Monday, February 28, 2011

Potty Problems

Finally a regular post, yippee. As an adult I do not remember ever having problems litter box training a cat. Even kittens were easy. All I ever did was when they first came in to the house I would pick them up and put them in the box one time. No watching waiting for them to go, and having to catch them in the act to put them in the box. Once they knew where the litter box was they always used it. I have a faint memory as a kid of having to catch a cat in the act of going and placing them in the box or outside to train them. I do not remember if it was one of our cats or while at a friends.

Similar to one I have.

I have had litter box issues for other reasons. Mostly due to aggressive burring of the evidence. Litter gets piled up in the corner and overflows the box. Mittens is bad about doing this, she will dig for one full minute then spend twice as long burring it. Girl, well she is a special needs kitty. She is too afraid of the other cats and will wee on most anything I leave on the floor. She is good and will not go on the carpet but will go on my dirty cloths, I toss my socks on the floor of my closet this is her first target. I have learned to put a towel down next to the litter box, she will use it. She does use the box to poo.

He really is big!

I had to get an extra large litter box for Mittens to use. After watching her put her front paws up on the edge of the other ones I had, in order to use them I decided she needed more room. Being the largest plus “hidden” in the second bathroom it gets used the most, filling up first. I have 3 others besides, just regular ones. Two have the higher sides to help keep the litter in the box, like the one in the picture except not sifting. Mittens still uses them, having to be half out of the box to do so. Over all though little to no problems.

Next to Girl, on the couch.

Enter The Martian. Big Boy. My 15 pound kitty, all muscle no fat. I have a toy box in my second bedroom/computer room that I store the cats toys in when I vacuum. One day while sitting at the computer I heard him get into the box. The next thing I heard was water pouring into the cardboard box. Wanting to be near me like all the others he was in the room when I was. The litter box in here was one of the smaller ones. I am not sure that was the reason, but the toy box was a bit larger and did smell like cat. I had to pick him up and move him 5 feet to the litter box.

On the cat tree.

A couple of times I noticed kitty “tootsie rolls” next to the box in the computer room and the one in my bedroom. I could not figure out what was going on until one day I caught him in the act. He was all the way into the box from side to side except his butt was on the edge. So being completely in the box he still managed to go outside of it. I got a bigger container (a plastic storage container I had, did not have any extra $$ to buy a box.) I still had to keep him from tinkling in the toy box, he finally has stopped from going in there.

Quick drink of milk. Special treat.

Even with all of that he still has problems. Main problem is that most of the cats no matter what room they are in will find the one I am in and use the box there. The Martian is no exception. Just about a week ago he climbed into the one in the front room. It is one like in the pic. Being one of the smaller ones he put his two front paws in, being half way in the box. Then he decided to let go, problem is when I jump up to catch him to put his rear into the box, he gets scared off and runs away. So am having problems teaching him which end goes into the box.

In computer room looking at me.

I have had many times where I have had to help him get proper placement into the box so that when he does his business it will end up in the box. I can not really blame him, poor thing he does try. He will be part way into the litter box before he tries to use it. I just wonder if they make an extra extra large box. I might have to wind up having some special litter boxes made just for him. Only problem is I will have to replace all 4 boxes to make sure he always has one he can use. One day if I ever become rich I will have a house built and will have a special room built with a 5 foot square box just for the kitties litter box. Also would like to have an enclosed outside area for them to roam with grass, bugs etc to play with. Really feel that they are missing out not being allowed outside.


Thursday, February 24, 2011

Life’s Changes

Well as I mentioned in my last post I have a job now. I did not mean to make it sound as bad as I did, it is just not my cup of tea, so to speak. I prefer something more challenging rather than the same ol' monotonously boring thing day after day. Most call center work does not present much mental challenge, unless you are doing actual technical support. Which I have done in the past, having to dig in and figure out a problem over the phone and fix it, all with out seeing what is happening. As far as for working for such a company, the one I got hired at is about the best one to work at in town. Part of the problem is I had gotten fired from them around 2001.

I was working doing tech support for a company from back east that ventured into call centers when they were booming in the US. They were more of a high end consulting company with most employees making in the six figures. They sold the phone center part of their business to the company I am now working for. Moral immediately went down, due to the major differences in company policies. A lot of employees quit within the first month, many more let their performance slip and stopped caring. I was one of the latter, most of us got fired over the next few months.

The Martian under the Piano.
Mittens clawed the leg on the right.

