Stupid Kitty and the Hairball of Doom! #CreativeWriting

Posted by in Creative Portfolio | 61 comments

You’ve already met Speckles, and now it’s time to meet Luka. All twenty pounds of him. WARNING: If you haven’t had your breakfast yet, you might want to postpone reading this… Sure, go ahead and blame the owner for allowing him to reach such portly proportions. However, ask yourself: how many fat yellow cats you’ve encountered in your life. I bet it’s more than a few. Baby, they just seem to be born that way.

Fat Yellow Cat

Luka’s gluttony drives him to such persistence and that can make him difficult to love. For a good laugh, my husband and I have been known to set a new bag of food in front of him just to see how crazy temptation drives him. When I refill the automatic dispenser he goes completely ballistic. I also let him shove his face into the big Tupperware container where the cat food gets stored. For a brief moment he gorges on the fresh food before I snap the lid back into place.

Notice that we feed him a hairball formula. If you were as fat as him and had to labor to clean around all that fatness, you would produce some hefty hairballs. I must admit, we could stand to brush him more often. Yet, he doesn’t get too many hair mats. For a fat kitty, he’s usually pretty adept at grooming himself. That is until made our cross country move from Idaho to North Carolina. Thankfully, we had kept the long hair on his hind legs trimmed. Otherwise we would have had a lot more cleaning up to do. I’ve lost count of the times we’ve had to get out the wet wipes and literally wipe our cat’s ass. Not pretty.

fat yellow cat

Believe it or not, Luka was pretty svelte back in 2005.

Enter the hairball of doom. Maybe I should make that plural because Luka offered up two gargantuan ones shortly after we settled into our new place. “You know Matt, Luka really needs brushed…” How many times has that been uttered over the years? Poor kitty. But cats are like kids. They occasionally make messes and you clean it up. Life goes on. His ongoing case of the runs seemed hairball-related, so I just wanted to bide my time and let nature take its course. That is until a mysterious intruder appeared in the extra bathroom which also housed the litter box.

The best solution for the stinky cat box became an automatic air freshener. Glorious apple and cinnamon lingered in the air rather than the smell of dusty cat litter. Since moving to North Carolina, the cat box just seemed to smell more than it ever did in Idaho. Maybe it was due to the higher humidity. It didn’t help either that Luka went through a spell where he stopped burying his waste.

 fat yellow catfat yellow cat

With a fresh-smelling house all seemed on the up and up. Luka even wretched up the biggest hairball I had ever seen. Usually both of our cats produce tube-like ones due to the way they must pass though their esophagus. But no. The present left on the bathroom carpet was a shapeless mass of nasty yellow kitty hair. Surely, Luka had to feel better after expelling such nastiness.

fat yellow cat

Otherwise known as Jabba, Roly-Poly Kitty, Fatso, Lardo, and Mr. Piggy to name a few.

Matt went on his merry way for a week of training in Dallas and the next day Luka became a monster. Meowing, scratching at the door, and spraying piss all over the dining room. I later discovered a pile of runny poo on the bathroom floor by the tub, as if he had been going and walking at the same time. The next day as I was drinking coffee Luka also proceeded to spray again, only this time on the opposite wall of the dining room. It does no good to scold a cat after the fact, so I picked up his porky body and lugged him to his box where he did end up going.

fat yellow cat

Luka kickin’ back with Matt.

And the next day? Not a drop. Nothing left in or around the litter box. He did whine a lot to go out onto the screened porch. Sometimes I think he acts more like a tomcat than a neutered cat. A neighborhood cat likes to hang around and a bunny also likes to taunt him from the other side of the porch. In any case, Luka acted like a supreme A-hole all day. That was also coupled with another gigantic hairball he had left for me to discover in the morning. Thrice I put him in the box. Thrice he ran away.

