I will be heading out to a cat shelter in about an hour. I hope to return with a kitty or two. Probably not as large as Mr. Martin’s kitty above.

UPDATE:Β  Success! Two tiny adorable kittens are careening around my bedroom at high velocities. It is now 4:32 AM. They have been doing this off and on since I brought them home roughly ten hours ago. I have no idea where the fuck they get all their energy. From cat food? I think I might have to start eating it myself.

About David Futrelle

I run the blog We Hunted the Mammoth, which tracks (and mocks) online misogyny. My writing has appeared in a wide variety of places, including Salon,, the Washington Post, the New York Times Book Review and Money magazine. I like cats.

Posted on July 27, 2012, in cuteness, kitties, off topic, open thread. Bookmark the permalink. 114 Comments.

  1. the twisted spinster

    Adorable kitty is adorable.πŸ˜€

  2. @nanasha, my cat did the same. she is outdoors during the day but we bring her in at night. When we moved house, if we left anything clothlike, especially on the floor, we would wake to find it had been peed on. She had a favourite spot under a table in my daughters room. so we ended up lifting all the cloth things off the floor/sofa at night and shutting her in the living room/our room. we also used a special cleaner to clean the carpets where she had peed that broke down the urine smell and left it neutral smelling (to cats) so she didn’t feel she needed to pee on that spot again. Eventually, she settled down and we don’t find her peeing anywhere. But i still don’t leave stuff out in case it is too tempting.

    when we lived in the UK, we had 4 cats. When we emigrated to Australia, i made the heart-breaking decision to rehome them rather than put them through the long flight and quarantine. I’d had them for 14yrs. i cried and cried and cried even though they were all rehomed to good people. i swore i would never have a cat again.

    Yeah, that didn’t last…we have a big fat long haired tortieshell tabby called Molly (a shelter cat) and Mr BigMomma is being quietly firm that one is enough (*sniff*).

    Congratulations, David, on your kitties. May they bring you joy,snuggles and purrs for many years.

  3. My sister used to have a cat that peed on the stove burner when she was stressed. We often didn’t notice ’til someone turned the stove on.😦

  4. @Cassandra- we’re going to check out the litter tomorrow and see if that helps. The annoying thing is that our apartment is set up so that you can only go in the bathroom if you go through the bedroom, so we can’t keep him out of the bedroom at all. And the apartment is so small that there’s no other appropriate place to put a litter box that wouldn’t be near where food is being prepared (we have a living room/kitchen thing) or be right in a pathway/walkway and would be unsanitary. I’m going to try and get on my husband to clean the box out once a day as well. He’s unfortunately been very lax on it, and I have been avoiding doing it because I am pregnant and the doctor says that I should not take any chances, just in case of toxoplasmosis.

    I’m just seriously thinking I’m gonna have to buy a bunch of big plastic sheeting and put it on soft surfaces every time I leave the room (he only seems to do this when no one is looking- I haven’t caught him doing it yet). *sigh* I’m not sure what else I can do besides put him on kitty prozac or something, and even then, I can’t say for sure if it will help (plus some people have told me that cats have DIED when they gave it to them so that freaks me out- I don’t want my kitty to die because he was peeing on stuff).

  5. Definitely make your husband clean the box. Or you said you already have a child – are they old enough to help for a while? It’s not worth risking it while you’re pregnant. If it was me I’d stick the box in the corner of the kitchen area. I know it’s not your preference, but it sounds like that’s at least an area that you can confine the cat to, which is what you need until he learns to use the box again.

  6. @Cassandra- Sadly we don’t really have a “kitchen”- it’s more like one big room with a bar and a fridge on one side and a stove on the other. There’s really no room for a litter box that wouldn’t either be underfoot or near where food is being prepared and served (which is really gross if you have cat urine/feces nearby). Plus we have a 3 year old daughter- she’s just finally getting potty trained herself, and I really don’t think she’s ready to clean out the box.

    I really don’t want to have to re-home our cat (he’s a 4 or so year old black cat- that’s basically instant death if he goes to the shelter, so I’m unwilling to put him there). Last time he was having severe urine problems (they magically come and go, it seems- or maybe I just don’t catch him until the smell is gone- my cat has this weird, cranberry juice pee smell but I’ve been assured that there is no UTI several times by my vet), my daughter SOBBED when I put him in his crate to take him to the vet. She loves her kitty and would be heartbroken if we got rid of him. I think that the biggest problem is our neighbor who has this big tabby male who is INSANELY aggressive. She lets him have the run of the apartment complex and he basically jump attacks any other cat that’s outside (almost like a dog attack, it’s freaky), runs around spraying and marking everything in sight, and is basically a huge asshole. I can’t let my cat outside because of him- he’s already run off several other cats in our complex that have taken to staying in nearby fields during the day and end up having to be brought home by their owners at night.

