Tag Archives: feline

Cat Litter Boxes, Turning Cats into Ninjas

Recently I started looking at cat litter boxes.

We have three cats: Liggy, Monkey and Taku. Nobody likes Taku, she’s really an alien in a cat’s body. Liggy is 20 and that makes her 90-something in human years. Monkey, well her name says it all.

Sometimes, you just want to see what else is out there for litter boxes. Not that they need new litter boxes, I mean truly, what do they do? Hold the litter so you cat can poop & pee in peace in a dark corner somewhere. Then the human comes and collects the deposits, which is a little weird if you were to ask the cat.

Before I get on to the litter boxes. When you shop, have you ever noticed how many types of litter is available? It’s like the flavored coffee club but different.

Clay.

Clumpable.

Newspaper pellets.

Pine pellets.

Multi-cat.

Cloud control.

Silica crystals.

Biodegradable.

Bamboo.

Plant pellets.

Scented.

Unscented.

Non-trackable.

Corn.

Wheat.

Walnut.

Lightweight.

It sounds more like a recipe for an exotic beer than it does for types of cat litter. You would think cats wouldn’t care, but they do. I’ve tried the newspaper pellets, pine pellets and silica crystals. You know what I learned? Those marketing teams are aiming for me, not the cat. Cat just wants plain old gravelly litter. It’s better to track it through the house. Really gets in between their toes and is perfect for depositing into bed sheets and couches.

Seriously, Liggy, our eldest, she has Muppet feet. Long fur between her toes. She previously used to haul whiskey across the northern tundra in the dark months, helping fishermen find their way back home. Why else would she have these long haired feet?

Her feet are also perfect if she steps into the pee and then into the litter. She comes out wearing a little clay mask on her foot, leaving a trail of one footprint across the house. Have you ever tried to get cement off your cat’s foot? Right. Exactly.

Back to the litter boxes.

Of course we are all familiar with the standard rectangular pan. Pretty simple. Then you get into the ones with higher sides. Technically they’re supposed to help keep the litter and sprayers contained. Well, let me tell you, Monkey could challenge Tom Brady in distance for litter tossing. Could you get it any further across the room? Oh yes, just pack it between your toes and show me where you can put it.

Next there’s various sizes. Little tiny ones for kittens. Cause those last for about 2 weeks before they’re out grown, but boy aren’t they cute? There’s litter boxes with lower entries for elderly cats. We have two.

Cat boxes with lids.

Cat boxes inside furniture.

Round boxes.

Triangular boxes.

Self-cleaning boxes. (Yeah cause I want my cat to think the poop monster ALMOST got her. Smart.)

Plastic boxes.

Metal boxes.

Cardboard boxes.

Boxes that are mail order delivery to your house on subscription.

There’s spinner cat boxes, turn the box on it’s head and the poop goes into a receptable.

Boxes with lid guards.

Boxes with entry flaps.

Domed boxes.

Biodegradable boxes.

I should be so lucky to have as many shoe styles in my closet as cat’s have litter box options. Then of course, I came across several boxes where I just had to stop and say, “What cat is going to use that?” If cats read Stephen King, these contraptions were definitely fodder for their next series.

Take for example, the circular automatic cleaning box. At first, I thought it was a pizza crust maker. Or a kids version of the Easy Bake Oven for pizza crusts. Where is the cat supposed to turn around and get their butt in there? Is that a record player? Do cats enjoy tunes while pooping? No, no, wait. That is a grain grinder. You put your wheat in there to grind it up into flour. Got it. Got it.

Stone cold grinder litter box.

Next up, I truly thought they were selling tiny washing machines for cats. You could put their fluffy blankets in there or maybe their toys. Or it’s a hair dryer for after washing your cat, cause they just love that. You pop your cat in and close the door. Once I clicked on the link, I realized no, that’s a robot litter box. If the cat doesn’t get out in time they enjoy the spin cycle! If they aren’t perfectly balanced inside, does it dump them on the floor like a gyroscope? I’m sorry but Star Wars didn’t have these and neither did Star Trek, we can pass on this item. And I am certainly not paying nearly $1000 for a cat box. Sorry Taku.

