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In Which I Say ‘Uncle’


I’ve come to the sad realization, my sweet friends in the computer, that I have bitten off more than I will ever be possibly able to chew. My house, if I hadn’t told you before is often called The Menagerie, and in addition to being the Queen Mother of All Sausages, I’m also responsible for the well being of a number of animals.

We currently have: 3 cats, 2 dogs, a bunny, a hedgehog, and two children that may have been feral at one point in time. Like yesterday. And probably this morning.

And since I’ve been with child, I’ve been unable to do some of the animal-related chores that I normally take care of. Dave works approximately 4,836 hours a week, and if I dare ask him to do something outside of what he THINKS he needs to do, I get an earful. And a half.

Ben’s not of the age where he can really and truly help me yet, although he’s getting close. But close isn’t good enough anymore.

The cats? In rebelling against whatever damn cats get irritated about (the change in seasons? The current oil crisis? Republican in the White House?) have found other places to crap and pee, which is not really an ideal situation.

Auggie, in smelling the pee that the dogs who lived in my house before me left so graciously in the carpet fibers, has been peeing in the living room. Not every day, not all the time, but enough to where the (white!) carpet is now ruined.

And as for me? I’m stuck between a rock and a bigger rock. I hate the idea of being so wildly irresponsible and getting rid of one or many of the animals, but I honestly don’t know what else TO do. This doesn’t mean that I WILL get rid of them, have no fear, just that I’m registering that I’m struggling mightily here.

Without any good solution in mind. What would you do, Internet?

posted under I Suck At Life
42 Comments to

“In Which I Say ‘Uncle’”

  1. On August 4th, 2008 at 11:17 am Gail Says:

    Get the carpets professionally shampooed, by someone who is aware that there is a pet issue. Then hire a petsitter for at least the duration of your pregnancy. Just because you’re at home, doesn’t mean you can’t have a pet sitter.

    Tell Daver he will need to demand a big raise to pay for it. 🙂

  2. On August 4th, 2008 at 11:21 am kim Says:

    Yeah, what Gail said.

  3. On August 4th, 2008 at 11:24 am Natalie Says:

    Yeah, that was me during my pregnancy…. couldn’t deal with it all!

    Urine in carpet is generally not good. Use an enzyme cleaner (not ammonia based products) and soak it THOROUGHLY. Sadly, you may need to rip up carpet and get to the undercarpet and the subfloor, depends how far down it goes. If there’s a whiff of urine left they’ll keep peeing there.

    Did the litter box get full? Sometimes cats get really pissy about that. If that wasn’t the issue, they might be reacting to changes in you – your behavior or even just your/body scent with the pregnancy and all. Cats are freaky things sometimes. Here’s some articles that might help:

    Best bet is to try your hardest to get rid of ALL the urine smell in the house.

    The idea of a petsitter isn’t a bad one. Someone to play with the cats, take the dogs for a walk? I know when I was pregnant I just had NO energy for any of it. At all. I layed in bed and hubby took the dogs outside. I was done, lol.

  4. On August 4th, 2008 at 11:25 am Natalie Says:

    OH and always take dogs and cats to the vet when they start peeing elsewhere… can very frequently be a UTI or urinary crystals (cats). Just get them a quick check-up and probably take in a urine sample if at all possible.

  5. On August 4th, 2008 at 11:26 am Badass Geek Says:

    Suddenly making them “outdoor” pets might work. Once they realize how good they had it inside, they might clean up their act.

    Use a flea treatment first, though. Fleas = The Suck.

  6. On August 4th, 2008 at 11:26 am LilSass Says:

    In leiu of selling your children to the garment district in NYC, I suggest giving the pets a home without stained carpet 😉 What I mean is … I can only imagine how time-consuming ALL of this is (esp. considering I have like 1/5 of the responsibilities you do). Coming to terms with the fact that we are not Super Woman is tough on most of us. So …. take some of this burden off yourself and send those pets packin!

  7. On August 4th, 2008 at 11:27 am LilSass Says:

    And now after reading all those comments, I feel like an asshole 🙁

  8. On August 4th, 2008 at 11:28 am Holly Says:


    I’d also regulate the pee’r to a small (non carpet) room or kennel when indoors for the duration of his “issue”

    For example my (95lb) dog likes to “mark” his families rooms (cause we always have rouge dogs running through our house who might mistaken us for thiers) and he wants peeps to know HE is in charge. We now only allow him on the landing at night for sleeping (when we’re not there to watch him) with all bedroom doors closed and a gate on the stairs. Otherwise he is “with” us or outside. He isn’t allowed to roam on is own in the evenings since he’ll pee once in each bedroom and the playroom (cause thats where his human “kids” are)

  9. On August 4th, 2008 at 11:31 am Backpacking Dad Says:

    replace carpet with newspaper. Then you can be well-informed too.

