DEAR PET LADY,
This is LONG. . . . [Long, indeed. The following letter has been condensed for space considerations; for the curious, the full text of the original is available belowEds.]
My roommate and I agreed not to have any cats. Her boyfriend "rescued" a cat to bring it over for "us." The cat was cute. With a quick roommate meeting and us doing the whole girly squeal thing, we had a new friend. We discussed which duties we would do in taking care of him. I would feed him and she would change the litter.
Well, here's where it starts to get ugly. She barely EVER changed the cat litter. I even left it for a month! I finally couldn't stand the stench and dumped it.
The cat decided to spray my chair, and yes, it sucked, but he deserved a second chance, until he was at least fixed. I just tried my darnedest to get the smell out. Then, he sprayed the arm of the chair. THEN he urinated on the ottoman. I was ready to either throw him off the deck or have him for dinner. My roommate "couldn't smell it." How the F*$& could she not smell that! I was so pissed I just threw the ottoman onto the deck. And told her in a frustrated tone, "Fuck it, whatever."
She decided it was time to get the cat fixed when he peed on her comforter. Since she was paying, it was definite now, the cat belonged to her.
Well, the cat got fixed. Then the cat pissed two more times on my furniture!!! A whole set of furniture is now marked by this little shit!!! The closest thing to an apology I have gotten is an "Uh, I'm sorry. I tried to wipe it up, but not sure if it was good enough." Well ya fucking moron! If it wasn't good enough, then why the hell did you stop!
I've just about had it with that fur ball! I don't know what to do!!!!!!!!!
DEAR DARLENE LOVELACE,
While the length and tenor of your letter cause the Pet Lady some degree of alarm, you do have a lovely, lovely name, so let us proceed.
In her salad days in San Francisco, the Pet Lady dwelt in a flat with up to four other bohemian, poverty-stricken youth, and the P.L. would occasionally find herself in a fury with one flatmate or another—perhaps due to, say, one of said persons walking about, whistling tunelessly yet very audibly, whilst simultaneously committing the sartorial horror of wearing socks with sandals. The P.L., being a student of Buddhism at the time, would draw a deep breath and look within for the source of the fury, ponder briefly the tenet that all things are impermanent—including socks, sandals, and whistling—and then mix herself a martini. Repose and peaceful-mindedness followed.
Dear Darlene Lovelace, furniture, too, is transient, and so, god willing, are roommates. The Pet Lady subtly suggests that some other matter in your existence may be what is bothering you; our psychologically minded friends call this projecting or somesuch. Look within. Let the fury go. Recall that all material things aside, life is precious, especially little fur life that knows not what it does but merely follows its small instincts. Your furniture is ruined. You now know suffering, and a valuable lesson is yours. Have a martini, and move immediately.
The Pet Lady
Pet, furniture, or unrelated problem? Send photos and letters to The Pet Lady, c/o Seattle Weekly, 1008 Western, Ste. 300, Seattle, WA 98104, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
THE LONG VERSION, for the curious!
DEAR PET LADY,
This is LONG.....
My roommate and I moved out back in July of '01. We agreed not to have any cats in this apartment, due to the fact they actually require someone to take care of them, which I personally admitted I did not want the responsibility at this point in my life, and a minor detail that the apartments we live in would require a ridiculously high $1,000 deposit.
Well, November there was a tragic loss within her immediate family, and to be sweet, her boyfriend "rescued" a cat he had seen day after day in the rain from a job site he was at. Deciding the cat didn't have a home, he decided to bring it over for "us." I admit, I thought the cat was cute and seemed very friendly, with a quick roommate meeting that lasted a whole 15 seconds of me asking her if she really wanted the cat, and her saying yes, and us doing the whole girly squeal thing, we had a new friend. I just wanted her to feel good and be happy again. Well, as communication is important, we discussed which duties we would be more inclined to do in taking care of him. I would feed him the wet food (she couldn't stand the smell-which you will later on realize is ironic) and she would change the litter, I can't stand that. Everything else pretty much was supposed to be 50/50 as far as buying litter etc.
Well, here's where it starts to get ugly. The first three months, she bought cat litter once, and cat food once. Barely EVER changed the cat litter (four out of five times I've changed it), I even left it for a month! I finally couldn't stand the stench and dumped it, she claimed she couldn't smell it. Now, let me also say, ALL the furniture in the living room was in good condition when we moved out and I had just bought the set the summer before, so it was still new. Since we've had the cat he decided to spray my chair (he wasn't fixed at this time), and yes, it sucked, but he deserved a second chance, until he was at least fixed. I just pulled the stuffing out and tried my darndest to get the smell out. Then, he sprayed the arm of the chair. I tried to clean that too. THEN he urinated on the ottoman. I was pretty pissed by then and was ready to either throw him off the deck or have him for dinner. My roommate called me in the middle of the day to tell me she 'thought' the cat peed on the ottoman, though she couldn't tell cause she couldn't smell it. I told her to dump all of the cat odor neutralizer (can't remember what it was called) but just to let it soak down. I got home about five hours later, and just about barfed when I opened the door to the apt! How the F*$& could she not smell that! The directions on the bottle indicated to let the mix soak into the furniture for several days, and could possible take a couple of weeks to clear up. I'm sorry, but, hell no! It was raining out, and I was so pissed I just threw the ottoman onto the deck. And told her in a frustrated tone, "Fuck it, whatever, I'm not living in this apartment with that stench for two weeks". (I swear the cat has sprayed elsewhere in the apartment, I always catch a whiff by my bookshelves, but can never actually find it.)
So, she decided it was time to get the cat fixed when he finally peed on her comforter. Since she was paying to get the cat fixed, it was definite now, the cat belonged to her.
Well, the cat got fixed, and was fine for about a month. Then, it happened again! The cat decided his litter box was good anymore and pissed two more times on my furniture!!!! Once on the sofa and once on the love seat! So, there, a whole set of furniture is now marked by this little shit!!!
Not to mention he is shredding my furniture! I clip his nails (which is not my responsibility) and have to refill the bad kitty spray bottle at least once a week! I've gone to shutting my bedroom door all the time too, as the cat LOVES to knock breakables off shelves, dressers, windowsills, even the top of the FRIDGE! He also tore a hole in my screen trying to get out side.
Well, we had a blow out in regards to other issues, and the cat came up. Let me tell you, she has NEVER once offered to pay for any cleaning or anything in regards to my furniture. And the closest thing to an apology I have gotten is a "Uh, I'm sorry, but, I think the cat peed on your couch again. I tried to wipe it up, but not sure if it was good enough." Well ya fucking moron! If it wasn't good enough, then why the hell did you stop!
Anyhow, she said there is no way she is getting rid of the cat before the lease is up. She is planning on moving to her mother's house at the end of the lease, where there is already a cat there. She has been out of town since April 26 and since then I've just about had it with that fur ball! I don't know what to do!!!!!!!!! Should I ask her to take him to her mothers now? Or is that just unthinkable and petty on my behalf. AND, should I ask her to pay for steam cleaning my furniture when we split, or is that something I should just chalk up to a lesson learned. What would you do?