And the marketing photo below is asinine. What cat is even able to get into the sphere inside that cabinet? Catdini? Cat’s face says it all, “Seriously? Stupid human.”

Tilt-a-Whirl cat box.

Finally, there’s the cat version of the “I’ve fallen and can’t get up” litter box. Get this box if you want your cat to be a jack-in-the-box. The cat, aka Jason Bourne, in the marketing photo has finally had enough and went to ask for a pay increase. Homie don’t play this shit. Go ahead, jump into a dirty box with no option for missing the mines. And if you’re lucky enough, you’ll be able to claw yourself out of it. And if you’re a fat cat or an overly fluffy cat ….what happens if you get stuck in the top? Little legs dangling…help….help! Or a short cat who can’t jump? “Help, I’ve fallen and can’t get up.” Whose idea was this anyway?

Jason Bourne Jack-in-the-Box.

The window shopping of cat boxes was an eye rolling experience. No doubt I’m sure there are hundreds of people with these boxes in their homes. The cats are silently cursing them and plotting their revenge through hair balls, vomit and random treats left around the house. Although we think we are superior to the cats, we’re not. The Egyptians understood this concept and worshipped their cats. Let’s use our common sense and put the cats back on a pedestal and not inside one to roll around.

Where’s The Rock I Like To Beat My Head Against?

My favorite part of the day, after realizing I’ve been blessed with another day to experience this world, is morning snuggles with my cat FeeBee. She’s the little 5 pounder.

She has a routine:

Pop gets up about 5:00AM.

FeeBee gets up about 5:15AM and heads to kitchen for first breakfast.
(our cats are like hobbits….they enjoy multiple feedings)

(Liggy has already been in the kitchen waiting for first breakfast since 4:45AM.)

FeeBee enjoys first breakfast and some light social interactions – then heads back to bed.

Begin: Morning Snuggles.

She climbs up on the bed, usually very gently licks my face, if I’m not awake and climbs under the covers next to me. Ahhh, I love this. FeeBee will snuggle in and purr away until it’s time for me to get up.

There’s no talking.
No complaining.
No bitching.
No worrying.
No drama.
Just perfectly content on being next to each other.

THIS is why I sometimes enjoy my cats more than people. Is that wrong? Actually, this is why I enjoy hanging out with animals more than people. They accept you for who you are and get this: they STILL love you! It’s incredible.

They will always listen to you talk about your day, your concerns, your anger, etc….well, at least they look like they’re listening, even if they’re sleeping. Not humans. No. It’s all about us as individuals. That wears me down.

Sometimes, the person you’re speaking to doesn’t even hear what you’re saying – literally, and you get the “huh? what?” response. Can you wear TV Ears all the time or only when watching TV? Others nod their head in understanding but reply with something totally irrelevant.

Have you experienced that type of conversation? Say you’re discussing with a friend how your boss wants you to deliver a presentation on the latest findings of, “Carbon Fluctuation in Mangrove Forests South of the Equator.” As you continue to vent your frustrations – because you don’t even know what a Mangrove Forest is – your friend agrees with you and looks like they’re on your side…until …. you pause to give them a moment to verbally support you and they say something like:

“That’s crazy. Do you think the blue dress looks better with my eyes or the green one?”

Or maybe they say, “I know. Did you read in the latest edition of “Motor This” magazine that they’re coming out with a new jet fuel mister that super charges your engine, even if you drive a four cylinder?”

Wait. What? Hello? Haven’t you been listening? Uhhh, apparently not.

Then there are the individuals who just like to hear themselves talk about themselves. You’re hoping they will offer a shoulder to lean on and unfortunately you’ve pinned your hopes on that sturdy shoulder of support. Which turns out to be a shoulder made of quicksand, as you realize it’s not about you, it’s all about them.

Can you hear me now? How about now? Now?

