Sunday, March 12, 2017

So Smart, She's Dumb

Further to "cats marching to different drummers..." My foster cat Pris (I guess it's one ess; who knew?) totally does this. She doesn't look at all like the cat pictured, but she does this all right. Sometimes she uses her beautifully designed cat's tongue to scoop water out of the dish. Often, however, she dips her paw in the water and licks it off.

Some people would probably reckon this is a sign that Pris is smarter than the average cat. I'd say this falls rather under the heading of "sharp enough to cut herself."

Shall we talk about the results of this super-smart feline drinking behavior? Yes, let's.

1. The water dish becomes filthy every day. When I refill it every morning, I have to rinse out a layer of dirt, fuzz, and who knows what other crud off the bottom of the dish. This is totally new in all my experience with three previous cats (including one still with us, Sinead - who, by the way, still doesn't get along with Pris, after almost a month and a half together). I used to get away with only giving the cats' water dish a scrubbing once or twice a week, as the build up of cat spit started to make the water yucky. But that oily, yellowish, slow-building yuckiness was far preferable to this continually refreshing layer of filth.

2. Pris drinks a lot - if I fill the water dish twice a day, she will empty it twice a day; and this is a dish that ever used to run out of water when I had Tyrone and Sinead drinking out of it, and I never refilled it more than once a day. Because of this vast intake of water, combined with her tendency to drink with her paws, Pris tracks wet footprints everywhere she goes - including, apparently, the litter box. As a consequence, clay from the litter box sticks to her paws and also gets tracked everywhere. And that means clayey smears on things that didn't used to get clayey smears on them. I may have mentioned in my previous "cats" post that one of Pris's favorite places to walk and lie down is on my pillows; I mean the ones I lay my head on. Do you see where I'm going with this? I am forever noticing clayey smears on the pillowcases where I lay my head. This is, in a word, gross.

3. And then there's the peeing. Oy vay, the peeing! Since Pris moved in, the daily size, heft, and number of the clumps in the litter box have broken all in-house records. As I mentioned in a previous post, they're positioned where they're hard to scoop out of the box - down at the bottom and against a side, or even in a corner of the box, where it sticks to the inner surface of the tray. Worse, almost every day during the last week or more, there has been an accident in which a cat - I can't be certain which - hits the edge of the box with a urine stream, which then either forms a puddle that runs across the stupidly non-level floor of the kitty litter room, or (again, something that never used to happen) somehow gets under the litter box and forms a loathesome mud puddle there, with the aid of kicked-out-of-the-box fragments of clay. YUCK. In mile-high letters of spew!

3.5. It might also bear noting that I'm going through kitty litter faster than I ever did before.

4. I don't know if there's a connection, but I have a theory that Pris is suffering from some kind of medical condition, either as a result of her over-drinking, or causing her to do so. As my theory develops, it begins to connect this feline water intoxication with the cat's skin problems, which also beat anything I have seen in 15 years of living with other cats. She sheds more dandruff than I've ever noticed coming off one of my cats; and mind, Tyrone was a dark-colored cat, so I would have noticed if he was flaking. At times, she also shows patches of dry, white, scaly looking skin. I mean to say, do cats get leprosy? Or maybe this is kitty eczema or psoriasis? Could dipsomania be a co-occurring condition? I'm open to advice. Besides the obvious - "Take this cat to a vet!" - which I will be doing anyway.

But apart from the cat being a dipso, let's get back to that scooping-water-with-the-paws thing. Yes, it's adorable and shows, once again, a smart cat who marches to her own drummer. On the other hand, its results are so altogether unsatisfactory that I reckon she would be smarter if she cut it out.

No comments: