This post will piss many of you off. It isn't my intention to do so, but I feel the need to vent on a rather contentious subject, and make rhetorical statements regarding which I have no interest in any debate. Here it is:
I have a particular theory about pets. We own them. In exchange for food and a warm place to live, I expect the pet will obey me. I will give love, affection, and playtime to a pet that behaves like a pet, or I will train the pet to behave like a pet, and in return ensure the pets physical and emotional well-being through positive re-enforcement and and affection. I do not tolerate a pet that asserts an alpha role, and I never will. I am not cruel to my pets, but I do impart discipline and sanctions when necessary. I don't care how big/small or smart/stupid your pet is. I don't care if its a horse or a mouse. We, as pet owners, are the alpha characters in the relationship, and our pets must be subordinate to every member of our household. Cats do not respond well to beta-roles. They can be trained, but they are subversively deceptive, allowing you to think they've been trained, just waiting for their opportunity to hit you with a resounding "Fuck You You Fucking Fuck"
Cats suck. I've never been a cat person. I find them at once to be needy and clingy, yet arrogant and aloof. They only seem to show any sort of affection when they need to be fed, and any attempts to elicit any intimacy beyond their hunger-fueled patronization is met with at best an condescending dismissal and at worst clawed retribution. I don't like cats.
I have two cats.
They both suck.
I've never had a cat that I got for me. I've never wanted one. My ex-wife and I got a cat, it was hers. She left it with me when she split. I had it still when I met and moved in with my soon-to-be-current wife. It didn't get along with her two cats, and since it was her house, and I never really liked 'my' cat, to a new home it went.
Her older cat was cool as cats go, he was affectionate, and friendly, never shit/pissed anywhere besides the litter box, and tolerated the dog I had at the time. That cat died about 8 years ago. The cat she still has didn't like my dog, and never really took to me. He has this annoying habit of walking everywhere with his claws extended so he gets stuck on blankets, clothing, and furniture. His excursions onto a lap invariable end up with a claw being dug into clothing, and you need to be careful wearing shorts if you're sitting somewhere he wants to walk. He also has this nasty habit of jumping up onto areas where we have fresh food, especially cooked poultry. We've been pushing him off the counters and dining table, trying every deterent from a squirt bottle to actually smacking him upside the head, for over ten years. Still, he hops right on the table when we're eating and won't leave until forcibly removed. Seriously, yelling or shooing him doesn't work he just looks at you as if to ask, "what's in it for me?". Trust me, that cat is _not_ underfed.
We got another cat (kitten) a few years ago because my daughter wanted one. He doesn't cuddle with anyone in the house, and prefers to hide, not even socializing with the older cat. The only time we see him is when he needs to be fed or is making his way to the litter box.
We have a dog. She's the best. She's happy to see me when I get home, always greeting me with a toy in her mouth and a wagging tail. She comes when I call her, ready to play or cuddle, and is happy with either form of affection. When we're eating dinner, I tell her to go lay in the other room, and she does. I love our dog.
The older cat tolerates our dog, and the younger cat hisses and howls whenever he sees the dog. We've had the dog almost two years, and the cat still acts as if he's never seen the dog before.
One of the things I love about my dog is that she shits in the yard. Outside. She barks to go out, tail wagging, then barks to come in, seemingly happy to not have polluted our home with excrement.
My cats, on the other hand, require a litter box - sometimes. Other times, they use what ever corner of the house strikes their fancy at the time. When they _do_ use the litter box, they track litter in the surrounding area, and in the event that a little piece of kitty poop clings to their ass, it gets dropped somewhere around the house, and in the 'jelly side down' ethos (i.e. Murphy's Law), invariably ends up in a highly trafficked area of the house (where I'm prone to be shoe-less), or on the furniture.
This past weekend, one or both cats decided to relieve themselves in places other than the litter box. Yes, the box was clean. No, I haven't changed the litter, the box, or moved it. No, I haven't placed any new items in its proximity. It's in the same box, in the same corner, using the same brand of litter as it has for the past three years. Yet, one has decided to pee about two feet from the box, on an old wood floor so the urine soaks nicely into it. One decided to shit in the middle of the bath mat in the bathroom. It may be the same cat that did both, it may be one did one and one did the other. I don't know, neither will admit to the offenses. Waterboarding is not an option.
My dogs have always let me know who the offending party is. In the exceptionally rare occurrence where one of them ever did go in the house, and they let me know they did it by the guilty behaviour. Cats respond to such interrogations with an air of privilege.
Now, I can't kill the cats. Well, I could, but I won't. After the 3rd incident in two days of cat piss on the wooden floor I was heard to yell "FUCKING CATS". I was reminded of the title of this post - In the "And the Children Shall Lead" episode of the original Star Trek series. "DEATH TO YOU ALL" was ranted repeatedly by the antagonist Gorgon as he faded from existence (the episode was interesting metaphor for the power of god and religion, and the nature of its most ardent adherents).
No, it's left to me to figure out, through a combination of trial, error, and psychoanalysis, why it is that the new piss spot seems to be two feet from the litter box and what it was that drove one of them to shit in the on my bath mat. Now, I haven't had a repeat of the shit-on-the-bathmat since the one incident friday morning, though I may yet have a surprise awaiting me somewhere else. Yesterday I dug an old piece of rug with a rubber backing from my basement that I cut to fit the area where the cat has desired to pee. It seems to have worked, there hasn't been pee there since. However, I've been monitoring the litter box closely, to make sure it has been used for its intended purpose. It seems to me there should be more pee than there is, which would indicate that the offending feline has decided to pee somewhere else. Most likely it's in the basement, where the clutter makes it difficult to check every hiding space until it's revealed by the overwhelming smell of cat piss.