That was early last week. On Thursday, I noticed that Scarlett was straining to urinate, and she kept going in and out of the litter box, trying to pee. The vet had mentioned this as a classic UTI symptom, so I was a bit alarmed. Since I was supposed to collect a urine sample anyway to see if the 2 weeks of antibiotics had actually worked, I figured this would be a good time to try. So, I shut Scarlett in the office with an old litter box with non-absorbent litter provided by the vet.
And... Scarlett refused to use it.
"I don't know what this thing is for, but I shall sit next to it and lick my paw. Ho hum."
The hydration station.
I ended up leaving Scarlett in over night, much to the angst of Melly, who voiced her objections loudly and attempted to burrow under the office door. And still, Scarlett refused to use the litter box.
"I shan't go. You can't make me."
I finally let Scarlett out in the morning before I left for work, and she made a bee line for the usual litter box, which she used without incident.
Sarah said that maybe Scarlett's bladder was so full that this appearance of normalcy could be misleading. She got us a prescription for a painkiller, in addition to the phosphorus blocking supplement, in case pain was keeping Scarlett from using the litter box.
I added some cut up packing peanuts to the litter box in the office and shut Scarlett in there again on Saturday evening. Once again, she remained stubborn. I made the cats' breakfast yesterday, which now takes longer to prepare than anything I ever make myself to eat (kidding [kind of]), gave Scarlett her first dose of painkiller, and then put her back in the office. I checked on her periodically, and was relieved when I walked in and smelled the unmistakable aroma of cat urine.
My relief was very short lived. It turned out that Madam Stubborn had peed in the box where the cats' toys are kept! So frustrating. Not only was there no sample, but most of the cats' toys were ruined.
My next plan is to try crumpled shredded waxed paper in the litter box, and this time I may put Scarlett in the bathroom, where there are fewer things she could ruin. The bathroom is also where the litter box is normally kept, so hopefully the familiar location will help things along. (This means I'll have to put the usual litter box somewhere else, which hopefully won't confuse Melly too much.)
The upsides: Scarlett seems to be using the litter box just fine and the diarrhea is gone. Also, she is so happy on the painkillers. She seems a tad loopy, but is very energetic and affectionate. I am not sure how much of it is the painkiller making her drunk, and how much of it is her just being relieved at the lack of pain. The thought of the latter makes me sad to think about, since it would mean that she's in quite a lot of pain normally, poor thing. Well, hopefully the kidney and joint supplements will help her feel better in the long run.