I knew my life had taken a strange turn when I told a friend on AIM that I was going AFK to palpitate the cat. But there y’are.
Loki is responding very well to the new shots-into-muscle, but of course, the only way to tell if it’s doing enough is to dip this little strip into his urine. Which requires getting fresh cat urine, uncontaminated by old cat urine. Yay.
My usual method for this is to lay down a litter pan full of aquarium gravel, which won’t absorb anything, but which provide an appropriately scratchy gravelly surface for him to dig in, then lock him in the bathroom with food and water until he uses the facilities. However, after a couple months of doing this once a week or more, and after the vets would hold him overnight tryin’ to get him to provide a sample, Loki has become increasingly surly about the whole affair. Isolation makes him feel thwarted and sulky and unwilling to go. He has become…Iron Bladder.
Yesterday, I shoved him in the bathroom right after his shot, at about 9:30 am. I went to the zoo. I came home. I checked. Pan was dry as a bone, Loki was asleep in the tub. I took a nap. I checked. Still dry, still asleep. I worked. I finished up some illos for an anime-themed game and sent ’em off. I did another Yakuza thug illo. I checked. Loki Wanted Out, but had not provided any samples. I cursed. I had dinner. I read some of the sequel to the “Book of the Dun Cow,” called “The Book of Sorrows.” It’s not as good as the first one. I don’t know why I was expecting something more upbeat, with that title, but I’m an idiot. I checked Loki. He had now gone something like eleven hours without peeing. After three hours, I’m doing the restroom boogie. I cursed. I allowed him out, under supervision, ready to fling him into the litter box if he showed the slightest sign of wanting to go. He cuddled. He ate. He beat up the other cat. He took a nap. He drank more water. We shot him up again. He cuddled some more.
At fourteen hours without going, James speculated that his bladder had exploded and he was too dumb to realize it. We rubbed his stomach in an effort to make him notice that he had a full bladder or something. He assumed that this was affection and purred a lot, then tried to eat James’s foot.
Finally, in despair, we went to bed, locking him back in the bathroom.
At 6:40 AM we were awakened to a hellish buzz-saw of a sound, followed by loud thumps and crashes. I thought, somewhat groggily, “Oh, god, the cat’s gotten ahold of a chainsaw.” As it turned out, the chainsaw was outside, and the tree trimmers had decided to go to work at 6:40 AM. Now, I have nothing inherently against 6:40 AM. I see it too rarely to have developed a grudge. But I feel, on some fundamental level, that it is not a good time to be lopping the giant peeling scaly bark-junk off palm trees, particularly not when this stuff falls from the tree to the tin-roofed carport directly outside my bedroom window, producing a sound sensation like “Texas Chainsaw Massacre Five: Revenge of the Palm Trees.” This is an apartment complex. Just because *I* work at home and can sleep until noon if I want, does not mean everyone else can.
In disgust, and having to make use of the facilities myself, I staggered to the bathroom, to discover that finally–FINALLY–Loki had delivered the goods. Bleary-eyed, accompanied by the happy sounds of tree dismemberment, I staggered to the kitchen, got my test strips, dipped one, and sat perched on the edge of the toilet like some kind of large bird of prey–the Wincing Urinehawk, maybe–counting off seconds to see if the strip would stay the friendly teal of good health, or turn the darkly familiar Sepia of Doom. “…fifteen-one-thousand…sixteen-one-thousand…CRASH! THUD! Bzzzzzzzaaaaaawww! THUD!…seventeen one-thousand…THUD!…eighteen one-thousand…”
It developed a slight edging of apple green, but stayed mostly turquoise, well within norms. I shouted “Eureka!” washed my hands, and staggered back to bed, where for some reason I had a vividly tactile dream about trying to throw pots on the wheel in order to make a vessel for the soul of a dead girl who was evidentally a friend of mine and wanted to come back as a banshee, but needed me to throw her a pot to do so. But hey, I’m cool with that.
And that was my morning.