Urine Marking

Not on My Watch: As the Hurricane Churns

As Hurricane Earl churns in the Atlantic, I sit and wait and wonder if it's going to behave and only give the folks here in Connecticut a glancing blow of high winds and torrential rain or if the weather reports will be wrong and Earl will take a devious leap west and blast us with its' Category 2 fury.

I realized that should we ever take a direct hit that I have nowhere to go that would allow cats-and certainly not foster cats that also have ringworm. I couldn't even put them in the car with the healthy cats.

I'd be forced to stay behind.

So Sam and I got up at 6AM. This was not my idea of a good time. No one should get up until at least 9AM and 10AM would be even better. Anyway, we wanted to get to the grocery store and buy some non-perishable items like pudding cups, nuts, chocolate covered raisins. You know-important things that will keep us healthy if we lose power—which happens if you fart too hard around here. We expect the power will go out-which also means, no WATER.

We live in a house where everything is run by electricity-including the pump that goes to our 390' deep well. That means no shower and NO FLUSHING. Not fun. We have those 5 gallon bottles of water and a dispenser. Some of the bottles are empty so we filled them with tap water. Ah ha! Now we will be able to flush, though holding a 40 pound jug of water, aiming over the toilet tank, then hoping you don't miss and dump it all over the floor or miss and get it into the toilet BOWL, which would splatter whatever was currently IN the bowl all over the walls.

Gosh, I hope the power doesn't go out tomorrow. I just don't think there's enough bleach in the world to clean my walls after that.

As I wait to find out if my little house in the woods is going to be decimated by Hurricane Earl, I thought I'd catch you up on a BUNCH of news...in no particular order...

1. HOPE IS OUT OF THE ANIMAL HOSPITAL!

Her leg, HELLO!, is HEALED! She will walk just fine. She beat the infections, but traded them off for a cold. That said she is well enough now to go into foster care. I heard her foster home is terrific and her rescuers, called The Cat Women, should be getting a check from me via Sweetwater Vet Hospital, to cover ALL of HOPE's medical bills! There will be a bit left over and that will go into a fund to help other cats who need vet care.

HOPE has a new name: Ariel. This will mark her new journey. In a very strange coincidence, Ariel's foster mom is none other than Mary Jo-who is the subject of item number 2!

2. BIG, ORANGE MAINE COON IS SAFE!

Big Orange's owner is a senior citizen with dementia who cannot care for her cat and whose (jerkwad) of a son refuses to allow the cat in the house! The poor cat has been attacked by local (equally jerky) kids. Mary Jo (sound familiar?) stepped up to help rescue this big lug. When news got out about his troubles lots of folks chimed in, willing to help. I got the word out to my rescue babes and one of them offered to give him a home. I can't say more than that because the details aren't worked out, but even if not, Big Orange is SAFE. Mary Jo got him today only to find out the (jerkwad of the century) son now wants to get a puppy since the cat is gone. Is there no justice for this cat? Perhaps a wonderful life in a better home will do the trick?

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©2010 Mary Jo. Her original poster trying to find help for Big Orange.

3. RINGWORM. WE HAVE A WINNER! (or is that LOSER?)

There aren't enough swear words to cover how I feel about Pattycake getting ringworm. She had it in transport, but only a tiny dot on her ear. I didn't even NOTICE what you see below. Granted the area was shaved after Dr. Larry's Vet Tech, Mighty Lauren found it!

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©2010 Robin A.F. Olson. Fungus Amongus.

And of course, a few days later I felt some "crud" on her brother, Moonpie's ear so he's got it, too. Both cats are in the bathroom for eternity, or another month. Then they will be 5 months old and even harder to find a forever home for. If this is as bad as it gets I will be grateful. If the 4 little kittens in the foster room get it, too...that will be really bad...if my cats get it...well...not good...not good at all.

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©2010 Robin A.F. Olson. They share everything...ugh.

4. Bob has a URI. Spencer has really bad feline acne that I just can't get rid of, Nicky PEED on the floor right in front of us so he's at the Vet getting tests done and poor Gracie's dermatitis just won't go away!

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©2010 Robin A.F. Olson. Bob. No fever but sneezing and coughing. My poor baby!

This is why having TWO cats is nice. If one gets sick, no problem. If both got sick, no problem! When they ALL start to get sick? PROBLEM! Having EIGHT CATS is NOT FOR SOMEONE WITH A WEAK CONSTITUTION-which is WHY I should have TWO CATS!

4. Jasper County Animal Control STILL NEEDS A FEW MORE CATS RESCUED SO THEY WON'T HAVE TO PUT ANY KITTIES DOWN. BUT...

Thanks to Barb Lowe at Winging Cat Rescue and two other rescue groups, five cats from Jasper were saved, along with three others from Douglas and eight by our friend Joan Flores in TN, along with six from Heard County and three more who were supposedly rescued but their rescue DUMPED THEM!!!!!...so they were RE-RESCUED!

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©2010 Jasper Co. Animal Control. This is Frances.

That's 25 MORE CATS SAVED!!!

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©2010 Jasper Co. Animal Control. This is Maybelline.

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©2010 Jasper Co. Animal Control. This is Saber. Yay Saber!

Yes, there's a price for rescuing all these cats. Barb needs Scotch and a vacation somewhere quiet AND she needs $400.00 to cover transport. Let's show her how we can help her money woes disappear and thank her for all her hard work, saving these babies!

5. My little kittens are pushing three pounds a piece, except for Cinnie-Minnie who is just a tiny little thing.

Oh, and they're super cute, but I don't get to spend nearly enough time with them!

