Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Myrna Loy, HCM Cat, One Not to be Ignored

Myrna Loy, our HCM cat, is not one to be ignored when she sets her mind to it. Let me explain. Does your HCM cat have litter box issues that confound you? Mine, if you remember, is on Valium for anxiety and litter box issues. It took awhile but since January with Valium and behavior modification techniques, she's pretty good about letting us know when she needs to go. It's a process whereby she 
cries, or paces and we must acknowledge in x # of nano seconds her needs, take the treat bag, ask if she needs the litter box, and then follow her to the litter boxes either up or downstairs. She lets us know which box by leading the way. She does on occasion and when we are gone, use the box on her own. What's really interesting is how she wakes me at least twice in the middle of the night to use the box. Here is where she cannot be ignored. She's very insistent. She stands on my chest up to my neck, leans into my face, gets very close, and then begins a series of short bursts of cries. "MeOW!" "MeOW!" but with her signature chirping/trilling noise included in the mix. I know she's there because at some point I sense the weight of her 9 lb. frame on my chest just as I begin to hear her chirping. When I open my eyes, she leans in even closer and cries more and then walks all over me. It's my cue to get up and help her go. Sometimes she runs off if she thinks I'm getting up. If I don't get up, she's back immediately doing it all over again until I do get up. Then I check the boxes and check to see if she's gone (because sometimes she has gone before waking me) then give her treats and encourage her to go. Then we go to the next room and check those boxes. And here she usually goes and if not, it's back to the other room where she usually goes. From time to time she'll act as if she doesn't need to go and I'll go back to bed where a few minutes later, I hear her using the box which means I must get up again and treat her and praise her for using the box. The process takes 3-15 minutes depending. Exhausting but it works and helps her see the box as a positive thing. Besides, as I said, she's very insistant and not to be ignored. "MeOW!"

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