Wednesday, August 26, 2009

It Has to Stop

I have officially had it with my cat (the feline, not my sister referred to as Cat). Now keep in mind as I begin this post that I do not in any way condone or approve of animal abuse. Please do not comment back to me about how horrible I am. I will not actually harm the cat. Months ago at the ripe old age of 13 she began to "go" outside of her litter box. I've had this animal since she was a mere couple weeks old and never once had she given me one iota of problem. Then one evening she waltzes into the middle of the living room and squats right in front of us. Naturally, we were very alarmed and I made an appointment with the vet because from that moment on she went anywhere and everywhere other than the box. One pissed off cat (pun intended) and three hundred dollars later she was diagnosed with feline diabetes and possible urinary tract infection. I have done everything the vet told me, I changed her to canned cat food. I ended up switching to Iams canned because the prescription canned food costs way too much- we simply can't afford it. And I crammed the pill down her throat everyday for two weeks for the infection. I exercised patience and understanding of her in her old age. But she still wouldnt return to the box. I ended up taking the lid off the box because I thought perhaps she was having difficultly making it into the hole or she was uncomfortable being closed in now (even though it was fine before). And after a thorough cleaning I introduced her back to her box. She seemed to go in there now except if there was something fabric left on a hard surfaced floor. She began to urinate all over bath mats and any towels or clothing left on a bathroom/kitchen floor. Or if there is a rag from the boys tub that falls into the tub she will jump into the tub specifically to urinate on it. It became necessary to remove all of this after each and every bath/shower- one slip up even for an hour would result in a urine soaked item. It was like she was waiting, saving it all up just to pee the second we left something available. I still scooped whatever was left in the box on a daily basis- hoping an ultra clean box would result in usage. And she seemed to begin to use the box exclusively once any other temptation was removed. Then the office, the room where the box has been housed, began to smell. And initially I thought it was simply the result of no lid which allowed more of the odor to escape. But I was still scooping every day and after a week, I just thought something wasnt right about how badly the room was smelling. It was permeating the house. I would sit on the couch and be able to detect cat urine odor. I had enough. I decided to completely wash out the box, again. This time, when I moved the box, I discovered the source of said horrendous odor. The cat was going in the box but then also going in the carpet next to the box. I had a fit. I could not believe it. I would see this cat go into her litter box while I was home, I'd hear her scratching around but it seems while we were out or our backs were turned she'd go in there & go next to the box. And her climbing tree had also been urinated all over the base. It had to be hauled out and dismantled. It was then we decided the box had to be removed from the room, she couldnt be allowed back in there. At this point I suggested that she become an outdoor cat but Jay didnt agree. But he wasnt the one steam cleaning the carpet either. I began to have fantasies about picking her up over my head and hurling her out the back door into the grass as hard as I could. We have no room for the box in our master bathroom, but it had to go in there. We began to close her up in the bathroom w/ the box when we were gone. So far I have cleaned the carpet in the office 4 times w/ a steam cleaning machine and it is better but still there. But the office door remains closed. It's ruined and will have to be replaced. Then she began going in the box again. And we began to give her freedom during the day. Occasionally I'd find a puddle in the kitchen floor- but on linoleum. While gross, still easier to clean than carpet. We still pick up all bath mats, etc. because she'd still urinate on them the first opportunity.
Then yesterday happened. I arrived home last night- she had been alone all day, My sister had gone out doing job hunting things and visiting friends. The bathroom floor around the box was soaked and pooled up under the box. I get everything cleaned up. The cat is nowhere to be found- which is standard after we discover her little "gifts."
And this morning we are getting ready to go. Need to be out the door. I was worried that WC is getting sick- he didnt eat dinner last night and didnt seem to feel well this morning and didnt eat breakfast. I took his temp and he was fine. He was complaining about his chest and I gave him a nebulizer treatment in the middle of everything else I am about to recount.
Jay is taking CJ to the daycare this morning (only his 2nd time at daycare- will blog about later) and I tell him that daddy is taking him & I will put him in the car. CJ collects his blanket, his treasured stuffed cookie monster and a little cookie monster figure (yes- two different cookie monster toys for the trip). I pick him up and out the door we go. By the time we get to the car my boob is wet. Now why is my...? Holy crap. Cookie Monster had been peed on! I have to rip the beloved toy from my crying sons hands. He doesnt understand why mommy is taking away cookie monster. Jay drives away. I can't figure out when the cat had access to urinate on this toy- it usually goes to bed w/ CJ. So I'm standing there holding a stinking soaking wet stuffed animal and my boob smells like pee.My only thought is that I have to save Cookie Monster (and change shirts & bra). Immediately Cookie, my shirt and bra get tossed into the washer & gentle cycle started. I dont know if I can machine wash that monster or not but it seems to my only hope. Luckily the cat wasnt in my line of sight when I entered the house or the kids would have orange and white furry mittens this winter.  I start WC on his nebulizer & Aunt Cat stays with him. I locate new work clothes and quickly gather my lunch and everything that I need to leave with. I leave Cat with instructions to get that Cookie Monster as dry as she can. On the drive in I get an idea, I call and tell her to put him inside a pillow case then into the dryer (one to cushion the hard eyes from slamming around as he gets tumbled). She tells me that she discovered one of their art tablets has also been victimized by the cat. I ask her to go around and pick up all the toys and make sure everything else is okay.
About 10:15 I received a text letting me know that Cookie Monster had been saved. I reply back: Thank God. The cat on the other hand...


Michele said...

Do I need to have Peter hunt for a back up Cookie Monster? If that is what it takes... I cant handle the idea of C crying over CM... breaks my heart!

Poor Rhi... Age is a bitch whether you are kitty or person. I have no idea why she is behaving like this when she can obviously use the box without trouble. I know you dont want to spent the cash to go back to the vet but I wonder if there is something wrong with her mentally? I mean, this just doesnt make sense! She's never been passive aggressive in trying to get her way... I know you dont want to put her outside, but really, what can you do if the peeing continues. You dont want her peeing on the kids' beds and with the toys... If you hadnt caught it, would that have gone into C's mouth? Ugh... it's such a crappy situation...

Tina said...

I just had my cat of 14 years put to sleep as she was going outside her box also. She was old and lost weight and was howling a lot. The Humane Society will do it without question for a $50 donation. I loved her and miss her but it was the best solution to 6 mths of trying everything you have tried with no success. I wish you the best.

Queenie. . . said...

I had the same problem with my 12 year old cat (goodbye, $350 leather boots, I will miss you. . .). It turned out he had nasty UTI that took a good bit of treatment to go away. Have you had your cat retested for urinary/kidney issues? Maybe the med's didn't work the first time. It went on for a while for me (and I went a long while without throw rugs), but has been resolved for a long time now, and my household is happy again, and kitty is just fine. BTW, there's stuff they sell in specialty pet stores that treats cat urine stains pretty well. It has stuff in it that "eats" the urine proteins, or something like that. It comes in a white bottle with red and black lettering. It's a little pricey, but worked well on the expensive oriental that my MIL gave us (mine also squatted in front of us on the carpet, and exhibited a penchant for anything cloth, like towels and bath mats). I remember that my vet also said that if it wasn't an infection, the cat might be stressed, and there was something I could plug in to a plug that was odorless, but would spread a scent that might help the cat stop doing it.

Good luck!