Everything started to fall into place. He wasn’t dying, although that is a fear that runs through my mind now since I’ve had to put two pets to sleep when Matt has been gone on business. No, it was simpler than that. Luka was afraid of the bathroom, more specifically the Airwick Automatic Freshener. And the new habit of not covering his waste once his box was put in the new bathroom? He’d been in a hurry.

fat yellow cat

“Om nom nom nom nom!”

The pssst of air the auto-freshener let out was just too much. It struck fear into his heart much like the way squirted water or a pump from a bottle of air. I pushed the box into the extra bedroom. Curiosity and nature calling got the best of him. Luka went.

Such joy. I sent Matt a text message: Luka pooped! In the box. It wasn’t runny and he covered it up!!!

I decided to move the box closer to the bathroom door so Luka no longer had to walk walk past the air freshener. Maybe now my stupid kitty can just go back to being his usual annoying self, sans spraying, sans the runs, sans hairballs.

Do you have a stupid kitty story?

Don’t forget to enter my drawing for FREE HOLIDAY MOVIE TICKETS. The winner will be announced on Thur. 12/19.

Permission to use the images in this post must be granted by JeriWB.

Article written by Jeri Walker-Bickett aka JeriWB

Jeri Walker-Bickett
JeriWB writes short stories, creative nonfiction, and psychological suspense. The rough Idaho mining town she grew up in populates her literary landscape. She also works as a freelance editor.
Jeri Walker-Bickett


Author of short stories, creative nonfiction, and psychological suspense. Blogger of writing tips and lit chat. Freelance editor.
RT @resalis: ►Greek Mythology: "The Sphinx and her Riddle".- via @aquileana Did you know this about the Sphinx? - 23 mins ago
Jeri Walker-Bickett
Jeri Walker-Bickett
Jeri Walker-Bickett
I offer a variety of freelance editing services. Previously, I served as an editorial assistant with The Idaho Review, Boise State's literary journal.


  1. With one dog, two cats and anywhere from 2->7 or is that 8 kids of varying ages in one house, I have to be very honest and say that everyday has some kind of crazy, worrying, funny story to tell!

    While this is not about a cat, it is still worth the telling. Our dog Buddy will only eat cat food! I have tried everything you can think of to try and entice him to be a dog and eat dog food, but to no avail!

    The good news is that the cats are not bothered by it as long as their is food in their dish.

    I have to say it is something to see them get along as well as they do…the dog chases the cats, the cats chase the dog and then all of them will try to jump on my desk ( I got smart and have a clear pathway for them now) or my lap and on and on it goes.

    Cats are amazing and with all their different personalities, looks and antics it is no wonder that in the social world we now have the ever lasting #caterday

    • Thanks for visiting! I tried to change Luka’s food once, but you know how that goes for cats. Now he’s officially on a diet. Hopefully we can get him to slim down at least a little bit since he’s eating himself silly since we moved cross-country.

  2. Oh thank God! Someone else has had to clean a plus-sized kitty’s delicate cat parts! I thought I was the only one!

    By the way, have you thought that all this (hairballs, spraying, runny poo…) is because of the move? Our cat hid for days after our move and so did my Godmother’s cat when she switched states. A permanent change in scenery freaks the little fur balls out for a bit.

    • Yeah, I think the move had a lot to do with it. Just last weekend we bought him a plus-size kitty cat box and that seems to be helping the situation out. He’s also officially on a diet now :) Kinda ate himself silly since the move. He went from being big to being gargantuan!

  3. Some pets have their manias! We never quite dealt with something like you describe. We had a cat that needed several surgeries to survive some congenital problems. However, they left him incontinent. He would do his business immediately after eating, so he either had to be fed outside or chased outside immediately after feeding.

    • As luck would have it, my poor big kitty is experiencing yet another hairball of doom. Seems to be a twice a year occurance.

  4. Okay, that story was both disgusting and entertaining. Some of it, I can relate to. Other parts, thankfully not. But good thing you figured out Luka’s issue with the air freshener. My dog is afraid of the round pizza pan. She gets very upset when it’s sitting in the dish drainer. Funny little creatures, our pets.

