Way back in 2004, we went on the annual camping trip with our Church’s homeschool group. I’ve been going on this camping trip since I was 5 years old, albeit a couple different iterations of homeschool groups. (You can see pictures from last year’s here, if you’re wanting to chase that rabbit trail.)

Anyway, my Dad was going back and forth to work each day, and he kept seeing a TINY little kitten near the campsite on the side of the road. He finally decided that if he saw it again, he would stop and pick it up (despite his general gruffness about cats – his heart couldn’t help but come out).

The next time he passed by, sure enough, the little kitten was still there, so he brought it to the campsite. There were a couple of Veteranarians camping with us, and so they discovered that it was a female kitten, and that she had about every problem a kitten could have – worms, fleas, a bad eye infection, a cold, etc.

But she was an adorable kitten, despite her overly-grungy outer layer. She hung around our campsite all weekend, allowing all of the children to hold her, feed her, pet her, whatever.

As the trip was winding down, we all started discussing who would take this poor kitten home. Out of the scores of homeschool families, all had a reason why they couldn’t.

After much discussion, I convinced Chris that we needed to take this pitiful kitten. Me and my friend Barkley were actually headed from camping to her place in Charleston, SC for a few days, so the plan was that Barkley and I could take her to Charleston, clean her up, and then she would fly home with me.

So the as yet nameless kitten rode all the way from North Alabama to Charleston underneath Barkley’s passenger seat, never making a peep.

We got her to Barkley’s and began the arduous undertaking of cleaning her.
She was NASTY. Downright disgusting.

We actually attempted to give her a bath. If you’ve ever bathed a cat, you’ll know that it is not easy nor glamorous ANYONE involved, including said cat:

I’m pretty sure that she left at least 50,492 fleas in poor Barkley’s apartment after that weekend. Along with a tee-tee puddle or two. Although I did manage to litter train her in one try while still at Barkley’s – she wandered off to a corner and started peeing, and I ran over, picked her up, held her upside down, and set her in the litter box. She finished her pee there and was trained from then on.

She flew home with me – quite the crowd draw at the airport – and we christened her “Oreo”. I took her to the vet, got her on a boatload of medicines and fully vaccinated, and she became an affectionate, sweet, cuddly kitten:

Plus, she kind of glowed once she was clean.
A couple of months later, I started having foot problems.

Oddly unusual and interesting foot problems that no one could figure out what was wrong, but that’s another post for another day.

Ultimately, five months after the problems started and after seeing multiple doctors who all said “Wow. I have NO IDEA what is causing that! But it’s cool.”, a surgeon was able to see the problem and did this to me:(umm, sorry for the un-warned gore.)

It would have been nice to know BEFOREHAND, but after the surgery, he told me that he had never seen my condition before, and that it was so rare he’d probably never see it again.

I had to be on crutches and in a cast for six weeks.

Well, something about the crutches bothered Oreo.


And so, to air her grievances with me and my new noisy limbs, she started peeing on our bed.

ESPECIALLY if I was in the bed, alone (because she had quite the crush on Chris and had no grievances towards him. In fact, if I had to really psychoanalyze her, I would say that she was upset that I required so much care from him, so was displaying her jealous inner cat-fighting-diva).

It was horrible. Here I am on crutches and an invalid, trying to clean up cat pee – on the bed of all places.

And if you’ve ever experienced cat pee, it is a horrible substance.

We tried everything to make her quit, but just when we thought it had gotten better, she’d do it again.

So we finally had to resort to putting a waterproof liner under our sheets. Let me tell you – if you think you sweat in your sleep, you don’t KNOW what sweating in your sleep is until you’re sleeping on plastic. It was awful.

However, once I got off of crutches, she let go of her grudge and quit peeing on the bed, and we slowly started trusting her again.

But, unfortunately, the foot surgery didn’t work.

You know, that whole “he’d never done that surgery before” thing.

He had wired a bone in place, but it didn’t stay there. So, 9 months later, it was determined that I needed a SECOND surgery, this time to remove the offending bone all together (which, as I have mentioned before, Chris still has in a surgical jar).

Of course, that meant 4 more weeks on crutches.

Let the peeing commence.

Same battles, same hysteria, same awful feelings toward our cat.

Four weeks ended, I put away the crutches, and once again, she cooled down, and we slowly started to trust her again.

A year later, we were afraid that she would freak out all over again when we brought home a new baby, but she loved Ali from her first day home:
For a while we had “Oreo and Ali time” every morning in the kitchen floor:

And now that Ali is older, she is still wonderful with Ali. She checks on her when she’s sick:
Eats her Licks her:

And Ali thinks she’s number one.
So, here’s the thing: it was the crutches. And guess who’s borrowing my crutches right now?

Yup, my Mom.

And we really don’t want to have to sleep on plastic again. We really don’t want to have evil, hateful thoughts toward our cat again.

And THIS is why you can’t come over, Mom.

*Don’t leave me nasty comments. Of course my Mom can come over. She just has to hop around on one leg and leave The Dreaded Crutches of Kitty Dementia on the porch.

27 thoughts on “And THIS is Why You Can’t Come Over, Mom.

