Posted by Rebecca, October 13th, 2010
As I’ve mentioned and previewed in my last post, this week we are having hardwood floors installed in our upstairs hallway and master bedroom. Wait what? Don’t we have brand new carpet? Yes we do, but like many things in this house it is your run of the mill, builder grade, vacuum-leaves-marks-on-it, carpet. And I hate it.
Our reason for going with this carpet was to save money. It was the standard carpet, meaning we didn’t pay anything out of pocket for it. We had the vast color options of white, pink, blue and this. I wasn’t a fan of the gold hue, but the upgrades were pricey. Our bedroom is so large that even just a “level 1” upgrade (read: same carpet better colors) would have cost us $1,000. And that was just for one room. We decided to upgrade only the 2 rooms downstairs that have carpet (the family room and office) to a berber style and live with these until we could afford otherwise. Here’s Macky modeling a close up..
The carpet actually didn’t look as gold as I thought it would, and I was thinking I could live with it a little longer than anticipated. But then this happened…
We had this problem in our condo and knew it was only a matter of time before it happened here. Macky is a master carpet seam finder. And he’s also a very high maintenance, needy cat. Think puppy with separation anxiety and that’s Macky. So I was painting Brielle’s letters in a spare bedroom one day and he got extremely upset that he couldn’t get to me. I ignored the crying for no more than 2 minutes when I heard a tear. Yes he found the seam. It was all downhill from there.
We didn’t get too upset about it, because we had spare carpeting and knew it could be repaired. But then something else began happening. This is a very embarrassing topic that few pet owners discuss, but I’m going to go there. Darwin started peeing on our carpet.
I know, you’d give your cat away, yell at him, spray him with a water bottle, whatever. But you see, Darwin has a neurological disorder called cerebellar hypoplasia. We knew this when we adopted him, and it actually was the main reason why we did adopt him. We lost Macky’s brother, Sunny, to feline panleukopenia when he had just turned two. When we saw that cerebellar hypoplasia could be caused by a pregnant mother surviving feline panleukopenia, we knew that Darwin was a survivor and felt immediately connected to him. Plus he happens to be orange, just like Sunny, and the sweetest little thing you’d ever meet.
I found this video of a cat with Darwin’s disorder. As you can see, his disability doesn’t affect him too much and isn’t very noticeable most days…
So we didn’t know at the time, but Darwin’s disorder can cause litter box issues. He has trouble keeping his balance and sometimes misses the box. So we can no longer use litter boxes with lids and we cover the surrounding area with puppy pads, incase he misses. But I think that sometimes he confuses cheap, fluffy carpet with a puppy pad and goes there. It is not at all a behavioral issue with him and he honestly thinks he’s going in a litter box. Luckily, he kept to one end of our hallway.
We cleaned it almost daily with our Bissell Spot Bot and Hoover Carpet Steamer, so we never got that “cat lady” smell in our house. But we never, ever, eveeeer want to get to that point. We knew it would be nearly impossible to stop him, so we made the decision to tear up the carpet in the hallway. We feared he would then start going in our bedroom, so as a preventative measure, we also tore up the bedroom carpet since the hallway leads directly there.
And while we decided to tear things up, we figured we’d get some new baseboards to match the higher ones the builder gave us downstairs. And while we were at that! Our bedroom is massively huge, like in a bad way.
This is the view from where our bed sits (though taken before we moved in). That little area back there is our “sitting room”, but it makes for a quite uncozy bedroom. We have just a bed, 2 night stands and a dresser, so this is my view every morning.
We wanted to eventually add a wall here to separate the rooms. Keyword: eventually. Many people immediately tell us that this room would make a great nursery, though I picture it being my art studio of sorts. Either way, it would need a door to keep out the terrorizing cats, but we wanted to keep that open feeling.
So the solution? Build a wall with double french doors.
The doors are being installed as I type. Once it’s all done and the dust has (been) cleared, I will get some after pics up.
But the moral of the story here? Our cats are very important members of our family, so we make sure this house works for all of us. Luckily, this time, the level of style in the house improved thanks to the cats. We knew that carpet doesn’t really work for us, but we gave it a second shot and hoped for the best to try to save money. Though we sacrificed our planned vacation, major office remodel, food, clothing to eventually end up with hardwoods… our floors are going to look pretty awesome and I am very excited to see the outcome! Plus Darwin just looked at me like he was sorry, and he melted my heart. One more time for good luck!…
Until the after, kids!