Friday, December 28, 2012

Sassy in prison.... Day 1...

It's with a very heavy heart that we have decided to cage Sassy because of her bathroom issues.  Wednesday she started peeing on the pad (she's hasn't done that since early August) and this morning she both peed and pooped on the pad right next to the cat box.  Needless to say, we're both frustrated.  We've tried all the methods except this one and this is our last resort.  From here, taking her back to the shelter is our only option and we're sure no one will adopt her if they know she won't use her cat box 100% of the time.  Our plan of attack is to keep her in the cage during the day when she can watch the birds and put her in our downstairs laundry room at night so she can walk around a bit.  Both areas will have a cat box just a few steps away.  We will remove the rugs in the bathroom before we put her in just in case she's tempted by them.

Carl is also off renting a rug shampooing machine so we can clean the carpet in the living room.  We want to keep the litter box in the bathroom if this works; we will not be returning a litter box to the living room and hope that cleaning the carpet will make her lose interest in the living room as a bathroom.

This is the cage we used when we took her to Wisconsin.  Ironically, she spent an entire week in our cabin with no messes at all.  She consistently used her litter box.
The rugs in the laundry room will be removed before we put her in tonight.  She'll have more room to move around and I've even added some of her toys.
If this works, we will move the bookcase and build an enclosure around the box so it's a little less noticeable.  We clean the box every time she uses it so odor shouldn't be an issue.  She'll be confined at least until the end of January, then we will let her out in the family room during the day when we can watch her but lock her up at night for a few weeks.  We should know by the middle of February if we can retrain her to use the litter box.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Seriously? Tom Cruise?...

I am a voracious reader.  If I don't have anything else to read, I'll read the back of the cereal box.  I have a huge library of books and an e-Reader filled to the max with e-books.  If you took everything I owned away from me except my books, I think I could learn to be happy.  Some of you may remember a Twilight Zone episode with Burgess Meridith.  I don't remember the entire show but the terrifying part for me would be the destruction of a city, finding an intact library, having the rest of my life to do nothing but read and then stepping on my glasses so I couldn't.  A total nightmare.

Over the years, I've developed a great love for certain characters.  John D. McDonald's Travis McGee, John Sanford's Lucas Davenport and Lee Childs' Jack Reacher.  These are guys I would call if I were in trouble.  I have complete sets of all the books these guys are in and I've read them multiple times.  When I heard they were making a movie with Jack Reacher in it, I was really excited.  And I hoped it wouldn't be like One for the Money by Janet Evanovich.  While I loved the book, Katherine Heigl was absolutely the wrong person for the movie (and I like Katherine Heigl).  Her personality was fine, but when I close my eyes and see Stephanie Plum, I see Archie Panjabi (size-wise - not her character in The Good Wife).  When I close my eyes and see Jack Reacher, I certainly don't see Tom Cruise.  Well, I didn't, until the film came out.  I've never been a Tom Cruise fan and when I saw him jumping on the couch like a monkey, I became even less so.  He may be big box office, but he'll never be Jack Reacher.  As much as I adore Michael J. Fox, I would not cast him as the leader of the Spartans in 300.  As for Reacher, I would have voted for Liam Neeson or Ron Perlman or anyone on this list.  As one person who commented on this list said - "the e-trade baby would have made a better Jack Reacher than Tom Crusie".  That said, I'm not seeing the movie.  It's bad enough every time I open my Kindle Fire HD, there's an ad for the book with Tom Cruise's face on it, I think seeing the movie will ruin an entire series for me.  Lee Childs, what were you thinking?  Postscript:  I haven't purchased an Evanovich book since the movie came out.

Thursday, December 20, 2012


When I was growing up our family was so fractured that I can only remember one Christmas with fondness.  We gathered at my paternal grandmother's house for dinner and after dinner the older kids were dropped off at a local theater and the adults drank and watched football.  All of our holidays were celebrated with lots of drinking and often erupted into fights and slights and recriminations.  Today I have no traditions to pass on to my child.  We do have Thanksgiving and Christmas dinner although with our legacy of fractured families, everyone is obligated to be elsewhere including work.  Several years ago when my FIL was still alive, my husband would travel an hour (both ways) to pick him up for dinner at our house.  As soon as we finished eating, he wanted to go home, the kids had other places to visit or my daughter had to go to work.  They landed like a swarm of locusts and two hours later the house was quiet, Carl was on his way to his father's and I was usually left with the mess.  And that's how our Chili Christmas was created.  The day before our holiday (which could have been up to a week before or after the 25th depending on our Christmas trip to Florida and the kids' schedules), I would make a huge crock pot of chili.  Then it didn't matter when people showed up or how long they stayed.  The mess was relatively simple to clean up and the chili was hot all day.  Easy Peasy.

