The Therapy Journals of the Fat-Headed Klingon Woman

One woman's journey to becoming Her True Self

Cats, Kids, and Carpet- A Difficult Dilemma May 16, 2010

Filed under: Mood Swings,Parenting Perils,Stupidness! — DDKlingonGirl @ 10:18 pm
Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Hello all.  I’m having a really hard time, here.  You all know I caved in to pleading and sad eyes and told the kids they could keep those two little fuzzballs (kittens) they brought home the other day.  One of the ones the neighbor girls’ mom wouldn’t let them keep has already been killed by dogs and wound up on OUR front sidewalk when we came home from town the other day, which really upset the kids, Daughter S. more than the rest.  Of course, she’s the one I really did all this for- she’s the one who was devastated when our last cat disappeared, and still misses her a lot.  She’s the one I was trying to make happy.

Ok, two things- 1) One of The Dictators apparently has a serious problem because the potty accident I cleaned up in the bathroom behind the toilet had blood in it.  Or looked like it did.  And 2) I don’t want my house (yes, I’ll say it again- my brand new, clean and shiny, everything restored and nothing smelly, stained, ripped, gouged or broken, house rebuilt after the fire) ruined by being repeatedly shat on by these two little kittens. 

I know- they could and would learn to use a litter box.  But how many messes and how many permanent poop stains am I going to have to have before they do?  And how are they supposed to live until they do- locked at all times in the bathroom where there’s no carpet to ruin, except when they’re being held? 

I told the kids earlier, I’m not one of those people.  I can’t deal with inside animals.   I can’t stand to walk into my house and have it smell like dog or cat!  Most of the people I know who have inside animals, their houses smell when you walk in, either of just smelly dog, poop, pee, or litter box.  Of course, now that I say that, I can think of a few examples of people I know whose houses don’t seem to smell like animal.  I don’t know how they managed to train them so they never seem to have an accident, or how they managed to clean up the messes the animals made while they were training them so that they didn’t create a permanent smell.

I’ve already gone down that road- my house before the fire was a hellhole disaster area.  Between animal accidents and food spills, the carpet was beyond stained, no matter how hard I tried to clean it, and even when the house was clean it still smelled funky when you walked in the front door.  If there was dirty laundry anywhere in the floors or even clean laundry in baskets, the cats we’ve had in the past would pee in it, which drove me FLIPPIN’ INSANE!  I know the house had been lived in for 13 years and a certain amount of wear and tear was to be expected, but still…

I worked my butt off to get in the habit of keeping this house clean when we moved back in after the fire.  For the first few months I spent all my time in the mornings before I had to go to work, cleaning and straightening and trying my hardest to develop habits and patterns and routines that would allow me to keep this “new” house from becoming like the old one.  And even now I’m already slacking off and things are not as perfect as they were at first and it terrifies me, because I’d rather die than live like that again.  I’d like to blame it on the fact that we have internet now and I have this blog that I love and enjoy writing and spend too much time on.  And Facebook.  And whatever else I do online.  Or on the fact that I have a lot of days where I have to go to town early or take the kids to an appointment. 

But I can’t.  All I can do is be brutally honest with myself and say that it is my fault only, because I’ve made those things a priority over cleaning, and because I haven’t developed a chore assignment chart for the kids and made them help, even though what feels like a half-dozen counselors we’ve had over the years have been nagging and begging me to do so for ages.  I can get them to do stuff sometimes, when I leave notes threatening to ground them for life if they don’t do the chores I’ve listed for them to do.  But sometimes they don’t bother.  So obviously, I don’t have the discipline to train an animal or a child or myself to do anything right, and since I can’t, maybe I might as well not ruin my carpet trying!  Maybe I might as well take the lazy, selfish way out and just break the kids’ hearts and get rid of the stupid cats and just say this house does not have inside animals, period.

So what do I do- be a cold, hateful, selfish mother who cares more about her new house than she does about her kids’ broken hearts or do I just invest in some really good carpet cleaning techniques until the blankety-blank cats learn to use the box?  Daughter S. is already acting depressed because I told the kids in a fit of anger that they’d better say their goodbyes before they leave for school tomorrow, because The Dictators might not be here when they get back. 

I don’t know what to do.  I don’t even like animals that much.  I can’t get attached to them the way some people do.  Sometimes I have enough trouble being attached to my kids!  I’ve had our three dogs for years and if they all disappeared tomorrow I might be ever so slightly bummed for a brief moment, but then I’d think “Hallelujah, they’re gone!” and start planning what I could do with my back yard! 

Well, I’ve succeeded in getting myself in a major pickle, as well as a serious blue funk.  I told the kids we could keep the cats, even though I never wanted them.  Now we’ve had them for a few days and I REALLY don’t want them.  Where do I go from here?

Until next time,

D.

 

16 Responses to “Cats, Kids, and Carpet- A Difficult Dilemma”

  1. De Leica Says:

    Cats are a tough one for me, not a cat person. We have two, they have been declared in the front so they would not scratch up the place. We have also bought them a self cleaning box. Yes they are costly but so much easier to keep clean. IF you choose to keep your kitties, check the pet store. They sell an enzyme that works pretty well, even when the dog is ill and pukes. We have had our kitties almost 5 years and they have grown on me.

    • LenaDeeAnne Says:

      Thanks for the enzyme tip- that’s my biggest problem. I’ll have to look for that.

      I probably wouldn’t have them declawed, but if they stay I’ll definitely have them fixed as soon as they’re old enough.

      Thanks for reading!

  2. Anthony Colby Says:

    Well our last batch of kittens shitted up the house so bad they wound up out at a friend of mines in the country and have probably become hoot owl food, and I don’t give a rat’s ass!!!
    The boys of course think they are happy fat and chasing field mice. I understand how you feel girl.
    I have even thought about getting rid of the beloved chihuahuas cause they pee in the floor.

