So, going with the theme that I haven't had time for blogging lately - I didn't get a chance to mention an incident that happened last Saturday. Minion, as the curious little kitten that he is, slipped outside and we couldn't find him. We were away all night (we had Jon's company party to go to that evening) and didn't get back home until Sunday afternoon. Our friend Kim came by both Saturday night to look for him (when picking up the dogs) and again on Sunday morning (when she dropped the dogs back off), but also had no luck. :( I searched high and low around the house, the neighborhood, and surrounding streets calling for him all day Sunday and couldn't find him at all.
I thought I was going crazy because I would sit in the dining room with the boys and every once in a blue moon I thought I'd hear him - I'd run out to the side yard or the front door thinking maybe he'd found his way back home and wanted in - but he was nowhere in sight. :(
Monday morning I stayed home from work - and continued searching for him. I swore up and down I heard him meowing whenever I was in the side yard (where he had slipped out) and decided to CLIMB MY NEIGHBOR'S FENCE to look and see if he was trapped in their yard or something. No sign whatsoever - but as I was climbing down, Tobey was frozen, pointing at the grate under our house. I took a closer look and there was Minion's face! Pawing at the screen.
I went into the house and pulled open the access panel to the crawl space and called him with food and a flashlight - he found his way over and climbed out easy peasy. He was a little dirty and I was worried about fleas so I gave him a good bath and some flea meds (he was due anyway). He was purring like crazy - drank and ate a bit but nothing extreme - and then spent the rest of the day hanging out with me and following me around. I figured he was just glad to be back home. :)
Tuesday I worked from home again because Logan's school called to send him home on Monday afternoon. Everything was ducky and we were all fine.
Wednesday, Logan returned to school, thus I returned to work. But, when we get home, later that evening, Logan discovered a pee accident on one of our rugs in the living room. As I was cleaning it up, we discovered another damp (had been there longer than the first) spot on the same rug, under the train table.... and then Logan discovered some pee on one of the dog beds in the den. I was irritated but also concerned - since it's totally unlike the dogs to have accidents unless something is wrong (the dog door was open and they all know they can go outside). At first I suspected Odin, given he's the oldest and thought maybe this was the onset of incontinence, but later decided it must be Grover since he's the only one that hangs out under the train table....
Thursday morning just as I'm heading to work, we find another pee puddle on the rug in the kid's room - WTF. Something was clearly wrong. Jon was home Thursday (and Friday) so he took Grover in to get checked for a UTI on Thursday morning. But, later that day, he (and Logan - who was home sick again), discovered it was Odin who was peeing (Logan actually saw him). Once on the carpet and once on Jon's boot.... and then later that evening, he peed in his crate (Jon had crated him after the accidents). So, we made an appt for Odin on Friday morning.
Meanwhile, Grover's tests came back fine, no UTI, issues, etc.
Thinking it was Odin, we had kept him crated on Friday until we heard back from the vet. Only, Logan had discovered more pee - this time in the cat tower. :( And then again later, Logan saw Minion peeing on some jackets we had laying in the window seat of our bedroom (where he lays to sunbathe).... so I rushed home early to help, while Jon made an appt for Minion. I got home, picked Minion up, and took him to the vet to get checked.
Meanwhile, I'm thinking what the hell has changed?!? And then it hit me. I remembered Minion's escapade where he was gone for two nights alone in the cold, trapped under the house and probably pissed and miserable. So, I relay that all to the vet.... who agrees that it's sounding more and more like the cat. And, to top it off, Odin's results from the morning were back, and all was fine/no issues.
We got a urine sample for Minion - just in case - but at this point, we're both thinking this is a behavioral issue. The vet recommended quarantining Minion to a room, so at least we could then confirm it's the cat and no issues with the dogs. So, we do that. I bought 4 gallons of the odor remover cleaner from the store after the vet visit and proceeded to douse our house in it - spending every waking moment trying to sanitize and clean and remove any smells.
Later that evening, Logan reports to us that there's another accident. WTH MAN!! Odin is crated and Minion is quarantined to the laundry room (where his food/litter box are). Apparently Logan saw Tobey get up off the couch, and pee on the coffee table (and Jon's laptop). UGH.
So, we crate Tobey, and I go at cleaning again. And if it's not already implied at this point, I'm extremely worn out and frustrated and Jon is cussing out the entire house of animals, ready to kick them all to the curb. :(
Saturday morning, our vet calls and says no issues with the lab results from Minion.... and I proceed to tell her about Tobey. :( She says well, we should bring him in and test him too, just to be safe. But, we are all pretty sure this is behavioral. We're thinking Minion was pissed about getting locked out, so he let us know with a couple pee spots - and that somehow triggered a pissing match (literally) between Odin and Tobey since they seem to be marking everything.
So, I took Tobey in on Saturday morning for a urine sample (which came back as normal/no issues yesterday evening) and everyone is put on lock down.
Unfortunately, through the weekend, we've had a few more accidents!! We have tried to be EXTREMELY careful about keeping the dogs either crated, outside, or on leash next to me or Jon, every time.... unfortunately, Minion is harder to contain - since he's in the laundry room and guess what, I have to go in and out to continue the CLEANING of blankets and pillows and crap. So, of course, he got out (Callum opened the door wide open and I didn't catch Minion in time) and pees... Once on the kids trampoline. Once on the couch. Once on the middle of our bed. You get the idea.
I've lost track of days at this point, but I believe it was Sunday that I got a pheromone plug in (we used one when we were having separation anxiety with Lola and it seemed to help) for the laundry room. I also tried a calming gel that Minion didn't like (you have to feed it to him) and now have a little calming collar on him. All in the hopes that what stressed him out before, goes away.
The dogs are a different story. They've continued to stay on lock down - but I also got these "belly band" things that you wrap around their waist (and penis) to control the marking. I'm not sure if it's working because I don't think we're as consistent as we should be about keeping them on, and Odin and Tobey don't seem to like them (nothing bad, they just seem unsure of what to make of them), but I needed to find some solution, at least short term, since OH HEY, if we didn't have enough on our plates right now, we are leaving for Tahoe the day after Christmas to see some snow for a few days!
The plan was to leave Minion with Kim (but given all this we've decided to keep him quiet at home with Stacey checking in on him a couple times a day) and take the dogs with us. Well, I can't exactly have our dogs marking up the rental!!! So, unfortunately, they may not enjoy our Tahoe trip as much. We'll see.
Meanwhile - you can imagine how stressed and frustrated and defeated we are feeling right now. Jon is ready to give Minion up to a rescue, because he doesn't want to risk Minion marking something again and starting the vicious cycle with the dogs all over again. I'm not ready to give up, which is why I'm trying the hormonal stuff and cleaning like crazy, but honestly, I'm at my wit's end too.
It's Christmas Eve and I'm not feeling too spirited, which is unlike me. Our house is literally turned upside down right now - all of our area rugs are out on our driveway trying to dry with what little sunshine we DO have and I have blow dryers trying to dry out spots on the couch (where I got a little too happy with the solution during my cleaning - ha!).
And, to top it all off, whatever Logan had been dealing with over the last two weeks, finally caught up to Callum. He started getting sick yesterday - got really feverish and miserable while we were out to dinner last night, and threw up this morning.
Because, this Mama hasn't been cleaning enough already.
FUN. FUN. TIMES.
Merry Christmas everyone! ;-)