That worked well for several years but this year before Thanksgiving my daughter mentioned turkey.  Turkey?  Oh, no, not that again.  My FIL is no longer with us but the other problems remain - work, other obligations.  Still, I purchased two turkey breasts, lots of Bob Evans Original Mashed Potatoes (much better than any I can make), a couple of cans of corn, I made Green Bean Casserole, slid some Crescent Rolls into the oven and baked a Marie Callender's Pumpkin Pie.  Easy Peasy.  I sent one breast home with the kids and still had enough for sandwiches.  The pan I cooked the breasts in was covered with foil - easy clean up.  I cooked the potatoes in their pans.  I actually had to use a casserole dish for the green beans and a small pan for the corn but the cookie sheet for the rolls was covered in foil.  I only had to load the dish washer once and everything was done.  Easy Peasy.

It worked so well at Thanksgiving, we're doing it again for Christmas Eve.  My SIL is requested at his parents on Christmas so we'll be eating dinner and exchanging gifts on Christmas Eve.  We've always believed that Christmas is in your heart, not on a date; we could have Christmas in July and none of us would mind.  So, I'm serving a spiral sliced ham (ordered from the local butcher already cooked), Bob Evan's yummy potatoes, corn, green bean casserole, rolls and pumpkin pie - all with the easy clean up.  Now, I just have a house to clean, the rest of the presents to wrap and stocking stuffers for my husband to purchase.  Ladies:  what does Santa put in your husband's stockings - I'm looking for ideas.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Suddenly Sassy...

I've been thinking seriously about starting another blog just for the trials and tribulations we've had with our rescue cat, Sassy Boo Boo.  We came back from our winter vacation to Florida on Saturday.  When we travel, we have a family that looks in on Sassy every day making sure the litter box is clean, she has fresh water and food and they stay and play with her for a while if she's amenable to that.  Periodically, we get updates.  Only one accident, she hid every time they came over, she didn't eat her treats, they couldn't catch her to give her the Prozac.  A call to the vet said there would be no problem discontinuing the Prozac until we got home so we told the sitter to just leave her alone.  When we left she was skittish, hid from us, hated to be picked up, would run every time we approached her and was generally not very friendly, although she has never been mean.  If you follow my blog, you know we've tried pheromones, we've tried different litter boxes, different litters; in fact, we've tried everything the vet recommended except locking her up in a small space with her litter box.  We are in this for the long haul, we will not give her up and I can't help thinking there is something we're missing.

Since we returned home, she's been the most loving she has ever been.  She comes when called, she lets us love on her, she's ok with being picked up, she follows me everywhere - and the biggest change:  she lays on my footstool and allows me to brush her.  Since she's a 'fluffy' cat, she has lots of fur, it isn't long but it's very dense.  She wouldn't let me anywhere near her with a brush before; now, I just tap the footstool with the brush and she's there.  Her temperament has done a 180.  She's vocalizing more now.  Last night she actually woke us up by sitting on the floor next to our bed and caterwauling.  It sounded like two cats fighting under our bed.  When I woke up, I sat up and patted the bed, she jumped up, we did the loving bit for a few minutes, she jumped down and was quiet the rest of the night.  As if she needed to reassure herself we were still there.

This morning we found another mess on the waterproof pad.  The Feliway bottles are still full, not due to be changed for another week and I'm not so sure they're helping anyway.  She's getting all the attention she's demanding.  She's eating and drinking well.  She has three bird feeders that vie for her attention, she has a good life and still....

We tried one more experiment today.  We have large round plastic discs with a one inch high edge that originally were to put under a Christmas Tree so you didn't get water on the floor, they're about the size of a sled saucer.  We put one of those in the center of the two extra large boxes we have out now and put cat litter in it.  Maybe it's edges she doesn't like.  We've noticed when she uses the litter box, 100% of the time she scooches back until her rear touches the side of the box and then she goes.  She never goes in the middle, at least, we've never found a mess there.  She also doesn't like to cover anything up, so the scattered litter won't be a problem.  We're tried almost everything else, trying this won't hurt anything.  Stay tuned....