Sometimes the miscellaneous misfortunes of everyday are more terrifying than any ghost story or guy with a chain saw—at least that the maxim I’m clinging to since my cat peed on my digital camera and broke it last night.

Since Halloween is on a Friday this year, I decided to take it off and make a long weekend. I officially retired from the hardcore Halloween life in 2012, so I planned on spending the day not being embarrassed by other people wearing over the top costumes to work and eating candy while wearing a headband witch hat. Halloween also happens to top off a super busy, skip-lunch-and-do-a-little-work-at-home type of week at work. So last night I was exhausted in that wonderful, cathartic way that you can only feel when you get a brief pardon from your normal stress for a day. I even had my hair up in a messy bun on the very top of my head.

My big plan for the evening was taking pictures of the pets in their Halloween costumes. I know costumes and clothing on pets is a polarizing topic, but the Halloween costumes were 50% off, and who among us cat owners wouldn’t jump at the chance to see our kitty dressed up as a frog, a sundae, Piglet, or Tigger? What dog owner doesn’t have some inclination to see their pooch dressed as Winnie the Pooh?


Mike started preparing Rory’s wardrobe for the photoshoot (which involves opening the Velcro on all the costumes, because Rory hates the sound of the Velcro almost as much as being made to wear costumes), and I went to get my camera from the reusable tote bag I’d tossed on the chair in the living room. When I reached in to grab my camera, everything was wet. I was taken aback, because a tote bag carrying my digital camera and clean gym clothes has no reason to even be damp, let alone wet. Yet, this is the same bag I use to bring dinner over to my boyfriend’s house, so I thought I packed a bottle of milk and didn’t realize it had leaked. I found my camera, and it was covered in so much liquid, I don’t think it would’ve retained that much fluid if I had intentionally poured a glass of water on it.

Then I smelled it—the overpowering, oppressive odor of cat urine. The wetness in my bag was not skim milk, but cat pee.


I couldn’t help but swallow up one of those insulted, over-the-top gasps you take in whenever you discover any kind of animal void where it doesn’t belong. Mike rushed in from the other room assuming I’d been stabbed, because after two years he still can’t accurately gage my startled intakes of breath.


There’s cat pee all over my right hand and coating the camera in my left. This is news I never anticipated delivering in my life.

“Well, I don’t know how to say this, but the cat peed on my digital camera.”

I’ve read about this phenomenon before: cats peeing in shoes or purses, but I’ve been bringing this same tote and leaving it in various places around my boyfriend’s house for approximately a year, and up until now it’s never been used a litter box. Speaking of litter boxes, Rory’s had not been neglected, and I don’t think he has a urinary tract infection.

You may think I’m crazy, but I think he knew what was going to happen that evening. He knew we were going to exploit him, and after putting up with two costumed Halloweens, he’d finally had enough. I’ve mentioned his Black Cat Stress Disorder before, and despite some minor flare-ups here and there with destroying the window clings that spell out “Happy Halloween,” Rory’s BCSD has been pretty well under control. Until this.

I should’ve immediately taken out the battery and dumped the camera into a bowl of rice to let it dry out. Instead, I turned it on to see if it would work. And it did! It turned on! The lens came out and everything! What a relief. Sure, I’m a girl with a digital camera that smells like cat piss, but at least I’m still a girl with a digital camera. I walked confidently into the room ready to assume the hybrid role of creepy cat lady/amateur photograph. Rory was in his first look, a frog costume, and I tried to shoot a picture while he was mid-disgruntled meow. Nothing happened. The camera labored and lagged. I tried to change the mode using the wheel at the top, but the flash bulb went off in a miniature explosion, the viewfinder went black with the lens still out, and the sorrowful smell of burned electronics filled the room.

Cat pee had killed my digital camera.


This year, I face Halloween fearlessly, because no zombie, little girl dressed as Elsa from Frozen, or neighbor giving out dimes instead of candy will be enough to startle me. I’ve officially seen it all. Do your worst, horror flicks, because until you can replicate the trepidation of a person sticking their hand in what should be a dry tote bag, and discovering an animal has peed inside it, you’re not doing your job.

Pees in tote bags
Pees in tote bags

PS: Yes, I did pout and do that thing where you give your pet the cold shoulder after it did something rude.

PSS: The photo shoot was postponed to Halloween night, when I will capture Rory’s infinite disdain using my phone. Between then and now, I’m keeping my phone in a Ziploc bag. Just in case…

9 thoughts on “My Cat Peed On My Digital Camera

  1. Sorry to hear about your trouble with your cat. Maybe you should get a waterproof camera. I got an sweet little Olympus that’ll work down to 33 meters or something like that. It should be plenty to protect you against any more cat áccidents’. It’s also great if you want to go snorkeling sometime. 🙂

  2. HOLY WHAAA!! I didn’t know this existed but it explains SO MUCH!! I have an all black fluffy cat with one white whisker and guess what happened last night? He got onto the counter and knocked a ceramic salt shaker off and it smashed! It’s eerie and terrifying that my cat is probably suffering from a Halloween related malady!

    Also if I had Halloween decorations up and wasn’t super lazy, he probably would have destroyed those too because he likes destroying and knocking over things that I like.

    Also, I love giving zero fucks by wearing my hair in any lazy-woman’s style. Bed-head might be my favorite at the moment since my hair is short and I can’t put it up.

    Thinking about it…I think my cat might suffer from this Halloween related malady year round. He’s always knocking shit off anything and everything (like my cell phone and also attacking the remote control) and he’s super cranky and bitey. He has some kind of mood disorder I think. Is it related to him being a black cat? Maybe. There could be some validity there.

  3. Poor camera! It’s amazing what we will put up with from our pets (you did eventually forgive him, right?). I’m reminded of when our dog walked into my bedroom, and right in front of me squatted and peed, a LOT! I was so indignant, I yelled “Zoe! How DARE you!?!?!” She looked so ashamed, but of course I forgave her, she was getting old and couldn’t hold it anymore, poor thing, in fact I was a little ashamed for yelling at her, but sheesh, right in front of me! Rory is a cute kitty, hope you had a nice Halloween anyway 🙂

  4. And they say animals are stupid! Your cat obviously new that an evening of dressing-up was in store, and decided to gain his revenge in advance. I had a similar experience with my dog. Obviously disgusted with his enforced doggy diet he decided to punish me my pooping all over the bottom two rungs of my clothes horse. The clothes that were still on it didn’t fare much better. Great blog from you as always.

  5. Difficult to see how you could get over the emotional stress of something like this. It isn’t so much the loss, but the intrusive nature of the crime. I recommend counselling. As for learning that your cat is a criminal, well, I think he/she? (I forget) should be forced to wear a tutu for a sentence period of at least a week. Unforgivable behavior. Unforgivable!

Don't you sass me! ...Actually, please do.

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