OK internet family.
I come to you tonight, hat in hand and humbled to present to you my tale of cat parenting woe hoping someone will be able to help me figure out what to do with this despicable cat habit Vinny has decided to pick up.
First, a bit of history.
When Vinny first came to us, an older (3-ish years old) rescue, he was a very sick little punkin'. He'd had his nip/tuck done just before we brought him home and he also had kennel cough. We, of course, were helicopter parents from the get go, hovering over him, trying to make him not be sick and to stop drooling massive amounts of cat saliva over everything...namely me.
After a couple of days, he'd yet to go poo - possibly a side effect of the anesthesia - and his drooling was out of control, so, because we are THOSE people, we bundled him up and rushed him off to the doctor to make sure he wasn't dying. While he was there, a vet tech stuck her finger up his bum (just like Uma Thurman did to that poor turtle in The Truth About Cats and Dogs) and palpated his bowel.
When we got him home, I placed the cat carrier carefully on my bed, opened the door, and watched as he came barreling out and immediately did a dook...right on my comforter. That was four years ago.
Until recently though, his bowel behavior, aside from that episode and a couple of other extreme circumstances, has been exemplary.
But then? Defcon happened. While I was at Defcon in Las Vegas a few months ago, Vinny got anxious and upset. I was out of town for several days and one night Lex was out until a gawd awful hour of the night. The next day, the two of them were playing and Vinny got so worked up, he raced toward my bedroom and, before Lex could stop him, did some unsavory business right where I would lay if I were home.
Since then, he's done it a half dozen times...all while I'm home after an absence of just a few hours and especially when Lex has been gone at the same time too. It's always Cat Pooey. Never pee...which is a small miracle I suppose. But he always ALWAYS does it when I'm in the room and not during my absence for me to find later...like when I'm crawling into bed. Again with the small miracles.
It's clear he's upset with me. It's clear he's expressing some kind of anxiety or displeasure at being left alone. But he's never displayed this kind of behavior in the past when I've been absent for several days. I've taken a number of trips that have extended far beyond a few hours or 5 days as the case was with Defcon and he's always been just fine...perhaps a little needy upon return but otherwise great!
A) Why now?
and, more importantly,
B) How can I get him to STAHP?!
I know the usual tricks...laying pieces of aluminum foil over the area I don't want him to go (cats abhor aluminum foil) or spraying it down with some kind of olfactory putrification he can't stand but I can't smell.
But here's the ultimate problem...my bed is his sanctuary. He LOVES my bed. He especially loves my bed when I am in it and it's snuggle time which is every single night just after lights out. I don't want to ban him from his most favorite spot in the entire Grotto. I don't want to deny him his special love time (it's not like that so get your minds out of the creepy gutter) either.
I just want him to stop pooping in the place I sleep!
So...here I am. Admitting I have somehow failed as a fur parent and am in desperate need of advice. How can I get my cat to understand I will be back to love on him ASAP so he really ought to stop pooping where his love lies?
|The perp returns to the scene of the crime.|
A desperate mother