We're going to have to get tough if we want to straighten out Sassy. What we don't understand is she's a smart cat, perhaps one of the smartest I've ever had. She knows she's supposed to use the litter box, she avoids us when she's been bad, she knows what 'potty' means and does it on command if she has to go. I can't tell you how many times I've asked her if she needs to go potty and she will go in the litter box ... or she will wait five minutes and go on the carpet. My fault for not staying with her after I say the 'p' word. We've locked her up at night and found pee on the laundry room floor right next to the box. At this point I think it's a battle of sheer will. We have been locking her up at night and in the morning if there is no poop in the box, I take her to my craft room and we put the gate up in the hall. She can get to my craft room, my bathroom and part of the hall. I placed the litter box (a new one just for her) in the hall by the gate. Yesterday morning I put the litter box down and asked her if she had to go potty. She sniffed the box a few times and walked away. I went back into my room to check e-mail and about ten minutes later heard her yowling. She had pooped in the litter box and was alerting me to the fact. We opened up the gate (she had been locked up in my craft room area for about an hour) and let her go. This morning after she was locked up in the laundry room all night, I took her back upstairs again (on the 4th floor of our quad level), put her litter box down (we keep this box put up so Sadie does not use it) and it only took about ten minutes for her to use it and yowl. So, we let her go. This routine is a pain in the butt for us but it's worked for two days. We even left the house yesterday afternoon for over an hour and no messes.
Sadie is adjusting well to her every other day medication, she's even a bit more friendly and lets both of us brush her daily. She's not allowing us to work on the knots, though. This morning I tried and she hit me with claws, I bled for half an hour. When she's done, she's done.
Interaction between the cats isn't getting any better. Sassy has actually been hissing and growling at Sadie which is something she really hasn't done much of. That tells us the dynamics of top cat might be changing from Sassy to Sadie. But, who knows? At this point we're just leaving them alone to work it out, they aren't fighting each other, just us.