  1. Tee hee hee! Super-cute cat. I love rescue animal stories. And BAH! I can't believe you didn't give me a heads-up on the foot pic! I DIE!

    p.s. My doctor gave my husband a prescription pill bottle with my gall stones in it. I MADE him throw it away. I didn't EVEN look at it.

    My foot surgeon didn't give us any souvenirs, except for the titanium screws he put in my foot after he removed part of a bone in my foot/toe. We have some weird parallel life thing happening.

  2. All that… and I wanna know about your foot. I don't like cats. But honestly, Oreo is pretty cute.
    Next post about the foot please! ;-)

  3. Um yes, a little warning would have been nice. I audibly gasped. So ew. SO EW. I am sorry for your foot though. It really looks like that HURT!

  4. Cats can seriously go crazy on you. They like their routine. Our sister-in-law's cat went psycho when they moved. They don't seem to mind babies though. One of ours was very protective of our son when we brought him home. If the baby cried the cat would come and stay under my feet and cry until i went to get the baby.
    Oh and our other cat climbed up a bush, got onto our roof and fell down the chimney while we were out of town for the weekend. He was fine and we got him out but had to give him a bath. Our soot covered cat did not like getting a bath.

  5. Okay, first of all, that is an amazing transformation of a cat. Sorry about all the tee-teeing though. She and Slyvester need to get together. (But outside). The pictures of Ali and Oreo are so cute. Get your mom a wheelchair for when she comes over!

  6. That's actually a sweet story!

    I just (2 weeks ago) decided that since we are going to start working on another baby soon….our cat had to go live outside. After some effort and persistence, he is finally adjusting. For a cat who had never touched grass before, I'd say he's doing alright. He doesn't even try to dart in through the open door anymore!

  7. This story is super funny now, but I know you were miserable during that time of your life. I sure hope Oreo doesn't start peeing again. :) I also hope your mother heals quickly. :) :) :) :)

  8. Eow! Tee-tee on your bed! We have had a battle with cat urine AND it is disgusting for sure. Our cat, Macy, had issues that I think were bladder related, i.e. U.T.I. and she would pee behind my oldest son's door in his bedroom and behind the couch and such. It was terrible. Then we realized how much she wanted to be a part-time outdoor kitty, so we allowed that. She was a changed cat and I think the indoor peeing stopped.

    I know you would never keep your mom from visiting. Just make her keep the crutches outside while you help her hobble in. Just kidding. It's really not a bad idea though.

    Ali and Oreo are so cute together.

  9. LOL I'm sorry I got so much joy out of your post! LOL I wouldnt let my mom in with the crutches either! LOL BTW Oreo is beautiful!

  10. Poor Oreo! Subjecting her to madness like that! ;)
    My beloved Katie Belle (RIP) would pee on the bed occationally while I lived at home…she particularly liked Noel's bed. Probably b/c he tomented her all the time. Kitty revenge.
    When we were married I waited a few weeks to move her over to our house, trying to get unpacked and organized as much as possible. I figured that would help her transition. But she fell instantly in love with Scottie and was a new kitty! She loved her daddy more than me!
    Oh, and I tried bathing Katie Belle once. Thats all it took….

  11. You must really love cats to put up with Oreo repeatedly peeing on your bed! The pictures of Orea & Ali when she was a baby are precious!

  12. Oh my goodness! Your poor foot! I'm so sorry to hear you had to go through all of this. It's amazing how the slightest changes can spark such turmoil! Oreo is adorable though. And you are the sweetest for fixing her up and giving her a home. I don't blame you for wanting crutches out of the house though.

  13. I also loved the pics of Ali and Oreo. So cute!

    We, too, know the horror of cat tee-tee, and used to have to sleep with a liner under our sheets. Our cats are now mostly outdoor cats.

  14. Oh my word I feel your pain. I have two AWFUL cats that drive me crazy with their pooping, peeing and vomiting!So far, nothing on the bed but if that does happen, they are GONE!

  15. I'm not leaving you nasty comments about your mom… I'm leaving you nasty comments about your unwarned gore!!! My foot is still hurting just looking at that photo!!!!

    P.S. I tagged you over at my place!

  16. I never knew after all the guessing why Oreo was doing that it ended up being the crutches. Maybe you will have to go be with your Mom at her house. You did not tell us how she is doing? LYB

  17. lol That's funny! You know I couldn't believe it was the same cat after you bathed her.

    We had a stray come up last Summer and camped out on our front porch. I am allergic to cats so we couldn't bring him in. When it started getting cold I bought it a cute little cushioned square thingy to lay in and covered it with plastic so he would stay warm. Around November he stopped coming around and I found myself missing him.

    It was sweet of you to take her in and give her a wonderful life! Oh hey your little girl is precious too. lol

  18. Wow! Look what I miss when I take a day off the computer! That is quite the story! I can always count on you for a good laugh. :)

  19. i love cats! stinking snap dog likes them a little too much though or we’d have one (he kills them). but i want to know if you ever got a new bed? cat pee is the worst and the smell seems like it just never goes away. and as for your foot, my first though, before reading the explanation post, was that you had worms in your foot. but sounds like it was a anatomy problem… i will go check it out.

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