February 20, 2010

Damages: The cost of unconditional love

Oooooo, sounds ominous, doesn't it? Fear not; I'm merely talking about damage to inanimate objects, and the unconditional love that some of us have for our pets.

Puppies chew things. Cats scratch things. Every pet owner knows this. As long as one has lots of appropriate toys and scratching posts around, there shouldn't be a problem, right? If you enthusiastically replied, "Right!" well, I hate to say it, but you're awfully naive.

When Ferris was just a pup, he chose some odd things to sink his teeth into, such as our floor,

our baseboard,

our newel post,

and even our wall.

Ferris' claws have been almost as destructive as his teeth. He sleeps on the second-floor landing at night, and this is what the baseboard looks like where he rests his feet.

Montana hasn't been completely innocent, either. He races around and skids across the floor, which has wreaked havoc on the finish.

Speaking of the floor, both dogs have a habit of leaving their water dish with their mouths half-full and dribbling, drenching the floor as they walk away. No matter how large a plastic mat we place on the floor to catch the spillage, the hardwood gets soaked and has begun to rot.

And then we have the cats. We suspect that it is Trooper who has been sharpening his claws on the corner of a plaster wall.

Trooper also took a liking to the wooden stringer on our old basement stairs.

Now that our basement renovations are almost complete, we aren't sure how we're going to keep Trooper away from our fresh new wood staircase. Scott and I find declawing cats to be cruel, so we might just have to amputate Trooper's feet. While we're at it, we might chop off Cayman's feet, too, since he has learned from Trooper that the posts on our four-poster bed are just as good as any scratching post.

I give the cats very loud heck if I ever catch them in the act, and they respond by dashing under the bed to hide. If I ever had any illusions that they were crouching there in shame, thinking about the naughty thing they just did, those illusions were dispelled the first time I looked under the bed and discovered what they had done to the bottom of our boxspring.

All this damage, not a lick of remorse (even from the dogs!)... and yet we love these guys anyway. It makes me wonder what is wrong with us.

Why no, I don't feel guilty at all. Why do you ask?