The Pee Monster
“The Pee Monster struck again,” said my friend Katrina who had graciously offered to look after said Monster while I traveled.
The Pee Monster (Mimzy) wasn’t mournfully mewing by the door to the room where I’d stayed. She wasn’t Facebook stalking me. She hadn’t drunken dialed me even once to beg me to come home. Nope, she was displaying her dissatisfaction and anxiety in the only language she knew, urine. And it’s virtually impossible to break a Pee Monster of that once they start.
Why the bed?
She clearly liked Katrina. We’d spent many evenings hanging out in the living room where Mimzy choose to cuddle up with Katrina over me. She liked to visit both of us at night and split her time between the bedrooms. She often greeted her first when we came home.
Katrina wondered if it was related to her desire to go outside. Because aside from peeing on the bed, she’d also taken to sitting on the bed and pawing frantically at the window to the back yard, which I had stupidly let her explore before taking off on my adventures.
The first time I’d let her out, a transformation had taken over. She was no longer the cute, cuddly companion of the last 12 years. She was wild. She was hunting. She was Cat in all her glory. I’d never let her out before, certainly not in Chicago where there were so many dangers. But in the safety of Katrina’s large back yard, I felt she could explore.
But then the Mew Monster took over. She wanted outside all the time and we couldn’t leave the back door open so she would mournfully mew her displeasure at a pitch designed to get our attention. It drove me crazy but Katrina seemed able to mostly tune it out.
We figured she’d calm down eventually. But when I left for my adventures, the Mew Monster transformed into the Pee Monster. She’d peed once on Katrina’s bed before I’d left but I thought it was related to a bacterial infection she’d had. After a trip to the vet and transitioning the litter box downstairs, we thought all was fine. However, a few weeks into my trip Katrina reached out to share that the peeing had begun to become a regular occurrence.
But first some background on Katrina. She is tenacious when it comes to figuring things out and as a Librarian, some might call The Original Google, she has the skills. If anyone could find answers, it was her. And she patiently researched, trying anything and everything; Vet recommended calming diffusers in every room, play time and treats in bed, leaving the TV on while away, even a shower curtain when all else failed.
Nothing seemed to work.
And finally we reached a point where an exit strategy was needed.
I could cut my trip out west short and come back to get the Pee Monster and then hit up the east coast rather than backtrack. But I feared if she was this anxious in a house with someone she liked, that going with me on the road to many different homes might lead to more discomfort for her and result in a continuation of the behavioral issues.
I started considering the possibility of giving Mimzy more freedom and time outdoors. Would she be happier in a warm barn where she could hunt mice and be Cat in all her glory? It might be a shorter life but would it be more fulfilling? What would be best for her?
Or was I “dumping” her like someone else had done when she was just a kitten. She’d been found mewing herself hoarse by the side of a country road and was luckily heard by my sister in law Brooke and rescued. What if taking her to a barn transported her back to that trauma?
I struggled with the responsibility, weighing options with unclear consequences. If only she could talk.
“What would you want if you were Mimzy,” my boyfriend asked during one of our phone dates.
“Given all the options, I’d want to be free,” I’d replied.
“Well, there’s your answer.”
And so with the generosity of my Aunt Donna and Uncle Joe and my mom who took on the task of taking Mimzy to their warm barn and acclimating her and of course Katrina who helped to coordinate, Mimzy was introduced to her new home.
I miss her.
I still expect her to come running up every time I open a can of tuna and I occasionally reach out to pet objects on chairs before realizing it’s not her. I don’t know how she’ll do there but I hope she’s be happy. I’ll certainly check in on her throughout my travels and visit when I’m back from this trip. Then I’ll have to make another decision, whether to keep her there or try to reintroduce her to civilized society.
Letting her go, means she might decide the barn life isn’t for her and when I return she won’t be there. That’s always a risk of letting someone you care about go. We can’t control what they’ll do. But I do hope she’s there when I return and when I do that she’ll find a way to tell me if she wants to stay or continue her walk with me.