    • My new dog (well new rescue dog of one year and counting) is afraid of almost everything! It’s hard to say what goes inside of their little minds ;)

  5. LOL… every cat is an adventure.
    Morse and I have our moments. Periodically, he gets the nickname of Hairball Monster.

  6. Hilarious…made me miss my kitties big time! But I don’t miss the hairballs. Both of my Ragdolls had problems…one would eat a little Vaseline off my finger, the other not so much. But the Vaseline helped! I did this at the suggestion of the vet, by the way :) Moves are tough. I think that was the heart of the problem :) Made me laugh, though Jeri. Cats are so unique in personality… but I love them :)

    • Jacquie, each pet really does have their own personality and a mess of quirks to go along with it. I don’t want to inundate everyone with pet posts, but I’ll have to do one on my REALLY loud Siamese mix in the future, not to mention my poor rescue dog that’s afraid of everyone and everything.

  7. The first cat I had was a Maine Coon. They’re big cats naturally. They’re usually more than one color, have long silky fur, and always are ready to hack a hairball or two. Although they are friendly with their owners, they usually hide from strangers.

    I have another one of these big cats now, although she isn’t completely Maine Coon. She’s all black, which tells me there is something else in the mix.

    • Glynis, I love Maine Coons. Luka has that kind of size to him, but I’m not sure if that’s what might be in him. My other cat is a cranky and very loud Siamese mix.

  8. We used to have a few long haired cats. That is until we had the pair of Bert and Ernie. Bert was the long hair and Ernie was the short. These two were the complete opposite of their muppet namesakes.

    Bert was a horrible slob and at one point went feral. Worst experience ever with a long haired cat. Since him we only allow short haired kitties into our home.

    • Jon, I always say I won’t get anymore long-haired animals, but I always do. It seems like every time I go to the pound to rescue an animal the ones with a mass of hair end up picking me.

  9. Only when I was a kid did we have cats. My husband and I have had MANY years of dogs though.

    While this was a little disgusting your post was fun to read about Luka. Now that you’ve solved the mystery sounds like a lot more purring will be going on!

  10. My parents have three cats – black, white, and grey. The white one is as big as the black and grey one put together. He prefers going outside – but has peed on blankets when no one has been around, even though he uses the litter box to poop. Ugh. Laundry time has been forced a few times, just dealing with this cat!

    But he’s lovable and has no claws and is a big suck, so it’s hard to stay mad at him!

    • Lorraine, I’d say Luka is twice as big as my other cat. Isn’t it crazy how much they can get away with an their humans will still love them so much?

      • Yeah, but that’s because they are just like our children. When you have kids of your own, you’ll really understand. ;) They can drive us crazy at times, but we’ll still love them because they are our own. Of course, being cute and funny help, too. LOL

  11. I so get the part about cat our pets) being like kids. It funny how they act when they don’t get their way or when something is wrong and they don’t know how to communicate it in a way we understand.

    My cat (Sam) plays with stuffed animals. There is one in particular that he has had as a kitten, we call it puppy. He carries it from room to room, sleeps with it and brings it to me when he wants me to know I’m loved.

    I had gone on a short trip. When I came back he was all out of sorts. I paid little attention because he usually was a bit miffed when I left for any period of time. That night he was frantic and all over the place. It then dawned on me that I hadn’t seen his puppy in a while. I couldn’t find it any where. I called my housekeep asking it they might have seen it or inadvertently thrown it away. No luck there. Sam followed me from room to room. But he always wanted to go back up stairs to our bathroom. I finally went with him and he pawed on the linen closet door. When I opened it he just stare in. I didn’t see it. I then looked a bit deeper and there was the puppy. I pulled it out and Sam sat on his hind legs reached up and garbed his little friend and all was now well with the world.