My posting along with keeping up with the blogs I am following, has slipped lately. I first had to adjust to the training schedule of 5:30 am to 2 pm for two weeks. Then to the work schedule of 12:30 pm to 9 pm. In the middle of all of this I got sick. Running a fever of 103 to 104 one day of which I worked the next two I took off. For about 5 days I was running one over 100. As is the norm it settled in my chest, making me horse with a dry cough still now, a week later. So I have not felt up to posting, the couple of days I have had available I have just rested up. I hope to get back to a regular schedule of posting at least once or twice a week.

Mittens, Squirrel on top Mizz Purrzzy under. 

The project I am on at work is for a new client for them. We are doing so well they are giving us more business. Our center will expand its hours of coverage from 12:30-9pm to 7am to 1am. I live in Arizona and we do not change our clocks for daylight saving time so when the rest change our hours will be from 6 am to midnight. That will start on the 6 of March, so another possible shift change is coming up. I hope to get settled into a routine with in a couple of weeks after it happens. Bear with me and I will get the kitty postings back on schedule. I do have another blog I am trying to keep up with, I have not posted there for about 3 weeks now. I plan on posting there after I finish this one, I am trying to keep it separate from this one.

Lil' Bit's fav spot.

Being unemployed for so long I have been selling most anything I could, even some things I thought I would never part with. Today I had a guy from New Mexico come by and pick up my piano, that he bought on ebay. It was a player piano that my step-father had bought back in '77 when I was in Jr. High. One of the few things of his that I had to remember him by. It needed some repair work to the legs, and to be tuned ( had not been tuned for over 20-25 years) probably need some strings to be replaced. The player part most likely needed some work also. I have had it for about 10 years and did not get any of it done. I had always wanted to at least get it repaired and if not keep it then to give it to some charity (church or school) out of respect to the man.

Cats relaxing on the piano.

In kitty news I know some of them will be mad at me for getting rid of the piano, as they used to sleep on or under it. Lil' Bit would run and jump up on to it in order to get away from the other cats. She does not like some of them and it was her “safe” spot as they would not follow her up. Girl (my scaredy cat) recently started laying on the bench to get away from all the others. I guess I will have to find something to put there to replace it for them, just don't know what yet. (Any suggestions are welcome).

Girl getting away from the others.

The Martian being the newest cat, was still allowed outside, as I am not sure what to do with him yet. He normally goes out for an hour or so each night. I let him out one day in the afternoon, and he disappeared for several hours. The next day was Saturday and that afternoon when I came home I notice him limping. It must have been pretty bad as he would not even put any weight on his leg (left rear). I did not see any wounds on him and was worried he broke something. I could not get him in to the vet until that Monday. She did not think it was broke. I have a really good vet as she shaved part of his leg to look for bug bites or battle wounds and did not charge me. I told them I could not afford x rays but would get them if she felt it was really necessary. She gave him some antibiotics and told me to keep an eye on him. He is OK now, just a little peeved because I will not let him outside any more. I can not afford any sick cats right now. The others are due for their yearly exams starting next month.

Squirrel's first Christmas with me.
 Pretty and Ugly (my neighbors cats) are regular bed partners with me now. Both have been crawling into bed every night for the last month or so. Squirrel is still a little stand offish, with so many cats in the house. She and the Martian did come out while the guy was here to get the piano, and he got to see Mittens, she was laying on my bed. He wanted to see who it was that scratched up the piano. Well I guess that is all for now, I will try to be more regular with posting in the future.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Good News/Scary News/Problems

Sorry no pics this time will have some next post.

Well I guess I will start in reverse order as that is how it effects my blogging. Problems first. For the last couple of months I have had a problem with my computer, after being on for about 10-20 minutes it would shut off. Just as if some one had unplugged the tower, one second it was one and working the next off it went. I figured it was due to over heating. Living in South West part of America the climate is dry which causes static electricity. With the fact that I smoke and have a lot of dust and cat hair I guessed that it was causing the power supply or the CPU to over heat and cause it to shut down. Due to dust and hair collecting around these areas. This has been going on for a while, but only in the afternoons, if I turn on the fan for the ac and crack the window in the computer room it would stay on longer. And at night would last longer before shutting off.

My system is only about 3 years old (still very new for me) it being the first one I bought new most of my systems were that old or older when I bought them. But I had never cleaned it inside with canned air. Just recently it got really bad and would not stay on for long at any time of the day. Problem was that I have been unemployed scene May of last year and did not have any money to spend on buying a can of air to clean it. It has a window in the tower and I can see the dust and cat hair thick inside. So because of this have not been able to post for a while.

