Wednesday, April 26, 2017

The Two-Turd Solution

I've been sick. Did you miss me? The good news is that I'm not dying, at least not today. The bad news is that I still feel like crap.

The nice thing about my critters is that they know when I don't feel well. Last night, I'd been sleeping on my back with my arms and legs splayed out. I woke up wondering what wet thing was in my hand.

It was Blitz's nose. He had buried his face in my palm. It almost made up for what has been going on in the litter box.

Did I tell you about the litter box?

I think I told you that he'd peed in my work bag, then in the hamper on my new favorite pink shirt. I don't know if I admitted that it must have been him and not a mouse that had peed in Nick's duffle bag. The whole thing was so gross that I visualized bringing him back to the clinic to get a refund.

Right, a refund. He was free, completely free. How could I bring him back?

That's the hard part. You can't easily bring a horrible adoption back when you have gotten to know the people who adopted him to you. Oh, who am I kidding? Most places emphasize the forever home. Forever. Until death do us part. It's harder than a bad marriage. Pet divorce is a travesty, shameful, always the fault of the human. Didn't try hard enough. I've thought that myself, more than once.

I knew I could never face them if I failed. I just couldn't, not even if the pisser peed in every corner of my house and pooped in my purse. Right, he peed in my purse.

So, I sat down with him, stared him into his hazel eyes and talked it out.

"You can't keep peeing on our stuff. You just have to use the litter box, Blitz. It's too hard to replace all the karate stuff that you ruin and to wash the pink out of my new favorite shirt. It's already faded and I only wore it once. You have to stop."

He stared back at me for a minute, flipped onto his back, and batted my hands with his paws. No claws, just soft gray paws.

"I mean it," I said. But I knew he'd won the argument.

Later in the afternoon, I was walking Teddy with a friend of mine and admitted that I'd considered sending Blitz back. She stopped walking and stared at me for a minute. I almost started crying as I looked back at her.

"It's just too disgusting, all this pee everywhere."

"What have you tried?" she asked. No judgement. Wow. I need to keep this friend.

"We're keeping every bag in the house zipped up tight and I bought new hampers, colors and whites, with lids on them so he can't jump in."

"And has he peed on them?"

"Not yet," I went on. "And I'm going to get a third litter box to make sure that's not the problem."

I kept babbling.

"I even had a talk with him, you know, visualizing the problem and then visualizing the solution. I've heard somewhere that if you visualize things as you talk that the animals can understand you more easily."

She tilted her head. That might have been a little woo-woo for her.

"Maybe you should have a talk with your other cat. Does he keep the kitten from going in?"

Puzzle pieces clicked into place.

"Oh ..." I said. "That's good."

It wasn't Seth's fault either, I thought. It was my fault. The litter boxes were getting dirty too quickly. As soon as I got home, I cleaned them and set an alarm on my phone for five minutes after Mike and Nick left the house in the morning. I could sleep in on the weekends, but I was always home, wondering what to do next when Nick and Mike left in the mornings.

So far so good. A few weeks have gone by and Blitz has only peed in the litter boxes. Everywhere else is good. I have been a litter box queen. The little guy even comes around while I'm cleaning and looks at me almost with a grin on his face.

Now I have a new problem: Blitz rolls in a clean litter box every morning when I'm done. It's disgusting and Mike caught him at it last weekend.

"I can barely make myself pet him any more," he said as I tied up the smelly plastic bag of turds and clumped piss. I didn't say anything. I agreed with him, but how do you stop yourself from thinking about when your pets lick their own butts then try to lick your hand? How do you stop thinking about how they sit, bare-assed, on your favorite book or pillow? What about everything else? There were so many spooged diapers and constant puke on your shirt the first couple years you carried your boy around? What about the little gobs of snot you found stuck to the wall by his bed when he was eight and you had to make him clean it up before he stopped doing it? What about when you stepped in poop at the dog park and had to run your shoes back and forth over the gravel in the parking lot before you got into your car? What about the things you manage to culture in the back of your refrigerator? What about dust mites and face mites and probiotics? It's all so very disgusting when you think closely about it.

So now I'm the litter box queen implementing the two-turd solution. When I leave two turds on top of the clean litter box, Blitz doesn't roll in it.

Most of the time.

Thank you for listening, jb

Update: I just realized that I wrote this story already. Sorry. I really have been feeling like crap. It's time to go sit down and put on my cat blanket, two cats on my lap and knees. They fight over who gets my lap. 

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