Posts Tagged 'litter boxes'

The Cats are Happy

BC in fireplace bed

Living a life of ease

I love my cats. You know I do. They also make me crazy, but that is the nature of cats. I’ve seen so many memes about how dogs all over the world are so happy that their people are home all the time. I’ve also seen memes about how all the cats are complaining because their people are home ALL the time. My cats have always enjoyed when I worked from home. It always turned into extra cuddles for BC, earlier dinner time for WC, and sometimes extra breakfasts for GC (we think she may actually be a hobbit but we haven’t quite reached 7 meals a day). There has been one other great joy for the cats now that we are both home, all the time, every day.

wc on chair

WC pretending she is a little angel, never doing anything annoying

Last July WC came close to extinction. She decided somewhere in the spring that the carpeted stair landing would do very well for a litter box. We assumed this was some sort of aberration, that maybe she didn’t have the energy to walk down to the basement and use the boxes there. So one weekend my husband ripped out the carpet on the landing and all the stairs. I spent several days with several different chemical products attempting to remove stain and smell from the wood. I did a pretty decent job. We thought we’d solved the issue. As is so often the case, we were wrong.

GC under dining room table

Lately GC has decided to sit under the dining room table. I guess she needed a change of scenery.

It turned out not to be about too far and difficult to walk to the basement. WC walked up the stairs to the carpeted upstairs hall and began to use THAT as her litter box. No amount of spraying or other little barriers seemed to dissuade her. My husband got wise this time and hired someone else to pull up the carpet. The poor contractor nearly passed from the fumes. You need to know that besides the 3 current cats, we have had 3 other cats before them and a dog. The people from whom we bought the house also had at least one dog. The carpet came with the house. Years ago we had already pulled out all of the carpeting from the downstairs (oh my the stench) and put in new wood floors. “Ah hah!”, we thought. Surely NOW we have solved this problem. I’m sure you sense what happened next.

BC on couch

I’m a little angel too!!!

WC noted the lack of carpeting, noted that the litter boxes were still in the basement and noted that we were still completely lacking in understanding the true need. She began to urinate on our beautiful, comparatively new, wood floor. In the dining room. In the living room. I went a little crazy. We scheduled an appointment with the vet and in the meantime I debated locking her away. Trying to lock one cat away when you have 3 is awkward. When we ‘rescued’ BC we had to remove nearly everything from a small storage room and live with the removed items piled up all over until BC was clean and past her quarantine. (Sound familiar?) I couldn’t face emptying that storage area again. At this point I thought of bringing up a litter box to put in the bathroom on the 1st floor. Our dog was trained to use what we called ‘wee-wee pads’ (very classy, I know). We had them in that 1st floor bathroom. The dog was trained to use the pads. This saved us from having to walk her when we didn’t want to walk a dog. Every time she used the pads she got a treat (biscuit). Everyone – family and friends alike – were all trained to praise her and tell her how wonderful she was and give her a biscuit. Then we disposed of the dirty pad and put down a fresh one. We were all so effective at this that our male cat figured out that using the pads resulted in food, so HE started using them. Unfortunately male cats are not built to the same specifications as female dogs. That necessitated a new alignment of pads on the walls, not just on the floor. No, we did NOT give him treats. We didn’t really want to reward HIS behavior.

1st floor bathroom

My apologies. Never thought I’d post a picture of a toilet and litter boxes.

I put down a wee-wee pad in the corner of the bathroom and put a small litter box on top of it. WC used it immediately (or near enough to immediately). That was the issue – she wanted her commode on the 1st floor, thank you very much. Well, you know that if WC was using the commode on the 1st floor, everyone else wanted to do the same. Four wee-wee pads and 2 litter boxes later, we all use the bathroom on the 1st floor. My husband and I are less than thrilled about this. The dog had wee-wee pads. That was it. The cats also have LITTER. It sticks to their little messy paws, they kick it out of the box, sometimes on the pads, sometimes they are exuberant and it reaches the floor. Every day starts with cleaning the boxes, adding fresh litter, cleaning and readjusting the pads and sweeping the floor in the surrounding vicinity. It doesn’t last long. The first cat in kicks litter out. We spend the entire day cleaning the litter boxes in that room. They spend the entire day using the litter boxes in that room. When we worked in an office that was NOT in our home, we avoided hours and hours of litter box use. We had litter-free bathrooms in our office buildings. Ah, those were glorious days and we failed to appreciate them properly.

