Paddy O’Cat still doesn’t get it. I took Paula’s advice and dumped the old litter box out in the unused side yard. I took Paddy out and told him — this is your outside cat box. He was having none of it!
As I held him and pointed to the pile of used cat litter surrounded by fresh, soft dirt, his little legs were going a mile a minute as though he were swimming the English Channel pursued by sharks — or whatever it is they have in the English Channel. Maybe piranhas — I’m not sure.
“Look, Paddy — it’s just like your inside cat box, but it’s outside! Now you don’t have to run in the house every time you have to go.” No sale! I put him down and watched as he fled for the sanctuary of the living room. When I came in, he gave me a look of incredulity like, “you expect me to go outside? In the dirt??” He turned his back and began grooming the base of his tail — something he does when he’s particularly upset.
Reluctantly I picked up the now empty, washed and dried cat box and trudged back into the bathroom. I had stopped on the way home and bought some Arm & Hammer cat litter, just like I’d got last time. But oh, not quite, as it turned out. I checked for “multi-cat, clumping, odor eliminating,” but there’s more.
Buying cat litter is as complex as buying a jar of olives. You can’t just get olives anymore — there are 20 different varieties. At least. Green, black, pitted, large, small, medium, jumbo, sliced, chopped, minced, stuffed … but I digress. Litter has not quite reached that level of complexity, but it’s heading that direction.
So I hefted the 40 pound box (really — 40 pounds of manufactured, granulated sand for a cat to pee in!) and started pouring it into the box. And then, I realized my fatal error. The smell rose up and surrounded me. OH NO! I forgot to check for “fragrance free.” Oh, somebody just shoot me. Damn!
It’s not that I am allergic to fragrances, I just don’t like them. Not the cheap, ubiquitous scents that manufacturers put in everything these days. It’s almost impossible to find unscented hand lotion, face cream, hair spray, or deodorant. Why do those companies think I want to go around smelling like a dog’s dinner? So I would say my house smells like a French whorehouse, if I knew what that smells like. It doesn’t seem to bother the cats any; perhaps I exaggerate.
So now, instead of urging Paddy to go outdoors, I’m telling all the kitties, “Come on in — use the litter box. Let’s get this stuff used up and out of here.”
Please, somebody, remind me why anyone ever thought it was a good idea to train cats to pee in the house!