I am the proud owner of three different kinds of kitty litter. This free cat has cost me some money. This free cat was on his last chance. Allow me to explain.
He would not use the litter box, or shall I say either litter box. We purchased two of them, just in case a larger one with turn around capabilities for a small cat with a large fluffy tail was required. A different kind of litter was put in each. Every day he would poop about five inches away from the litter box, and urinate on the floor, right by the baseboard, where it could seep in and really set in a good, lingering odor. I also bought a special odour eliminating enzyme spray.
My husband thought we should just eliminate the litter box altogether and just keep making the newspaper landing pad smaller and smaller until we just put a piece of newspaper into a litter box. I was game. I am also, however, the first one up, whether it is a work day or a weekend. This means that I am the one to discover the rank little present left for me in the mudroom, and I then must dispose of it, open a window, spray some enzymes, and curse the cat (although not directly at him, because you should not shame them, it could create a bad situation) (as opposed to the one I was already in).
A couple of mornings ago, it was my turn to do the early morning soccer practice run for the sixteen year old. As I went out through the mudroom to go outside and start the car, I smelled that familiar reminder that the cat had no irregularity problems. I did not have time to deal with it, and I was just turning around and coming back home to continue putting on my face and making some breakfast for myself. My husband was in the shower.
When I came back a few minutes later I was greeted by a scene of such carnage and disgust and I almost couldn't believe it. The fluffy little ba&t@rd had not only ignored the newspaper, but obviously had an issue that morning whereby he was trying to rid himself of his "refuse". He has an incredibly fluffy bottom, so he retained a great deal of what he had attempted to eliminate. There were drag marks in not one, but three rooms of my house. It was like a sick twisted scene from a horror story. That would have been bad enough, but he decided to go upstairs and continued skidding his way down the carpeted (it is an UGLY carpet, but that's beside the point). I ran around with a giant roll of paper towel and a spray bottle of bleach cleanser, spraying and wiping and swearing over and over. I also took the time to yell at my husband to get out of the shower because he was going to have to help me wash the cat's ass.
It is not fun washing a crappy, stinky, yowling, long haired devil that is trying to slice you with all of his claws, especially since I still didn't have a stitch of make up on, and although food was the last thing on my mind, I would have to eat some form of breakfast before work. I didn't even have time to deal with the ugly rug upstairs and decided it would have to wait until I got home from work.
All day at work I couldn't get the image of cat poop skid marks out of my mind (and before the animal lovers out there tell me he has worms, and maybe he's sick, and I probably fed the the wrong food...he's fine, he's been checked over by a vet, and he gets freaking Iams Kitten Food, although I suspect he has had a sneaky bite of the big guy's adult cat food from time to time). I probably washed my hands a dozen times, not including the bleach I probably soaked into my skin from the cleanser I was squirting on my floor.
When I returned from work, I was just thrilled to see a couple more gifts on the mudroom floor (about an inch from the newspaper), and yes, I think he was having intestinal issues. I dealt with that, and then went crazy with a mop, bucket and more floor cleanser. I also dealt with the upstairs carpet. While I was doing all of this, my husband and daughter gave the cat a very thorough wash because this morning's once over wasn't enough, and quite frankly he had "soiled" himself a bit more. My daughter is sporting some serious bandaids from the war wounds she suffered.
I was so upset, saying, "This is not what I bargained for when we got another cat. We only did this for the stressed out older cat, and his fur likely would have just grown in eventually anyway. I have had so many cats over the years and I've never had a cat that didn't know how to use the litter box!" I was ready to pack him up and take him to the no-kill cat shelter with my letter of proof from the vet that he had already received his first round of shots. Somebody would adopt him and love him (before they realized he wasn't litter trained). I felt like the worst mother ever, telling my son that we likely weren't going to keep this cat either (refer to my earlier kitten story).
Then out of desperation and because I am just as stubborn as this cat is, I asked my husband to call the local pet supply place and see if they had some sort of magical kitty litter. Well, indeed they did! It comes with a money back guarantee if your cat does not use it. Off we went, all four of us, like some delightful family outing to buy the special kitty litter. It had some special scent that a cat just can't resist doing its business in.
We took it home, ate take out pizza (there was NO WAY I was making supper after cleaning my whole house, again), then my husband filled up a litter box with the magical kitty litter. It was ignored. My daughter and I even took his favourite shoe lace and enticed him with it, dangling it in the middle of the litter box. He would run toward the box, get close to it, stop, meow sorrowfully and turn tail. All we managed to get him to do was balance on the edge of the litter box and slowly but bravely reach forward with one paw to try and retrieve the end of the shoelace.
Oh dear lord, we had a cat that was afraid of kitty litter.
He WOULD NOT put more than one paw on or in that litter. It had no magical powers at all. Maybe the old man who we got him from had punished him for mistakes by holding in at the litter box and giving him a swat? Maybe he was like an autistic child who dislikes certain textures? But there was no way that Scooter was going to be caught dead doing anything in kitty litter.
In a last ditch effort, I thought about the newspaper. He was often successful going to the bathroom on just newspaper. Maybe he was o.k. with that texture. So I emptied out the second litter box and cut up a bunch of newspaper into strips and put them into that litter box. That evening, he was closed up in the mudroom with two options. He could try the magical (and apparently terrifying) kitty litter or he could try out the newspaper in the box.
The next morning the angels sang. Mr. Shitty Pants, as my husband deemed him, used the shredded newspaper. I praised him up and down (the cat, not my husband) and promised I would buy him cat treats, which I did.