  10. On August 4th, 2008 at 11:42 am Kristine Says:

    I’d go with the pet sitter. I’m not a person who gives up her pets. Kick them outside (cats who pee on furniture)? Yes. But not get rid of them. The dog peeing thing? Check what you’re…ahem…the Daver is cleaning with, if it contains ammonia, the peeing will continue. Get professional carpet cleaning, buy or use already owned baby gates to keep them out of that room for a while or if unsupervised. Exercise the dogs more (daily walks, you can hire a dog walker if you need to).

    That’s all I have in my bag of tricks. If I can get someone to tell me how to get my neighbor’s cat to stop eating my cat’s food, I could be the next Dog Whisperer.

  11. On August 4th, 2008 at 11:50 am baseballmom Says:

    I’m not a cat person, so that one would be easy for me, but I totally see where you’re coming from. We have 2 100lb+ dogs, two fish, and a parakeet right now, and the kids want to replace the hamster that died last year. I told them I don’t need ONE MORE THING to take care of. When we first got our female dog, she was peeing in the house (once on my BED), and I just cleaned it well, used a carpet cleaning spray, and a pet odor removal spray so she wouldn’t smell it anymore. Then we cleaned the carpet when she was done peeing in the house. Now, when we go somewhere, I limit their water for a few hours before we leave, then gate the stairs, and shut our bedroom door…just in case!

  12. On August 4th, 2008 at 12:03 pm KC Says:

    Get rid of the bunny and hedgehog. You can find them good homes on Petfinder or craigslist. It might suck to say goodbye, but at least that’s a little off your plate and might make the load a little lighter.

    I’m with the rest of the peeps on the carpet shampoo. It’s not that pricey and should get some of that smell up. Have them deoderize as well. Then, make Daver clean the cat box (get more than one if you need to) and keep the dogs relagated to the Kitchen or another room via baby gates or something when you can’t watch them.

    Other than that, pets are a pain in the ass. Remind yourself of this everytime you think about adding to the family. And if you absolutely must have another one…I will bring Mojo over to snort on you.

  13. On August 4th, 2008 at 12:12 pm Karen Says:

    I honestly am in awe of you Becky. A fish is too much responsibility for me. You have your hands full – and they are about to be fuller!

    Tell Daver he has to help. I know he is tired and all, but if you can’t do something – someone has to.

  14. On August 4th, 2008 at 12:13 pm paisana Says:

    Get rid of the managerie. At the very least, give up the rabbit, hedgehog, and any of the other rodents that may be lurking around. If you take the time to find them good homes, you’re not being irresponsible.

  15. On August 4th, 2008 at 12:29 pm apathetic bliss Says:

    I say move! don’t tell any of them where you haved moved…just move…preferably to somehwere they have maid service, inhouse masseuses, daily pedicures, and boxes of bon bons

  16. On August 4th, 2008 at 12:30 pm Holli Says:

    We have: 3 dogs, cat inside, numerous cats outside (due to moron’s dropping them off), a rabbit, a fish, and a pot belly pig.

    Our smallest dog ate somthing rank and has had the shits for two days– all over my carpet. I’m so ready to give him away.

    Honestly, when my oldest dog started peeing (for no medical reason) in the house, my husband said he was going to rub her nose it in. I yelled at him that it was mean. He did it once (after stepping in cold pee for the millionth morning) and guess what? She’s NEVER peed in the house again, and that was like a year and a half ago. I don’t advocate it, but whatever works right?

    You get kind of sick of your house being a toilet.

  17. On August 4th, 2008 at 12:39 pm Heather P. Says:

    Have carpet replaced with hardwood or laminate.
    Nothing like having your house tore up while you are pregnant!

  18. On August 4th, 2008 at 12:47 pm g Says:

    lol I agree with Heather. Carpet is groddy anyways, in my completely biased opinion. Send the new puppy to me.

  19. On August 4th, 2008 at 12:59 pm -Seraphimred- Says:

    I didn’t see anyone suggest this buttttt……

    My stepmom buys these baggie liners for her cat litter from walmart. Line your cats litter box with the baggie and when its time to change dave can just pick up the bag and toss it. Dave *does* know you’re not supposed to be around that kitty stuff right? Not to mention lifting the litter bag!

    As for the dog, I had issues with mine like that. Sorry to say it, but I rubbed his nose in it, popped him on the butt once (no I didn’t beat him, just a lil pop), and put him outside for like a hour. Everytime. Now he comes to me when he’s gotta potty.

  20. On August 4th, 2008 at 1:19 pm kbreints Says:

    I was totally thinking pet sitter. Higher a pre-teen to come over and take care of them twice a day for $5 a day and I am sure they would be thrilled!

