For the love of an aging cat

I’ve written about our adopted cat Snowflake before.

She adopted us years ago, preferring to live here rather than compete with a six-toed black devil cat named Clover. 

Snowflake is, at best guess, 12 years old. Perhaps more than that, but we really don’t know. 

I’ve written of her senility, her need to yowl to announce her presence while searching out her humans, and her superior ability to leave us hair-filled presents from time to time.

She is deaf, something that we suspected, but didn’t really comprehend or verify until a few months ago. The yowling made a lot more sense once we realized how profoundly deaf she is. She moves very slowly. It’s apparent that her joints are arthritic. I can relate well to that. 

She also sleeps, probably twenty out of twenty-four hours per day.

I have also written of her lack of coordination with her litter box. For quite some time she had a low- sided box that was anything but effective. I found a high-sided box with a cut-out area for her to step in and out of the litter. She has been pretty adapt with this, although step-in is truly about all she does. This means that the only area of the litter box that really gets any use is also the same place that she must turn and walk out of the litter box. Consequently her paws pick up the moist litter and carry it throughout the house. That is something I can live with. It just means a lot more sweeping and vacuuming.

Greater problems have now developed with her bathroom habits, leading me to place some old plastic bathtub mats in front of the box. Dear old Snowflake, more often than not, is going pee on the plastic mats and missing 95% of the litter. Some research online leads me to believe that she is either so sore that lifting her legs into the box is too difficult, squatting positions hurt, and/or she is so confused that much of the time she thinks she’s in the box when she’s really not.

Some days I find large puddles up to two or three times a day on the plastic mat. I love this cat, but cleaning, scrubbing, sanitizing, and deodorizing these mats is no fun. Today this is the newest attempt at decreasing some of my work when it comes to cat pee.

IMG_20140813_184101831

Yes, that is a puppy potty training pad. I am referring to them as Cat Disposable Diapers even though they aren’t truly applied in the diaper sense. Plastic on the back, paper on top. These little gems can simply be folded up and tossed away if Snowflake accidents continue to happen. All was good for most of the day today. Miss Snowflake managed to make it into the litter box, until her last try.

This is a clean pad. I didn’t think anyone really wanted to see the cat pee puddle I found an hour ago. The pad however did the job as it was designed to do. My fingers are crossed that we can make do with this plan. I have to give her kudos for trying at least. She is still going to the box, just not making it all the way in. I do worry though about the future and the time when (hopefully never) she won’t seek out her box, or can’t remember where it is.

 

 

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