Been quiet online here, mostly due to hanging out on a couple of private Slack channels instead of my normal haunts. :)
Quick rundown of the eventful couple of weeks:
--stray cat in back yard has produced litter of 5 kittens, we have talked with my TNR* coworker and borrowed traps and a condo to attempt to get them so we can hopefully find homes for the kittens and neuter and release the mother so no other cats come in and fill the niche.
--perhaps in part due to the kittens in the back, and the new LitterRobot, and an infected tooth we discovered at his vet visit yesterday, Sora has started peeing all over the house. We trapped him in a room for 48 hours, until he finally deigned to provide us a sample (that cat can cross his legs forever), and had it analyzed and it's perfectly healthy so we expect that all the upheaval in his life is causing him a lot of stress right now. We've provided him with an alternate litterbox for the duration, and he's had a butt shot of antibiotics and an appointment to get the tooth removed, and FINGERS CROSSED we can find someone ELSE to foster the kittens.
--Nefer has inexplicably lost a pound, so they took blood from her to test and see what's up with that. *sigh* these cats are competing to see who's the most expensive.
--we're talking with a contractor to build a new retaining wall on the south side of the house, since the original builders didn't build the old one high enough (and it's on the neighbor's property) to prevent the soil (coughclaycough) from eroding any further and sending our house toppling onto the neighbor's house. Okay that may be catastrophizing a bit, but our A/C slab is already tilting too much and we're going to end up replacing the unit if we don't get that slab fixed and the wall built so it doesn't keep tilting.
--because Toby's going to hit the two-year anniversary of this job soon, when the university will start contributing to a retirement account for him, we've met with the campus reps for the financial institution that handles that, and...we're doing ok. More than OK, because apparently we're better off than the average people in our position, according to the rep, even though we both have free-floating money anxiety instilled in us by our parents (and the bill for the house repairs isn't helping with that). We've seen the numbers, and were quite glad that we saw those numbers before we went to the vet and saw those numbers (AUGH CATS WHY YOU SO EXPENSIVE?).
--Okay, okay, the full story of trapping Sora in the room: we locked him into the spare bedroom/bathroom area because those are protected with childproof locks on the door (back when Nefer was radioactive), otherwise he'd open the door himself. We provided him with a tray containing the vet's nonabsorbent litter substitute, but that wasn't good enough for His Nibs, who refused to use it at all, as the spycam we set up revealed. Finally, I woke up at, like, 5AM on Saturday terrified that he was going to give himself a kidney infection, and googled ways of getting urine samples from cats and found a suggestions: a box with litter in it that you cover with plastic wrap, so they can see and smell it, but it won't contaminate the sample. I figured I'd do that, and to prevent him scratching holes in the plastic and losing the sample, I'd just sit in there and read until he peed.
In the bathroom, I assembled the box (actually, a low box lid), with litter and some of his old used litter so it'd smell like him, and put plastic wrap (actually Glad Press N Seal since we failed to have any Saran wrap) on it, and stepped into the spare bedroom, where I witnessed him Assuming the Position on top of the bed. I rush over there, shoved a corner of the box right between his furry little legs, and obtained the sample. Pipetted it into the container the vet provided, taped the lid on, wrapped it in a ziploc bag, and stuck it in the fridge until the vet opened and I could take it in.
And that is how you out-stubborn a cat. Or at least how you take advantage of a stubborn cat.
* trap-neuter-release--there's a program on campus that she's heavily involved with to manage the campus cats
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