    What had happened was he had taken the puppy in there and somehow the door was shut with the puppy still inside. I now pay more attention to where he likes to play or nap … with his puppy. :-)

    • Susan, that’s too funny about Sam’s puppy. Luka likes to pack a giant stuffed rat around the house. Every night when we go to bed, he has to sink his teeth into it and have a meow fest like he just killed it or something.

  12. It’s wonderful to meet Luka but yes, as you’ve stated, it is time for Kitty Weight Watchers! I’ve taken care of Phoenix when he was sick as pup and while it’s not a joyful activity I didn’t think twice about it. It’s been many years since I’ve had cats (I do love ‘em) but that urine spray is one of the nastiest pet odors known to man! Or at least this man lol! :)

    • Mike, we’ve tried putting Luka on a kitty diet and believe me it wasn’t pretty. Changing a cat’s diet is definitely easier said than done. He turned into even more of a jerk when we tried to change his food, so now my husband and I figure we’ll only be able to make the food change when both of our cats pass on. I feel bad that Luka is so big, but if we didn’t put out an automatic dispenser the skinny cat would never get the chance to eat. Cats! Can’t live with ‘em, can’t live without ‘em.

  13. AW, love the kitty pictures! I don’t know if you ever read my post where I revealed that I once had 8 cats. At once. Yup. It’s true! I had them for close to 20 years. I miss those lil guys. But they weren’t all little! In fact, Luka looks like two brothers I had named Pancho and Lefty. So yes, I have stepped in, slid on, found in strange places, and cleaned-up more hair balls and puke than I can even begin to count! Lol.

    I do NOT miss litter boxes. And we now have one dog. :)

    • Beth, you were a cat lady! My sister also has a bunch of cats, but now that’s she’s working two jobs and not home as much as she used to be, she’s decided she needs to get rid of them. They get mad that she’s not around as much, and get their revenge by peeing all over the place.

  14. Hilarious! I once had a roommate with a cat that looked, and acted, just like Luka. His name was Herschel and we loved him, but man did he produce some impressive hairballs! We used to have to feed him this horrible goo in a tube to help him. I never would have thought about the air freshener scaring him, good thing you figured it out!

    • Meredith, I’ve tried giving the cats goo to help with the hairballs, but they will have nothing to do with it. Clearly, the hairball formula doesn’t help much either. At least Luka doesn’t mind being brushed. That seems to help more than anything.


    • Susan, just think you’ve only met Luka down South. Maybe someday you come meet him at our other place ;)

  16. That is a pretty fat cat you got there. I have one that acts like Luka with food. You would think we never feed her the way she is. If we’re eating she’s right there. Putting my makeup on. She’s right there on the counter. She gets into everything like a child. Been climbing my Christmas tree. Yesterday I was doing laundry and she was there running off and stealing socks. No wonder they always have holes.

    • Krystle, Luka is quite the Christmas tree lover as well. He’s too big to really try to climb it, but he spends all day swatting at bulbs and trying to pull the garland off. He also likes to lay beneath it on the velvety tree skirt. At first, he even tore a candy cane off the tree and started to chew on it, so we moved them higher. For some reason, he’s always had a thing for the scent of mint and will even attack my husband’s work bag to try to get to a stick of gum.

  17. Oh I relate, boy do I relate to cleaning hairballs and trying to keep the house smelling fresher than a litter box. I have two–one a feral I rescued (Lila) and one from a shelter (Meadow). Meadow is a lot like Luka when it comes to long yellow/brown hair and hairballs (he’s gorgeous, btw, despite his added weight). Can’t brush her enough and she hates the vaseline-based remedies. I have to trick her by smearing some on her paw to lick off. She hates me for an hour afterward. Ah, but I adore my kitties as I’m sure you do too. Why else would we put up with all that uck?

    • Jagoda, we do indeed put up with a lot of kitty uck in exchange for all the purry love they can give. I have horror stories about our recent move. The kitties did not weather it well at all.

