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A Cat's TalePosted Friday, December 21, 2012, at 2:06 PM
Here are my cats, trying hard to ignore their new facilities.
Today my heart is saddened, because I have to box up and return one of the best Christmas presents I ever received--if only it had worked!
My sister and my three children went together and bought me a modern miracle of technology, an amazing accomplishment of the truly great minds of the 21st Century, a device which promised to revolutionize the working woman's life and add 10 years to her pitiful life span.
Am I talking about an oven which will bake a 7-course meal in the blink of an eye? Ah, you know me better than that! A certain friend of mine tells everyone that the only reason I have a kitchen is that it came with the house.
Am I referring to a miracle vacuum cleaner which will clean, deodorize, sanitize, sanctify and set aside my entire house? Well, that sounds pretty good, but, no, that's not it.
My precious family pooled their life savings and purchased a self-cleaning, self-washing kitty litter box.
No more bending over the litter boxes in the laundry room to scoop out the disgusting residue which my two darling little companions deposit for me on a daily basis.
No more breathing the noxious clay particles which float in the air and lodge in my lungs.
No more hideous odor, wafting its way through my home, making it smell like a pig..er..cat sty.
I think the word we're searching for is "panacea," defined as "a solution or remedy for all difficulties or diseases--a cure all."
This boon to man--er--womankind arrived on my front porch in two large boxes. Upon unwrapping it, we discovered that it looked much like a regular toilet, except it was very short--cat-sized, if you will. We filled it with the regulation amount of ceramic pellets, and my son hooked it up to water and a source of drainage.
The cats stood and looked at their new visitor with suspicion. When we ran the device through its preliminary cleaning cycle, their suspicion turned to alarm. The scooper arm came down, and the cats hurried from the room. Belatedly, we realized that the cats should not be present during the cleaning cycles, until they're accustomed to using the new litter box.
The device scooped, then washed (three times), and then dried the ceramic pellets. Amazing! The entire process took about 45 minutes.
The next step was to get my cats to USE their remarkable new potty. This proved more difficult than anticipated. If given a choice, they preferred the floor. No amount of persuasion would overcome their distrust of this alien device.
Next step--Put plastic over the new pot and sprinkle their familiar clay litter inside.
"Well, okay!" my yellow cat said. He immediately jumped into the new potty and christened it.
"Yay! We're on our way!" I thought. The cats obviously objected to the strange new litter, rather than the potty itself.
However, the issue still remained. How do I get them to accept the litter?
Next step--mix the two litters. This worked for several days, but the resulting sticky mess was no fun.
Finally, after much trial and error, we were ready to remove the protective plastic and launch "Operation Cat Saver"! I set the device up, as instructed, with a brand new $26.00 box of ceramic pellets (guaranteed to last 4 months, through multiple automatic washings).
I went off to work with high hopes! When I returned, I was confident that my problems would be solved!
Well.....almost! One cat had made a deposit on the floor beside the new litter box, but the other one had followed my instructions (Good Kitty!) and had left his mark inside the box!
Now we had a truly accurate test for this "self-washing" miracle of the 21st Century.
I am somewhat reluctant about how to fill my readers in on the rather sordid details of this experiment without using a certain objectionable word.
For that reason, I will not use that odious, disgusting word. I will just say that when the excrement hits the fan, it is not a pretty sight--and, as for improving the odor of my house, it's a good thing I had the laundry room door closed.
Thank you, dear children and sister! I appreciate the thought, but I guess technology is no match for certain unpleasant tasks.
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Madeline (Giles) DeJournett is the Advance writer for the North Stoddard Countian. A retired high school English/history teacher, she spent 32 years teaching in 5 schools in Missouri and Alaska. These days, she lives quietly with a menagerie of wild and domestic animals on 52 secluded acres in the remote Tillman hills south of Advance. She graduated from Dexter High School in 1960 and Southeast Missouri State in 1964. She can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.