The Truth about Cat Piss 1/19/01

I love moving.

You saw right through that, didn't you? You read the words and said to yourself, "Mr. Steele is lying to us, despite the word 'Truth' right at the top of the page! That bastard won't get away with this!!!!"

Ya got me. I hate moving, and I've moved enough people enough times to know it. That's one of the downsides to being a large guy. It's akin to owning a pick-up truck ... when anyone, anywhere moves, you're likely to get a phone call.

There are, however, upsides to moving -- not the least of which being that it's one of the few times I'm allowed to force the cats into their little crate. Those hairy little bastards think they're so cool ... but watch them run and hide when they realize it's Box Time.

Mwa-ha-hah! The chase is on! Deus goes right into the box, unaware that I'm about to close the door behind him! "Damn you!" he yowls at me from within! But wait ... one more to go, and he's got warning! It's out of the room and under the bed, to grab the floor with four desperate feet!

"You can't hide from Daddy, my thumbless compadre!" I snort derisively as I drag him from his hidey-hole! "Into the box with you!"

"Ah-hah!" Dune says. "But there's one little detail you seem to have forgotten, and that's these!" His claws rake across my hands, followed by a quick stream of piss, into the wounds! "You like apples?" he asks as he hits the floor, "how you like them apples, you clothes-wearing, pink-skinned freak-of-nature??"

Eventually it was over, Humanity once-more dominating Nature in an epic struggle. After the liberal application of disinfectant, the cats were released into their new home, and the cat crate was piled into the second bedroom along with all of the other homeless books, furniture, and crap. And there it sat for weeks, warranting nary a thought from any members of the household, four-footed or otherwise.

During that time, we began experiencing a phenomenon which came to be known as 'The Phantom Stench.' We knew what it was -- oh yes -- there's absolutely no mistaking that smell. Finding it, however, was another matter entirely.

We found ourselves on our hands and knees, smelling every corner of our new apartment. Living room, bedroom, dining room, hallway, all came up empty. There were only two places from which that smell could be detected -- right at the front door, and from the exact spot on the couch where I sit and type. If I stood up, or moved my head six inches to the left, the smell vanished. Gone.

My sanity began to skew. Surely, I thought, if these animals could take up the required study of air currents and convection, and cleverly piss in some secret spot so that the odor would waft exactly across my nostrils, surely if these cats had that sort of intellect, they could be taught to -- say -- wash dishes. Vacuuming was out of the question, but a dish ... that didn't seem too hard. They didn't have a problem handling a sponge, or else they wouldn't be able to scatter them all over the house. Turning on the water and squirting the soap -- while challenging given their anatomical limitations -- wouldn't be impossible.

Sadly, my attempts at such endeavors were to no avail.

Weeks passed in this fashion ... but there on the horizon loomed my chance, if not at Resolution, then at least at Retribution. We had an appointment with a vet. Oh, yes. Can anyone tell me the difference between a Tenor and a Castrato?

It was neutering time. I would have the last word.

Once more did I fetch the Cat Crate, setting it neatly on the floor of the living room the night before the surgery, as if to say, Hey, nothing to fear, here. It's just part of the decorating scheme. Go ahead, climb inside if you like. Enjoy yourselves.

It was then that the Phantom Stench received a promotion, from Phantom to outright Poltergeist. Small objects were being hurled around the room. It was bad.

Mrs. Steele stuck her nose inside that Crate.

I cannot imagine or begin to express what she must have experienced, Gentle Reader. I can only guess that it was the scent-equivalent to a small wrecking ball -- or, perhaps, not so small. Up to that point in my life, I had never actually seen a human being wretch repeatedly without actually vomiting. It was a fascinating spectacle to behold, and it continued for no less than five minutes as we packed the contents of that crate -- a urine-soaked, month-fermented pillow and towel -- into a plastic bag.

Quite naturally, I suggested the destruction of the bag's contents, under the logic that such forces were too powerful for Mankind to deal with wisely. I was usurped, however.

The Truth for the Day is, try not to piss off the Mrs. between now and next Christmas, or you may become the decidedly unhappy recipient of the Plastic Bag of Death.

Or, she may only gleefully castrate you -- a lesson the cats just learned.

This is not a bluff.