Started toilet training for Robbie today. I used the method in this video:
I was able to skip the first step because he already climbs up on the seat and drinks from all three toilets in the house. So, I took the office toilet and proceeded to step 2. Within an hour he had peed in it. Once I get a poo, I’ll remove the on-floor litter box. Stay tuned.
P.S. Robbie is still 22 days shy of six months. He’s precocious.
Five days into it and everything that comes out of Robbie is found in the litter container inside the toilet bowl. No litter spread around the place like there always is with a litter box, either. He is absolutely fabulous.
In a few more days we go into phase three.
Monday, October 5, 2020
And I promised to show you how he is growing into his ears:
Aug 4 – 3 ½ months
Oct 4 – 5 ½ months
I sent this to a few cat loving friends and one of them wrote “Way to go, Robbie” and another wrote “Great job, Robbie”.. Everyone’s a punster.
When we left our hero, he was using the toilet lined by a turkey roasting pan containing cat litter.
This morning I switched that one out to one with a hole in it, and flushable litter. He was very interested. He was so interested he put his paw down the hole and came up all wet, which quickly got mixed with kitty litter and made a clay mitt of his paw. Undaunted, he cleaned himself up and a couple of hours later, he rewarded me with a pee, which was actually aimed at the hole. That got him a nice stinky dried minnow treat. He is one very good boy.
The plan is to enlarge the hole every three days or so, forcing him closer and closer to the rim, until he sits on it to do his business. Stay tuned.
Friday, October 9, 2020
A good friend, who is also a good photographer, told me I needed a white background for pictures of Robbie. I trust this was what she meant, because it may not be the last of these. I hope you are suitably impressed. Note front paw on rim. One down, three to go.
Wednesday, October 14, 2020
By the terms of our crazy Quebec lockdown, Canadian Thanksgiving parties all got canceled, but one person who lives alone, is allowed to receive one guest. I chose that to read one human guest and both Robbie and I went to my friend, Monique, on Ile Bizard. Her living room is all patio doors looking out on the back river. Celine Dion recorded a TV show on her riverside deck, once, long ago. Squirrels, chipmunks and bird life abound. Robbie was on safari. He loved it. He loved it so much that when we took him outside on the leash, he forgot to dig his heels in, like he did in the halls of Cours Mt Royal, and just trotted along happily taking it all in. He’s still using the toilet litter box, with a larger hole in it, too.
Voting day for me. I took my ballot to the US consulate, a block and a half from my condo.
For Robbie, Step 3 continues. Note the size of the hole in the roasting pan, now, and the nice large turd that just missed it. It’s a little hard to see. Look between his right front paw and the hole. Or, just take my word for it. I don’t think he’s all that happy about sharing this photo, but that’s what you get when you have a faithful scribe.
It’s already easier than the litter box. I don’t have to vacuum the bathroom after every go. I just help the solid stuff down the hole and flush. There’s not that much litter in the game. At least not with Robbie. He aims at the hole. I use flushable cat litter and, after the first week, very little of it. The trainer in the video recommends “Cat’s Pride”. I couldn’t get it in Canada, so I just bought a local flushable brand.
Today could be a turning point. I enlarged the hole again and now he doesn’t feel quite safe in the roasting pan. He mews and gets off the pot. He showed too much interest in the sink, so I put Feliway in there. That’s pheromones that make the sink smell like a nest of cats, and there’s a saying about shitting in the nest. He tried the pot again, but he isn’t happy with it. Now he has gone off. Hmmmm must check the other sinks…
Five hours later… no evidence of any output. Either he is aiming so well I can’t tell he’s using it, he’s holding it, or I just haven’t found it yet. This is disconcerting, to say the least. I trust he’s not peeing on the sofa or in my bed.
I woke up with a purring cat in my bed and a succulent turd in the turkey roasting pan in Robbie’s toilet. He’s used it a lot today. All’s well.
Saturday, October 17, 2020
All isn’t that well. There was another turd in the roasting pan in the toilet, but not a big enough to meet my expectations and worse, there was pee soaking the red towel I had put in the basket under my desk return for him to lie on. So now there’s Feliway in the basket and a small white towel that I can check more easily. I put more litter in the roasting pan, and went back to school on the Internet, re-watching my video and a couple more. We are moving to clicker training and better rewards. That was a couple of hours ago. The litter is still dry and I am watching him like a hawk.
