Kitten poo and mad people

As usual when life gets busy, I get worse at journalling.  The main thing that’s been taking up my time (apart from work), is studying.  I knew the Honours year is a hard one, but I didn’t know it would be HARD.  We’re only three weeks into term, and I’m already finding it a struggle to keep up with all the reading that’s needed… not to mention the thinking.  It’s great fun though, and I’m absolutely loving the challenge.  Just don’t expect me to have a life outside of study for the next four years….
Work is another challenge, but thankfully another enjoyable one.  I’ve had a kind of promotion (it’s complicated), the end result of which is I’m involved in a really exciting long-term project, which (if all goes well) could give me even bigger and better opportunities further down the track.  It means I’m a lot busier than I was, though, and I’ve got a lot more responsibilities to juggle.
Oh well, at least I never get bored 🙂

In kitten news, they’re just as cute and just as infuriating as always. Just when we thought we had them litter-box trained, Parsnips has decided the carpet beside the front door is a much better place to poo. So we spend a lot of time cleaning the carpet and trying to find some sort of smell that will discourage her – so far lemons and the fancy spray from the pet shop have failed. Any suggestions gratefully accepted!
Anyway, pictures of the cute:

And in embroidery news, I’ve made a little bit of progress:

Can you tell what it is yet? 🙂

All of a sudden it’s just a few weeks until our big Ireland trip. This time three weeks from now I’ll be somewhere over Europe, descending towards Heathrow (having already been travelling for nearly 40 hours, and still with another 6 hour bus trip ahead of me to get to the Outlaws’ place – whose stupid idea was it to do the whole thing non-stop???)
I’m almost completely organised – my to-do list still has a few wee jobs on it (like find my NZ/UK converter plug so I can charge my phone), and I don’t actually have a flight home from Brisbane yet (the airline cut the flight I was originally booked on, and the alternative goes via Auckland, so I’m considering staying the night in Brisbane so I can get the direct flight to Christchurch in the morning), but otherwise it’s all coming together nicely.
Actually, speaking of Australia, I should put something on BCAUS to at least organise a meetup in Sydney on my way over.  Organising a Brisbane meetup will have to wait until I know how long I’m there.

In totally weird news, a certain local Bookcrosser has been masquerading as a new member and posting anonymous comments on an old LJ entry.  It was pretty obvious who it was from the start, but I played along to see where she’d take it.  Not very far, as it turned out – she lasted three comments before she started insulting us.  That was amusing enough, but then she followed up by sending me a friends request!  As the Tui ads would say, Yeah, right.  No idea what planet she’s on…

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  1. well you know you have a place to crash here if you need one, though we are about an hour away from Brisbane Airport I dont mind picking you up or you could catch the train direct from the airport to 5 minutes from my place. Just puttin it out there.

    1. That would be fantastic, thanks!!! I’ll let you know once I’ve got the flights sorted and know what I’m actually doing.
      ^ ^

  2. First of all, if you haven’t already, wash the carpet area with an enzymatic cleaner that is designed to remove smells. Your cat will continue to smell the area even after you clean up with soap and water, which may encourage the behavior.
    Like urine marking, defecating in inappropriate places can signal a lot of things. One cause may be that you don’t have enough litter boxes to suit your cat, or they aren’t situated in places she likes She may prefer one box for urinating and one for defecating (one of my brood is like that), so it may take a little trial and error to find a place for a poo-box that she’ll like, if that is the problem.
    Defecating outside the box is also a form of territory marking for cats – cats in the wild leave stool to mark their boundaries. The fact that she does it by the front door may be telling. Are there any other cats (or other animals, for that matter) that may come sniffing around your front door? You cat may smell or hear them on the other side of the door and be leaving a message to potential interlopers that this is her house. If that’s the case, this will be a harder habit to break her of. Is there any chance you can leave a litter box by the front door to encourage her to mark territory in a more appropriate way?
    While trying to break her of the habit, most sprays are going to be worthless. You can try pinning aluminum foil to the floor in the area she’s been soiling; cat’s don’t like the feel of it so they’ll avoid the area. Depending on where the spot is, you can consider moving a piece of furniture to block access to it, or putting a liter box directly on top of the area. These are only temporary fixes to protect the carpet and you’d still have to discover and address the underlying reason your cat is doing this. The nice thing about putting a litter box directly on the area is that you can begin to move it to a more appropriate place. This is best done inches at a time, so gradually that the cat feels comfortable in moving with it as it changes position.

    1. Thanks, that was really helpful. You might be right about the territory-marking thing – we used to get a lot of cats hanging round outside the front door when George was around, and we had a problem with one of them spraying for a while. I haven’t noticed them so much since he’s been gone (presumably they don’t see the kittens as any sort of threat yet), but there could still be a bit of smell lingering outside.
      Unfortunately we can’t move the litter box to the actual place she was pooing (it was literally right in front of the door!), but I moved it as close as I could, and that seems to have done the trick – we haven’t had any accidents for a few days (well, except for the odd miscalculation of exactly where the edges of the tray are :-)).
      I also set up another litter tray in the laundry, which I’m hoping to convince them to switch to eventually (much as I love the kittens, their litter tray isn’t really the sight I want to greet visitors with!). They’ve started using that one about equally with the front door one, so I’m hopeful in a month or two we’ll be able to gradually dispense with the front door one. And by that time they’ll be partial outdoor cats (I know all the arguments against it, but it’s normal practice here, and with no air conditioning I’m getting tired of not being able to have any doors or windows open in case the cats get out!) – we’re just waiting for them to complete their innoculations before we start introducing them to the big wide world.
      Anyway, thanks again for the advice!
      ^ ^

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