Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Evil Meeping Cat. Possible evil owner.

Our little cat, Jayne (aka Meeper), is almost three years old, and is still unsure about why he needs to use the litter box. He'll use it most of the time, but sometimes he'll just find a quiet corner upstairs or in the basement and do his business there. For a while, he was pooping on the stack of plastic bags immediately next to the litter box; he's gotten over that, replaced with the habit of using the closet in the den as a convenient poop repository. We've got a simple solution for that: close the closet door. But this doesn't solve the actual problem, just changes the location. Twice in the past few weeks he's peed on the front window curtain. This morning he did it in front of me, so I rubbed his nose in it and tossed him outside. I always feel a little bad doing this. It's cold today, and he's our least-furry cat (and, he's got a wet nose). But he needs to learn not to pee everywhere at random. And we've done everything we can to prevent this. We keep the litter boxes clean and accessible, we give him lots of attention and affection, we've followed the enormous quantity of advice we could find on the net for this kind of problem, and none of it works. I'm hoping he gets himself under control soon.

And, it's not all about him. I need to not have the cats peeing and pooping everywhere in the house. I'll feel awful if he's injured or gone or frozen solid when I get home from work (late) tonight. But not too bad. Because I'm tired of finding new and inventive ways to clean cat excreta from our luggage, our curtains, our hardwood floors, our carpeting, and our upholstery. I'm tired of having to turn on lights everywhere I go in the house, to reduce the chances of stepping in a kitty puddle. I'm tired of waking up to a house that smells like pee. I'm tired of not being able to sit in the den until the poop smell dissipates. I'd be unhappy if anything bad happened to any of our cats. But I'd get over it. Possibly the outside cats have conditioned me to this; we've lost about a dozen outside cats in recent memory, including our three favorites.

I should mention that our oldest cat, Chaka, also has a peeing problem. But we think we know the reason: she's pissed (heh) off that we've brought other cats into the house, and she doesn't play well with others. We found a solution for her: every night, I walk her down to the basement, sit her in front of the litter box in the utility room, and close the door. I do laundry until she's done her business, then I let her back upstairs and give her a treat. It's a nice little routine now, and it has the added advantage of keeping me current with the laundry. But we haven't found any such convenient (or moderately inconvenient) solution for Jayne.
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Coda, 9:30pm: while I was reheating chili for dinner tonight, Chaka pooped and peed on the floor in front of the kitchen door. She's spending the night in the basement; I'm not allowed to throw her outside. I'm over our cats at the moment.

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