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    Pee watch: the Neko chronicles

    July 4th, 2009

    As you recall our most recent vacation resulted in a lot of pee puddles throughout our house, courtesy of Neko.

    Sadly even after we returned (and cleaned-up), his behavior continued. What’s more he was taking bold steps and peeing right in front of me! I took him to the vet, read online articles, and made an appointment with a cat behaviorist (which is scheduled for the 11th).

    His veterinarian (new lady, but I like her A LOT — I’ll be scheduling all his appointments with her going forward) did a urinalysis. The results took 4 days to get back, but here’s what we know: Neko doesn’t have a kidney infection, but he did have traces of blood and crystals in his pee. I don’t know if this is good news or bad news. The crystals can be signs of a previous infection, but it’s nothing that can be treated with medication. I’ll be honest, my heart sank when I heard this — not that I wanted my furball to be ill, but I had hoped the results would show that we could address the problem easily. I don’t love medicating Neko — he’s not the easiest to give pills to, believe me, but I was willing to do a few weeks of meds if it meant no more pee. Yet, alas, no meds, because none were required nor help.

    We go back to the vet in 2 weeks for a follow-up urinalysis test. Meanwhile, at home I’ve made the following changes:

    – moved his food away from the master bathroom and down into the dining room. I’m hoping this does 2 things: 1) per reading suggestion, keeps his food away from his litterbox, which is also located int he master bathroom; and 2) since the dining room was his latest pee-area of choice (the only one he kept post-clean-up), I’m hoping he wouldn’t want to pee where he ate.

    – replaced his ceramic water bowl with a stainless steel water bowl. The vet wants us to increase his water intake as much as possible, and said that steel bowls or recirculating systems seems to do that for cats better than ceramic bowls. I’m starting with steel first.

    – change his water a twice a day.

    – purchased a second water bowl. This is a new thing, but I figured I’ll keep one upstairs (still in the master bath, oh well) and one downstairs with his food. That way he doesn’t have to change floors if he’s thirsty.

    – purchased a second litter-box. Now he has two. The fancy one upstairs, a Littermaid which cleans up after him; and the new, plain-box one in the downstairs bathroom. With one on each floor, again I’m hoping he won’t result to going on my dining-room floor when a litterbox is less than 10 feet away.

    – changed his diet. This was another vet recommendation. She’s worried about his weight, and noted it might be contributing to infection, so she wants him to loose some poundage. Kitty-exercise videos aside, she has a new diet recommendation. It’s pricier (ugh), but hey, if it helps…

    – twice-daily spray-downs of the dining room with Feliway. The Feliway hormone is supposed to be relaxing to cats and reduce anexiety.

    So the results?

    3 days now with no pee! I’m so excited!

    I don’t know if this is a pattern, which combination of the above is helping, but something is working. I still wake up every morning with trepidation, and return from work worried if he’s left a puddle-surprise for me to clean-up, but a few days with no accidents is helping. I won’t go as far as say that we’ve resolved our issues, but I’m cautiously optimistic.

    We still have the appointment with the behaviorist next Saturday. I filled out a very detailed questionaire for her, so I’m hoping she’ll have some additional tips on how to handle this situation and also teach us how to better, and more effectively discipline Neko.

    So, Neko Pee Watch continues. I hope it lasts, ‘cuz I’m not looking forward to the idea of diapering a four-legged child in addition to my two-legged one. I wasn’t above it though!

    My turn?

    October 25th, 2008

    Kittylove is right! I have been neglecting Neko here, so today is about him.

    Last week after I brought home G’s new activity mat, I assembled it and put G in it. He looked so cute staring up at the hanging toys and watching the lights. I couldn’t help but get the camera out.

    Neko observed all this from a safe distance (he still doesn’t care to be close to G). After G expressed his “Ok, I’m done” cry, I pulled him out. In the milliseconds that it took me to adjust G in my arms, I turn around to see this:

    Neko was sitting smack in the middle of the activity center, right where I had G. He was looking up at me, asking “My turn?”

    Yes… I guess it was his turn… so I snapped a few pics of him too.

    Both my kids are too cute.

    PS. I did vacuum the activity mat after Neko was done. That whole kid/pet-dander thing…

    Cat vs. Kid

    September 23rd, 2008

    I haven’t written yet about Neko’s response to G.

    Let’s put it this way: Neko spends most of his day in the farthest corner of the house from G. It’s not just the crying baby that gets him: I genuinely think Neko is afraid of G. Yep, my 17lb, twice-the-size-of-the-baby Maine Coon is afraid of G!

    Where Neko used to come into the nursery before G was born, he is now intimidated by that room. It took him a long while to even enter and when he does it’s barely past the door, hunched down. He makes a run for it as soon as you gesture him to come in. When I pick him up and carry him over to the baby he pushes back and can’t wait to get away. He also gives us these looks: ones that seem to say “The new toy you brought home seems to be broken. You taking it back?”

    On the bonus side, I guess my dad would be pleased: he was ready to buy us a tent for the crib so that Neko won’t jump in there. Even before G Neko would never get in the crib. Hide under it? Sure (and swat for strangers’ legs), but never in it. Now I think Neko first needs to get in the room before he even considers getting in the crib. I think we’re safe for a long while 🙂

    G on the other hand is completely ignorant of Neko’s existence. This doesn’t surprise me for the time being, but I do wonder when he’ll realize he’s a “little brother”.

    I’m looking forward to them playing with each other though. Even if all that means is Neko tolerating G as G tries to suck on his tail… or ride him.