Normally, it's a linear progression: when he's slightly angry, if the box is dirty or if I've worked late, it's right outside the box.
If I've been away for the weekend, it's in the hallway.
Tonight after being away less than eight hours I found that he had shit in the farthest place in the apartment from his litterbox. With fresh litter two days ago and plenty of food in his bowl.
Maybe this is him getting older. Maybe he's picked up on the strain that I've been under. Maybe he's just in a pissy mood from the winter weather.
Still, I don't like it. It feels a grim portent of what's to come.