocery bag on the front step to our house, several times a week.
  14. In the summer.
  15. In DC.
  16. These bags would be covered with flies and would emit a smell that you could taste.
  17. Those flies and that smell would follow you inside when you opened the front door.
  18. They would, though, then give way to the ammonia smell from three uncovered litter boxes packed into a small 2 bedroom rowhouse.
  19. Cat #2 peed on the kitchen counter.
  20. I didn't grow up with cats so I thought it was apple juice and decided to wipe it up with a sponge.
  21. That sponge was for hand-washing dishes.
  22. One or both of the cats peed on the stove.  There was a lot of pee.  It happened on the weekend the roommate moved out.  I had left town to avoid the awkwardness.  Came back to clean up and show the house.  Found an inch deep, thickened to the point where it didn't resemble liquid, yellow substance on the stove.  I started scrubbing.
  23. I almost fainted from the smell.
  24. Months after the roommate left, I still found litter in new places.
  25. Like the refrigerator.

*Hilarious how changing one word in that sentence makes me sound like someone you don't want to meet.


zandria said...

I'd have to say you have 25 VERY GOOD reasons for not liking cats. it makes me glad all over again that there are no animals in my apartment (and that my animal-loving roommate is allergic to them!). :)

LiLu said...

You should move in with my allergic boyfriend so I can get a cat. I love them dearly, but I understand why some people don't... they are sort of an "acquired taste"...

Sara said... the problem the roommate or the cat?

lacochran said...

Ha! This made me laugh out loud. A lot! Thanks.

I miss my cats.

FoggyDew said...

What'd it take, like 23 seconds to come up with those reasons? I bet with a whole minute or two a hundred or more would be easy. I've never figured out what's so great about an animal you have to let pee and poop in your house. At least dogs are polite enough to do it outside.

f.B said...

zandria: i love animals i do. and i'm no longer allergic. but i don't think i'll ever be ready for strange cats again

lilu: very acquired. i just don't have the palate i guess.

sara: so true. bad pets are just bad children -- they have bad parents

la: i'm glad. i was afraid leaving out all the snazzy adjectives would be disappointing

foggy: you're actually spot on. it took no time at all. and there was definitely more that i used that whole editorial discretion on

Beamer said...

dude, recently my roommate and I took in a stray before taking it to the pound. I went to sleep at night with my floor covered in old sheets with the delusion that it wouldn't just shit on my bed where it chose to sleep. fortunately it only ended up crapping in the bathtub when I put in in the bathroom while we were gone. I do not plan on getting one of those when I move back to DC.

KassyK said...

Oh no!

I love cats--and I can say I have had my Chloe for 8 years and she has never done one of those things on the list. Ok besides puking. BUT never eating it! Gross.

I could give you 25 reasons why fluffy cats are the how she waits for me to get home or curls up on the bed and sleeps with me or looks like a stuffed animal come to life or plays with everything still like a kitten.

But I do get that some people don't like cats.

It just makes me sad. :)

But then again I love dogs too...they are just A LOT of work.

f.B said...

beamer: i just don't have the patience. i've worked out the whole cost-benefit analysis. not looking good for the cats

kassyk: makes me sad too. i really have no idea why people let their cats get away with that stuff because "they're cats." if they were dogs, they'd scream and yell and punish...

Laina said...

Those cats were NASTY, as was your roommate. My cat does all bodily functions except the occasional rebate in his box. Of course, my (now deceased) former cat ate a scab once. It was pretty grotesque, but not nearly like those cats. Again I say, nasty.

f.B said...

ate a scab? uh... yeah, i want none of that. but you're right: at least that is common. even 5 year old kids do that

Nina said...


f.B said...