Home remedy cat (non)repellents

There’s a kind of funny story about Willoughby‘s age.

This past December, we rescued him from the local shelter, where we were determined to find a cute cat that was around 1 year old. We didn’t want to deal with a super young kitten since they like to scale living room curtains and their favorite food is electrical wiring.

When Joe laid eyes on Willoughby, there was an instant connection – he was the cutest kit in the room and purred like a lawnmower when we held him. Plus, he was 1 years old! He was kind of small, but the volunteer assured us that he was 1 and that he was just destined to be a small kitty. Puuurrfect. We put a deposit in and picked up our new son the next day.

Willy-boy adjusted wonderfully from the time he set foot in our house. There were no accidents, he seemed really comfortable exploring the house, and loved to snuggle up with us when we were lounging around.

The week after we brought him home, however, he started sneezing like crazy and his purr sounded kind of congested. Being first time parents, we were nervous and decided to bring him to the vet.  She ran the gamut of tests and performed a regular check-up (he ended up having an upper respiratory infection, which are apparently very common in shelter kitties, and cleared up very quickly), including a dental exam, and ended up telling us he was only 4 months old. We had unknowingly adopted a newborn! I guess my dream of having an eternal kitten (a cat that never grows old or big) was just too good to be true.

With our new knowledge of his age, over the past month or so, we have been pleasantly surprised with how well-behaved he is for such a young babe. During the past week though, I think he entered his terrible twos. Here is what I discovered this morning in the kitchen:

And look at the culprit over here. That’s right. Hang your crazy little kitten head in shame.

Man, those are some quality phone pictures.

He has been going nuts about this tree in the past couple of days, so I should have seen this coming. EVERY TIME I turn around when we’re in the kitchen or living room, he is hanging from one of the trunks like Tarzan or scratching on it like it’s filled with cat nip. Plus he jumps in the pot and then kicks out as much dirt as he can while staring at us and laughing from across the room, then dives out right before we can get to him.

I have been thinking about picking up some cat-repellent spray from PetSmart, but in the meantime, I decided to look up natural scents that cats are opposed to. Did you know that cats don’t like the smell of:

  • citrus?
  • coffee grounds?
  • lemon grass oil?
  • cayenne pepper?
  • lavender oil?
  • blood meal? (this scares me. Are there people or animals out there that like the smell of blood meal? And why are “blood” and “meal” in the same sentence?? More importantly, what in the world is blood meal?!)
  • citronella oil?
  • peppermint oil?
  • eucalyptus oil?

According to this list, if I doused our tree in oil, I’m pretty sure it would be safe from Willoughby, but I’m not so sure it would be safe from death. Needless to say, the base of our tree is now filled with orange peels, cayenne pepper, and coffee grinds. I will let you know tomorrow if the tree is still standing tall. And also if any of these plants have started growing on our tree.

A few things you should know about me.

First thing’s first: you should know that I have some pretty great talents. Some of them include (of course, this list is not exhaustive):

  1. Fitting a reference to cats into almost any conversation
  2. Photobombing/ruining pictures past the point at which my friends find it amusing
  3. Maintaining a super-human immune system due to years of building it up through biting my nails (<– that takes dedication, people)
  4. Falling asleep during the first 20 minutes of movies

And the list goes on. One talent, however, that some of my friends and family may not know about is the fact that I am really good at procrastinating (I’ve been meaning to tell them, I just haven’t gotten around to it). If there was a Procrastination Olympics, I would think really hard for a really, really long time about training for it. If I were the conductor of a train, the first stop would be Procrastination Station. I have actually earned the official title of Master Procrastinator.

The moral of the story here is that I started this blog a really long time ago, and have totally procrastinated on writing my first post. Why? Because it had to be PERFECT, being the first post. How was I supposed to decide what to write about?! Everyone who visits my blog is going to go back to my first post and judge it. Even I’M going to go back and read my first post to laugh at myself and (hopefully) realize how far I’ve come and how much cooler I am than I was (which is now…and I am pretty cool right now, so it’s going to be hard to beat…). It’s GOTTA BE AWESOME!!!

I digress.

With the arrival New Year, just like each year before, I set some goals. My immune system may take a hit this year as I have been forced by my husband am making a valiant effort to stop biting my nails; I am building up my movie-watching endurance (I’m up to 30 minutes); and I have started willing my eyes to stay straight instead of going crossed in group pictures. As far as improving my procrastination habit, I am easing into it, and allowing myself to do an easy post for my first post so I just DO it.

Without further ado (and without a whole lot of creative thinking put into this one), here is my workout for today:

  1. 50 crunches on the exercise ball
  2. leg press – 3 sets of 15 @ 70 lbs
  3. hamstring curl – 3 sets of 15 @ 35 lbs
  4. hip adduction – 3 sets of 15 @ 100 lbs
  5. hip abduction – 3 sets of 15 @ 100 lbs
  6. assisted pull-up – 1 set of 5 @ 40 lbs resistance, 3 sets of 2 at 25 lbs resistance
  7. bicep curl – 3 sets of 15 @ 10 lbs (per arm)
  8. upright row – 3 sets of 15 @ 10 lbs (per arm)
  9. overhead press – 3 sets of 15 @ 10 lbs (per arm)
  10. weighted side bend – 3 sets of 20 @ 10 lbs
  11. tricep extension – 3 sets of 15 @ 20 lbs
  12. run 3.5 miles
  13. 50 crunches on exercise ball
  14. stretch

Currently, I’m training for my second half marathon, so today’s workout called for a 3 mile run (I’m following this plan and am on week 2). I missed yesterday’s strength training, so I decided to play catch up and kill myself today instead. All in all, it was a great workout and now I am replenishing my calories with red wine and Eggos with eggs and cheese, while thinking about finishing thank you notes from Christmas that have been staring at me for a couple weeks.

Eh. They can wait til tomorrow…

P.S. – you didn’t think I would really TRY to make fewer references to cats in conversation, did you? We obviously need to get to know each other better.