When I picked up Pepper to take her to our home years ago when she was just a kitten, I had no idea what I was in for.
I've had cats my whole life, but Pepper fell from a different kind of cat tree.
She couldn't poo in a box right.
She couldn't digest her food.
She would knead my belly on the same spot for 30 minutes until I couldn't take it anymore.
She was never taught how to cat properly.
But, she was now a part of our family, and I was stuck with a cat that wasn't.
She's been a great beast, despite my initial misgivings.
Until she suddenly wasn't.
We had left a basket of clean, folded laundry in the kitchen one night, and went to bed, all blissfully innocent as to what our cat could do.
The next day, Eva and Lily pulled out their church dresses from the top of the pile to play dress up, and after buttoning each other up, whisked dramatically into the kitchen. I was standing at the stove at the time, and my head whipped around as a wall of ick hit my face.
"What is that smell???" I exclaimed.
Eva sagged a little.
"It's our dresses..."
I demanded they take them off, and then examined the dresses more closely.
Pepper had peed on them...and everything in the basket....and my upholstered chair.
My head silently swelled as I processed what had just happened, and I threw everything into the laundry.
It's okay, I told myself. She probably just had to go potty in the middle of the night, and had nowhere else to go...so she peed in a perfect 3 foot circle on our things...because...because...apoj23894aa-09sdpajkb09isf
I pulled out some fabric cleaner, acid and lye, and went to work on my chair.
But kitty pee is Satan's liquor and it wouldn't budge. I only managed to make it smell like flowery cat piddle.
Several days later (and several more attempts at cleaning the chair), we had some puppies come and visit for the weekend. Pepper stood outside the garage door where they were being housed, her tail puffed up to 8 times her body width, and sniffed for a long time, until I shooed her away, and went on with my day.
At some point, I took the dogs out so they could take care of business, and at the same time I let Pepper into the garage to use her litter box.
She stood in her poo box, frozen with fear for several minutes...
She finally managed to produce something, and then creeped backwards out of the box, and under a chair. 10 seconds later, she crawled back into the litter box, and stood on top of her poo, and stared into space, her eyes completely dilated.
I tried to get her back into the house, but she kept hissing at me, and backing under furniture in the garage. I kept squeezing her with the parts of the bunk bed that were next to her box, but she just kept hissing and refusing to move.
Fine, I thought. I don't have time for these shenanigans. I'll just let the dogs in...
I brought the dogs into the garage. As I looked for her, I found her curled up on the floor looking wistfully at the open garage door. That's when I let the dogs go...
Kronk the Pug ran up to Pepper, barking, no doubt thinking Pepper was his new best friend. Pepper jumped over him, hissing and spitting, and scrambled her way into the house.
I thought that was the end of it.
I had the kids in the tub at the time, and went to go check on them. I left Pepper quietly contemplating pugicide on the kitchen rug.
I came back a few minutes later and my kitchen chair was soaked.
I didn't know what to make of it.
Had the pipes upstairs burst??
I looked up at the ceiling but it was dry.
It could only be one thing...I mean...maybe the kids sprayed the chair with a bottle...?
My brain quietly whispered over and over, "pepperpiddlepepperpiddlepepperpiddle"
I ripped the cushions off the chair, and tore off the covers. No point in trying to get around it..it was time to throw everything into the washing machine, and then boil the rest of the chair in lava.
I ran down the hallway to pull the littles out of the tub, and then came back to get some undies for them.
And the chair had puddles on it.
I wiped it up, and ran back down the hallway.
And came back to MORE puddles....
...and Pepper slinking away from the chair.
Something in my brain made a popping, gurgling sound, and I my eyes locked onto the beast and I pounced.
I grabbed the beast by her scruff and, growling, threw open the garage door. Kronk ran happily up to the door, tongue out. Pepper struggled a little, and I unceremoniously dumped her on the floor next to Kronk.
Pepper transformed into a tip-toed cotton ball with teeth while Kronk just stared at her, not moving. (Jeremy says it was because she was in his blind spot, since his eyes are all DOYINNGGG in opposite directions)
I then slammed the door shut, and made up my mind to take Pepper to the nearest pound as soon as I could manage to get a brassier on.
I was seething when Jeremy called.
"THAT'S IT!" I yelled. "I'M DONE! SHE'S OUT OF THIS HOUSE!!"
Jeremy then did something very surprising.
He began defending Pepper.
"Darling..." he started. "She is part of our family..."
"And she IS stressed out...."
I growled slightly.
"And she's been a good cat...."
This was all true, but it didn't change the fact that my cat had had a mental breakdown all over my furniture.
Gradually, Jeremy's tenderhearted appeal for Pepper made it into the craggy depths of my shriveled heart, and I decided that nothing she did couldn't be repaired with a whole lot of chemicals and a carpet cleaning machine.
When Jeremy got home, I approached him about getting a small spot cleaner to give the chair a good cleaning.
And Jeremy looked at me blankly.
"Well, if we're going to keep her then we should get a machine to get her piddlies out...that way she won't do it again in the same spot..."
Jeremy's brow furrowed.
"Well, she's your cat, if you want to get rid of her it's up to you."
My brain folded in on itself like some sort of intricate origami.
"Wait, what?? Did you just get through telling me how she was part of our family, blah blah blah??"
Jeremy face darkened.
"Fine..." he acquiesced.
One small spot cleaner, 80 washings of the cushions covers, and one reassembling-of-the-foam-that-had-fallen-apart-due-to-all-the-water-I-dumped-on-it-via-garden-hose later, the chair was back to its old self.
And Pepper acted like nothing had happened, and looked at me like why wasn't she allowed back into her house? What did she ever do to deserve being exiled into the stinky garage?
So...I have a cat that can't cat right...
...but she's my not-cat.