I've received a few comments and emails about the large wired box-like structure behind the couch. Yes, it is indeed what you think it is, but around these here parts we refer to it as Stewey's "apartment". Aunt Chrissy got so tired of hearing me complain about the PeePalooza situation here at Chez Spinster, that she hauled it in from the garage a few months ago and then had a long talk with you-know-who about how it was to be utilized. The conversation went something like this:
AUNT CHRISSY: Stewey, I have a little gift for you.
STEWEY: Oh, Aunt Chrissy! I just love you so, and can't tell you how much I appreciate all of the lovely gifts that you give to me because I am your very favorite nephew. Is it an iPad? A little purple Vespa? A new smoking jacket? Did you finally get me that antique valise I've been pricing online?
AUNT CHRISSY: Well, you're my only nephew, Stewey, but that doesn't mean that you're not very special to me nonetheless. No, it's not an iPad or a Vespa or a smoking jacket or whatever that last thing was that you said. It's this (she gestures in the general vicinity of the c-r-a-t-e). What do you think of your new apartment?
STEWEY: (looking somewhat dejected) I think it looks remarkably like the old apartment that I had when I was a puppy and still in training, Aunt Chrissy. Besides, it doesn't go with the decor in the living room.
AUNT CHRISSY: Neither do your piddles, dear heart. Now I want you to think of this as your very own private pied a terre. You know, a little place that you can retreat to for some peace and quiet, or solemn reflection, or when you want to host a little gathering of like-minded friends some evening.
STEWEY: You mean like my book club or my fabulous replication of Gertrude Stein's Paris Salon'?
AUNT CHRISSY: Yup. Exactly like that. It's your very own apartment. You may go into it any time you wish, and I promise you that nobody will ever force you to decorate it in a way that will offend your delicate design sensibilities. Also, this little space will be just for you. No Bosco or Mo-ther allowed. OK?
STEWEY: Oh, Aunt Chrissy! I love it so! It's just what I needed!
With that, he jumped into the c-r-a-t-e and hours and hours of vexing frustration (not to mention upholstery cleaning) disappeared. Every time I leave the house, I say "Stewey, go to your apartment", and he happily hops in for a little confined R&R while I'm gone. The damn thing has saved my sanity.
So now that we've taken care of this particular problem, I can start shopping for new carpet and furniture and rugs and drapes and anything else that was urine-ally altered by Little Lord Fauntleroy and his magic peenie. Who could possibly be happier than me?