Litteraly speaking:

It’s one of those days when time is just going to run out. I haven’t been procrastinating, it’s just been one thing after another.

An idea came to me this morning as a time saver: what if I applied the Trump Rule to litter box management? Tell myself they don’t exist anymore. Then I won’t have to clean them. 3 times a day.

As I was digging, I actually wondered, how many times in my life I have actually cleaned litter boxes. Some charity recently sent me a giant calculator. I suppose I’m meant to retaliate with a donation, but I’m not going to get started on that topic again.

Anyway, I decided to work out approximately, how many times, in the roughly 30 years I’ve owned cats, I’ve had to clean up their little deposits. It was a disappointing 33,000. It feels more like 3 million at least. Of course there were all those cat-sitting duties I did also, as well as some volunteer work.

Even so, it’s a lot of…litter…..

One extra task that took up time today was having to take apart one of the cat beds and wash all the bits.

Reason being we have one cat that is particularly nervous.

Sophia lives mainly in the living room because there, she can hide under two big chairs or the sofa.

And when all is quiet and calm, she sits in a big bed by the fireplace.

Because the other cats chase her, we supply a nearby litter.

All covered, right? Well it was, but this is where the complications of cat ownership come in. Especially multi-cats.

Some of them don’t like to pee in regular litter, which is most kinds, including some of those with higher prices. I’m not even sure how I worked this out, but what I was doing for a while was just putting paper towel in three of the boxes. Elicit peeing stopped.

So that was fine, but over time, that’s a lot of paper towel, even if you use the cheap stuff. Not environmentally responsible. Yes, there is paper towel that is re-cycled, and some that is bio-degradable, but really, I can’t afford to buy it for my cats to pee on.

I went exploring the Internet.

There are so many kinds of litter these days, maybe I could find “The One”.

And I did. It was a trifle more expensive, but the cats took to it. I did a half and half distribution at first to see what the response would be, and that way it worked just fine.


Grant didn’t approve.

He said it was bad for the environment though he was not able to convince me, as I had read up about it and he did not. So I persisted.

To make his point, I guess, Grant refused to deal with it. (I hate to say he thinks like T…) Which was fine. Everything is 50/50 after all.

But the damn Perfect Litter gets kicked out of the box. All litters do, but this one is so messy. It was all over the place and it was slippery and crunchy.

Well, that’s what cat litter mats are for. Yes. I’ve tried all kinds.

But one or two of our dear little cats think cat litter mats are for actually peeing on. And they can’t distinguish between litter mats and bath mats.

I’ve posted a picture of Willow because she is the one who mostly gets the blame.

My beloved and wonderful Willow.

But I don’t believe she is the only offender.

It makes little difference, after all. What am I going to do, put them in diapers?

So the litter mats are out. The new 50% popular litter comes in 3 varieties, so I tried them all. Two of them were dusty.

So I zeroed in on the kind that seemed least messy and thought perhaps boxes with higher sides would help.

We had high sided boxes already, because some of the cats aim rather high, but I investigated to see if there were boxes with extra high sides.

There are, but I had reservations about them because for some bizarre reason, they have a narrow base.

Which wouldn’t matter, except:

When Willow uses the litter box, she doesn’t actually step in.

She perches on the edge, precariously.

And she manages very well, but the first night I had the new boxes, in the middle of the night I heard a crash and a cry as Willow tipped the box up, so she and the contents were ejected onto the floor.

Now I needed door stops for my extra high-sided, badly balanced litter boxes.

And Blackie, the champion digger, still kicked half the contents out.

But still I persisted because my dear little pussycats liked that litter better and it does absorb odor and it lasts quite well, so the extra expense doesn’t amount to much….

Finally, though, I grew tired of the three or more times a day sweep up and the crunching and mess of the bits that inevitably stuck to shoes and cat fur and found its way onto floors and furniture and yes, even into my bed. Enough. Defer to Grant. We went back to the World’s Best. Which is perfectly good, but some of the girls don’t like it and the random peeing started up again.

Which is a long way round of explaining why I was feeding our irritating washing machine Hal this morning. Beep, beep, beep.

And now I’m running out to play with the garden hose. It doesn’t have a name.

12 thoughts on “Litteraly speaking:

  1. Oh lord — someone who spends as much time thinking about cat litter as I do. And I only have four furry ones! Thanks for the Friday chuckle, and for making me feel a tiny bit better about my own personal brand of crazy.

  2. I have a large Ragdoll cat and he has a difficult time fitting into a regular litter box. So I bought a pan for mixing concrete. It has higher sides and is much larger than a litter box. He seldom misses now!

    1. Ragdolls are so beautiful! At the moment we have actual litter boxes but in the past we improvised with a variety of things. Whatever works, right?

  3. You have managed to make this sound lighthearted, but I feel your frustration in not finding a suitable solution that will work for EVERYBODY. In the last year of Furby’s life, he refused to use his box at all and he picked out a spot on the carpet in front of the main bathroom door. I tried several solutions and finally found something that worked somewhat for the remainder of his life. I used a large section of clear plastic carpet protector and laid several thicknesses of cheap paper towels on it. Of course these had to be cleaned up multiple times a day because we had to step on them to get into the bathroom. It wasn’t perfect, but at least I was able to keep my sanity. And this was for only one cat! I don’t know how you do it.

  4. Exactly! You do what you have to do. Poor Panther had the same issue as your Furby and I used dog-sized pee pads and like you, cleaned and cleaned. Panther’s spot was in front of my dresser. The option is to have your pet euthanized but if they are not suffering, how could you? I just did another shuffle this morning as someone has decided they need to pee next to my shower. At least it’s not on carpet! I think it may be poor Patches. She’s our “underdog cat”, everyone chases her and she has wonky knees. She is special in a whole other way to the rest.

  5. Furby almost made it to his 18th birthday and peeing outside his box was always his way of letting me know something wasn’t right. It signalled a UTI most times. This time it was severe kidney disease, but with meds and fluids, along with the adjustments to his bathroom habits, I was able to have almost an extra year of precious time with him. I wouldn’t have missed a moment of that for anything. I hope sweet Patches is not in any distress.

  6. My Yeti got that extra year with kidney disease. Panther, sadly was less. Yeti was 17 and I had accepted the idea but Panther was gone way too soon. Patches seems OK. She coughs all the time, but always has. She has always checked out fine at the vet. When the others chase her she just runs. I don’t think it worries her as much as it irritates us!

  7. Just more challenges in the life of a multi-cat owner! I LOVE your posts especially the ones about your cat travails. Your cats are all beautiful and very fortunate to have found their way into your care.

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