I am delighted to be one of twenty bloggers featured in Arm & HammerÃ¢â‚¬™s Switch & Save Challenge. During the next five months, IÃ¢â‚¬™ll be testing several Arm & Hammer products and sharing my experiences with you.
I lived for years with three cats. It was good.
The New Guy
A coworker’s daughter had to find a new home for her cat. I don’t recall the reason, but the poor kitty needed to move out.
After work, I met the cat. He was friendly, and he came when my coworker called him. I stuffed him into the carrier and brought him home with me.
My three cats were not pleased. They liked their arrangement, and they had no interest in the little orange interloper.
The orange interloper had lived his entire 18 months as an only
child cat. He had no interest in the other beasts.
This is a good time to admit that I am a little paranoid about my cats.
When I was 12, my cat was hit by a car and died. The same day I was supposed to go away to Girl Scout Camp. I don’t like to camp, and I hated my Girl Scout troop and all I wanted to do was go home and cry about my cat.
When I became a cat owner, I locked them in the house and decreed that they would forever be house cats.
On the rare occasions that one of the cats escaped, I would panic, have an anxiety attack, and stay up all night in order to bring the escapee safely back inside.
Discord in My Home
The fourth cat upset our apple cart. When he came in, all of my cats began to fight with fervor I’d never before witnessed.
In an effort to release some tension, I screened my back porch. It helped immensely. All four cats would lie on the back porch (together!) in the sunshine.
The orange interloper (de-clawed by his previous owner) discovered that he could climb up the inside of the screen and back down the outside of the screen and down the hand rail.
How he climbed up the screen and down the rail with no claws is completely beyond my feeble brain.
Like a teenager who snuck out of the house, he would run around the neighborhood making mischief. When he was done running around, he would sit at the back door and holler. Or paw at the front door, making it rattle mercilessly.
Once the cat with no claws figured it out, the three with claws followed his lead.
And soon, all four of the cats were escaping from my screened-in, cat-proof porch.
At this point, I had three options. Force the cats to stay inside, fighting over space, continue to let them sneak out over the fence, essentially locking themselves out, or find a way to let them come and go as they pleased.
That’s what I did.
I installed a pet door and tried to teach the cats how to use it.
I was conflicted about that cat door, let me tell you. I was petrified that one of my cats would get run over on the street or caught in an animal trap or hurt by a neighborhood dog.
I still worry about those things, but they were hurting each other by fighting in the house. Those real injuries were far more frequent than any possible injuries that may happen outside.
After a month or so, though, all four cats were using the cat door by themselves. They were happier, healthier, and the neighbors had fewer mice.
Win a $25 Visa Gift Card
Church & Dwight Co., Inc provided me with a $25 Visa gift card to give away to one lucky Feels Like Home reader. All you have to do to enter is answer this question in a comment:
What unexpected thing have you done to improve your pets’ lives?
For extra entries:
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Good luck! IÃ¢â‚¬™ll choose a winner randomly from the comments after noon on July 13.
This is a sponsored post for Church & Dwight Co., Inc, the maker of ARM & HAMMER branded products, who is compensating me to try different products.
Save $1.00 on any ARM & HAMMER Clumping Cat Litter and be sure to enter to win $25,000 at The Switch & Save Challenge.
© 2011 – 2017, Tara Ziegmont. All rights reserved.