    We would desperately like to move, but we’re stuck in a bad situation- most places are either too expensive, in a horrible area, don’t allow pets, or are way out in the middle of nowhere. So we stay where we are and desperately hope that all our searching will eventually pay off. I’m terrified how bad the peeing is going to get when we bring home the new baby.

  7. Actually, your neighbor’s cat may be the source of the peeing problem. A lot of cats will get super stressed out if there’s another cat running around peeing everywhere. It sounds like the neighbor’s cat isn’t peeing so much as marking territory, and I’m sure your cat can smell it from inside the apartment. Sounds like he’s trying to mark his own territory (ie your apartment) in response. Basically from your cat’s perspective he’s boxed in with a (possibly unfixed) aggressive male cat taunting him by marking all over the place and generally being aggressive. In that case moving may be your only real option.

  8. @Cassandra- You will not believe how pissed off I was at my neighbor when I found out that she had put a box up by the window in the back near our bedroom area so that her tabby could get up to the screen and “make friends” with my cat. Well, that’s what *she* called it. I called it “yowling and trying to attack the window”- that cat is one mean SOB. She keeps whining about how I’m “so mean” for not letting my kitty come out and “play” with her cat- she’s really a weirdo- treats her cats as Better than People. So I threw away the box and basically told her that we need our privacy in as nice a way as I could manage.

    The inappropriate peeing does seem to be directly linked to soft stuff on the floor or on the couch. He only peed on the corner of the comforter that had fallen on the floor (my husband flails around when he sleeps so this happens sometimes). I do have several mattress pads just in case (he peed on our bed ONCE, but has not since), and that’s good anyway since our daughter is still potty training and likes to climb in bed with us.

    I’ve been trying to give him extra grooms and pets and catnip and loves tonight, but I’m not sure if that is going to encourage the behavior or not. Argh…I’m so much better at training and understanding dogs, it seems….

  9. This neighbor is in your building, yes? Any chance you talk to the landlord about this? And this cat isn’t just causing problems for you, so maybe can try get some other tenants on your side?

  10. CassandraSays

    Your poor cat. No wonder he’s stressed out, with random aggressive kitties yowling at him through the window. It sounds like if that’s not the sole cause of the problem, it’s certainly a big part of it.

  11. hmmm, i agree with Cassandra, i think your cat is super stressed by the other cat. if the landlord can’t help with this (do you share a landlord?), moving may be something you need to plan for. do you have any tenants’ rights groups/helplines you can call for free advice?

  12. nanasha, sorry to hear about the peeing problem. It sounds like the neighbor cat is at least part of the problem. maybe you should pee on your neighbor?

  13. Nanasha! I am a vet nurse (like a vet tech in the US only they get to do a few things we don’t) and have lots of experience with inappropriate urination. I would bet all my money that it’s entirely due to the neighbour’s cat. We’ve had clients whose cats was spraying because the food bowl was by a window and the other cat was *watching them eat*. Most clients dismiss out of hand any stress caused by animals they can’t see: these people went as far as frosting all the (massive) windows in their house along the bottom few feet once they established covering them up worked! We❀ that person.

    So. (a) The marking soft things is 99% likely to be marking things of *yours* rather than a texture thing. It wouldn't surprise me at all if Siamese/Abbys have more of a tendency to mark – they have BIG personalities. But it's highly unlikely to be texture so much as clothing/bedding etc being high value items that smell like you.

    (b) Feliway spray is weird – Feliway diffusers are far superior. They mean the entire space smells like it's his rather than having to spray everything in the room. The sprays have very limited applications IMO, where the diffuser can be a life saver.

    (c) My approach when the easier solutions aren’t working is basically, treat your cat like a brand new kitten. Shut everything down. Your cat is currently over-stimulated like hell and the best thing you can do is alleviate that.

    So shut him in the bathroom (this *will* be annoying as he’ll try and escape, but trust me). Give him his litter tray, food and water, and a bed, and keep him there for at least two weeks.*

    Make sure you block off any area where the other cat can loiter and stare him down. Find every urinated spot and soak it in a cat-specific product, multiple times. If it’s been repetitive it can take a lot of product. The one you’re using is good; SOX is also a good product. White vinegar is a cheap alternative but then everything smells like vinegar.πŸ˜›

    Plug a Feliway diffuser into the main living area (not by any windows or anything) and start having him out with you in the evenings when you’re chilling, then put him back again.

