How to get a urine sample from a cat

“How was the vet?” MindReader says, walking in the door.

“She said he’s fat and has dermatitis,” I say.

Benny has not been well. It started with a lot of cleaning. And then some more cleaning. And suddenly he was washing himself all day and all day and pulling his fur out and bleeding and getting scabs and … it wasn’t very nice.

“Right.”

“She gave him a steroid injection and a weight-loss plan.”

MindReader smirks. “A confident cat on steroids?”

“Apparently they may make him more hungry. Anyway, he’s got to go back while we’re in Barcelona. BirminghamFriend is going to take him.”

(Oh yes that’s right, Internet, we’re leaving the country again, soon!)

“So just two things,” I say. I point to the table where an enormous can of flea spray sits. “We have to fumigate the house as he is allergic to fleas and they will really upset his skin. So we have to make sure there are NO FLEAS.”

A series of expressions cross MindReader’s face, mostly reflecting that we already buy Benny gluten-free food, spend our evenings letting him come in and out as he pleases, sleep with him in our bed because otherwise he tries to knock down the door…

“We have to fumigate the house? IN CASE there are fleas?”

“Yes. Well, actually, I have to fumigate the house as this stuff kills asthmatics,” I say, picking up the can.

MindReader laughs. “Score. I can’t really imagine you fumigating.”

“Hmm.”

“Second?”

“Well, I’ve done the second thing,” I say, “but you have to take it to the vet’s.”

MindReader stares at me as I move my eyes meaningfully towards the pot of cat urine sitting on our table.

It’s true. I took a sample of my cat’s urine.

It was surprisingly simple.

The vet told me to close the back door so he couldn’t go out and empty his litter tray and fill it with a little bit of ripped up newspaper – enough for him to kick around but not enough to soak up his – well, his piss.

I did so and settled in for the evening after work – yes, in my suit – waiting for Benny to leave the room and pee. As soon as I had finished laying the newspaper, Benny got up and let himself into the downstairs loo. I heard a trickle and went in and decanted the pee into the little pot.

“Thanks Benny,” I said, washing his tray and filling it with litter again. It was the easiest thing in the world; a job I thought might take days took five minutes.

MindReader looks at the table, now, and sees the pot. “Is that – Benny’s piss? How did you get that?”

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