    Then SERIOUSLY have someone else clean your house for you once… it will be easier to maintain after that.

    You deserve it… sit back, eat something made out of pig while they do it– and rub your belly.

  21. On August 4th, 2008 at 1:28 pm mrs.spit Says:

    I got nothing. But if you know how to load the damn mastercaft stapler so I can put the fricking pea netting up for the sweet peas that are growing through the damn garden, I’m all ears!

    Frick. It’s a stapler. How can the damn staples not fit!

  22. On August 4th, 2008 at 1:42 pm chris Says:

    Hey kbrients idea is pretty good. I’d help but I’m not a cat person. But if I have a choice between cat and kids, I’d take Garfield any day…LOL

  23. On August 4th, 2008 at 1:45 pm KT Says:

    First, I am going to ask you what I asked my mother in law when she got white carpet. WTF?!?!!!

    Then, hire a high school kid to come over in the afternoons and help you out with some of the kid rearing and animal raising. And….TV dinners, my dear, TV dinners.

  24. On August 4th, 2008 at 1:58 pm Kristen Says:

    K, I am totally thinking of you and the only thing I can think of, other than adopting some out, is to hire a young person to do the litter and the dog walking etc. Delegate baby! But I don’t think it will get any better or easier for you to deal with when baby comes.

  25. On August 4th, 2008 at 2:40 pm pamajama Says:

    Interesting that this post is about the subject of animal waste, since I made the mistake of going to that other mentioned website, RateMyPoo last night. OMG – it was even too disgusting for me. And that says a lot.

    I’ve done this animal thing more than once & I wish I knew the answer . . . maybe use gates & control them in a certain section of the house? I’ve done that before & it was a big help.

  26. On August 4th, 2008 at 2:54 pm birdpress Says:

    I’d confine the cats to a room if you can. Maybe build a cat porch or something? Please don’t throw them outside, as I saw suggested. Indoor cats should not be suddenly made into outdoor cats. And domestic cats do not belong outdoors anyway.

  27. On August 4th, 2008 at 3:49 pm Vered Says:

    I’m not the right person to ask.. I don’t have any pets and wouldn’t take any. I would find a good home for some of them. But that’s just me. 😉

  28. On August 4th, 2008 at 3:59 pm tash Says:

    I have a 14? I think? -year old cat who has taken to peeing a bit indiscriminately in our house, and I don’t want to become one of THOSE houses. Usually, this means he has a uti of some sort, but we’ve had no time to take/run a sample over the vet, and no way would we be focussed enough to make sure he got a 14-day course of abx. So we’re waiting until next week.

    But that would be my action #1, because sometimes it’s just something stupid that can be cleared up with drugs.

    As for the carpet: I live by “Nature’s Miracle.” I should own stock in it. Good stuff. Pour it on.

    I feel your pain.

  29. On August 4th, 2008 at 4:04 pm Stacey Says:

    A petsitter is a great idea if you can find someone to help deal with the pets. But honestly, I’d give up some of the burden. Find homes for the rabbit & the hedgehog and put the cats & dogs out for the bulk of the day, if it’s safe to do that. Our cats became indoor/outdoor cats when I was pg with #2. If that is not possible then maybe consider asking around your friends & family to see if anyone wants a cat or dog. It doesn’t have to be permanent, just for a couple of weeks while you get the carpets cleaned and work out a care solution.

  30. On August 4th, 2008 at 4:34 pm kalakly Says:

    When my catstarted doing the nasty, age realted, and then the others started to copy her, I wen to NAtures Miracle and then tin foil everywhere i thought they were peeing. I also bought two more boxes so there was one everywhere and locked the old kitty in a bathroom and only let her out when I knew I could watch her. She would pee right next to the box but at least that was on the wood.laminate floor so it was easy to clean.
    I’d hire someone to do the boxes, if they aren’t clean the cats will pee elsewhere. But as an FYI with toxo, if your cats are strictly indoors it is highly unlikely to impossible for them to have it. Which means you could clean them (shhh don’t tell Daver) Also vet can test the kitty’s for it. At least it will give you one more thing not to worry about, maybe.
    I don’t do dogs, wait that doesn’t sound right. I don’t have dogs, btu if I did and they were peeing indoors, they’d find themselves on the other side of the door, like pronto.

  31. On August 4th, 2008 at 4:39 pm ste Says:

    Aw, Becky. Fortunately, my cats have very high tolerance for disgusting litter boxes, but my parents cat peed aggressively all over the house when he was mad at someone. OR there was a rug on the floor. Nature’s Miracle is some really good sh*t for the carpet.

    I agree with folks about letting someone come in and give your house a really good thorough cleaning, so it will be easier to maintain. I wish I had done that — I was so sick during my whole pregnancy, the house went to sh*t, and C is less of a home maker than I am (I am NOT one). The house has still not recovered.

