Party in the Bathroom!!!!!

buck close

The Continuing Saga of Living in a 900 Square Foot House with 3 Indoor Cats

Every time I enter the bathroom, no matter what I plan to do in there, or how long I’ll be staying, I have company: at least one cat, often all three, come to join me for an impromptu party.

Yes, I close the door. But Phoebe, our little heart-challenged female, is a genius. She understands the principles of force and acceleration and all sorts of things I don’t even know the names of, and can send the bathroom door swinging inward with one precise smack of her dainty black paw. If I do lock the door, she scratches on the other side in protest–tirelessly– making a noise so annoying that I have to submit and let her in.

The boys, Buck and Trout, being handsome but sadly thick, can’t even begin to open the door without her.

Phoebe is deeply bathroom obsessed, though, so the boys will never be locked out. Wherever Phoebe is, she comes running when she hears me entering the bathroom. Maybe she doesn’t hear me–maybe she’s set up psychic trip wires. I have no idea, but she always knows.

Originally she liked to roll around on the bath mat while I was in the bathroom, giving me a rare opportunity to pet her, since she often doesn’t wish to be petted, at least by me. She’s Erik’s cat, shamelessly biased.

More recently she’s expanded her Empire of Domination and has trained me to open the bathtub faucet to a drizzle. The running water is never less than thrilling. I wonder why cats tire of everything else (toys, perches, etc.) quickly but the faucet never loses its charm. And I can’t help but obey her every wish, because, after all, she’s dying (despite looking bright and fiendish, she is in heart failure) and she’s on lots of diuretics, so water is good for her. I am her tub slave.

cat drinking from tub

Phoebe says, “Hmm, the rate of flow lacks thatย certain je ne sais quoi, Fix it. Now.”

So, turning on the tub is my first duty whenever I enter the bathroom. If I don’t do it, she’ll stare daggers at me until I obey.

Next the boys rush in, probably having heard the water running. They each have their own objectives. Trout likes to jump into the bathroom window and balance there precariously, threatening the screen. I worry about the screen, but mostly I’m grateful he’s leaving me alone.

trout in window

Trout says: “I may pop this screen, or I may jump down and break all your toiletries on the counter or I may just stare at you for a long while.”

Buck is more interactive. Not to get all TMI here, but when I am in our bathroom, occasionally I will be found sitting on the toilet, contemplating the nature of the universe or what have you, and at such moments Buck jumps up on the sink, which is just to the left of the toilet, and begins purring at full volume.Why he is so happy and excited, I cannot begin to guess.

In that position he is very near my shoulder, and a little taller than me, which is somewhat disturbing. He wants to be petted there on the sink. If I ignore him, or don’t pet him enough, he bats at my head and shoulder, to remind me of my duty.

If this does not satisfy, he jumps to the back of the toilet, where he skitters precariously on the stack of trashy free publications and ham radio catalogs Erik insists on keeping there, rubbing his cheek against mine until an avalanche of slippery magazines sends him jumping for safety, and sends me scrabbling to keep the magazines from falling down my back.

buck in sink

Buck says, “What…are you leaving already?”

And thus ends another relaxing visit to the bathroom.

Leave a comment


  1. I’ve had more than one cat that viewed ‘toilet time’ as ‘personal lap time’. And seeing how some of them would only be lap cats then, I’d comply.

    Yes, I too am a slave to cats.

    • I have 3 delightful cats, one of which earned the nickname of “poops” because she also thinks toilet time is lap time.

  2. Oh! So glad it’s not just me! All four cats here seem to think “Ooooh it’s ME o’clock!” whenever I enter a bathroom. And the toddler comes as well. Sigh. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  3. So nice to get the update on Phoebe. She certainly does seem to be enjoying cat-hood despite her fragile health. I wish her many more happy and comfortable days!
    I have 2 cats and a mid-sized dog who all feel obliged to accompany me into our teeny little bathroom and jockey for my undivided attention. They are a bit like my 14 year old daughter. She barely notices me until I’m on the phone, at which time I become the most important, fascinating and beloved person on Earth.

  4. This had me laughing so much! I don’t know if it’s a black cat thing, but my own little black feline is mad for the shower to be recently wetted, and the tap on. She also has a glass of water that she dips her feet in. Your Phoebe reminds me so much of my Mia! And same as Buck – my Mia cat sits on the sink next to the toilet, mews, and headbutts to her hearts content. It’s kind of funny warning guests, “if you like privacy… make sure that door latches!” Thank you for this post! ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. What is it with cats and the bathroom? My 3 all have to come visit (and the dogs if they’re around) My boy Phineas in all his longhaired black glory not only pesters me when all I want to do is pee but must also supervise my showers so that he can come in to lick up the water as soon as I’m done. He is my familiar so the other family members are exempt from this process. Cats….

