Monday, June 29, 2009

The Many Joys of Pet Ownership

Minutes after snuggling under the covers for a good night's sleep, I was alarmed by a prolonged and loud racket downstairs. I flung the covers from my tired body and ran downstairs to see what trouble CeCe had gotten herself into this time. You see, she is prone to extreme fits of energy when the rest of us see fit to call it a day.

The litter box is rather large and the privacy cover was lying several feet away, in the middle of the kitchen. I can only guess she spastically bolted from her litter box, the lid not secured down by the tabs and taking it with her while she desperately tried to escape. CeCe was nowhere in site.

After a quick search in the dark combined with quick reflexes, I was able to scoop her up and bring her upstairs, closing the bedroom door behind me and hoping she'd settle for the night. She was too traumatized to fight me on shutting her in. I slept... for a few hours.

This morning, after she'd been let loose at 5 am (thanks to Colby) I came down to find the lid removed once again and upside down, away from the box. Later, I noticed she was terrified to go near the box (the lid since secured to the box). She wasn't having anything to do with it. So, I removed the offending lid and placed it in the garage. Terror filled her eyes as I gently tried to coax her near her litter box. Nope... wants to be as far away as possible.

I'm not giving up. She's looking for a place to go... I can tell by her cry and I'm following her everywhere as she seeks out an appropriate place to relieve herself. Many attempts were made to put her gently in the box, cooing softly and comforting her as only her human mommy can... with great patience. Finally, I placed her and the litter box into the laundry room and closed the door. I was down on the floor, watching her little paws walking around hoping she'd go into the box. I did hear her jump down from the countertop. This is where I keep her food dish because the dogs are prone to getting at it. As I crouched on my cool floor, uncomfortable with my butt in the air and my face planted on the ceramic tiles, I thought I could smell cat poop. I know she hasn't been in the box. Could she have...? Would she have...? Bah! She did! She pooped right on the counter top. Big dump, too, but luckily it was firm. I had to go in and close the door behind me, with her and the box of litter and a pile of poop on the counter. GRRR... I can't get angry... she won't learn anything from that but I did pick her up and tell her that was BAD. She knows. She's a smart girl.

Need this little problem nipped in the bud real quick. I end up staying in there with her for a while. Cleaned up the mess and opened a window... not in that order. Held her in my arms and cuddled her, put her in the box and gently held her front paws, digging a hole with them. After releasing my tender grip, she continued to dig and had a pee. Whew!

Battle isn't over. I tried to play with her using her favorite toy - a wad of tin foil. She won't go within 10 feet of the "bad" place. She's still scared. I finally got her into a playful mood and she got closer to the bad place, stopping, staring, wonder if something would jump out at her. She was placed into the box a few more times and seemed more accepting that it's now possibly safe. Hubby isn't happy with her, doens't like her much. I think she's adorable with enough spunk to keep her from being deemed a wimpy cat.

I will continue to work with her. She's never been a scaredy cat, how could she with Colby running her down so often? I'm sure she'll get over it and things will settle as she 'forgets' the horror of the mean litter box lid. Meanwhile, I continue to exercise patient and reward her for going in or near her box.

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