My seventeen year old cat, Whiskers, has decided that she doesn’t really care to use the litter box in the same manner that she has done for the previous years. I came home from work and found pee sitting in a puddle, smiling up at me. Well, it wasn’t smiling. Pee can’t smile for God’s sake. No, it was smirking.
Cats should be warned or taught that consistent jumping off of tall buildings will take a toll on their body down the road. Just ask any football player. Whiskers was a freaking acrobat in her early years. She loved hair thingy’s. You know, those coated bands to put your hair back in a ponytail. We would throw them up in the air and Whiskers would jump high in the air, contorting her agile body as she went after it. My mother in law used to save the blue plastic rings off of the milk containers. She absolutely loved those.
Whiskers used to jump on top of the counter and then somehow make it on top of my kitchen cupboards. I don’t know why she decided to head up there. There was nothing up there. But, she got around…. jump jump jump. And now, years later, I’ve got an arthritic cat on my hands. And all of a sudden I’m a cat care giver.
I came home Friday feeling dizzy and had already called for a sub for Monday. When I have bouts of positional vertigo, it stays with me for a few days if not longer, so I just took Monday off just in case. So, I wasn’t excited when I came home to see the pee puddle right in front of the litter box. What the hell? This meant I had to bend over and clean the mess up. I had visions of a couch, a quilt, and a lap top in my plans, not scrubbing my tiled bathroom floor. But, someone had to do it and Whiskers was busy lying in front of the sliding glass doors watching some damn bird pooping on my deck.
I guess I should be thankful that she decided not to poop and then walk in it. I try to think of a worst case scenario to make me feel better. That’s how I roll. I got all of my cleaning stuff and cleaned up the mess. The litter box had already been changed and cleaned the night before, so I know Whiskers was being persnickety about a soiled litter box. So, why the hell did she pee outside the litter box? She did this the last time I flew to New York City in August to see my daughter. I only stayed two nights and got back to a pee puddle smiling at me. But, the box was not cleaned and Whiskers was probably pissed at me for leaving. Cats get pissed you know.
After I cleaned up the mess, I began googling my cat is peeing beside the litter box to see if I had any company. I had plenty. Then I went with a more specific google search term: arthritic cat peeing outside the litter box. After the third and fourth time Whiskers peed outside the litter box, I actually wanted to search: goddamn cat pissing on the floor. So, I found out arthritic cats may not squat or put their paws on the lid of the litter box if they are hurting. Great. She already stopped grooming herself on her back where it must be hard to get to as an elderly cat, and mats of her pretty tortoise shelled fur look….gross.
I went on to read solutions. The box lid may be too high….hmmmm, could be true. So I googled and looked at images of homemade kitty litter boxes for arthritic cats. I saw two words that I understood…Rubbermaid and hand saw. Ok, that was three words. So, off to Walmart I went. I came home with another type of kitty litter box that had high sides. I bought some kind of saw that looked like a long file. It was pretty worthless. I do have a pretty Angry Birds band-aid on my finger when the saw slipped. I used a knife from my knife drawer and am lucky I didn’t stab myself in the stomach. How the hell would a detective make a ruling on that one?
”The victim, approximately 55 years old, but looking 40 (he would say that), was found lying in front of her front door with various knives, a saw and a plastic container. She had a knife sticking out of her stomach. Written in blood on the kitchen tile beside the body was the word, “Figures.”
After I placed the new kitty litter box beside the old one in my bathroom (no where else to put it), I put a doggy training pad I purchased at Walmart in front of the litter box because I was not going to clean up a pee puddle again. Doggy training pads look like a flat opened diaper. And then I waited. I kept watching Whiskers and knew that her internal clock knew it was 8:00pm and for some reason that is her bed time. I followed her up the stairs to see if she would like her new kitty litter box. Sure the edges are jagged and maybe the opening is a bit narrow, but she may like it.
Whiskers went right to the new litter box and stepped in. Yay! Oh wait. No yay. I hurried to turn her around. She meowed at me and then peed in the corner. I clapped like a mom whose child first used the big boy potty. What a loon. So, I determined that Whiskers was not just peeing beside the litter box. She was actually stepping into it but no turning around. Thus, her aim…or lack of aim, made the pee go on the outside of the box. Great. I would just hope that Whiskers would remember that for seventeen years she turned around to use the litter box and she would do the same again since I scooted her around for her to do her business.
No such luck. I got up in the middle of the night and the doggy training pad was wet. I replaced it and this morning it was peed on again. Those damn doggy training pads are $13.97 for 40, which means if she pees or poops (oh dear god I didn’t think about the poop) I will have to buy those suckers every ten days for the rest of her life. Great.
In the end, this means that I can not leave her overnight. I can’t go to New York to visit my daughter for even two nights. I’m afraid she will just pee on the pad, and if I am not there to change it, it will a freaking mess by the time I get back. I’m in quite a pickle as to what to do.
I love Whiskers and I really don’t know how long she has. Seventeen is really old. But, she is such a great companion and I really shouldn’t complain. I guess this is what elder care is all about…in one way or another.
I just don’t like smirking pee puddles. No one does.