Tuesday, July 27, 2021

More on the Floors

For almost a whole week, Portia returned to using the litter-box for wetting. The covering of most of the library’s floor with vinyl seemed to force her back to where she ought to go. But some days later, she figured out that a small portion of the floor near the door was uncovered, so she wet there. It is, unfortunately, a small square of space near the threshold which has never been covered even by a rug, so she wet on the apartment’s fitted carpet. She has now done it twice.

I have temporarily put a cheap mat over the spot - and she’s wet on that, too - until I can get some more plastic. I can foresee having to cover the entire apartment’s floor with vinyl eventually, if Po doesn’t start using the litter-boxes again, and permanently. For the moment, she is restricting her misbehaviour to the library. But if I cut off that venue by laying out vinyl, she may take her show on the road, and visit the sitting room or bedroom.

First things first, though. We will see what covering the latest trouble-spot does, and go from there. Nonetheless, I think she would make a happy and entertaining friend for an adoption-minded human - one who had bare floors in his home, for preference.

Sunday, July 25, 2021

The Height of Apathy

It occurred to me that in the two and a half months in which Portia has lived in the Cosy Apartment, she has never been on any of the cat-trees. I think she may not have had any in her previous home, though I would have thought she’d climb the ones here just from curiosity. I decided to place her on one.

Po’s reaction was one of mild interest. She sat on the top platform of the lower cat-tree in the sitting room and looked out the glass door. She stayed there for about half an hour, then dropped down to the floor. She has not climbed up on her own in the several days since.

I get the feeling that if she could speak, her words on the occasion would have been something like, “Well, yes, I suppose…”

Saturday, July 24, 2021

And Now a Word From Our Sponsor

I don’t do much promoting on this blog of the rescue-group to which I belong. I find advertising to be tiresome, whether it be on radio, the internet or television (it being one of the reasons I no longer watch the latter.) I’m old enough to remember the days when watching a film at the cinema did not involve sitting through half an hour of loud, juvenile commercials. But I think the cause in this case is a good one, and one or two ads every decade isn’t too great a number.

The Lethbridge PAW Society, a cat-rescue group in southern Alberta, is having an internet 50/50 Cash Raffle. The goal is to sell $10,000 worth of tickets, the winner taking half of that and PAW receiving the rest, minus some administration fees for the company that arranged the raffle. The latter is due to the fact that it is exclusively an online affair: tickets are paid for by credit card only and the winning ticket chosen by a government-sanctioned Random Number Generator. Tickets may be purchased in different ‘packages’ for different amounts, and there is a guaranteed prize of $2,000 (Canadian).

The limitation of this raffle is that it is for Alberta residents only. This is due to the fact that gaming regulations are controlled at the provincial and not the national level. It of course reduces the number of this blog’s readers who can participate, if any wished to do so. However, I thought I would advertise the cause regardless. I suppose someone outside of Alberta could ask an acquaintance to buy them tickets, but most of those who join the contest will nonetheless be from this province.

What might be of greater assistance is spreading the word through social media. If anyone reading this wants to do so, I would be obliged to them. If not, don’t worry; I won’t be checking. The raffle lasts until the end of September, but two months is not too long a time for something like this. If you would like to read a bit more about the raffle, the link below will take you to its web-page, which is also the venue at which tickets may be purchased.


We now return you to your regularly scheduled cats.

Thursday, July 22, 2021

Breathing a Trifle Easier

It’s been forty-eight hours with no sign of Portia wetting outside the litter-box. Indeed, I have today witnessed her actually inside the litter-box when she wet. Despite the invasion of privacy that this entails, I was quite pleased at the observation. Though it is early days yet, the new ‘flooring’ in the library seems to be achieving what it was intended to do.

I suspect that Po thought for some time that she should urinate on the soaker pads. I don’t know why she reached that determination suddenly, after months of restricting such actions to the litter-boxes. But, unlike Tucker, who occasionally used a soaker-pad immediately in front of the box, and who usually did so in the initial stages of a new cat’s arrival, Portia would pull up the soaker pad after she was finished. This may have been the equivalent of burying her waste in litter, which would suggest that she was merely doing something natural in the wrong location.

