shelli mader
Scotts city, kan.

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June 9, 2014
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Shelli Mader: Road to Ranching 6-7-14

It’s common knowledge that cats have a mind of their own. They aren’t very easy to train and can often be quite moody. It wasn’t until just a few weeks ago that I learned that they also take revenge on people who don’t like them. Unfortunately, my husband found that out firsthand.

(As a disclaimer — my husband is not a cat hater at all. He just prefers to have cats outside, not in a small 1,000 square foot house.)

We first met Chico at a get together at our friends’ house. Our friends live in town like us, but had somehow managed to acquire 12 outdoor cats and kittens. My kids were thrilled to see so many cats in one spot. They spent the whole evening playing with them. Chico was their favorite. He was 4- or 5-months-old and super sweet. They carried him around like a baby, swung him over their shoulders and put clothes on him. He kept purring through it all and seemed like he didn’t care what they did to him.

My kids were instantly in love, but it took my husband some convincing. But after a month or so of debate, we finally agreed to get the cat — on the condition that he would be kept outside.

Unfortunately, the day after we got him there was a big snowstorm. So even though Chico had lived his whole life outside, the kids and I couldn’t bear the thought of him getting cold. So we set up a (temporary) litter box in the garage so he could stay out of the vicious storm.

Unexpectedly though, that night Chico realized that he really liked being inside and wanted to be in all the time. So we (the kids and I) kept the litter box in the garage and brought him inside to play with us off and on throughout the day. Chico learned to meow at the side door or the front door to let us know that he wanted inside. The kids and I thought it was so cute.

Not surprisingly, my husband didn’t think the situation was all that adorable. Two kids, a border collie dog and a cat are a lot to stuff into a little two bedroom house. Plus, the garage started to smell bad and seemed to have kitty litter and cat food spilled on the floor all the time (I blame that part on our 5-year-old).

I thought that the situation was going OK for a while. The kids and I prided ourselves on keeping a good eye on Chico in the house. We only let him inside to play when we were there and he never made a mess. Chico slept in the garage and spent a lot of time there or in the backyard with the dog. It seemed like the cat-people relationship was going quite well. My husband and the cat just stayed away from one another. Chico realized that if my husband was coming to the door, he wasn’t getting inside. If the kids and I came to the door, he knew he would get to come in.

Everything was perfect, until one day when Chico decided to take some revenge on my husband. I didn’t know about it until about 10 o’clock that night. I was cleaning up the kitchen and my husband was getting ready for bed. I heard my husband yell from the bedroom and I knew something was terribly wrong. The area on the bed right where my husband slept was completely soaked — courtesy of the cat. The room smelled terrible.

I couldn’t stop laughing (later I was angry at the cat because I had to clean up the big mess late at night!). Of all of the places where the cat could have used the restroom, he chose the one spot my husband uses. It had to be revenge.

Needless to say, the cat doesn’t spend a lot of time inside these days. The kids and I play with him outside. And as for the relationship with my husband and the cat, well, it is strained. They like to keep their distance from one another. And I definitely keep the cat far away from the bedroom (and try to stay on his good side). ❖

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The Fence Post Updated Jun 5, 2014 12:10PM Published Jul 8, 2014 12:03PM Copyright 2014 The Fence Post. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.