WC being petted on couch

One other joy of us being home – sitting with Dad on the couch while he reads his paper. GC and WC vie to see who can get there first and won’t let the other join. “He’s scritching ME!”

Back in those halcyon days we thought that after the kitchen renovation, we’d redo the bathroom as well. We can see that there is no point in pursuing THAT dream. There may be memes about cats complaining that their people are home all day, but OUR cats think it is fantastic. Clean litter box EVERY SINGLE TIME!!! Oh yeah, keep those folks working from home!! The cats are very, very happy.

GC and WC on couch

No people on the couch? We can share happily.

Nobis Liberate

The Open Door
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It has now been a week since The Great Incarceration ended. It has taken this long to relay the information because we all needed time to adjust to the new life. Or is it the old life with new nuances? Whichever it is, the door stands OPEN.
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last prison mealThe first step was getting confirmation from the contractor that they would not be coming back anytime soon to do the radiators and that I could, indeed, “let the cats out” (that was the subject of an email I sent Don). Once we had the official “go ahead”, we planned carefully. We decided that we would feed them upstairs one last time on Friday night, and then LEAVE THE DOOR OPEN after cleaning up dinner. I got ready with my camera and sat on the stairs and called to BC.

BC escapesBC never really hesitated, and that’s why my picture of her at the top of the stairs giving one last look back is blurred. The one of her coming around the hall corner to the stairs is a total blur. 🙂 I need Honour’s camera. BC took off down the stairs, looked back and meowed to say “aren’t you coming too?” and then headed for the living room.

WC freedom part 1WC was a tad more cautious, per usual. I remained on the stairs and called her. She peeked around the corner. WC’s default reaction is “this is a trap” so I knew she would NOT come down the stairs if I was in her way. I moved down to the first floor and kept calling. She came halfway and rested. And thought. Thought some more. WC freedom part 2Then ventured all the way to the landing. BC insisted that it was NOT a trap! And there were LOTS of shoes (WC loves smelly shoes.) Finally she strode triumphantly across the (old) rug in the front hall – FREEDOM!

GC, well, GC REALLY like having everyone incarcerated on a single floor. She suffers from arthritis (don’t we all?) and she’s a bit lazy (the original couch potato cat) and she loved having everything she wanted and needed in one place. It took a lot of calling and coaxing to get GC to venture out the door and down the hall. I’d about given up on her when I saw her appear on the landing. I called to her and told her to come join the rest of us. She gave me a rather dubious look. I could see her consider the invitation. GC stockholm syndrome
Then she turned and headed back up the stairs very determinedly. A case of Stockholm syndrome? That’s probably not the correct syndrome but it will do. 🙂 She did eventually come back down later that night, after the rest of us had begun adjusting to the situation.

2 out of 3If I thought everything would go back to normal immediately, I was sadly mistaken. That night we left the door open. GC was in my face every time I rolled over, and began meowing insistently at 5:30 for breakfast. I pushed her away (yes, sorry B – I DID push her) and resolved to FIX this. That morning I tried to feed them in the breakfast room because that is now where all the cat food and paraphernalia is stored. Hah!! IT’S A TRAP!!!! WC has the others well trained. Sigh. I fed them in the kitchen. I did try for a few more days to win this battle – food in the breakfast room – but I have surrendered. For whatever reason, they do NOT want their wet food in the breakfast room. That’s fine for water dish and dry food, but WET FOOD IS IN THE KITCHEN. *rolls eyes* They won THAT battle, but I won the war.

After the first freedom breakfast, I noticed GC heading up the stairs with great purposefulness. I had a bad feeling about that. freedom foodIndeed, when I went up later I noticed she’d left a ‘deposit’ in the room where we’d had the litter boxes. Sigh. Had I not already resolved to ‘fix’ the early morning meowing, this would have cemented it. For the next 48 hours, we kept the upstairs hall door shut, this time locking the cats OUT of the 2nd floor. *grin* It only took the 48 hours to get life normalized: deposits left in the basement litter boxes. And of course, the occasional tummy deposit left somewhere on the first floor for me to find in my bare feet.

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, but with any luck we will not have to repeat The (four month) Great Incarceration. BC and I are VERY happy being back together.
Happy together


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