    Slowly extend his time and eventually give him access to the whole house once he seems ready. This could take months but it works. Every time he starts marking again go back a step. There’s a fair chance it *won’t* take months but I assure you, this is fixable

    It’s stressful and not at a good time. But his life is changing, he feels threatened and unsafe, you smell different and act different (whether or not you realise it) and in fact now is the time to get him used to having less of your time anyway as you’re going to be pre-occupied with baby.

    Good luck! *hug*

    *This is what we do with new cats; we have 8, we have a spare room we set up for them and visit them in the evenings. We kept the 4 kittens we “fostered”, then about 18 months later I took two very skitty kittens home from our vet clinic, then we have adopted two older cats over the last few years (2 girls, 6 boys). We generally have 4-6 cats sleeping on us on a given night.πŸ˜›

  14. P.S. Congrats David! We expect regular updates. ^_^

  15. Congrats David! Grey kitten looks a lot like one of mine, and is making me miss my two fur balls. Not helping is that my sister-in-law posted pics of their new husky puppy, Cinna.

    *grumbles about having 4+ months b/f I go home*

  16. @hrovitnir, what great advice!

  17. ShadetheDruid

    Looks like your new kitten has Kittyupsidedownitis. The only known cure for which is tummy rubs.

  18. Kitty pics! Kitty pics! Kitty pics!!!

    Show us the kitties!

  19. Agreed!!πŸ˜€ ^
    Need to see kitties! I can’t have pets because of a job that keeps me away for weeks at a time but I CAN enjoy other people’s furry companions!

  20. Alpha Asshole Cock Carousel


  21. Congrats on the KITTIES David! But I need to point something out: you didn’t choose them, they chose you. That’s how it works with cats. When you go to a place where there are many kitties to select from, they look you over and if they like you, they start beaming “Pick me! Pick me!” rays at you, and the one with the strongest signal wins. From your perspective you just think that one is the cutest or the most compatible with you or something, but that’s just how the human brain interprets the pick-me-pick-me rays.

  22. filetofswedishfish

    Well, I think I might just leave this here: even though they’re puppies. The red one on the left is Janus who is almost 2 and a pitbull/boxer/whatever mutt, and the liddul brindle on the left is the new pups, Loki, a pitbull. Possibly a blue nose, but his white spot on his face makes his nose pink instead. They’re already bffs.

  23. filetofswedishfish

    Well, I think I might just leave this here: even though they’re puppies. The red one on the left is Janus who is almost 2 and a pitbull/boxer/whatever mutt, and the liddul brindle on the left is the new pups, Loki, a pitbull. Possibly a blue nose, but his white spot on his face makes his nose pink instead. They’re already bffs. (sorry David, you can remove my double post if you like. Mixed up my emails)

  24. Aw, kitties!!! More pics, please.

    We just got back from vacation, and all of them were like “where the hell were YOU?” After that, snuggles for everyone.

  25. Man Boobz: Come for the mockery, stay for the stellar advice on pet psychology. Seriously, I am bookmarking that in case I or a friend ever has a cat with pee issues!

  26. creativewritingstudent

    If only one could hug and fuss kitties via internet…

  27. Pix, pix, pix?!?!?!?

  28. Some kitties love the covered litter boxes, others hate them. Also, I can’t stress enough the importance of up space for kitties to de-stress.

  29. I love how Ruby ackwowledges differences in kitten litter-box preferences, but not differences in women’s view of male bodies.

  30. Steve Martin’s cat looks a lot like my Blixa, except Blixa has a pink nose. He weighs 24 pounds.

  31. Congratulations on your new kitty companions, David! How exciting! Couldn’t be happier for you three.

  32. Yay, David! I want pics!

  33. @hrovitnir- THANK YOU SO MUCH for the advice. I’m going to work on some of this stuff as best we can- we do live in a smaller space (one bedroom apartment) and my cat is both very vocal and very good at communicating directly with body language. If you try to shut him up somewhere, he’ll cry his “why are you punishing me?!” cry (which is heartbreaking). And usually, if the door to the bedroom is closed for whatever reason and he has to use his box, he’ll actually make a specific meow that means “I have to go potty.” This is why the “peeing on stuff” thing is just so frustrating to us. We generally keep the windows closed where he eats and the shades closed, but we have been leaving the front door open with the screen closed since it’s been kind of warm lately. Luckily my neighbor keeps her horrible cat inside while she’s gone or at work, so I’ll try and keep the door closed when she’s around.

    @David- If only peeing on my neighbor would effectively bring the point across…πŸ˜„

  34. creativewritingstudent


    Super Soaker full of water at the annoying neighbour’s cat? Assuming ANC hates water, of course. Mum did that on my childhood dog when she (dog) took to dangling off the washing line. Worked a treat.

