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Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Oscar...the imperfection of his actions confound us...but we love him

Oscar in the front, elder Omar his papa in the back 
Omar and his son Oscar have been with us about a month now and have settled in very well. We really love them. Oscar is a year old and Omar will 14 next month. They are truly bonded and call for each other when they are apart in the house, usually joining up for naps on the bed, and coming together for window sunnings, and movie watching at night on the couch, where all of us human and beasts are stuffed together but happy as clams. Oscar likes to snuggle with Martyn during television time, Omar is my guy.

Every morning when Martyn gets up at 5:30, I stay in bed, and the minute they hear him get up, the two of them arrive with enthusiasm on the bed, to lie on me like a couch.

We have been frustrated with some of Oscar's...confusion, and I have tried everything to get him past it. Oscar uses the litter box regularly, but about 50% of the time, he decides to go pee in the house, in a specific spot by the back door. I tried bringing in a second litter box, I tried cleaning the box-literally-about four times a day. He also will poop in one of two spots on regular basis, but still uses the litter box too. Omar has no issues.

"Can't you explain it to him, Omar?" I ask him.

I can deal with a cat poop-God does know poop is just a thing around here we don't bat an eye at-but cat pee is another issue. Fortunately, he is doing it in a spot that isn't in the main part of the house. Unfortunately it is on the old wood floor. I tried spraying different urine away products that say they keep the cat from re-peeing there. False advertising. I did not want a litter box in my front hallway, so we now put a piece of tin foil down, and then a shop rag on top of that. It keeps it from soaking in the floor. I have caught him in the act and scolded him, I have caught him in the litter box and praised him. I do know there was always sort of a doggie smell there when we moved in. The house is from 1760, I am sure someone peed there at some point, maybe a moose, maybe an early settler. It's just odd he immediately used the litter box regularly, and then started this behavior. The spot he is going on is literally about six feet around the corner to his box.

We talked about separating them and putting Oscar out with the elders. But I couldn't do it. I am sure Omar would have actually kind of liked his independence in the house, but they really are bonded. I've never seen a male father cat so bonded with a youngster.

Omar and Oscar were relinguished to the shelter. From what I understand, they came from a very cat heavy population household that it sounds like had grown because they had not spayed/neautered-Omar was still in tact at age 13. The couple had retired and decided to reduce the cats because they could not afford it. We think there were so many cats around that it had become a free for all. Oscar is also tiny and I would assume was inbred if Omar was running around mating. We also notice that Oscar is ravenous, where as Omar is more mellow about eating, but eats well. When Oscar was at the shelter he had runny stool for many months and they did a bunch of tests, when he arrived here his stool was fine within a few days. I think he was simply stressed. He also barfed his food quite a bit on arrival, and that has subsided, and again I think he was used to having to gorge his food with all the other cats around.

So, that is part of the deal of taking on animals. You have to work through it, try lots of different options and give it time. I really hope Oscar grows out of this one behavior. He and Omar are here to stay...assuming he doesn't start peeing on every thing...but I am confidant that isn't going to happen or he might have to live in the elder suite.

And I look at him, when he has made this mistake, he just looks so stinking perplexed. He is really a sweet guy, as is Omar.

Omar is a truly lovely guy, going on 14 in a couple weeks