Thanksgiving was great this year. We went to OH's family's house about two hours away, where we expected to greet his parents and one of his brothers. He has two brothers: one lives in Oregon, the other in New Mexico; New Mexico brother wasn't going to come. When we got there, there was New Mexico brother! And Oregon brother! His dad and NMB had conspired to surprise everyone. It was really nice. OC had fun with her two new uncles, and they had fun with her, I think. Their family is not used to little girls. Now, with me and OC, the tide is turning and the gender appropriation is a little more balanced. She is the first grandchild, and I have to say, they treat her as if she were biologically related. I am really lucky to have found not only a husband who accepts me and my child together, but his whole family who does as well. The fact that my daughter and I were a package deal was a prerequisite for a new husband, but there is much less control when it comes to what their family's mindset would be. I am really, really grateful for that.
Dinner was very good. I made dad's spinach dip and potato souffle, our family's traditional recipes. OH's mom made turkey, stuffing, cranberry sauce, mashed potatoes, cole slaw, pumpkin pie, and pecan pie. Oh, I also made apple crisp. I am so weird, I don't like stuffing, sweet potatoes, or pumpkin pie. Never have, and I still don't. I am cuckoo for potatoes, though. And gravy. Mmmmm.......gravy.....
We spent the night with the in-laws, then headed to another town about an hour away from that to meet OH's 87-year-old grandma. We had a nice visit.
After that, we didn't have time to visit my Hilarious and Fun aunt and uncle because we had to be back for the football game. OH's team just keeps winning, so there are more football games to attend. Now, the state semifinals are this Saturday and they are playing. If they win that game, there will be only one more week to go after that! Not that I'm excited for it to be OVER, or anything.
And for a dramatic change of subject, I will now dicuss my pets. I have two cats. Sable and Dakota are both 11 year old Persians. They are sweet, but Sable is very skittish and Dakota is stressed out. They are exhibiting signs of stress, i.e. they are peeing and pooping in the house and not in their litter box. Argh! I read up on cat care yesterday, and have formulated a plan to deal with this unpleasant problem.
I was heartened to read that this kind of behavioral problem is easily and inexpensively fixed, it just takes effort. Okay, I can do that. I want to keep my kitties, because if they can't stop soiling the house, they will have to go. I can part with Sable sort of, kind of, fairly easily, but Dakota is my buddy and I can't bear to see him go. This has been really hard to consider, but I can't continue to live in a house where "surprises" are left for me. OH is at his end with the problem, and I don't blame him.
We are doing the following: confinement while we are away to a smaller area of the house with their food, water, toys, and clean litter boxes; cleaning all soiled areas with a serious enzyme cleaner; placing deterrants of citrus air fresheners in areas previously soiled; and a new litter box with a new kind of litter to encourage litter box use. I may have to vary the placement of the litter boxes to see if they are unhappy with the current location in the bathroom. It's pretty cramped in there, so I would imagine they feel like there is no easy escape.
The stresses on the cats are pretty obvious: we moved to a new house; there are two cats who already reside at the new house but they are indoor/outdoor so not inside all the time; the house is being remodeled. All of that is on top of previous instances of non-litter box use, which hadn't been attended to, mostly because I didn't know what to do. I think one of the problems might have been that I used scented litter. No more scented litter! Kitties' sense of smell is very acute, and they don't like perfumes. I will clean the litter box out with soap and water once per week now, too. I never did that before. I figured that scooping it was enough.
I have learned a lot about cats this week. I hope it is enough to fix the problem so I can keep my aging, furry babies.