Longtime readers know of our cat woes from about a year ago. One of our animals (ok, it was probably Gilligan) was pooping in the dining room. That is when we first blocked the dining room from cat access.
For basically a year now (could that really be true?) we have been living with a child gate at one of the dining room entries and an entire door screen across the other, that being the wide entry off our foyer. During the blockade period, the dining room has somehow migrated into a staging area for my shows, with art leaning against all the walls, the table utilized as a work surface, boxes and other supplies stacked on the floor. Since we have so many shows going on (and generally only a week in between) it makes sense to store things in the dining room rather than carry everything downstairs then upstairs again between shows.
It is such a blight though, I mean total eyesore. We are like that crazy cat lady who lived down the street from me when I was growing up, the one who had newspapers stacked from floor to ceiling. Who ever imagined it would come to this? But I can't think of a better solution at least until the shows are over. And the thing is, I can block the room from my vision. I walk by day after day and don't even see the mess. It isn't within my frame of reference; I think I have simply rationalized that it just IS at least until the shows are over.
It's only when we have a visitor that I come to my senses, smack myself in the head, oh yeah, I have a bunch of crap piled up in the room previously known as our dining room. And oh yeah, we are using a screen door as a barrier. The guest is typically too polite to say anything, but you can see the wheels turning. At that point I usually make some joke about it, suggesting I took the whole "decorating with room screens" thing too literally.
Now the upside of this situation........no more cat poop, at least outside of the litter box and certainly not in the dining room. Whoever was doing the pooping (Gilligan) seems to have resumed use of the litter boxes. Thus I concluded he was better, "over" whatever had upset him, reconciled to Mom & Dad's gypsy lifestyle, hopefully contented with his catsitter Karyl.
Until Saturday that is......I was in the studio where we have an auxiliary litter box because God forbid the cats would have to walk back upstairs to go potty. Yes, they have a litter box in my studio bathroom right next to the toilet. And yes, there is simultaneous use on occasion.
So it was on Saturday afternoon when I heard a mournful cry from one of the cats; I knew instantly it was Gilligan because a good cat mom, like any mom, recognizes the cry of her young. It wasn't a whine, but a true mournful sound. I jumped up like a rocket and found Gilligan standing in the middle of the litter box. Doing nothing, just crying.
Oh my gosh. I was so sad for him because this is a sign of cat constipation. And I can so relate although that is a story for another day (or not). Anyway, I waited till he was finished doing nothing and picked him up to massage his abdomen and see if he had specific pain. He was fine with my examination. I checked Google, found some vet-sites and decided to try this petroleum remedy that we happened to have on hand, salmon flavored no less. This online vet said to give a dose 3 days in a row to get the system back to normal. I checked him again yesterday and his belly did not feel so tight as it did before although truly it is hard to tell because it's like doing an exam on a frozen turkey. But I think he may be better.
In the meantime I have asked John, master of the litter boxes, to keep an eye on the cat poop and alert me to any change. We discussed the usual quantity, size and consistency of turds at length yesterday afternoon. We (that being the "royal we") are looking for small dry turds as a sign of cat constipation. We were in John's office, me lying on the floor, John in his chair, seriously evaluating and analyzing the pooping patterns of our animals. Truly.