While the new surface to the library floor will resist any liquid deposited on it, thus making cleaning easier and cheaper than soaker-pads, the object is to keep my girl from putting it to the test. A cat who wets outside the box is not going to be adopted, no matter how simple is the cleaning of her mess. Therefore, we in the Cosy Apartment have our eyes on the long-term. Even so, this is a very good start.

Tuesday, July 20, 2021

The Library Receives a New Floor

By Monday, Portia’s wetting outside the litter-box reached proportions unheard of in the Cosy Apartment. She was urinating on soaker-pads as almost as fast as I put them down. I didn’t believe she needed to wet at most of these times, but did so because something psychological compelled her to do so. I also knew that, though the pads had been irrelevant to her wetting for two months, they were now a target. But if I removed them, what would assure me that she would not then wet on the rug and carpet underneath, items impossible to throw in the washing machine?

The answer was simple: put in a new floor. Well, sort of. I was speaking with a friend about Portia and we agreed that if there were no soaker-pads, Po probably wouldn’t wet on the floor, though there was no guarantee of this. But we were much more certain that if I had bare floors, rather than carpetted, there would be no problem. What simulates hard-flooring, I wondered aloud. The reply was “linoleum”.

Today, therefore, I bought a swath of linoleum, admittedly cheap, along with a new rug, even cheaper, to place underneath it. Up went the old rug – leaving, of course, the fitted carpet – and down went the new coverings. It wasn’t easy. I had first to remove four tall bookcases’ worth of books, stack them elsewhere in the suddenly shrinking apartment, and then remove the bookcases themselves from the library. But it was done. Because it was late, I was tired, and no longer twenty-five, I postponed the return of the furniture and its contents until tomorrow. But the essence of the new set-up in the library is in place.

You will note that there are no soaker-pads. I am betting that Portia won’t wet outside the box and, if she does, my wager won’t cost me cash in the apartment building’s laundry machines, as I can just wipe up the result from the vinyl now on the library’s floor.

The test – Portia’s bladder and her desire to empty it -  remains to be taken. No matter what happens, however, I think the situation and events will be improvements on what has gone before. Not only will hygiene and my finances improve but, more importantly, I think Portia’s mental health – and chances of adoption – will increase.

Monday, July 19, 2021

The Confusing Cat

Portia continues to confound my efforts to persuade her to wet in litter-boxes. I purchased a container of Dr Elsey’s ‘Cat-Attract’ litter and, after three days, Po has used the box less than before I put the new product in it. I think she distrusts it. The other cats have used it without complaint…

I have tried other solutions. I have placed two, and then three boxes, in the library. I have used a box without any litter at all (a friend had success with that tactic), and I have made my own ‘cat-attract’ by spraying small amounts of cat-nip spray on the litter and inside the box. None of these has induced Portia to do as she had the first two months of her time with me.

Last night, I moved the filled litter-box to the other side of the library. She used it in the night and did not soil a soaker-pad, though I cannot believe this to be conclusive evidence of success, as she pooped in the box as well as wet; the urination may have come simply because she was already in the box for number two.

It is a frustrating problem not only because for most of her time with me my new girl was perfectly content to go where she should, but because she will still use the library’s box for solid waste, AND because she also periodically visits the boxes in the storeroom without any mishap. As well, considering the number of times she wets on the soaker-pads, I don’t think she needs to go each time; I think she goes because she feels she should. And though soaker-pads can be a hindrance as well a help (the smell of urine never seems entirely to leave once it has been applied), they were in place during the two months that Portia diligently used the litter-boxes.

I have a couple more possible solutions to try before I make an appointment with a psychologist. Whether it will be for me or her, I can’t yet say.

However, in other matters, my confusing calico is progressing. She is hissing much less at the other cats, chases them only when they run (which is itself rarer) and she looks forward to her time with me. When I go into the library for whatever reason, she will frequently follow me, wanting to spend time on my lap. I try to give her that time at least once a day; some times, she lies on or against me for as long as half an hour. I will pet or brush her for some while; then her purring will stop, and I know she wants just to lie still, without stimulation. So I will read or watch my movie, and she will keep me company. Portia wants companionship, and wants affection.

Now, if she’ll just want to use the litter-box all the time…