    • LenaDeeAnne Says:

      Well, I’d want to get rid of them too, but that would be the cue for the voice of some animal-loving supermoms in my head to say “Great. Get rid of the poor defenseless animals and add to the number of shelter animals or strays because YOU didn’t train them right in the first place! Selfish butt!” And it would be true- if I didn’t take the time or devote the energy to train them right in the first place it would be my fault!

      Thanks for reading!

  3. Mandie Says:

    D
    I think the cats need to go. The poop and pee is only the beginning. It won’t be long before they are sharpening their claws on your brand new carpet. On top of the expense of repeatedly cleaning the carpet, you have the expense of shots and vet visits. You will need to get them both fixed asap or they will start spraying everything which smells horrid. You can get the carpet clean enough where you can’t see it or smell it, but the cats can still sell it and will very likely continue to go in the same spot. Until the kids can show you they are responsible enough to do the chores you leave for them they aren’t ready for more pets anyway. You should talk to my mom. She used a chore chart with is for a while. She could help you get yours together. I love you and stay strong. I don’t think it’s selfish to want your house to not smell like an outhouse!

  4. Mandie Says:

    Also it sounds like you feel like you made the wrong decision letting the kids keep the cats in the first place. That doesn’t mean you have to keep making that wrong decision. Take the opportunity to show the kids that it’s okay to make mistakes but when you know better you do better.

    • LenaDeeAnne Says:

      I don’t know if it was wrong, exactly, but I knew I didn’t really want them because I knew this very thing would happen. I just wanted S. to be happy,

      So what do you mean about not keep making the wrong decision? It would be wrong to take them back or to keep them when I don’t want them and they make messes that are near impossible to clean up? Or at least it feels that way- it feels like no matter what you use on the messes, there’s no way to get it clean enough that they won’t want to go in the same spot.

      • Mandie Says:

        I mean that you let them have the cats against your better judgement. Don’t let them keep the cats against your better judgement too. Sure they will be upset and not like you for about 5 minutes but how many fights about cleaning cat boxes and food and water are you saving them and yourself from?

  5. Scott Miller Says:

    Well, since I’m going through the lovely experience of having a new teenager that “does no wrong” and “nothing is his fault”, all I can say is that it’s tough being a parent. But I’m starting to realize more and more that it’s even tougher being your child’s friend, which is ok.. sometimes. Kids want to know the whys and how comes behind every decision you make. Sometimes it’s simple.. Because it’s for your own good and for the good of everyone that lives here, not to mention my sanity.

    We were lucky with our cat. We got her from a shelter, paid like $60 for her, but all shots were included and she’s fixed. She trained easily to the litter box so that’s no big deal. We have a box with a cover and a door so the smell stays where it belongs, but it’s hell cleaning it. But it’s like having an extra child that never grows up.

  6. Wanda Lemons Says:

    Take them to the shelter and trade for an older cat that is potty trained, has been checked by a vet, has been fixed and has all shots. The yearly checkups and booster shots are expensive as well as any cat care. Take that into consideration before getting another cat though. The kids will get over not having cats in time if you chose not to get another one. They will scratch up the furniture as well as the carpet, and you are not selfish for wanting to keep your house nice.
    Just some food for thought.

    • Scott Miller Says:

      I agree 100%

      • De Leica Says:

        I also agree. You know who will be doing the lion’s share of the work. You are not selfish. I also agree with the one who mentioned having the kids show responsibility before getting new pets.

  7. LenaDeeAnne Says:

    Wow- this one provoked a lot of comments- the most ever so far! Ok, so now I’m thinking I overreacted. Obviously there are plenty of effective products available that help to prevent stains, smells, scratching, and all that other stuff. And obviously with enough watchfulness, consistency, and patience, they can grow into acceptable house pets. Kind of like with the kids! 🙂

    I guess I kind of now feel like, I told the kids we could keep them to start with, and I should keep my word, even though I didn’t want them that much for myself, only for Shannon. Somebody I know is always reminding me I have to keep my word. (Even though there’ve been about 20 different ‘words’ thus far!) So if we keep them, as soon as they’re old enough, I will have them spayed/neutered and declawed on the front feet. Half the problems solved right there. But I’ll take them to the vet asap to make sure they don’t have any major diseases already.

    Couple of things- I like the shelter idea, but they’d still charge us $40 to adopt a cat, even if we brought in two kittens. (Well, not sure- they might give us a discount, but I doubt it.)

    And also, I guess I’ll just refuse to fight about the litter cleaning and food and water thing. I’ll assign the duties, get a schedule set up, and make them stick to it. If one of them fails to complete their assigned chore in the required amount of time, they lose privileges- plain and simple.

    So here’s my promise. *If* I go ahead and let the kids keep The Dictators over the advice of you guys, I will never again complain in this blog about pet messes or smelliness or whatever. I’ll just write about pet antics and hijinks and funny stuff.

    Thanks so much to all of you for reading and commenting, and especially being my family and friends! Love ya lots! Don’t hate me for being a wishy-washy wuss!

    D.

    • De Leica Says:

      It may help you to list out the chore and what the punishment will be. Have the kids help you and then all of you sign the “contract” and post it someplace where everyone can see and be reminded. We have know several families that have used this in many different areas with much success. We have found that our family works best with surprise positive rewards. The surprises are always little and rather random so the kids have not come to expect them all the time. One of the 3 does loose privileges, it seems to be the best way to get through to that child.

  8. […] Cats, Kids, and Carpet- A Difficult Dilemma May 2010 14 comments 3 […]

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