Monday, July 9, 2007

Cleaning Cat Boxes

Cats are lovely, dainty looking creatures, but in common with any living creature that eats, they also excrete. If you care to cruise on over to YouTube, and search on "cat toilet flush train", you will see some short films of cats with amazing talents. Some of them use the toilet for its intended purpose and some of them enjoy the flushing action. Although I watched several (and wasn't that an edifying few minutes), none of the cat video stars both used and flushed. Oh well.

My girls do neither. They are old fashion cats. Kitsu uses the cat box exclusively. If the urge comes upon her when she's outside, she runs in to do her business. Sachi goes where ever she happens to be. I take that back, if she's outside, she goes outside, if she's inside she uses the box. She is a very good girl who would never consider leaving surprises for me. Nor does she make that kind of editorial comment.

My beloved Esmerelda Vibrissi, Beauty Cat, Queen of the Universe, whom I had for twenty years and pretty much grew up with, was prone to editorializing. If I was a bad human and really ticked her off, she would place her deposit on the floor right next to the box and glare at me, daring me to say anything about it. I usually deserved it. For minor offenses, she would flip me the tail. Esmerelda never left me in any doubt as to what she was feeling. We weren't pet and owner, we were equal partners and best friends. I will miss her forever.

But, back to the cat box. I had told the Engineer that I wanted to do a major clean the cat boxes (2 cats = 2 boxes) before trash day this Tuesday. Then I forgot. After dinner, when I was talking to my Mom on the phone, he remembered. I said I would really rather do it Monday and continued with the mother-daughter conversation.

Now it's true I am more than a little lazy and a very proficient procrastinator, but I had a reason for not wanting to clean the boxes tonight. I use clumping litter (and bless the chemical company that invented it.) That means that after scrubbing the boxes you have to wait until they are 100% dry to refill them else the litter will clump to the box. Both the cats and I think that's nasty.

Since I was on the phone, the Engineer decided he would force my hand, trotted downstairs, dumped the old litter into a garbage bag and hauled the boxes up and deposited them on the lawn for me.

If I was Esmerelda, I would have made a major editorial comment right in his shoe -- maybe not even waiting until his foot was out of it.

So I had to change my clothes and do the dirty job because the cats are locked in at night and need their KittyKonvenience. I scrubbed and hosed, I cussing under my breath like an X-rated Yosemite Sam. I hate being forced to do things when I don't want to.

As I stomped back around the house, looking for a last patch of sunlight to put the clean boxes in to dry, I stepped on a roofing nail. Frickin' frackin' thing went right through my flip-flop and embedded in the distal end of my first metatarsal. Litter pans went flying as I roared curses while hopping around on the other foot. Fortunately the flip-flop made a good lever to pull the nail out of the bone. The Engineer dived under the picnic table for cover as I hopped-blood-dropped into the house.

Guess I showed myself good.


Anonymous said...

i had a cat named esmerelda. she died today. she was much like your esme. I miss her desperately and I am sad, and a teeny bit drunk, googling her. trying to bring bits of her here.

so I shared. i miss her.

Wunx~ said...

So sorry to hear about your Esmerelda. Cats can certainly inhabit a large part of your heart. I will miss my Mereldie forever, but it will always be a joy to me that we had so long together.

I hope your memories leave a warm glow in your soul too.