Rather than help you find solutions on how to handle the idiot at the office who is insistent on microwaving stinky fish for lunch each day – they say they understand completely how rude that is and then launch into how unfair it is when they have to wait for a cardio machine at the gym. Waiting for the machine really cuts into their gym time. They have a set schedule, which is inflexible. Did you know their boss scheduled 4 safety meetings last week that totally ruined their week? The stress of the safety meetings, on top of 2 school recitals for the kids and not to mention having to take a pair of shoes in for repair – really it’s unfair. They don’t know how they’re going to survive, what should they do? You’re kidding me, right? What about my fish? (insert eye roll here)

Damn, where’s that rock I like to beat my head against… you think to yourself. Check please.

I do admit, I’ve gotten good at the people who just want to jump on you with their verbal input. It usually happens when you’re right in the middle of making your point and usually mid-word then – BAM -they pounce on you like a cougar on an innocent lamb. (okay, I don’t really think cougars and lambs are in the same neighborhood, but you get the idea.) My response comes in a very stern voice, accompanied by an annoyed glare, “I WASN’T finished.”

On the other hand, there’s people who take it upon themselves to be the cheerleaders of life. OMG these people wear me out. Talking with them is like having to run a marathon – in the rain – uphill – barefoot – against your will – naked. Just shoot me. It only took one conversation to realize this person is on something and it’s probably not a prescribed medication. It’s easier to wallow along in your misery than share it with the Happy Freak.

Lastly, there are the people you want to avoid at all costs. You know the ones. You have a function of some sort, whether it’s work related or social. Knowing the “Problem” will be in attendance, you slowly make your way into the room to survey the surroundings. For some odd reason the “Problem” always, always, always makes a bee line for you at these things.

As you edge along the inside wall, you spy the “Problem” across the room. You see a group of friends at the bar and head that direction. Easy does it. If you move slow enough, you won’t catch the “Problem’s” attention. Slow and steady. You’re standing there with friends, when out of nowhere the “Problem” is at your side.

The “Problem” has entered your personal space! Warning lights are flashing and you can’t think of anything but how to escape the black hole of Problem X. If I can reach out and touch you – you’re too close, back it up buddy. Stay outside the hulla hoop of personal space!

Immediately the “Problem” starts to interrogate you and with each question they get closer and closer:

Problem: “Haven’t seen you in a long time.”
You take a 1 step back : “Yeah, I know.”

Problem: “What have you been up to?”
You take a 1 step back : “work”

Problem: “Did you sell your house?”
You take a 1 step back: “yep”

Problem: “Full price?”
You take 1 step back: “yep”
(You also realize your friends have abandoned you at this point. Fend for yourself buddy.)

Problem: “You know in today’s market you’re really lucky to…..blah, blah, blah, blah, blah.”
You take a 1 step back – into a table – &^$#)_&!

Problem: “When I sold my house……blah, blah, blah…..the buyers….blah, blah, blah….you should…..you’re so lucky….here’s an idea for you…
.”
By this time the Problem has you cornered and is so close you can tell they use Ben Gay. (things I don’t want to know) Your butt cheek is literally resting on the table. Mentally you’re sending out “help me” signals. Like a dying goldfish going down the final toilet swirl of life….help….me….help!

You spy a friend making their way towards you and they extend their hand to you – a life line! Grab it! Hold on! Don’t Let Go! Must Get Out of Here! OMG! SAVE ME! Within a minute your friend has literally pulled you off the table and into their safety net.

Whew….that was a close one.

So, that’s why I like my feline friends. It’s much easier. And really, they only complain about things like: the sun patch on the floor didn’t last long enough, the spider ran under the couch and they couldn’t get it, they’d really like to have more treats and they’d prefer not to be brushed or have their toenails clipped.

Much easier than falling down that rabbit hole of strange conversations. It’s not that I don’t like people, I just wish it was easier and sometimes I want it to be all about me. Let me be right. Let me bitch. Let me complain. Let me wallow. Sometimes just listen to me, agree with me and take up my side for a few minutes. It’ll make me feel better.