My Damn Cats Need a Job

 How to Stop Your Cat From Scratching on Your Door

I’m asking myself some tough questions lately. The cat question is the biggest one. Why do we have pets? Are they for comfort, or status? Loneliness or companionship? I’m convinced that I have two cats, because of accidental masochism. While they do provide an endless supply of photography opportunities — they’ve also caused me a great deal of grief.

Kittimus Prime – Le Chat 1

I have two cats. The first cat is very rambunctious and would scratch on the door at night as I slept. This was a problem, because I rent. It was also a problem because I couldn’t sleep. I used to try to reason with her through to door. “Please, just tonight… let me sleep just tonight. I hear you, I promise… I hear you…please.” I know you’re probably asking why I didn’t just leave the door open? Well, that’s because she will destroy the blinds, stand on my head, claw the shit out of the bed and just fuck the rest of my sleep up. I started a new job, where I no longer was home during the day. The problem escalated. I had to find a solution.

My solution to the scratching problem was — get a second cat. I suppose I thought that some companionship during my workday, would stop her from obliterating my sleep schedule. Well, the good news is — the new cat did stop her from scratching on the bedroom door at night. The bad news is — the new cat scratches on the door now.

He’s a shelter cat. 7 years old. He is very large. When he arrived to his new “forever” home (that’s what the shelter calls them) he weighed something like 22 pounds. I believe his strict diet of horrible cat food has dropped him a few pounds. I’m proud of this fact. He’s a sweet lap cat but also a bastard. Lap time is all of the time. I have multiple battle wounds, caused by his hefty physique ungracefully attempting to make his way to rest upon my lap. He isn’t happy unless he’s immediately in my face.

the hot rod of cat stories

He is an illegal resident. See, when I moved into my apartment — I had to pay a pet deposit. I also had to pay for pet insurance. I also have to pay pet rent every month. Pet rent is $25, per pet. Each additional pet requires a second deposit and additional deposit. I have not registered my shelter cat, because I feel like I’ve paid my dues.

Going back to the scratching problem. Now, I have two cats that scratch at the door. It’s relentless. I thought that sticky shit would fix it. I affixed it to the door. Well, they scratched it up and now the door is just sticky. Next, I got some cardboard boxes from my garage and some rugs. I MacGuyver’d that shit together, and pinned it to the door. They ripped it off after a few hours. My next attempt to stop the duo of dastardly deeds was putting boxes in front of the door. I figured that putting some space between the door and the cats would make it difficult to scratch. I also put old kitty litter containers in front of the door and hung the spray bottle (water/vinegar mix) around it, much like you would do garlic to prevent vampires. This worked for about 3 days, but they figured out that they could open the door by running into the boxes as hard as they could.

A diagram of a shikibuton

I’m going to patent my next invention, because this has provided (save for nights when they are determined) the most restful nights. I took an old Tuft and Needle shikibuton (Japanese futon) that I had in the closet and jammed it in the archway between my bedroom door. This worked for two weeks, but there was an ever so small gap at the top, that the more agile cat figured out how to jump through. This would then trap her between the door and the mattress — creating more scratching. To fix this, I shoved two pillows into the gap at the top. This has solved my problem. They can’t get in. The only downside is that I refuse to get up to use the restroom until morning, since the “trap” (as I call it) is a bitch to move at night.

Illustrated Representation of my Final Solution

Anyways, to the point, my damn cats need to get a job. I provide them food and water and attention and catnip. They in return provide me with a defeating madness.

In Austin, property is a big deal. You see, everyone keeps moving here. Local rentals keep getting purchased by out-of-state interests. The combination of these two facts has allowed massive price-gouging. Rent keeps going up and it’s kind of bullshit. If you were hoping by moving to Austin, you’d get to go to the bookstore and research JFK conspiracies or see Madonna’s pubes — you won’t. You’ll have to deal with tons of traffic, California yuppies, and unbearable realtors.

My last unit (a house) flooded because the AC exploded. We had to sleep in the living room for a month because the realtors were insane. They then tried to charge us for replacing the floors — but couldn’t because the AC dude had our back. Apparently they had done 0 maintenance on the AC for years, which caused it to explode. You rent to avoid having to deal with that shit (and also because no one can afford a house in Austin). After the nightmare of moving from that place and receiving almost no security deposit (the realtors have a 1 star rating on Google), I thought I’d found a great place. The first 3 months at my new apartment was perfect. Alas, they were bought out by some shitty mega-corp out of Illinois or something and have been experts at fucking me over.

They’ve presented my lease terms for next year. Not only has rent raised, they raised the damn pet rent. Now, I’ll never register my illegal cat. I hope the Austin Cat Immigration Enforcement doesn’t come knocking, but I can’t afford to pay more pet rent without sending these cats to work.

“Why don’t you just move?” Fuck you, I just moved a year ago. The only place left to go is Pflugerville or Round Rock and since everyone else is moving there, the prices are too high as well. I don’t want to pay another deposit right away and would prefer to just wait out another year. Next year I’ll get a house (yeah right).

Being born in 1988 means that you will move every year or two after you hit 18. You will never own property and your cats will never get jobs. You will die by 30. Only 1 more year to go, until the sweet release of death.

In conclusion: If only Tuft and Needle would make a new line of shikibuton. That thing was the best sleep I ever got. Now, I have to use it to block an archway, and instead sleep on a less superior Tuft and Needle western mattress.

Also published on Medium.

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