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©2010 Robin A.F. Olson. From left to right: Yodel, Sugar Pie, Honey B. and Cinnamon.

6. Little Maria WILL be having her surgery next week! Stay tuned for LOTS MORE NEWS ABOUT THIS BIG EVENT FOR A LITTLE KITTY!

That is if my power doesn't go out tomorrow...and Earl keeps his distance.

And this little kitty went; “Wee, Wee, Wee”...all over the house!

There's nothing like the glow of the Northern Lights as they dance across the arctic sky. If you ever get a chance to witness this amazing phenomena, you should. You'll never forget the sight. They're not easy to photograph, which is why I wanted to share these photos with you.

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There's nothing like the glow of...

But wait, what's that, you say? This is not an image of the aurora borealis? Is this an all-too-familiar sight?

Yes, sports fans, this is cat pee, phosphorescing under the glow of a black light. It's located ACROSS the end of my hallway, right next to the door where the foster cats are housed. Makes sense that my resident cats would show me their disappointment in my choosing to bring yet more cats into the house by marking their territory right next to the offending room.

But what's this, you ask?

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Notice the spray, then the dribbly puddle on the floor. Someone was ANGRY. It wasn't me. That's all I know. I can't aim that well.

This would be near the landing to the second floor. Any cat that passes this spot will know that one cat has deemed any point past belongs to HER. I'm fairly sure this was done by Petunia, who of all my cats, is my biggest pain in the ass. She is high strung and nervous. Lately she's decided she wants to own the bedroom. This is her warning to others. I would have preferred that she simply issue a memo to everyone via email, than urinate on the wall.

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I wonder what Jay & Grant on Ghost Hunters would make of this?

Difficult to see, but this area of the wall near our master bath was covered with cat markings. Am I without any sense of smell? Surely not. I made the mistake of thinking I smelled pee just ONCE, then going on a mission to see where the offense had occurred. To my dismay, across a majority of my bedroom and second floor hallway the walls were marked.

Anyone who has to deal with this, knows it's a nightmare to diagnose, YES, diagnose and a nightmare to stop. In my next post, I'm going to talk about ways to figure out what is going on and how to clean it up.

I haven't checked the first floor of my house yet. I'm too scared. For now I'm re-checking the second floor every night to determine if this is ongoing or if it happened a long time ago and I only just found it.

Maybe I should start a gallery of art photos of cat peed walls? It's unique! At least it would help bring in a few dollars so I can afford to load up on a prescription of Xanax and scented candles for myself.

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Local Tales: Helping Chloe

"I'll give you $100. Just take the cat to the Vet and have her euthanized."

This is what one woman recently said to her pet sitter. She was talking about her 13 year old cat, Chloe. Chloe, a beautiful Maine Coon mix with shocking green eyes and a plush coat, who had only known this woman's home her whole life, was now being treated like a worthless, meaningless, nothing.

Chloe's owner was tired of a very common behavior problem in cats-inappropriate urination. Not only had Chloe climbed under the sheets, then peed ON her owner, she defecated on the bed, too. We know it's been going on for years. Chloe pees on anything soft. Chloe lived with two other cats. Was she troubled by them? What about her health? Would her owner even get her to the Vet for a checkup? Certainly, NOT. That would require making an effort.

Fortunately for Chloe, her pet sitter was not about to do hew owner's bidding. Instead, he took Chloe home. Since he wasn't sure he could safely keep her in his home, he chose to place Chloe in a small storage space over his garage. It's dark with just one window and a single overhead lightbulb. It's cold and damp and a bit mildewy-a far cry from the comforts Chloe once knew, but she was safe and in loving hands. That's what really mattered most.

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This big, pouffy baby just fits in her prized cat bed. With a new diet, she may slim down a bit and overall feel much better.

He got her a big dog crate and put her inside it with a litter pan. She used the pan properly, but when she was allowed out of the crate, she would pee on any bedding in the room-possibly because it smelled like other cats. Everything was removed, save for one new cat bed. I went to visit her to help set up a better space. We moved the litter pan out of the crate and into a corner. Sure enough she started to use the pan perfectly for a few days in a row.

She was seen by a Vet who said she might have some sediment in her urine that might cause her to feel uncomfortable. Chloe is quite overweight. Her diet needs to be addressed. I also thought she might be backed up with impacted feces. Many years on dry food...there is no telling what sort of shape this cat is really in. We put her on grain free food. She was slow to adapt to it, but this morning I found one (I call it Kitty Crack) that she liked. With a diet change may give her additional comfort and she's on antibiotics for awhile, too.

This morning she peed on a comforter. First I thought it was because it must have still smelled of other cats even though it was washed. I realized it might be WHERE it was placed (inside her crate). She may have thought "inside the crate means go to the bathroom"...so the comforter will be washed again, but this time placed OVER the crate to give her a place to snuggle at night. I brought her a new cat bed, too. Hopefully, she will use that for SLEEPING only.

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Chloe looks stern, but it's just the tabby markings on her forehead that give her that expression. She's really a sweet cat.

The pet sitter feels a strong connection to this cat. It made me sad because she may need to be placed in an only cat home and not be able to stay with the pet sitter. At her age and with this behavioral issue, she may have a long road ahead of her in a cold room with little companionship. Is it enough for her, for now? She'll live to see old age, but at what cost? How many others, like Chloe are subjected to ostracization (or worse) by their families for doing the same thing?

Working with inappropriate urination problems is very tough. I've suffered with cats ruining my home for three years! I can really feel for anyone with this problem, but to kill the animal is not the answer. It will take work to get Chloe turned around and find the right home for her, but in the end it will always be worth it to me.

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