Sunday, October 18, 2020
One of my best friends from High School, the one who wrote “Harvey and Helen” is now ghost-writing for Robbie. Here’s her contribution:
Hello Everyone –
My name is Robbie and I’m an adorable black kitten with tall ears. I was recently adopted by a nice lady and now live in a luxurious, spacious condo on the twelfth floor of what used to be an elegant Hotel. I get cuddles and tickles from the nice lady, with good food and lots of treats to boot. Life is good except for one thing………..Potty Training. Nobody at the shelter warned me that this was part of the deal. For a kitten who was used to spending most of the day actually lying in a litter box, to be introduced to a cold white porcelain potty was quite shocking to say the least. Oh yes, there’s a Leash too. The nice lady tried to take me for a walk in the upscale shopping mall downstairs, but I put my paw(s) down for that. Last weekend we were invited to lunch on Ile Bizard. We were having a lovely time when out came the leash again. This time I cooperated because we went outside, and I thought I might pounce on some of the abundant wildlife in the area. Not much luck with that. We went back to my forever home and the dreaded potty. Rumour has it that the nice lady might be going on a world cruise. By then I should be completely potty trained, and what next? I guess I’ll have to learn to operate a can opener so that I can survive during her absence.. I love my forever home – I am one lucky kitty !
Purrs from Robbie
I keep a beautiful crystal salad bowl, with water in it, under the antique Chinese armoire in my bedroom, to keep it from cracking. The water gets changed when it gets low. That happens more often now, because Robbie drinks from it, as well as the toilet bowls. It was low enough this morning that he got in there and peed. Mercy. So that crystal bowl went into the dishwasher and another one went under the armoire. I went downstairs and into the next mall, where the Dollar store is, and bought a couple more turkey roasting pans. I got my painter, who is in today, to fit one to the toilet, keeping the bottom flatter than the one Robbie has been rejecting. I went back to a one-inch diameter hole and more litter. I could hardly get it done fast enough, as Robbie really had to go. During the switchover, I was pleased to note that the water in the toilet bowl was distinctly yellow, so he has been using it, aiming neatly through the hole, but he obviously didn’t like it. All’s well again. We’ll go more slowly now, with claws crossed.
Tuesday, October 20, 2020
He woke me up at 7:30 this morning, but I stubbornly stayed in bed until ten to eight. It wasn’t easy. He brought a foil ball and his favorite toy (skunk) and batted them around on my back for those twenty minutes. When I got up and went to look at the litter box in the toilet, it contained both numbers one and two, in quantity. Methinks the 7:30 performance was a victory dance. I felt like doing one myself. I settled for a very good treat (for Robbie.)
Wednesday, October 21, 2020
No wake-up play this morning but he did fetch skunk and deposit him in my toilet bowl while I was brushing my teeth. I saved the poor critter. Robbie is six months old today and had his first teeth brushing, with poultry flavored toothpaste on the tiniest little brush. He put up with it just fine. An hour later he rewarded me with a nice dump in his toilet and a couple of pees. I enlarged the hole just a little. We’re definitely back on track. Stay tuned.
Glenn Coates said:
I love Robbie!!!
The Rev’d G. C. Coates, Anglican Priest (Retired0, 78 rue des Quatre Saisons, Magog, Quebec. J1X0H3
Diann Whittaker said:
Happy 6 month bday Robbie. Glad to hear he is getting there re potty training. You have the patience of Job.
I hope Robbie uses the toilet roll too?
Helen Megan said:
I hope he never finds the toilet roll. He’ll drag TP all over the house the day he does.
Kathy Stefano said:
Well he’s just a little baby doll happy birthday Robbie. You’re doing good with the toilet training. my only thing is I’ve heard a lot of times that cats need to dig and litter is their indoor digging. so without it that’s why he’s kind of freaking! good luck wish I could come while you were touring, whenever your able to.
Roger Keeler said:
So good to hear from you, Helen!
Love the story!
You’ve got the patience of a saint.
(Rev.) Roger H. Keeler, J.C.D., Ph.D.,
Oblate School of Theology
285 Oblate Drive
San Antonio, Texas
telephone: 210.341.1366, extension 317
Marlene & Stan Rosenberg said:
Helen , you are amazing, and Robbie is the best cat ever. Love the story by “Robbie”. I think he loves the nice lady who adopted him.
Andy and Alice said:
OMG! How ever did you teach him that? I’d be afraid Keiki would fall in and drown, although it Looks like you’ve added kitty-litter. How ever do you clean it? I can’t wait to show this to Andy, As he’s the Litter King!! Thanks fo sharing Robbie is gorgeous & so cute as well. xoAlice
Isabel Gray said:
Keep on going Helen!! Thank you for the updates and kitty looks sooo! cute – Isabel
Marge Mapp said:
This is sooooooooo funny!! I’d say you were a very highly motivated kitty mama!
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