Isaho is a 16-year-old Persian cat. Virginie R. is the owner. She called me and explained that Isaho used to be house-trained, but something has changed: her cat has been peeing in her 2-year-old son’s bed. She thinks she knows why Isaho is behaving this way, but she would like to have it confirmed.
From the beginning I can see that Isaho is a cat that enjoys keeping his distance: he speeds by me, maintaining a distance between us.
Virginie confirms that Isaho is close to nobody except herself. If someone tries to come up to him, Isaho bails!
Nevertheless, Isaho agrees to talk with me.
Isaho is fine and assures me that he feels no pain.
As soon as I can call Virginie, I highlight the fact that she must consult a vet to be sure that Isaho has no medical problems. A vet must be the first pet owner reflex. It may be an underlying condition which should never be ignored.
He shows me a very sunny spot inside the house. Isaho seems to enjoy relaxing there. It’s like a shaft of light, and I can feel a beautiful and soothing warmth.
Virginie explains that Isaho often spends long hours on the veranda, especially on sunny days.
Isaho shows me a soft fleecy surface (with a pretty, bright color). I can see the cat lying on it and I can sense his pleasure at being there.
Virginie confirms that Isaho considers the old mattress (a really bright blue) of the cot belonging to her youngest as his.
Above all Isaho likes quiet places. Things are getting too hectic? See ya! To illustrate, this funny cat shows me two noisy little boys playing together.
I was later informed by Virginie that she is the mother of two sons who are indeed rather «boisterous »: Paul and Victor, 7 and 2.
Now I can see Isaho running towards somebody’s legs, delivering two swipes with his paws, and escaping.
It seems he enjoys playing these little, almost sadistic, pranks.
Behavior confirmed by Virginie!
Isaho tolerates Tilam, the German mastiff with whom he shares the house. But he would never approach the dog. I can see both of them lying down, but at a mutually-acceptable distance. A few glances are exchanged, without hostility. But no interest in each other.
Isaho tells me that when he saw the dog for the first time, he thought « what’s the hell is that thing??!!! ». Isaho adds that Tilam didn’t get on its nerves too much. So it’s ok…!
Virginie confirms that it’s not True Love between Isaho and Tilam. They tolerate each other. However, there was a real bond with the previous dog.
Isaho tells me: « I like Virginie a lot. She takes very good care of me. And we are really close. The others don’t care about me. They are not nasty, but it’s as if I wasn’t really here».
Is this situation difficult for Isaho? He answers that he lives his own life, but he would like to be less « transparent » sometimes.
I ask Isaho about the fact that he pees in the little boy’s bed…
The cat answers me sharply: « I want to be in his place. I, too, exist! I want my family to be more aware of me! »
Isaho adds: « Virginie too. More attention, please! I want more space. I want to exist!!! »
I ask Isaho if this is what he wants Virginie to understand. I ask him to confirm that the message is that she is too committed to everybody else (especially as a mum), that Virginie finds it difficult to find her place now. Isaho’s response is immediate: « Yes!!! »
Animals want to draw our attention to specific issues and do this through “bad” behaviour (urinating in inappropriate areas, destroying a specific individual’s possessions, aggressive behaviour, etc). This is called “mirroring”.
Isaho adds that if Virginie wants to be happy in her life she has to change a few things and create some more time for herself: « These days she’s doing too much. It’s too much of a strain for her! »
As soon as I convey Isaho’s message, Virginie agrees: she feels as if she doesn’t exist anymore. She forgets herself, completely, and she can’t bear it anymore. She tells me that Isaho’s message confirms what she thought: a few years before, she had felt more or less the same way. And at that time Isaho had started peeing around the house.
The communication comes to an end. I invite Isaho to go back to using the litter box as Virginie will consider the message and make positive changes to her life.
Also I tell Isaho to behave the same way as soon as he notices that Virginie is losing sight of herself again.
Now, everything is back to normal again.