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At Least It’s A Little Thing

Honestly, I seem to be lurching from crisis to crisis at the moment.

At least this week’s… interesting bit is relatively minor, if annoying and somewhat worrisome.

See, the Bugger-cat has been somewhat… erratic about his choice of places to go, with said choices not always being one of the litterboxes downstairs. We’ve been treating him for months for irritable bowel issues, and he gets a vet checkup every 3 weeks, but there hasn’t been any sign of anything more than chronic instability.

Except that today – I was working from home, so I got to see it, otherwise who knows when we would have found the problem – he hopped onto the printer and did what I initially thought was start to settle himself to sit there and sleep for a bit. I only saw him in my peripheral vision because I was busy arguing with the load testing tool and the website I need to load test.

Then he got off again, and I realized it looked awfully like the kitty “take a leak” pose being broken.

So I checked. It was.

So we are now sans printer, since the Husband and I had no desire to find out if it was possible for a printer to successfully recover from being doused in cat pee.

Not particularly problematic, since both of us can use work printers if we have to, but the cat doing this is somewhat disturbing. His Buggerness didn’t seem to be in any discomfort, but he’s also not being his normal self. I swear I never thought I’d miss the operatic performances at mealtime, but I do.

I would also like it put on record that I want a mostly boring life spiced up with the occasional good surprise. This lurching from crisis to crisis just doesn’t cut it, and should I find myself in a position to speak to Someone in Authority, there will be Words.

  1. TRX #

    Obviously, with that kind of behavior, the animal is possessed. Exorcism is indicated. “There’s an app for that…”

    Pop the ink or toner cartridge out, clean as necessary, and then remove any take-off-able panels and take the printer to the shower. Rinse it out with lukewarm water and set it in front of a fan to dry. There are lots of little crannies for water toget trapped; every four to six hours, flip it over or on the other side. It will usually take 24 hours for it to get thoroughly try.

    Put the ink or toner cartridges back in and see if it will come up. About 75% of the time it will. If not, give it another 24 hours in front of the fan.

    Works for wine, soft drinks, milk, and I don’t see any reason why not cat pee. Also works with laptop computers.

    Best case, you have a clean printer. Worst case, you’re no worse off than before.

    And until you get the cat exorcised, you might put trash bags over small, valuable electronic devices when not in use…

    August 23, 2018
    • Final rinse is *distilled*… no residue when it dries.

      August 23, 2018
  2. It says here that if nothing else has changed around the house or with other cats, maybe the cat has a UTI or other pain while peeing. So sometimes they try doing it elsewhere than the litterbox, to see if that helps.

    August 23, 2018
    • I realize I’m late to the party (out of town this weekend, not on the internets), but that was definitely the behavior that led to my Fat Cat getting diagnosed with a UTI. (An extremely stubborn one, as it turns out, we are on week THREE of antibiotics, and he’s finally run out of patience/laziness when it comes to the pills…) And also that he has that lovely, mostly-limited-to-neutered-male-cats condition that involves crystals forming in their urine, which can lead to blockages and/or UTIs.

      (And for the record, though the ‘prescription diet’ might be necessary to clean up the initial problem, it’s hella expensive. So beware of this. But internet research indicates that wet food with added water may work as a preventative. My budget sure hopes so…)

      So could be the crystals as well. Poor kitty.

      August 27, 2018
  3. When RowenCat got diabetic, the first sign was urine on hard surfaces not associated with the cat box. We never did figure out why, unless it was just his basic anti-soclai nature combined with increasing need to go (greater through-put). It stopped once he was on insulin. *shrug* Cats.

    August 23, 2018
  4. John in Philly #

    A while back I crash landed my small quadrotor into our salt water swimming pool.
    The crash happened right after my wife said, “You shouln’t fly that over the pool!”
    I’m still hearing about that.

    The Silicon Graybeard is a retired radio engineer, and his answer to my question of what do I do was very much the same as TRX’s answer.

    August 23, 2018
  5. I’m allergic to cats. I don’t dislike them, in fact when the neighborhood feral cats have kittens under the shed in my back yard, it was super-fun sitting out on the back porch and watching them emerge on their first exploration expeditions. However, I’m (somewhat) glad that I am allergic. It gives me an excuse to say NO when my daughters cry “I wanna kitty!”

    I don’t think I would deal well with cats peeing on things.

    As for the printer, especially if the printer was off at the time of the… spraying… I have to agree that TRX’s shower idea is worth a try. I rescued a computer with a similar scheme years ago. It’s best not to say what that one was soaked in, but some judicious use of an acid brush and bottle of rubbing alcohol was also required as some of the…. stuff… had dried on the motherboard.

    OR, it sounds to me like a good excuse to buy a new printer if there is room in the budget for one.

    August 23, 2018
    • TRX #

      It the computer has an ordinary hard disk (instead of an SSD), it’s a good idea to pull the hard disk first. Hard disks are vented and though you could put a piece of tape over the vent (unless it’s under the circuit board), you usually have to pull the drive to get to the vent anyway…

      August 23, 2018
      • In the case of the computer. I decided it was better to pull the WHOLE thing apart and test everything. The Hard drive largely escaped un… splatted? Yea… splatted… that’s a good word for it, so it was fine (after I dumped it and reloaded a fresh OS). The modem, and the mother board were very much… um… splatted… and needed serious work. Frankly, I was surprised that any of it ever worked again, but the woman who was given the broken computer didn’t have money for a new one and really wanted to get online. So the heroic measures were warranted (and appreciated).