  6. Ha! I very much enjoyed this. I can also relate–though we’ve only the one kitty to intrude on the bathroom. When I make my first-stop-of-the-morning visit to the bathroom Ginger comes in and weaves through my ankles seeking pets and scratches behind the ear. Its part of our morning routine. I guess I will be thankful she otherwise leaves me to my own in there…

    And seriously, a dying cat…I cannot even say no to my perfectly healthy cat…I don’t see how you stand a chance. Tub slave indeed.

  7. Ours are less interested in the water (running or not), but at least one likes to play tub soccer. We’ll toss a ping-pong ball in the tub, and he’ll bat it around for a good long while. Another likes getting petted. Well, he mostly just likes being near his pack. My husband reads a lot in the bathroom (what *is* it with guys and reading and taking forever?), and the cat has more than once curled up in my husband’s pants and underwear, and gone to sleep. The third cat? She loves watching the toilet flush. She’s less interested in running in there as I go in, but man, she’ll jump up and put her front paws on the seat and watch the water swirl.

    • All our cats went through a flushing obsession, which seems to have eased off as they get older and jaded. Still, every once in a while one of them will barrel in when they hear the flush, and do the same thing–paws on the rim. I like it when their heads move round and round, tracking the water.

  8. Love reading this post. I’m another 3-cat person, with only one cat consistently hanging out to watch water flowing from the faucet.
    The one word that gets all 3 perked up and ready to run is
    “Crunchies?” They know that means “eat?” and just about jump on top of each other scrambling to the kitchen. Ah, the simple pleasures of living with furry people…ooops, did I say ‘people’?

  9. I went to my friend’s house, a very busy person in the community when she is not being a prof. She was not there, so I went in to wait. I had to go to the bathroom, but she had so much laundry in the floor that the door would not close. The dog , the beagle, insisted on sitting between my knees, looking into my face. The tall one, a lab, stood to the side and hung his head over my legs, drooling. The cat wanted in my lap.

    I am allergic to cats and dogs. Licks give me hives. So, even though I like animals “over there,” when they get near me, I go into my “not an animal person” mode. It was hard to even pee with all the attention.

    When I told her what they did, she laughed and said that is what they always do…ack. A toddler and a crawling infant don’t seem so intrusive after that experience.

    I have never had an animal in the house except for penned chicks or grown, caged chickens. Well, sometimes they get in the door and wander about, but they have never gone as far as the bathroom, thankfully.

  10. I have two cats. One is obsessed with the bathroom–especially the bathtub. If I take a shower, he gets between the shower curtain and the liner, and stays there, the entire time. When I get out, he waits until most of the water has drained out, and then gets into the tub to lap up whatever water is left. If I take a bath, he walks around the edge of the bathtub and reaches in with a paw, to play in the water. Once, after I had gotten out of the tub, and left the room (while the water was still draining) I heard a splash and then saw the cat running out of the bathroom (wet) like he had been shot out of a cannon. So far, he hasn’t fallen in again.

    • Phoebe used to like to stalk the edge of the tub, doing the same thing as your cat. When I was in the tub, I dreaded the day she would fall in onto my naked body. Ikes! Claws!!!!!!! Fortunately, she never fell, and she seems to have tired of that game.

  11. Happened by because of a prickly pear pad post of yours I found via google and here I find this treasure of a post on cats in the bathroom! I was laughing out loud! Thank you SO MUCH and thanks to all of the folks who are commenting also because you are all contributing to making this a charming and joyful experience!

  12. I have one of those hardsided corner showers, and my cat will scale multiple bathroom fixtures in order to make the leap to the top of the hard walled shower, where she’ll pace back and forth on the tiny 1.5″ lip.
    She only does it when I’m in the shower, not for hubby or kids. ๐Ÿ˜› And yes, we have a latch that never gets used because of that horrible scratchy-pick-pick noise she’ll make trying to get the latched door open for her rightful shower time adventures.
    She’s getting on 11 years old now, I keep thinking she’ll grow out of it.. but maybe not. ๐Ÿ™‚

  13. Positively loved all the pictures of your babies! I have 4 who all figure that there must be something really exciting going on in the bathroom since I am in there. One of the cats likes to bat at the water while I am taking a shower. And he is always at the sink watching the water go down the drain. I think he is trying to figure out were the water goes as he is fascinated with all drains in the house, pulling out the stoppers and peering down as the water disappears.

  14. Our Tobycat is a bathroom man himself. The door doesn’t latch (or lock, sigh), so he will frequently ram his way in. Apparently he feels that while people are occupied, they are safer to approach. Back in the days when I was just getting to know him and he wouldn’t let me pet him at any other time, he would come in and pay court to me while I was sitting on the throne.

    When he’s feeling more polite, he will simply sit outside the door and yowl.

    • Yes, this is the same with Phoebe allowing me to pet her. I like your theory that the cats know we are occupied–tied to our chairs, so to speak.

  15. My kitty likes to play a game we call ‘the monster behind the shower curtain. He manages to get behind the shower curtain and snakes out an arm in an effort to snag my toes. He doesn’t do it as much any more, as he gets further from babyhood.

    • Phoebe destroyed our last shower curtain playing a variant of that game where she attacked unknown monsters behind it.

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