The cats (or at least one of them) are up to their old tricks (I am looking at you Lion-o). They were house-trained when we got them and all was fine to start with, but after a few weeks Lion-o started weeing on soft furnishings. Although we're always a little bit cautious if she's on the bed or the sofa, she seems to have grown out of that behaviour and wees in the litter trays. But in the last few months she has been less fastidious about her poo and (unless she is being cleverly framed by Smithers) started to go just outside the litter tray. As if she was saying, "I know I am meant to do it in there, but I am not going to. I am going to do it just here instead. Take that human slaves!" It was annoying, but we put newspaper down and nearly always the poo went on the newspaper, which is not ideal, but is better than having cat-excrement on your carpet (maybe that should be a phrase for when anything slightly annoying happens - "It's not ideal, but it's better than having cat-excrement on your carpet!" Let's popularise that).
We have tried everything we can think of to make her poo in the right place, but it's rare that she gets caught in the act and I am not sure that showing her some poo that she's done hours before and then lifting her on to the litter tray is a message that gets through. Does she even know that is her poo, or poo at all? Is she able to make the mental leap to understand that the poo should go in the litter tray? These cats are adorable, but they are properly stupid (even by the yardstick of cat intelligence). Lion-o is a lot cleverer than Smithers, who never learns from any of his actions and bounds towards danger like an iron filing being drawn to a magnet, but at least Smithers understands where his shit is supposed to go. And he also has a weird fascination with watching it being dug up and binned and also watching human beings wee (at much too close quarters) if he is given the chance. He is a big cat pervert.
But Lion-o (if it is her doing it) has achieved new heights of fecal inconvenience. Because in the last few days (pretty much since we've got home) she has found a way to make her excretions as devastating as is felinely possible. We close them into the spare bedroom at night, so that they won't keep us awake running up and down the stairs and mewling at our door. During the night Lion-o (presumably) has taken to doing a shit right by the closed door. This means of course that when we come to open the door in the morning, the door catches on the shit and smears it on the carpet and under the door itself. There wouldn't really be a worse place to shit in the whole room (and possibly the house), but Lion-o has found it. Three nights running we (well actually my wife) have opened the door to find turd smeared liberally around like a cat dirty protest, but one that cleverly means we end up doing the smearing. We've put down paper, but even then it's hard to see whether there is poo on it until the door is open. It's a massive ball-ache.
I don't know if Lion-o is upset by the upheaval of us being away, then briefly back, then away again and then back - she seems fine with us in the daytime and is probably more affectionate than she's been before. We're at a slight loss to know how to deal with this, as we've tried most of the suggestions before and it's odd that she's gone from being house-trained to be a turd-mine laying fecal genius. Especially given how thick she is in all other areas of life. Though not as thick as Smithers. Maybe that could become another phrase.
After all we've done for her and this is how she repays us.