This afternoon my cat began making her "poo scream."
I've only heard this a few times, and it has always happened when I've shamefully neglected cleaning her litterbox. Her "poo scream" sounds like a regular yowl, but instead of having a clean tone it actually "breaks up" at its peak, as though to say "Before I was only kidding but NOW I REALLY MEAN IT!"
An awful humidity has been playing havoc with the litter -- twenty seconds after she pees, the entire apartment stinks for hours -- so I thought maybe the smell in there was too much for her. I cleaned the litterbox -- it was pretty clean to begin with, really -- and she went down to use it...and started to scream again.
So I went through all the usual distractions -- gave her fresh water, gave her treats, took her outside -- but to no avail; it became obvious that Zsa Zsa really wanted to do SOMETHING in her litterbox, but was for some reason unable.
I called the vet and she told me that Zsa Zsa was probably constipated, and she sent me down to the pharmacy for some Lactulose ("You've got a CONSTIPATED CAT?!?" yelled the pharmacist) and I also bought one of those plastic syringes made for babies. Then, apologetically, I propped poor Zsa Zsa in my lap and squirted one milliliter of bitter-tasting medication down her throat.
She coughed, sneezed, then crawled to the middle of the floor and began to gulp spasmodically. She continued to do this for half and hour -- sort of hiccuping, really -- and then gradually stopped. An hour later she was willing to accept my company again. I can't blame her for being angry; it can't be nice to be both constipated AND hiccuping at the same time.
Unfortunately she still hasn't gone to the bathroom, though she's no longer complaining about it. I'm supposed to give her three doses of Lactulose each day until she finally lets loose, and I'm happy to report that our second session went much smoother than the first; Zsa Zsa's a pretty easy-going cat.
If you have ever had a pet -- or even a pre-verbal child, God forbid -- you know how awful it is to see them suffer, and to know that the only way to help them is to make them suffer MORE, often by betraying their trust in you. I can only hope that, when Zsa Zsa is finally spraying the inside of her litterbox with Lactulose-inspired diarrhea, she understands I'M the one who made it all happen for her.