Friday, June 27, 2008

It's a Bird. It's a Plane. Uh oh, It's

Truffle has given up her litter box for a Lenten season that never ends. She displays a distinct preference for peeing and pooping on Persian rugs under furniture, probably because she can no longer get into closets due to a lack of thumbs. All our closets are firmly closed with "No cats allowed" signs at her eye level and Flip's. (I do not need reminding because it was my shoes that had to be thrown out.)

Her um, "thinking" outside the box prompted us to take her to the animal hospital in the first place, setting off a course of treatment involving three different antibiotics for a UTI which a urine culture eventually proved nonexistent, plus a smorgasbord of procedures concocted by six vets in as many visits.

I have discontinued the daily subcutaneous fluid injections which I deem extreme measures, and now believe that we are dealing with simple raging senility.

I just spent several hours scouring the bathroom floor and the litter box and have bleeding raw hands to prove it. I installed fresh litter, removed the privacy lid as it might be difficult for her to climb in and out at her age and discarded the two mats that had developed a tendency to collect rank-smelling liquids.

I then carried Truffle into the bathroom and chirping encouragement, placed her tenderly in the box exactly like a lady-in-waiting setting the Queen on her throne. I didn't have to wait long.

She gazed at me blankly, stepped out of the box and went back to bed. It was clearly a case of "I say it's spinach and I say the hell with it."

Like Superman, she leaped onto the bed in a single bound and immediately fell asleep from her exertions.

Now I'm going to leave for several hours in the hope that Truffle will find Jesus (and make an Immaculate Exception) while I'm gone.

I don't ask much, but it would mean a lot to me.


meno said...

A senile cat is a thing to be feared, and smelled.

I never had to do thst injection thing to my cat. It sounds difficult.

furiousBall said...

yeah meno is right, old kitties are a mess

RED MOJO said...

Somehow I knew that closing the closet door, would not re-direct Truffles attention to the box.

I'm sorry in advance for the bad experience you'll no doubt encounter while rug shopping.

heartinsanfrancisco said...


I'm beginning to worry about what will happen to me when I start peeing in strange places. Will they put me down even if I'm not visibly suffering?


But it isn't fair to scuttle her after years of great service just because she's sprung a leak, is it?


No, but the closets are a lot more pleasant to walk into now.

The rugs are all antiques in good condition so I'm looking into products that remove odors. If nothing works, they will be tossed, however.

daysgoby said...

Oh dear. Could Truffle just live in the kitchen?

(A room with probably good windows for sleeping in and no carpets?)

Nick said...

Difficult times. A trial for you and a trial for Truffle also. It can't be much fun being an erratic senile old moggie.

On a limb with Claudia said...

Oh.... sorry. Reverse lent does go on forever. Can we hope she'll give up her reverse lenton promise next spring?

Maybe she's acting out her frustrations about the neighbor??

Molly said...

Don't the people who brought us "Depends" have a similar product for ageing and senile, but nonetheless beloved kitties? And if not, why not?

heartinsanfrancisco said...


No, it wouldn't be possible but thanks for a good suggestion.


What's a moggie? It certainly doesn't sound like fun.


The one most likely to act out frustrations about the neighbor, who had a complete meltdown at our door the other night, would be ME. And so far, I've managed not to confuse rugs with toilets. Keep your fingers crossed, please.


You are brilliant! I would buy her newborn Pampers but she would gnaw them off. I'm tempted to try, though.

JR's Thumbprints said...

The things we'll do for our beloved pets. Hang in there.

thailandchani said...

The diaper idea might have some merit.. modified, of course!

Angela said...

Bummer. Seriously. If you need some help setting her up with Jesus, I have an insensitive friend or two who may be able to help. Bless her.

Angela said...

p.s That was actually a pretty insensitive comment and I do so long to be sensitive, so forgive me! :)

Nick said...

Sorry, moggie (or moggy) is just English slang for cat!

Pam said...

Ah.Peeing in strange places.I knew of a sleep walking man who was caught by his wife peeing on their beautiful bedroom curtains. He thought it was the sides of the canvas camping tent.Still inexcusable but he pleaded that it was a dream after all. Poor cat. Poor you. Makes me secretly glad I didn't decide to take the ten year old cat from the animal shelter after all.Might have had my hands full later with my Dad and the cat at the same time.At least my hubby doesn't sleepwalk.

heartinsanfrancisco said...


Welcome back! We're hanging tough.


She'd tear it off in seconds. I once had a cat with a broken leg who got her cast off before we were home from the vet's.


We need all the help we can get.


Blimey. What a cabbage you must think me.

Truffle has lost the plot.


What a ghastly story! She was lucky he didn't pee on her as she slept.

It sounds as if you have far too much on your plate to deal with a failing older animal, too.

Nick said...

Heart, you weren't to know. I'm sure there are plenty of American terms I don't know either. Some of them have crossed the pond, like dudes and row homes, some are still a mystery!

heartinsanfrancisco said...