  18. I don’t have a cat, but I do have a dog. He’s my baby. I don’t have any 2 legged children, but I do have one hairy, 4 legged one. It’s scary, but I talk to him like he’s my son, and he sometimes acts like a little boy.

    Some of his mannerisms are that of a cat (a lion). It’s hilarious.

  19. OK I have to say that I laughed when I read this. Our little furry children can have some real fears. Sometimes it takes a while to figure them all out. :)

    • Cheryl, yeah Luka vs. the air freshener has been one of his funnier fears. He also does not like the toilet.

  20. Funny the things we do for our pets… I did really enjoy the video though, it could never be good when your pet learns how to open its bag of food!!

    • Dan, and the video I posted here is one of Luka’s more mild ravagings of a bag of cat food ;)

  21. I laughed through this story. I don’t have a cat anymore, my son is allergic to the fur so it’s been many years since I’ve had a feline roommate. Your story brought back lots of memories and reminded me that there was an upside to no longer being a cat owner, notably the lack of a litter box. It’s amazing how much time you can spend contemplating the bathroom habits of a cat. Glad all is well with Luka, he’s one gorgeous kitty. :)

    • Debra, speaking of contemplating the bathroom habits of my cat, it’s about time for a trim on Luka’s hind quarters. We’ve learned the hard way that’s the best way to avoid having to use wet wipes on him ;)

  22. I don’t have a cat, but I do have dog and have learned that we do not give these animals enough credit. They have instincts we will never understand. It is hard because they can’t talk. The good news is that your cat wasn’t doing anything of of spite but because of the fear of the freshener.

    • Arleen, it really is amazing how their personalities differ and are indeed so distinct. My rescue dog has all kinds of fears I’m only start to unlock, and she’s been with me for two years. Luka’s air freshener avoidance we pretty cut and dry once I finally caught on.

  23. Cats are so crazy! They live by their own rules. We had planned to leave on a trip today so the suitcases were brought out yesterday. Our little Jimmy (who is no longer so little) must have realized his world was about to change and so his behaviour became rather unruly. Now that the trip has been cancelled (my husband has been ill) Jimmy has calmed down and is back to being his uber-cute self. Happy Holidays!

    • Doreen, hope you husband feels better soon. It always amuses and amazes me how much the cats can get their noses out of joint at the slightest kitty injustice. Then there’s the dog who seems to live and die by the promise of a car ride ;) She gets do dejected we firmly say “bye bye” because she knows she doesn’t get to go.

  24. This post – LOL! What a character! My cream boy, Farfel is a barfie guy. It’s his commentary when something is awry in his little world. One summer, I had a friend crashing here intermittently while her house was being renovated. Every time she slept over, Farfel would have a barfie right after she left in the morning. He didn’t understand. Did she live here? Did she not live here? Why could she come and go? I almost envy him, if only I could express myself that articulately!

    • Krystyna, LOL to you as well. Your comment is definitely one of the best ones to come along lately. Poor Farfel! It’s tough to be a barfie guy.

  25. Oh my gosh what a timely post for me! After my husband and I finally rented a house in California and quit living in the hotel, we were adopted by this beautiful gray cat who wandered out of the untamed plum orchard next to our house. The first time she came around she was curious but ran off when I tried to throw her some food. The second time, well, that was THE time when she wandered right into the house, acted like she owned the place and told us she wasn’t leaving. GrayCat is here to stay.

    Being the animal lover I am, I’m thrilled. My husband is now sneezing and has itchy eyes. Oh look! A built in dog door, er, cat door at the back door. Let’s teach her how to use that. (Hit the Staples button and hear the electronic voice say, ‘that was easy’!) So about a month or so go by and I decide to take GrayCat to the vet just to get her checked out. She seemed in good shape – couldn’t find fleas – couldn’t find any male parts but wanted to know for sure and get shots up to date. Oh look! GrayCat is a neutered male! Didn’t see that one coming.

