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Seven days of Phantom

LM1313
June 26th, 2007, 05:53 PM
T
First, a quick recap of the situation: I'm catsitting my mom's cat, Phantom, who tends to be paranoid and has been ESPECIALLY paranoid recently due to the neighbor's big tom cat invading her yard and trying to fight with her. My mom has been having trouble getting her to go outside to pee and poop, which is essential because she won't get within two feet of the litterbox. (Like I said, paranoid.) We got Phantom a vallium prescription just before my folks left on vacation . . . for a MONTH!

~*~

Well, we got off to a rocky start. Phantom refused to go outside in the morning and I was afraid if I gave her vallium she would refuse to go in. (I get up at 5:30 and go to work at 6:30, so there's time limit.) I wouldn't want Stinky, the neighbor's cat, trying to fight her when she's doped up. So I left her in and, as expected, came home to poop and a puddle.

The second day I picked her up and took her out in the morning, a pathetic little lump of fur that growled and hissed at me until I set her down, at which she spat and hissed at the world in general.

The third day I left her in and, miraculously, she used the litterbox I had set up for her. Seldom has the sight of peed on kitty litter been greeted with such enthusiasm, I'm sure.

The fourth day she decided she was afraid of the litterbox again and pooped beside it. (She always goes by the bottom of the stairs, so I had cleverly set up the litterbox there.

The fifth day I propped the screen door open and sat outside reading a book. After many false starts, she came out, growling a little just in case. She did her business and went in. Hallejulah!

The sixth day I propped the screen door again. She came out and, feeling a little more confident, sat under the vine growing up the big pine tree. I went in for a sandwich and as I came back . . . lo and behold, Stinky was stalking towards Phantom, clearly spoiling for a fight. "HEY!" I shouted at the top of my lungs. He hadn't seen me and he jumped straight in the air, then streaked under the bushes as I ran towards him shouting. Phantom simultaneously sped the other direction, into the house. But she sat a few feet inside the doorway and watched as I pulled out the hose and systematically hosed down the bridal wreath bushes until an orange cat shot out from under them and leapt the fence to his own yard.

From day seven and beyond Phantom has been much more relaxed. I prop the door for her and she meanders out and drinks from the bucket outside (always preferable to indoor water, for some reason) and eats crab grass before sitting under the tree watching the squirrels. Sometimes I set the sprinkler up right in front of the gate to thwart Stinky, sometimes I just watch for him. I've surprised him a good two or three times and run at him screaming like a madwoman. Indoors, Phantom is also more relaxed (probably because she doesn't have to sit on a full bladder worrying about where she's going to pee anymore). I've been plying her with treats and now she purrs when I pet her and rubs against my hand. The fact that I don't chase her off the furniture also pleases her and she even deigned to nap on my bed yesterday.

The only downside is that I miss my own kitty trio . . . I swing by once a day to visit them, feed them, clean out the litterbox. Sometimes I stay for a few minutes, sometimes a few hours. Yesterday I spent the night with them and woke up with cats pressed against me.