If you follow me on Twitter, you may already be familiar with the saga of Specter. (And if you don’t follow me on Twitter, shame on you!) If you’re sick of hearing about this, feel free to browse the blogs I love to find something more interesting to read.
About a month ago, my son came into my office late one night. “Um, Mom? There’s a cat on the kitchen counter.”
I walked to the kitchen just in time to see a tail disappear through the dog door into the basement. Then I freaked out. Even though I hate cleaning, I’m really picky about my kitchen counters. I wipe them down about 400 times a day. Oh yeah, and Jayden is allergic to cats. And now there’s some random stray cat just hanging out in my house like it lives here? Oh hell no.
I started thinking back to all the times my dogs were out of food in the morning, even though I’d filled their bowl before I went to bed. Just how long has this thing been coming into my house? And why have the dogs never noticed?
About a week later, my smallest dog, Moxie (chewer of shoes for those who have seen pics on Twitter) ran into the kitchen and started yapping like crazy. I realized that the other 3 dogs were in my office with me, which meant that the cat had been making the crunching sounds I’d heard coming from the kitchen. Poor Moxie is now a paranoid wreck, barking every time I walk toward the kitchen, the air conditioner kicks on, etc. And the other dogs look at her like she’s nuts because they haven’t seen the cat yet.
I named the cat Specter, since we never know it’s in the house. I’ve also decided that something has to be done – I’m completely over finding paw prints on my stovetop and counters (shudder). Yet here I am a month later and I still haven’t figured out how to get rid of the cat.
In my kitchen, there is a door (with a dog door) leading to my basement. In the basement, there is another dog door leading to a fenced area outside. The cat is either climbing or jumping the fence and coming in through the dog door.
I do have little metal guards that go into the dog doors to prevent anything from coming in or out. But if I use them, my dogs can’t go outside to pee during the night. (They’re little dogs with little bladders. They pee a lot.) Plus, since Specter appears to be living inside the cardboard mountain in the basement (no, I still haven’t gotten rid of it), I can’t block the outer dog door without potentially trapping him inside the basement.
Part of me feels bad for trying to get rid of Specter. He’s obviously been coming in (unbeknownst to me) for quite awhile; otherwise he wouldn’t be brave enough to laze around on my counter like he owns the place. In his tiny cat brain, he probably thinks he won the lottery – as long as he waits until the house is dark and quiet, he can eat all he wants, and there’s more food the very next night! And my basement is warm in the winter and cool in the summer.
But Jayden is allergic. And I am NOT a cat person. And I have four dogs. And a thing about my counters being clean. So Specter needs to find a new house to sneak into. I just don’t know how to communicate that to him since (1) he’s a cat and (2) I’ve never managed to actually see him. Well, other than his tail.
I’m turning to you guys for advice. How do I get Specter out of my house for good? Is there some kind of cat sedative I could feed him to knock him out and take him to the Humane Society? And please don’t suggest shooting him – I hate cats, but not that much. Please help!