        August 23, 2018
  6. Cat-pee? New printer. There’s no way you’re getting the pee stink out of that, and it has fans to distribute the reek anew every time it starts up.

    Brother MFC series is a -very- nice printer/scanner/fax in one device. I have three of them now in various locations, they all perform beautifully and you can get -big- toner cartridges for them.

    I’ll never buy another HP, the Brother is better in every way.

    Also consider that dogs may pee on the floor, but they rarely climb up on the printer. ~:D (I’m a dog person. Cats are not pets. They are slave owners.)

    August 23, 2018
    • Draven #

      we’re currently running a Lexmark again… color laser/scanner/copier

      whats a fax? 😛

      August 23, 2018
      • Fax: Its that ancient technology that lawyers, doctors and real estate agents still use. “Wet signature” is a legal term that makes me keep a land-line at my house, for the fax machine.

        Did you know that doctors, lawyers etc. commonly print a form, have the customer sign it, then scan and fax it to the relevant entity and SHRED the form? All day, every day. Think of the cost of that, eh?

        Lexmark, I’m pretty “meh” on them since IBM sold it. I’ve had them, they were okay. Didn’t amaze me. HP actively hacks me off every time I replace the cartridge. Gouging.

        I made my Brother purchasing decision on toner cost per page. More pages per toner cartridge, less expensive to run, decent enough software to get the job done.

        August 23, 2018
        • Draven #

          we made iot on availability, print quality, and we wanted a color laser. I had and used an Optra R for… 14 years? before the got a cheap laserjet 4mp. Well, the laserjet got donated when we got the new Lexmark..Only problem is, i can’t print decals on it cheaply.

          August 23, 2018
  7. Check him for hyperthyroid. Common in older cats, but usually goes undiagnosed. (Yes, hyper, not hypo.) “Irritable bowel” is usually caused by an overcycling thyroid.

    I once inherited a bag of computer parts that reeked of cig smoke. I washed ’em in soap and water followed by straight undiluted Febreeze. The trick is to let ’em dry thoroughly, then dry a little longer. Yep, they still worked after this, which differs little from the final step at the factory.

    August 23, 2018
  8. Luke #

    I’d add my advice on how to clean it, but ink refills are darned near as expensive as a new printer.
    And since getting printers to work nowadays is no more difficult than just plugging them in, I’ve taken to treating them as largely disposable.

    Sure, if I was going to have to spend a couple of hours fighting with driver installation and compatibilities, I’d happily spend half an hour with distilled water and rubbing alcohol.
    But with everything now Plug & Play…

    August 23, 2018
    • TRX #

      I wish someone would clue HP in on that… I have a client who insists on HP printers, and it usually takes two or three installs before one will “take.” Takes anywhere from half an hour to an hour for USB printers. And the newest drivers will silently fail if there’s no internet connection. *And*, as of two months ago, some of their inkjet drivers will work on XP and 7, but *not* on Vista… That’s not even counting the utter disaster of trying to make some of them work via wifi…

      HP has gone from “blue chip” to “do not want” on my personal list.

      August 23, 2018
      • snelson134 #

        Which is a damn shame, because they run forever.

        August 24, 2018
      • Yeah, I’m quite annoyed with them over a $1200 specialty inkjet (given to me, but still) that at 6 or 7 years old is “unsupported” so the drivers have been made unavailable and have vanished from HP’s website. More annoyed with ’em over another specialty inkjet that won’t work unless the carts are under a year old, or something. Screw that. (Or, why the only reason I own ANY inkjets is because they fell on my head.)

        Meanwhile, they still offer drivers for 30 year old LaserJets… no doubt because the vast majority still in service are owned by cranky lawyers. (Not unusual for HPLJs to exceed 1 million pages.) And toner carts are available cheap all over.

        Which is why I took to hoarding LaserJets…not to mention the print cost per page is somewhere around 1/4 cent for B/W or around 10 cents for color and the printers live forever… vs 25 cents a page for inkjet and the printer dies after a few months.

        August 30, 2018
        • Draven #

          We gave our LJ4 to a charity when we left CA.

          On another note, a lot of HP models got lost in the shuffle around the time of the split.

          August 30, 2018
  9. BobtheRegisterredFool #

    At least your printer problem is not the Cat Shit One.

    Grins, Ducks, and Runs Away.

    August 23, 2018
    • Manga reference – I see what you did there….

      August 23, 2018
  10. Hunting Guy #

    No suggestions about the cat.

    For my home printers, it has reached the point where I buy the cheapest one available for sale, $39 each and if I’m lucky, $29. I run it until the ink is out, buy a new one and then donate the old one to charity for a tax deduction. It’s cheaper than buying new ink for them.

    I tried using refills from Amazon and they leaked or weren’t recognized by the printer. I tried refilling them myself and they leaked.

    I realize that this isn’t a solution for everyone but it works for my home office. I don’t need the speed or scanner.

    August 23, 2018
  11. My sympathies … several of my daughters cats (all neutered males with no other issues) took to competitive marking of … stuff.
    Like a blender. They killed the blender that stood on the kitchen island — a perfectly good Cuisinart blender! Those cats, BTW are now living outside in the luxurious catio.

    And it’s nice to be able to clean things … and have them stay clean.

    August 23, 2018

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