Monday, May 18, 2009


I grew up in Seattle, so I grew up with some interesting slang words in my vocabulary. One of these words is scrub. It’s used as a noun, and is definitely not the best thing someone could use to refer to you. I don’t know how I would really define it. . . For example, if a girl is always leaching off her friends for stuff, that chica could be called a scrub. Or if a guy just didn’t take care of his appearance at all, that dude could be called a scrub. It’s rather demeaning and, thankfully, I had mostly relinquished the use of this word since high school. Until recently.

You see, there’s this cat. I think he (I have no idea what the cat’s gender is, but using “it” just seems too inhumane, even for me) somehow belongs to the neighbors upstairs, but I’m not entirely sure. This cat tries to get into my apartment any way he can. If the door is open for a moment, in he darts. When I’m walking inside I sometimes have to hurry to close the door so he can’t get his grubby little paws inside my door. I purposely have never fed nor shown any affection to him because I know that cats have a tendency to keep coming back around, expecting more and more. So I really don’t know why he singles me out. Maybe he's looking for a bromance, I dunno. Anyway, since the shameless direct approach has failed him so many times, this creature has since resorted to the shameless begging approach. He sits right outside my bedroom window and meows incessantly at all hours of the day and night. Shameless, absolutely shameless. Scrubs are also shameless. Therefore, I have come to refer to this feline as Scrub.

For the last couple months I’ve been patient with Scrub. I’ve looked at the cat with some sort of disdain (I’m a clean freak, so having an unwanted intruder in the form of a dirty cat doesn’t exactly make me all happy and junk), but I’ve come to view this whole situation as a great way for me to develop more patience. But last night the situation reached the tipping point.

Yesterday was the first hot day we’ve had in Idaho Falls so far this year, so I proceeded to keep my bedroom window open all night since my place lacks air conditioning. Well, all last night and early this morning Scrub was doing his crazy meow thing. I tried to go back to sleep, but to no avail. Sometime around 5:00 a.m. I finally closed my window. Along with the noise emanating from my oscillating fan, I was successful at blocking out Scrub’s American Idol audition. But come July, I won’t really be able to just close my window, so something has to give. And here’s where I’d like to hear from you – what do you think I should do? I have a list of ideas I came up with from some of my coworkers. Naturally, some are simply illegal and I would. . . never. . . even. . . consider. . . those. . . options. Right. Anyway, feel free to chime in!

Ideas for how I should handle Scrub:
• Talk to the neighbors I suspect own the feline (I don't have much hope for this option, seeing how having pets indoors would be a breach of the rental contract)
• BB gun
• Paintball gun
• Real gun
• Baseball bat
• Slingshot
• Bucket of water
• Super soaker
• Super soaker with some kind of homemade mace concoction
• Brick
• Call animal control
• And of course the stereotypical boot thrown while muttering some kind of impolite phrase
• Any other ideas?


Katelyn said...

Sorry I am not much help but I would probably just talk to the owners or whatever.....Probably say, I know you or someone owns this cat that I DON'T appreciate coming into my aparment and waking me up, so you do something about it or I will be forced to....something like that...I usually get after people who trespass on our property :)

Bryan said...


I'd try a supersoaker, or even a spray bottle of water (but the super soaker would allow you to spray him from inside the window - which might give him a negative association with howling in your window. It won't even superficially harm the cat, and if the weather's warm, it'll just be mildly unpleasant. Might be enough to put him off it though.

I'd do something low key like that and see how he reacts. He might be desperate enough to stick it out. So rather than escalating to other physical attacks eventually bordering on (or crossing the line into) abuse, which he may also endure until you wind up killing him, you might try a different approach if that doesn't work.

There are ways to repel cats I'm sure, and this website I google has some low cost ideas:
Another idea that gave me (if a vanilla super soaker doesn't work) would be to add some lemon juice to it, since they apparently don't like citrus. I'm sure googling could find you more easy ways to deter cats.

I remember a lot of stuff mom used to try didn't work for keeping cats out of the yard (soft pellet guns, which only annoy and startle them; or cayenne on the dirt to keep them from using it as a litter box). But to keep one away from your window and make it not like you might be easier.

I kind of wonder if this cat's being cared for properly - if he's being fed, could be he's just lonely or wants shelter (or wants something he smells in your apt), in which case you might pester your neighbors to give him some kind of outdoor shelter, or find him a new home? Sounds a bit like they can't properly care for the cat without breaching their lease, so now he's become your problem. Maybe they'd be willing to adopt it out.

Animal control might not round up the cat if he's collared. It's probably legal to have an all outdoor cat, and I doubt there are pet protection laws that would work to your advantage in Idaho. You might look into it though. Shelters are generally crowded and euthanasia-prone anyway - which wouldn't make that all that nice to the cat or your neighbors. It'd be more humane to have some cat lover abduct him (but less legal, so I'm not suggesting that, especially now that the idea's in print on the web).

Matt Schultz said...

Somehow I'm not surprised that the animal rights activist in the family left a comment longer than the post. :) I do like the lemon juice in the Super Soaker idea. And I really like the idea of making some crazy cat lady really happy by pointing out that she could get her tenth cat for free. Fortunately for me though, I don't know any crazy cat ladies around here.

Bryan said...

What can I say, I'm committed to being a long-posting windbag on the internet ;)

I've had a bit of exposure to the whole undesirable/nuisance animal issue, plus we used to have cats. I just applied my usual approach to problem solving: google + excellent deductive/information synthesis skills.

Here's another link about repelling cats:

Marci said...

oh i feel for you mattskie. I had this dumb cat under my bed and I couldn't get it out the other night. He is an outside cat and gets fed by this kid that lives next door to me. He ran into my house during a rain storm when I tried to get in without letting it in too. auuughhh. Finally it went away. Anyway - the cat disappeared a few nights ago, and evidently has not come back. All of us are celebrating!

Annie Hall said...

I am sad that Marci is celebrating the probable death of the kitty around her place. and Mattskie what is the deal with claiming to not know nay crazy cat ladies?

Marcie and Doug said...

Maybe call your landlord and tell him or her that you have been trying to be patient for months or however long but you have reached your breaking point since you can't even sleep at night. Maybe threaten to move out if it doesn't get taken care of. Here's a family joke you might laugh at, my dad would say in a half serious voice, "Matt, you just need to 'disappear' the cat." Haha

I am laughing right now, because when I read your comment that you didn't know any cat ladies, I thought of Annie Hall, and kept scrolling....Hahahaha

Matt Schultz said...

Marcie - I sure hope you've disinfected your entire room. . . ugh.

Annie - are you ready to become the crazy cat lady in my life? hahaha

Marci - I LOVE your thought process about disappearing the cat. LOL