Not to be left out, George decided it was time for him to see the magical place Andrew gets to go to every two weeks or so. But, since he didn't want to be a copy cat (hee hee), he needed to find a different ailment, so after racking his brains, he went with the tried and true for all orange male cats - peeing in undesirable places (i.e. anywhere outside his box). And having gotten mad at another orange male cat for something that turned out to not be his fault, and actually was a precursor for something horrible, I thought "better to get him checked out and then, if there's nothing wrong, I can get furious without the guilt." So Friday night, off we went.
Unlike Andrew, George is one step removed from feral cats and can get MEAN so we warned the vet ahead of time, and, in true cat fashion, he was a doll. He let her poke him, squeeze him, look in his ears, eyes and mouth, without a murmur. After describing the symptoms, she is pretty sure he is reacting to a stray cat outside, and to him, he is not doing anything wrong but is actually marking his territory. A male tomcat's turf covers the area of 10 football fields. While I would love to say that my house had sufficient room so George wouldn't feel cheated (since he's not allowed outside), it doesn't even come close to one football field, let alone 10. So, George, poor boy, is trying to mark his tiny turf anyway he can. And since I very cruelly removed the glands necessary to actually "spray" and mark his turf before he was 5 months old, he can't even do that properly.
What it comes down to is we have to get rid of the outside cat. Now, I would like to point out that I have gone against every instinct in me, and NOT fed or done anything that can even remotely be looked at as encouraging the outside cat. I wish I could put up a sign that said "No Thanks, we have 4 already" or "We gave at the Humane Society" or the like. But this cat obviously never went to school and is also very ill mannered in that he insists on coming around where he is definitely not wanted. (Can't get more obvious than a huge orange blur throwing himself at the glass door whenever you enter the yard.)
It was suggested that we contact animal control, whom I'm sure are going to be overjoyed to get the call at 11:30 at night, since this cat is a night owl. Or maybe get a Have a Heart trap from the Humane Society. But what happens if we trap the resident opossum? or worse, if we trap our overly comfortable squirrels? But we do need to do something. George needs to go back to his comfort zone of being King George, Despot of the house. To be sure there is no underlying problem, the vet drew blood and urine for horrifically expensive tests that hopefully will tell us that there is nothing wrong. And then, I can yell and scream at him to my heart's content, until we either get past this or he sends me to the loony bin!