Well after 1,000 years of John Lennon and Mick Jagger, we should know better.

I told Truffle she was a moggie. She said "kiss my arse."

Say It said...

we had a vet have us buy cat pheromone plug-ins for each of our rooms so the cat would be lulled into a gentle yet encouraging calm to help it use the litter box. Hope your situation resolves quickly with out resorting to the vets plug ins!!!

The CEO said...

I am so sorry to hear of Truffles downward slide. I feel so badly for you.

heartinsanfrancisco said...

Say it,

The pheromone spray was made by the same company (Comfort Zone) that makes the plug-in. It was useless and seemed to have the opposite effect.

We just came home from dinner, rolled up one of our rugs which was saturated and stood it against the wall outside our door.


I know you can relate, and I'm sorry to have brought up bad memories of your Holmes.

We feel very bad, too.

Anonymous said...

Have you tried talking to her? Just asking her a few questions and then LISTENING for the answers? She may just be waiting for a tender moment.

(If life were a New Yorker cartoon, Truffles would understand English, I'm sure, as well as French and a little Hindi.)

heartinsanfrancisco said...


And she might eat broccoli, too.

I have always talked to my animals. My wolf and one of my ponies were so transparent that I could read their minds, but cats are more resistant. I think Truffle understands me quite well, though.

jameil1922 said...

i hope she finds him, too.

Maria said...

wow...that is a tough one. Because cat pee just stinks like nothing else and it will not come out.

Maybe it is like potty training a toddler. You have to sort of notice their um...squatting behavior (or wrinkled up face, etc) and the quickly get them to the proper eliminating zone...

heartinsanfrancisco said...


Yes, although we have to assume that he has more important things to do than hang around litter boxes. Still, one can hope. God is everywhere.


I caught her trying to break into a locked closet, put her in the litter box and closed the door. She used it, which we celebrated with cat yummies and praise.

Who knows if I'll get lucky again, though? It's one step forward and three steps back at this point.

Jocelyn said...

" believe that we are dealing with simple raging senility."

In you or the cat? I think she's helping you get there. Or want to get there.

heartinsanfrancisco said...


You're wrong. I would never shit in a closet or piss on a rug.

Mariposa said...

I would not have a clue on how to deal with a senile cat!

Rachel said...

wow, what pissy luck!

(pun intended)

start covering every soft spot and private corner with sticky flypaper (or similar stuff). she won't want to pee on it.
sticky paws suck

Anonymous said...

I am waiting for the next in the truffle series. I recall going through this with my Tuppence. Sadly, it was the beginning of the end. (I mean that with no insensitivity). But unlike Truffle, Tuppy was distressed, so different fur for different cats.

Arpeggio Andy said...

I am so glad my cats enjoy life outside more than inside. I don't think I can take my cats acting like this when they are old and senile.

See a sample of the clip I submitted at

Wanderlust Scarlett said...

Holy kitty litter Batman.

Is she rebelling? or just really P'd off?
Seems to me, if she opposable thumbs, things would be much worse.

Hope it gets better soon.

Scarlett & Viaggiatore

heartinsanfrancisco said...


Nor do I, but I think the governing principle is to be as kind as I hope they will be when I am as old.


I wouldn't do that to my cat, but it might work with the next-door neighbor. :)


You weren't insensitive, but endings are always painful when there is love for a human or an animal.

I think you're right about the Truffle series, though. I have been a bit obsessed with the topic lately.


We live in a city, so Truffle is an indoor cat. Even when we had a house in the country, she preferred to be inside, probably because she was afraid of the outdoor cats I fed.

I'll check out your site. Thanks for the url.


It is always worse when opposable thumbs are involved.

I don't think she's being defiant, naughty or pissed off. She is very old. It sucks for everyone.

Matthew Bellehumeur said...

My cat puked on my shoes this morning. I sympathize with your predicament.

heartinsanfrancisco said...


Cats are all foot fetishists. They really enjoy depositing bodily fluids in or on shoes.

Thank you for your visit. I clicked on your link but wasn't able to access your blog.

Franki said...

I'm much too insensitive to comment on this post. ;)

heartinsanfrancisco said...


I won't beg.

velvet said...

Poor Truffle! And all that you have to go through! It's so hard to watch our beloved pets grow old and much trouble at times to deal with.

heartinsanfrancisco said...


It's so very sad. We think she's near the end but she still has her dignity and is aware of everything. She makes eye contact and tries to purr when we pet her.

Sometimes Saintly Nick said...

I have not encountered the litter box issue with Alex—and I hope I never do.

Of course, I do encounter the “who is the boss in this house” issue with the furball several times each day. (At the moment he is on my desk beside me, after pushing two pens on the floor to give him what he considers to be appropriate catnapping space.).

heartinsanfrancisco said...

St. Nick,

We all know who the boss is. Better to just accept our inferior station and be done with it.

Truffle is not misbehaving. She is very old and can't help it. I think she is only hanging on for my sake but as long as she is not in pain I won't initiate the end of her.

It feels like a hospice situation now.