    Fast forward to last week. He shoots through the cat door and lets go of a bird that can and does still fly. He traps it again in the front room. I get the bird, get my phone to take a picture of it, snap a photo to share with my mom, then the little guy takes a deep breath and dies. In my hand. Sigh.

    The next day, he shoots through the cat door with the smallest mouse I’ve ever seen and sets it on his “Cat’s Meow” toy. You know the one you’ve ‘seen on tv’? He’s so proud to have his own mouse to play with because this one will run. Yep. it’s alive and we enter in to the quintessential game of cat and mouse. Except there is human and broom intervention and the mouse escapes to live another day…outside.

    Oh look, here come GrayCat shooting through the cat door again with another mouse. This time we aren’t so dramatic with our surprise and just keep an eye on the little guy. Uh oh. Under the fridge he went. Intervention take two. Capture and release? Successful.

    Oh look, here come… get the idea. This time, cat wins. Mouse is eaten.

    The last present brought to us was another bird that he promptly brought to the bedroom as I was in the bathroom getting ready. I look over to see feathers going everywhere and the bird escapes flying into my bathroom. GrayCat captures yet again, I reclaim bird from GrayCat and set free outside. Bird flies off with a few less feathers. Hope it’s ok.

    Research shows that cats who bring their owners “gifts” are either trying to teach them how to be better hunters or it’s a sign of affection. I’ll take the affection. This fabulous long-haired gray cat has captured my and my husband’s heart (and periodic allergies). I’m also convinced he’s a Nebelung breed. Ever heard of it? I hadn’t either. Google it and that’s exactly what he looks like and acts like. Love my special furry man.

    I wonder when I might have to deal with hairballs as GrayCat has long hair too. Is it wrong to say I’ll think of you fondly when he coughs up his first? :)

    • Pamela, you have no idea how much your comment on the hunting shenanigans of GrayCat made my day. Thanks for that :) My two cats are indoor cats, but on occasion they do get to explore our small backyard, but Luka is too big to jump over the six-food wood fence. Troxel used to, but now he’s getting older. So that means they don’t ever bring me dead things, unless one counts dead toys. They are fierce hunters of stuffed animals.

  26. We have a big fat black cat called Freya. So incredibly mean to women… loves men, bossy and glutinous. If she had oposable thumbs she’s help herself to food! If we leave the bag of food on the floor she’ll chew through the bag to get to the food. But she’s our fat little black furry pig/cat ; )

  27. Thank you for the big belly laugh!
    I love the stuff that we text our husbands. Wouldn’t it be a hoot if someone picked up the phone and read it?

  28. I do now understand why every writer is supposed to have a cat… Both writers and cats share their excentric manias , don´t you think… Haruki Murakami loves cats, they tend to appear in each one of his books.. And there are many similar cases … As to your pets, they are simply marvellous . I have two cats, Nobel & Misha, and some of the adventures you told us about may be, as well, related to them. Thanks for bringing us joy with your post, Jeri..
    Best wishes , Aquileana ツ

    • Aquileana, thanks for reading and getting acquainted with my giant kitty Luka. I’ve yet to write about his nemesis my skinny (and noisy) Siamese cat Troxel. Stay tuned :)

  29. Luka may be a tad husky but he’s adorable. Moves can be very stressful for pets. When we moved here, Whiskey, my husband elderly male cat, when into the crawlspace and wouldn’t come out. He didn’t a few weeks later – poor thing. Luckily Luka has rallied! I see this post was a while ago – I hope Luka is still well! Jan

    • Jan, Luka is doing well. His weight is holding steady, so the vet said it’s okay as long as he doesn’t gain anymore. Both kitties are glad to be back in Idaho. They both missed the house we had lived in for years.

  30. Whoops – much typos in my comment. Correction – my husband is not an elderly cat!

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