Thursday, September 13, 2012

Between His Toes: A Maine Coon's Encounter with a Freshly Painted Floor

Luther was a mighty bad boy Monday. MIGHTY bad.

Among my many chores that afternoon, I wanted to paint the floor of a downstairs closet. The wood floor in there had been painted before, and I knew I had the oil-based paint on hand, left over from when I did the sun room floor.

You might guess where this is headed...

I put the first coat down. It stunk to high heaven. Most cats I've had in the past don't need any encouragement to steer clear of such a chemical odor. I needed to keep the door open for it to dry, but I blockaded the entry with a variety of objects.

Just in case.

I opened all the windows, then left to mow the front lawn. After wrapping up with that, I trudged up the hill, looking forward to relaxing with a cold iced tea in the half hour or so I had before running out to pick up my neighbor from work.

I came in the house to find Cocoa Beach enamel paint pawprints in a variety of locales, including the oak floor in the kitchen, the fir floor in the living room, my Moroccan rug, a bamboo mat in the sun room and even the black dining room table! Oh, yes, and on the stairs as well.

Oh, naughty, naughty boy!

After a major freak-out/panic attack, I found I could remove the paint simply by scrubbing hard with a DRY paper towel. The exception was the bamboo mat; the rapidly drying, sticky paint had gotten in between the narrow slats, so on that I had to use some toxic smelling, gasoline-based Goof Off, which worked well. (Afterwards, I closed off that room, left the windows wide open over night and everything was fine in the morning.)

But no, the challenge wasn't over yet, because I realized Luther must have oil paint on all that long fur growing in between his toes. It's a Maine Coon thing.

I had to straddle him, first facing his most unhappy scowl, then facing his rear, and hold up each paw to snip away the paint-soaked fur with a pair of scissors. He was most upset about that. There was a lot of moaning and hissing, but to his credit, he did not try to scratch or bite me, for which I'm grateful.

I made two passes at clipping off the fur, but I knew I couldn't get all of it. Not sure what else I could have done, aside from taking him to the vet to have them anesthetize him and do a more thorough job. But that seemed like an extreme measure, and anesthesia presents its own risks.

He seems fine now.

I put a second coat on the closet floor yesterday and he hasn't shown the least interest in it.

1 comment:

  1. My experience with the paint fumes was not easy. I am told you can add vanilla to the paint before using it and that will help remove the odor. After painting, the odor persisted. All windows and doors were open too. After a week of this and company about to arrive, I read to place bowls of chopped onion (in cold water) here and there. This mostly worked, at least enough for company. But for the permanent residents, we still are adding onions about the house to kill the stench. Ugh!