Saturday, 10 November 2012

Losing It

Several days ago, I did a bad thing.

I came home from the school run, to find yet another steaming turd in the middle of my bed, and an Indigo smugly washing her paws next to it. I'm sorry to admit I then proceeded to do all the things one is Never Supposed To Do When Dealing With A Cat.

I shouted and swore. I picked her up, and none too gently either. I pushed her nose into the poop. I smacked her behind. I put the poop into the litter box, grabbed her again, and pulled her paw through the litter over the poop. I generally behaved like a big bully. Indigo ran and hid, and avoided me for the rest of the day.

Yes, I am appalled I lost my temper. No, I don't recommend this as a training technique for cats. Please don't do this. For the rest of the day Indigo was actually frightened of me, and I hated to have abused my size and power in that way. By the evening she was back to her normal snuggly self, but that's scarcely the point.

But the next day? Poop in the litter box. And the next, and the next (today). Don't tell me cats can't understand cause and effect. This one can.

Yesterday she tried to test me. In full view, she got onto my bed and squatted down, one eye on me to see what I would do... standing up and using a slightly raised voice sent her packing though- she tried this twice and then clearly thought better of it, took herself off to the litter tray and peed in there. She got a cuddle and a treat for her troubles. Today I saw her eyeing me/ the bed thoughtfully before trotting off to the litter tray and peeing in there. I've put her in the living room whenever I've been out, and we've had a non weed and pooed on bed for 3 days now- after a month of daily boil washes.

I'm not sure what to make of all this if I'm honest. My concern is that- ok Indigo will test me repeatedly I am sure... so when she figures out that I'm not going to go bonkers again will she go right back to her old ways? At worst, this is a momentary lull, but I'm not knocking it.

I already know that the best way to deal with Indigo is to mimic her. If she's following Sofia round, posturing, if I then follow HER around, puff my shoulders up and hiss, catlike, she doesn't like that ONE BIT and stops her own aggression. Thinking about it, I'm not surprised such an overt show of dominance and aggression (from me) 'worked'- if only temporarily.

I'm just not sure how to best translate that into an ongoing response- because clearly I'm not about to start crapping on my bed.

Sigh... why is this one such very hard work???