Thursday, August 26, 2010

mystery solved, and bath for Jack.

So a month or two ago we started having problems with someone pooping outside the box.  It was clear across the basement in the "media room" section of the basement, near the pool table and the treadmill.  Both my husband and I assumed it was Kit - the smallest of the kitties, and the biggest drama queen we own.  She is tightly bonded to my husband, and when things don't go her way she puts on a huge show of things, to the point we thought she was being tortured by the other kitties, until we got a good look at what was going on.

So her emotions are right on her sleeve, and she tends to not want confrontation, so we were thinking she was having problems feeling comfortable in the litter box area (we have three children sized wading pools as litter boxes) and thus was looking for a new spot. 

I put a new litter box in upstairs away from the mayhem in the back bathroom.  I showed it to Kit, made it a positive thing, had Daddy show her where it was and praise her for using it.  So she uses it.  But there would still be occasional deposits left in the basement.  I put up road blocks (extra cat beds spaced closely together) and put a fan to blow air across that area so as to make it less inviting.  Deposits were still left.  Plastic carpet protectors for chairs (the kind you get at the office supply store) were brought in and put up side down so the spikey bits were pointing up.  Alas, it did not matter.

Well last night I heard scraping on the carpet.  I looked over and saw Ollie.  He tends to want to cover when ever a klingon falls off of someone, so I assumed that was what he was doing.  I asked him what he was doing and he just looked at me with big round eyes - like I had caught him in the middle of something.  I said never mind, and tried to ignore him.  He continued scraping, and then proceeded to poop.

He perches on his tiptoes when he *does his thing* and I can only assume that it is uncomfortable standing in litter.  Probably needs muscles in his legs to be stable and those muscles are starting to be compromised by the tumor.  I feel horrible, but I so don't want him pooping on the carpet (fortunately due to feeding raw food his stool is so firm and dry that it does not stain the carpet in the least and can be picked up like marbles) I certainly don't want anyone else thinking that using somewhere other then the litter box is ok.  This is going to require some thought and probably some fancy sort of plan.

as for Jack, this is a fun story.  I did "day of beauty" the other day and saw a flea on his tummy.  I tried to nab it, but it was just too fast.  I looked around for evidence they were setting up shop, and didn't really see any, but I did see a second flea - which I was able to pull off of him.  I proceeded to clean his ears, trim his claws and comb him, with no real evidence he was infested, but since then all I can feel under his collar was flea dirt.  Not having flea product in the house, I decided to give him a bath.  Not sure this was the wisest move, but it was the one I had at hand.  I filled the tub, and then ignored it for a few minutes.  I grabbed an open can of food, a plate and Jack.  Jack was so interested in the food, and the possibility he might get it, that he didn't realize I was locking him into a room with a tub full of water.  I put the food on the counter and then went to put him into the water.  He let out the biggest loudest hiss (channeling his inner snake?) swearing at me - or the water I'm not really sure.  I hesitated, then proceeded putting him in the water, and got a second swear.  For a moment I was a little afraid of my boy, but in for a penny - in for a pound.  Unfortunately the water wasn't deep enough that it didn't cover all of his back, so I soaped that and his neck up, and let him sit in the water for five minutes, hoping to drown the fleas.  He was so pathetic, whimpering, and starting to shake. He certainly does know how to press my buttons. I then started to rinse him off, which panicked him and he tried to get out, but he couldn't get perch on the floor of the tub.  I let him put his paws on the lip of the back of the tub, then needed to move him to get the other side, so I let him hang over the spigot.  He so did not like this one little bit, and tried to get out.  Fortunately he loves and trusts me enough that when I showed him he needed to stay in the tub, he let me, and sat there and let me finish.  I was able to wring some of the water off him, but his fur is so unique, that it wasn't easy.  I got him wrapped in a towel and got the worst of the dripping off him, then gave him the wet food.  The tub was draining (making a racket) and Muffin was trying to get in to the food (making a racket) and he was miserable from being wet and shaking front and back legs all while eating away.  Nothing gets between that boy and his food :)  When he was done, I let him go into the house.  His hair spiked and was an unruly mess.  I think he decided not to groom himself to make me feel guilty so that maybe he'd get another treat.  Unfortunately for him I got out a comb and tried to fix his hair for him.  He wiggled out and walked away from me, and I had to head off to work.  I'm sure he's grumbling that such indignities so deserve a few more treats (but then again everything in Jack's mind deserves a few more treats.

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