I am going to have to make a hard decision about Max. This morning, I found yet another puddle on my bed and I have every reason to believe that Max did it. I don't have proof positive, but he is at least indirectly involved, whether it's because he is causing so much stress for Loosy and Lily or because he is marking his territory and/or claiming the space where I spend important time.
To complicate matters, I am leaving later this morning for our ministers' retreat and the district's annual meeting in Tacoma and the cats will be cared for by a young man from the congregation. I will keep the bedroom door shut, which makes me sad, because I think it's good for the animals to be able to be on my bed. The peed-upon comforter has been deodorized and sequestered in another room while it dries and I will launder it when I get back.
Max is a charmer and ever so beautiful, but despite having been neutered almost two months ago, he is still way more lively than the older cats can take. This is natural, as he is still a kitten, but he chases them, jumps them, pushes them away from the food, and generally makes them (and me) anxious. I can tell that my ordinary measures for keeping the cats on the deck in the summertime are not going to work for Max. He will simply jump off the high deck to explore the yard and it will be tough to get him back. Which means he will become part of the food chain, which is not a happy thought.
So I am thinking that very likely I will take him to the local no-kill shelter when I get back from Tacoma at the end of the weekend. He needs a place where he's not in constant competition for attention from a human and where other pets are a little more resilient.
It hurts my heart to think of letting him go. But I can't deal with the anxiety in the household because of his behavior. This is not a firm decision yet, but even as I consider it, I feel some of the stress lessening (though the sorrow is increasing).