For about six months, Tracy Buchholz kept finding pee in her toilet and did not understand why.
“I was like, Is my roommate not flushing the toilet? What is going on?” the 38-year-old said. “It was one of those weird things. I gave up trying to figure it out and then one day, I turned on the light.”
This was when she saw her tuxedo cat, Butterbean, sitting on the toilet.
“She was so freaked out that I caught her and flipped the light on. So she was sitting on the toilet and I was like, ‘I’ll wait to use the toilet,’” Buchholz joked.
Butterbean initially belonged to Buchholz’s ex-girlfriend, with whom she was living. When they broke up, Butterbean did not want to leave with her original owner. She ended up staying with Buchholz and her ex gets visitation rights. Buchholz believes Butterbean taught herself to pee like a human as a “thank you.”
“I can’t even take credit for that. She just taught herself. I think that was her way of saying, ‘Thanks for letting me stay. I won’t make a mess.’”
In addition to the 7-year-old Butterbean, Buchholz also lives with 8-year-old Maine coon Chloe and 19-year-old tuxedo Dexter. Until the summer, she also owned a black mixed-breed cat named Ray, who had to be euthanized due to senility.
She noted that all three cats have their own unique personality traits.
“Dexter is like the old, ornery man of the house and Chloe and Butterbean are the sweetest female cats ever.”
Buchholz noted that bringing a girlfriend home to Dexter, whom she has owned since she was 20, is like “meeting your father.”
“If a girl stays over, he will sleep on their head,” Buchholz said. “If they try to make a move and he’s not feeling it — he is the only one who doesn’t have claws — but he’ll bop them. He has no problem slapping you.”
She also noted a quirk of Chloe: She can’t meow but instead chirps and trills.
“She tries,” Buchholz said. “There’s no meowing sound that comes out so it’s super-quiet but you see her making noise. She tries to talk but can’t meow.”
Buchholz also joked that her cats “don’t really offer much,” while noting their gentle nature.
“None of them have ever killed anything. They have a squirrel that lives outside that I’m pretty sure they hang out with because they don’t chase it. So they’re kind of useless like that,” she laughed. “They’re useless in terms of killing things and bringing me gifts. It’s not part of the deal.”
While she may have “rescued” her cats, Buchholz noted their life-changing impact on her.
“In a way, they rescued me,” she said. “They keep me company and I know that they love me. It’s reciprocal. They probably think I did them a favor but them living with me has been doing me a favor.”