    I would second the ideas about having some ‘tweener come in and walk the dogs/play with the cats once or twice a day. They’re probably missing you and it gives them something new to do. Might help with the potty behavior. There’s doggy daycare, too, but that tends to run kind of expensive. If I had to give up any animals, it might be the rabbit and hedgehog (or maybe you have a friend who would hold them for you?), but I prefer animals that are more interactive.

    I’m so sorry this is so difficult. Hope you’re able to find a solution that makes life a little easier for you. Thinking of you. XO

  32. On August 4th, 2008 at 6:06 pm Jerseygirl89 Says:

    See, now I feel inadequate. When I was preggers with Ironflower (kid #1) and Hot Guy worked out of town for ten weeks, we gave away our cat and ferrets because I just couldn’t handle the cage and litterbox cleaning. Whatever you do will be fine.

  33. On August 4th, 2008 at 6:43 pm quietgirl? Says:

    You are definitely overloaded and I’m sure this has much to do with your recent stress (that and hormones yeah). If D can’t help more (and he’s stressed earning the bacon I’m sure), you need a way to reduce your own load. I can say this nice and objectively of course since it’s not my own life, and of course my own load is presently sucking the life out of me, but nonetheless it is true. You definitely need to lighten your responsibilities and if getting rid of critters is the way, then it’s worth it for you, plus everyone else in your household and uterus. Trust me, don’t go where I’ve gone. You do not want to go there. It’s okay. Take care of yourself. 🙂

  34. On August 4th, 2008 at 8:09 pm Lola Says:

    First off, get rid of the rug. I know it’s cheaper to clean it, but you really need to get it out. If other animals peed on it before the present ones, it probably won’t stop. If you can’t do that, gate them off or crate them when you can’t watch them. Dogs actually love their crates. I think the teenager thing is a great idea.

    I’ve never had the problem with cats, thank the highest powers, because they will not conform to rules. I’d lock mine down cellar if they did that. Do you have a litter box for each one? My friend cured her cat of the pissing all over by just adding another box. I know I’d want my own damn box! Good luck, and get some damn help!

  35. On August 4th, 2008 at 8:50 pm honeywine Says:

    If you’re looking to downsize, I’m pretty sure a python could take care of a few of them. At least it thins out the ranks.

  36. On August 4th, 2008 at 9:36 pm SciFi Dad Says:

    I am guessing that “stew” isn’t the answer you’re looking for?

  37. On August 4th, 2008 at 10:47 pm Edward Says:

    Get rid of them as fast as you can….seems cruel but it will only get worse once you are sleep deprived with the new baby sausuage! It comes down to babies and live humans…people vs. the animals. AGain, sounds cruel but unless you can dispose of the people/children kinds in a nice way….then the animals got to go. good luck! As far as I know theer are no…post birth abortions available but there is hope for the animals to find a good caring home post ….in your home situation.

  38. On August 5th, 2008 at 8:22 am heather Says:

    I agree with getting rid of that carpet first off. I would also consider getting rid of the cats. Mostly because if they are a problem now, just wait til that new sausage is born. I’m sure you remember what that’s like, and having to deal with uncooperative animals is unimaginable. It might be hard right now to get them into an animal shelter because of all the kittens being born this time of year. I love my cats, but I wouldn’t hesitate to get rid of a carpet-pisser if they couldn’t be reformed. It’s just gross. (Babies crawl on carpets.)

  39. On August 5th, 2008 at 10:47 am Coco Says:

    Buy a gallon of enzyme cleaner and douse the pee spots. Pull up the rug and soak the pad and floor too. Let dry for a week. Then call the pros and have them steam-extract the carpet and lay down Scotch Guard. To discourage further peeing put down aluminum foil over the favorite spots.

    The bunny and the hedgehog would be the first to go for me. Those little guys are easily adoptable and you can put up ads at the supermarket and vet’s office, the pet food store, etc.

    I fifteenth the motion for a pet-sitter if you decide to keep the rest. Interestingly enough, offers referrals for pet care as well as child care. Check it out.

  40. On August 5th, 2008 at 4:50 pm heather... Says:

    Well, clearly you get rid of the hedgehog, because who fucking knew those were REAL? I thought Sony made them up.

  41. On August 5th, 2008 at 8:55 pm Mumma Boo Says:

    Although it broke my heart to send our pugs to a new home when I got pregnant with Cheeks, it was the best thing for them. Have to say I’m with the “adopt-them-out” crowd on this one. And a hedgehog? Really?

  42. On August 6th, 2008 at 7:45 pm Anjali Says:

    Can you afford to hire someone to come clean once a month? Just for the duration of the pregnancy?

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