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Monday, October 29, 2007  

Phantom Pooper

Just one thing before moving on to the new entry: Adopt Marvin!

Not getting declawed, okay???

M. Small is still in diapers. Yes, we know -- we've been slacking on the toilet training, even for a long period a few months ago when it looked like he was going to just go ahead and train himself. Actually, especially during that period. We were like, "Hell, looks like he's got it handled. Knock yourself out, little dude!" But then he lost interest in the process and we're having a hell of a time getting him back on track.

So obviously, there's still a diaper disposal unit in his bedroom. But since we usually change him in whatever part of the house he's in at the time we notice a new toxic aura surrounding him, it doesn't usually get used any more except when Trash dresses him in the morning. But occasionally a big old poopy gets stuffed in there, and occasionally it doesn't get pushed all the way down to where you're not supposed to be able to smell it any more.

That's what I thought had happened a few weeks ago when I walked into his empty room and discovered that the air inside it had become a 10' x 8' brick of solid stink. But when I checked the diaper unit, everything was in order. The gooey brown pile on the floor next to his toy chest, however? Way out of order.

We knew that Turtle had diarrhea the past couple of months -- not just because the steroids were supposed to do that to her, but also because I'd accidentally walked in on her using the litter box once while she had her back to me. And, by the way, if anyone has any tips on how to unsee something, let me know.

But we didn't realize she might be having trouble controlling it until one day this summer, when Trash found a little puddle in M. Small's playroom that looked like dark chocolate pudding and smelled like a water treatment plant. At Turtle's next appointment, Dr. P. told us to keep an eye on it, and hopefully it would stop the next time we tried tapering Turtle's dosage down. And indeed, it seemed to be getting better until I discovered M. Small's smeary new area rug.

Except that there's one very important thing I didn't mention in the last entry about Strat's bum tumor and Dr. R.'s examination thereof. While she was looking up his bum, he released a little squirt of brown liquid onto her (ungloved) hand that didn't come from his anal glands. He had diarrhea too.

Imagine my surprise when I learned that it might be Strat who had been leaving runny little gifts around (and yes, by this point there had been more than one). This was good news. It meant that once Strat was better, he wouldn't be dropping sloppy plops of glop around any more. And it also meant that maybe Turtle wasn't as bad as we thought, and might be able to hang on longer (about which we later turned out to be wrong). It was good news all around. Well, except from Dr. R.'s point of view, although she washed her hands with equanimity. Equanimity, and lots of soap.

But then, for about a week, the stealth poo attacks at home increased in frequency. Used to be that if I found a damp spot on the carpet or in the laundry, I had the esoteric if totally unmarketable skill of being able to determine by the smell whether it had been Strat or Orca who had peed outside the box. I can't do that with three cats in the house, and I could never do it with poo, anyway. Never thought I'd want to. But now we kind of needed to know whether it was Strat or Turtle who was having sphincter trouble. I kept meaning to collect a sample the next time to see if the vet's lab could trace the source, but every time I found one I was so grossed out that all I could think to do was get rid of it as quickly as possible.

And then, a few weeks ago, we were all in M. Small's bedroom putting away his clean laundry. Suddenly he said, "I smell something!" The boy's got a keen nose, much keener than mine, and maybe even as keen as Trash's. But the poo smell that was suddenly drifting out of his closet was powerful enough to knock over Tycho Brahe. We had just received a delivery, and we were about to catch the culprit red-handed. Or brown-anused, as the case may be. We struggled to focus our watery eyes, and we watched as out of the closet, at full speed, came…

Phantom. Should have known.

One cat with terminal anemia. One cat with ass cancer. One cat who was using biological weapons. For the first time in over a decade and a half, Trash and I found ourselves contemplating whether a zero-cat household is the way to go. We kept her locked out of M. Small's room for a few days after that, and there haven't been any more incidents. Either she just had a little bout of Pepe LePew's revenge that is now over, or she's too afraid to try it again now that she's been busted. Either way is fine with me.

But just to be safe, maybe our next pet will be a pig.

posted by M. Giant 5:39 PM 5 comments

5 Comments:

Ahhhh I followed the link to the original Phantom post, and I laughed so hard it still hurts! Especially when I got to the part about the storm drain. So funny! Our cats are also big fans of the phantom pooping. Why? WHY?!!

By Anonymous Kelly, at October 29, 2007 at 7:58 PM  

One of my dad's best stories from Boy Scout camp back in the 50s is the one about the sumer when the whole camp was -- well, not terrorized so much as appalled when someone took to leaving a pile of poo neatly between the latrine's two holes. Whoever it was came to be known as the Phantom Crapper.

Pass my thanks on to your kitty for giving me a new secondary association for the phrase. Star Wars wasn't cutting it anymore.

-Laurabelle

By Anonymous Anonymous, at October 29, 2007 at 8:09 PM  

Less disgusting but sometimes as interesting as the Phantom Poo, is the Random Turd.

It's lonely, soft and damp, waiting for someone to tread on it in a half-awake state on the way to the toilet.

While you're cleaning it from between your toes, you ponder how it got there, meters away from the litter box, with nary a string nor any other apparent mode of transport.

Perhaps the Easter Bunny is moonlighting.

By Anonymous Will Stanton, at October 29, 2007 at 8:27 PM  

Must be the week for it. We had a Protest Poo recently, as Teslagrl was out of town and the older cat doesn't think I'm good company.

Jokes on her, though: that pile of clothes is set to get donated.

Tycho Brahe; heh heh.

By Blogger Febrifuge, at October 29, 2007 at 9:19 PM  

Totally off subject- they have Lightening McQueen lamps at Menards. Maybe other Cars characters too, but mostly I figured M.Small would be about the red car...

By Blogger lap, at October 30, 2007 at 1:24 PM  

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