Scary news or for me SOP ( Standard Operating Procedure) as I have been through similar situations before. My bank will cover me up to $500 in the hole so if I over draw my account the check will bounce and they will charge me $30 but it will clear as far as to who I write it out to. So I am covered if I have to write a check when I do not have any money in my account. Like I said I have been unemployed scene May of 2010, I have been living on my 401k retirement savings that I cashed out when I lost my last job. It finally ran out. Well Jan I had enough money with the overdraft protection to cover my rent. I sent it out late hoping for extra money to come in, so will get charged late charge. The day after I sent my rent check I got notice of disconnect for my electricity if I did not pay the past due amount. I went on line and paid them so I would not have my power cut off, knowing that this would cause my rent check to bounce with the rental agency. (I needed to keep power and internet on because I was selling stuff on ebay to make extra money).

I also got notice from the gas company so paid them, aware that each bounced check cost me $30 plus having to pay it back. I had already put the cats on a dry food diet because that was all I could buy that would last longer than canned. I was half way through the last bag of cat food, on my last paper towel, I only had TP because last time I bought food I got a $10 gift card because I bought $100 worth of food so spent it on toilet paper. I was able to get food stamps when I got fired so have been using that for food which helped to make my money last longer. I knew that my rent check would bounce several times each time costing $30 because it would be over my overdraft limit and then the rental agency would come to me to collect. February's rent got sent late also for the same reason, it would bounce. Basically at this point it is just a matter of waiting to get evicted and all utilities cut off.

On January 26 (Wednesday) I had a phone interview for a job and they sent me a job offer in the email. They had 2 starting dates one on the first and the second on the 15 of Feb, the lady who did the interview was nice enough to rush me through to try to get me to start on the first. The biggest worries was getting the drug test and background checks done in time for me to start on the first, which was a Tuesday. I got the emails the next day on Thursday and took my piss test that day after completing the background info on line just before going to the clinic.

Then on Friday the 28 I got my W-2's in the mail. I know I still need info from my 401k before filing but I needed money so went on line and filled out the forms using one of the free file sites available. I figure I can can file an amended form once I get everything in, and if if have to pay back some at that time then so be it. I need to get some of these checks covered plus need to buy some cat food before my babies start to starve.

Good news, I was told if I did not pass everything I would not be able to start work on the first and would have to wait for results. My main worry was if the background check included a credit check as I have not paid any credit cards for over a year, so my credit is shot until I can start working and pay everything off. I was able to start work on the first of February. On fourth I got a direct deposit of my federal return. I bought canned air and cleaned out my computer and it seems to be working just fine now. (Just as I thought it was overheating, the CPU was thick with dust and cat hair). My computer is staying on without shutting off on me. I got 4 bags of dry and 2 cases of canned for a treat only one can per cat per day. (that is for my cats only, 6 cans a day, the rest can do without and eat only dry) The first was the second week of the pay period so got my first check on the 11 of February which helps.

This job is with the last company that I wanted to apply to and is in a phone center which I deplore. But it is a start and will bring in some money until I can find a different job. But what ever it takes to feed my kids. After all they come first. I have spent 2 months eating only potatoes so they could be fed before, and will do it again if needed. I did learn that I would have started anyways even if I failed the pre-hire checks but would have been let go once the results were in. I guess I passed as I found this out at the end of the second week.

I did not want to work in another phone center (my last was 10 years ago) and this company was the last one of them I wanted to work for. They had adds the whole time I was unemployed but I avoided them applying elsewhere, until things got desperate. I knew that they would hire almost anyone. I just hope I can stick it out until I get something else or at least back on my feet before I leave them. It is steady pay and easy work so think I can stick it out for a year if I have to. Only problem is I got sick while in class and have called out the last 2 days. I hope I will still be able to work when I go back tomorrow. I have had a 104 fever for the last 2 days and today it broke and am around 100. I have taken mega doses of vitamin C and today soaked in a hot bath with the bathroom thick in humid air.(it is a dry climate so hard to achieve) to help the coughing. Will know tomorrow afternoon when I go to work and will post results. Suppose to have a point system and a missed day equals 1 point so will have 2 points against me am allowed 12 before getting fired. Plus every 30 days of no missed or late times will get ¼ point back. Will see how that works out.

Wish me luck everyone. This is all about the kitties. They must be taken care of first, then my problems come second.