While I was out today and Eva was home, Arwen defecated on some plastic near the sewing machine. We are convinced that these incidents are emotional issues. The ONE thing that's changed in the apartment is that Eva put up a black curtain by her bedroom door to block light from the living room if I'm watching late-night TV. At first it was in the hall between the living room and the bathroom, and then Eva moved it to her bedroom door frame. This may have scared Arwen and made her nervous about using the litter boxes in that location.
We have her locked in the bathroom right now and taken down the curtain, as she defecated on the carpet back beyond the sofa a little while ago. At this point with the things going on in my life and in Eva's, we can no longer deal with the situation. We cannot abide where if we add a simple curtain or change something else in the apartment that we end up freaking out a cat and causing it to piss and shit all over the place. It's too much stress on Arwen and too much stress on us.
We talked about it tonight, and we have agreed to give Arwen up.
(Please see HISTORY below for more information on what we have done to deal with the situation.)
I will be taking her to the Tompkins County SPCA as soon as possible - tomorrow, Friday, as soon as I can make an appointment. If you or anyone you know can take her, please let me know ASAP.
She is a very sweet and lovable cat, but that living in our small apartment with two other cats - one who has never accepted her - has caused her some emotional distress. She would do well as a single cat or somewhere where she can be an indoor/outdoor cat. (She has been an indoor cat all her life.) She is fixed and has had all her shots. She craves attention and love (which we have given to her in abundance). She is absolutely adorable.
This has been a hard decision for us. We have talked about giving her up before, but we loved her too much and were willing to compromise our quality of life so we could keep her. But we can't do it anymore.
Maybe we didn't do everything we could to fix the situation. Maybe we are responsible for inadvertently encouraging to use plastic as an acceptable secondary bathroom. I'm sure I'm forgetting a lot of other things we may or may not have tried. I know Eva tried making the boxes more accessible in addition to making sure they were cleaner.
Please don't write comments about us being cruel, making a hasty decision, or not trying everything. If you look at the history section below, you'll see that we HAVE tried if not everything then damn near everything. We don't want to give her up, but there's nothing more we can do. It's breaking our hearts.
If you want her or have someone who can take her IMMEDIATELY, please let me know ASAP.
Now if you'll excuse me, I have to go and cry.
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Info on how we got here is here
assuming my computer is up and running. More pix of her are here
Basically, we got Arwen back in October 2002. Her whiskers were chomped when we got her, so she wasn't welcome by some other cats somewhere (no slight to Rauncie and her loving brood). Kip adored her from the start and loves playing with her. My cat Ember has never liked her and still hisses at her occasionally even today.
After Arwen was fixed she started having litter box issues. She would piss in the litter box occasionally, but if the boxes weren't pristine she would use the tub or the bathroom floor. We put a second box in the bathroom, but the behavior continued. This eventually spread to the carpeted hall outside the bathroom. We would clean the carpet with Nature's Miracle and use another spray whose name I've forgotten to discourage her use of that area, but it didn't help. We would lock her in the bathroom for the day when she did this, visiting her frequently, making sure the boxes in the bathroom were clean. The behavior continued. We tried other techniques to try and discourage the behavior as well; I can't recall all of them.
Eva eventually put a thick plastic sheet and two more litter boxes in the hallway. She would use the boxes occasionally and then piss on the plastic. Eva removed one of the boxes and started using these "doggie diaper" sheets in the box out in the hall, our thought being that she didn't like a dirty box and that this box in the hall would be cleaner and drier (with the absorbent sheet below the grating of the box). We had three boxes for three cats. Arwen continued to use the box occasionally and then use the sheet outside the bathroom to urinate and defecate. Eva would clean the sheet frequently and change the lining in the box even more frequently.
Outside of the litter box behavior, she's also been known to claw at the paneling outside my door and to eat a plant of Eva's by the windowsill.
She is also incredibly cute, loving, playful, and has a wonderful if needy personality. I may complain about her "4am meetings" where she'd wake me up by running over me, mewing, and licking my hand, but a part of me really found this adorable.
We've recently been leaving the door to our apartment open to help keep things cool, as have our neighbors Sarah and Chris. Occasionally Kip or Ember have walked over to our neighbor's apartment. I do not know if Arwen has ventured over there or not. She loves people, especially Sarah who gives her catnip.