I feel the need

I feel the need

Monday, February 2, 2015

I'm not sure we all agree on what the words "Hairball control" mean.

Good morning!

I have four adult cats living in my house.  Yes, in addition to the other chaos of adult children, other people's adult children, and the occasional complete stranger my adult children rent futon space to in my house, I have four adult cats.  When they were kittens they ran about and jumped on furniture and chased each other, but it was cute because, hey, they were little. They were kittens. Who doesn't love a pack of adorable kittens?

The pitter patter of kitty feet...or a stampede?
Well, now they're grown up.  They're big, they take up whatever living room seating isn't covered by young adults and when they do run amok it sounds like that thundering buffalo herd from "Dances with Wolves."  

When you have this many furry beasts in the house, one of the things you worry about is hairballs.  Hairballs happen because cats clean themselves with their tongues.  Sometimes they swallow hair.  And then, when they get a wad of hair in there, they barf it up. It's gross, it's smelly, and if you happen to see it happen, you honestly believe the cat is birthing some weird alien being from its mouth.

Not that our four cats have hacked up too many hairballs.  Compared to a cat we had years ago, these four are some sort of modern cat miracles because we just haven't found many slimy wads of hair.  BUT, the cats are getting a bit older, all of them are coming up on five years old now, and the thundering of furry feet has tamed down and all of them look a tiny bit fluffier than maybe
We just want to do what's best for our four cats.
they should.  So, in an attempt to 1) keep our indoor cats from becoming some weird PETA headline about overfeeding house pets and 2) avoiding hairballs, Hubby went out and bought "indoor weight and hairball control" food.

Almost immediately we noticed a difference...the cats did NOT like the food.  It looked different, it smelled different, it weighed less.  And all four of them sort of turned it down and ignored it.

But, since this is the food we kept giving them, they finally caved because they are cats and I believe, deep down, they know we aren't going to stress about whether they're eating or not.  It's not like they're the kids and we're going to beg them to eat.  It's not like I'm going to give in and make pizza rolls for the cats.

So at some point last week they started eating the food.  And the changes were obvious.

See, I thought "Weight control" meant they'd eat the food but not get overweight. No..."weight control" to the cat food people means the cats will eat the food which is obviously laced with CRACK and then the cats will run around the house like they're being
He's now making cat food.
chased by the four horses of the Apocalypse. Morning, noon, night, in the wee small hours of the morning, one or more of these beasts run and run and run.  Up the stairs, down the stairs, over furniture, up the cat tree, it's non stop.  And where they once were at least a little careful about knocking things off the end tables or the piano, now, possessed by food born demons, not a one of them even sees books, soda cans, candle holders, lamps on the horizontal surfaces.  I get up each morning wondering just what's going to be on the floor, hoping nothing go broken.

Which brings me to the other major change.  Hairball control?  Yeah, I'm clearly not defining "Hairball control" the same way my cat food makers do.  See, I believe that the words "hairball control" imply that the need to produce HAIRBALLS would somehow be CONTROLLED so that there aren't that MANY.  And just as obviously, my definition would be...wrong.  At least, according to my cat food company.  Since switching to the new cat food the only thing that slows my four hairy actors who are clearly auditioning for an all feline revival of "Rosemary's Baby" all four of them have begun leaving hair laden presents all over the house. Most recently, Skippy sent me a text during church  (we have a rule about texting in church, but it was snowing and both kids were driving yesterday morning so I kept the phone on just in case) that one of the cats had left a pile just outside his door.  

No one's ever accused Skippy of understating facts.  He tends to be a bit dramatic.  Not yesterday. No, whichever of these Linda Blair understudies left the gift, they did such a thorough job that I had to wash not one, but TWO runner rugs and a pair of Skippy's socks because...well, let's just say he's never been one to really look where he's going.

It's to the point that now if I hear anyone coughing I'm on my feet with a roll of paper towel and carpet spotter.  My kids' friends, people who have slowly gotten used to my eccentricities, are giving me funny looks again.  I don't care.  We just got new carpet...carpet almost the exact color of hairballs.  If I don't catch the hairball before it hits the ground, I run the risk of someone stepping in it...and dragging it through the rest of the house.

We're almost to the end of the cat food.  All I have to do is beat Hubby to the store so I can get us all back onto regular food.  I'm willing to live with chubby cats who barf up the normal amount of hairballs.

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