  35. We brought home two rescue kittens last year that bounced of the walls the exact same way you described. And now almost a year later…they’re still doing it. And we don’t even let them have catnip!

    So when will you be posting pics of them? When they calm down enough to pose?

  36. David, congratulations on the new members of your family! Have they revealed their names to you yet?

  37. @ hrovitnir – a big thank-you from me, too. One of my two kitties is an extremely sensitive soul, and whenever he has a bad day (barfs up a hairball, or there’s a scary thunderstorm when I’m not home), he pees on the sofa. Vet gives him a clean bill of health; he’s just very easily upset. I just plugged in a Feliway infuser, and look forward to an un-peed-upon couch in the near future!

    @ Nanasha, I have another suggestion for you that really helps with my Little Mr. Inappropriate Urinator – a pet blanket for your couch, from the Sure-Fit Slipcover company. It’s a suede-like quilted fabric sofa throw that fits most couches, with an ingenious woven synthetic backing that is highly fluid-resistant. It comes in several different colors/patterns, it’s attractive and pleasant to sit on, but if kitty should pee on it, you just whip it off the couch, wash it in cool water and dry it on the “delicate” cycle, and you’re good – the pee won’t soak through. It’s fairly inexpensive, too – I bought mine about three years ago for around $100.00, and it still looks great and has protected my sofa from every incident of Inappropriate Urination that has happened since then. Here’s the link:

    Good luck to you – I, too, would never ever give up my kitty, no matter how often he pees in the wrong place!

  38. @hrovitnir, woah, that’s some serious kitty psychoanalysis!

    @karalora, well, there’s no question that the black cat chose me. With the grey one it was more 50/50.

    For names I think I’m going to go with Professor Murder and Sweetie Pie Jonas, named after characters on Mr. Show ( a gangsta rapper and a jailed rap mogul who was actually a kitten, respectively). I will probably just end up calling the Prof. by her nickname “Pantz.”

    Weeeird fact: Prof. Murder, who looks a bit like my old cat Bobo (but with longer fur and a rounder face), was born on the same day that Bo died. Kitty reincarnation?

    Pix to come.

  39. Mr. Show! That’s awesome. I’ve daydreamed about naming my next pet (under the right circumstances, of course) The Widow of Wally P. Doyle.

  40. Congratulations on doing a wonderful thing that will not only be good for them but will bring you unmeasurable joy. About 18 years ago, our neighbor let their cat have kittens. It was a rubust litter of six, but one had deformed front legs (a “twisty” cat). The head of the house wanted him euthanized, but my mother said, please let us have him. Mom is gone, but he is still with me, sleeps on my bed, licks my arm, and is quite talkative. And he has always gotten around just fine on his twisty legs. Of course he’s slowing down now, but in his youth he could jump up on tables, climb trees, and outrun me. I hope your new friends appreciate you – but of course not, they’re cats.

  41. Nothing is better than a kitty that loves his or her people.πŸ™‚

  42. Grr arg, tried to respond from work and stupid internet ate my massive response.😦 I wish you all best of luck with your cat issues! Lots of fingers crossed for you especially nanasha because small apartment + vocal cat will be… interesting. Considering he’s usually pretty good I reckon you’ll get there though.πŸ™‚

    If anyone has any more issues that are confounding them you’re welcome to message me on FB ( – if I haven’t heard of any solutions my co-worker probably will have, as she’s been working for our vet for 12 years now.

    Thanks for the suggestion BigKitty, I shall have to look around for something similar in NZ! Remember to make sure the wee smell is well and truly gone even to a cat’s nose or Feliway won’t be enough. It doesn’t *always* work but when it does it’s like magic.πŸ˜€

    Gorgeous babyies fileofswedishfish! I love me some pit bull mongrels. Despite what people will insist, “blue nose” literally just means your dog has a blue nose, so you don’t have a blue nose.πŸ˜› People like to act like “red noses” and “blue noses” are somehow different breeds but they’re just colours!

    Blue is a dilute of black so you cannot have a blue nose or otherwise blue dog with any black on them. From the picture it doesn’t look like the puppy’s blue brindle but it could be very dark? Feel free to share more pictures.πŸ˜€

  43. On today’s episode of Adventures in Kitty Sitting, I have discovered it is hard to knit when your charges keep trying to play with the fun string toys you’re cruelly keeping all for yourself. I am a naughty and selfish human and no one is at all impressed.

  44. Alpha Asshole Cock Carousel

    David, not posting more kitty pictures is MISANDRY

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