We’ve been working on changing from a clay brand of litter to a pine litter. We knew it would be a challenge considering the fact that one of our cats, Carson, is a raging bitch when it comes to something not being precisely the way she has had it before. She likes her food as soon as her people get out of bed and as soon as they walk in the door after work. She wants water from one faucet, and one faucet only, but not too hot and not too fast of a drizzle. She wants to be touched, but not by you. She wants her litter spotless and new. She does not want it to smell funny. She does not want to poop in an enclosed box. Any deviation will result in pee and poop in places you can not imagine.
We’ve endured pee in our piles of laundry, on the floor in the hallway, and the closet, pee on our desk and all over our as-yet-unpaid bills, and most recently, on the sample Flor rug tiles we were testing near the front door. She’s pooped in our sweatshirts, on the bathroom rug, in front of the litter box, under the antique desk, in the leg of my sweatpants, and today, in front of Janie while she was looking on in disbelief.
She has no problem doing any of this while we look on and, I think, prefers to make eye contact with us while she eliminates as if to say, “Yeah, I am shitting on your brand new clothes from Old Navy that are still in the bag, what are you gonna do about it?” And you know what? We can’t do a thing. Not a damn thing. Why? Because we love her – and we know if we gave her away to a shelter or another loving home, they’d have to deal with the same behavioral problems only they wouldn’t love her as much as we do. So they’d just throw her outside and leave her to fend for herself and believe me, this high maintenance lady CANNOT DO THAT. We have no choice but to keep her and do our best to reason with an animal that hogs all the covers.
The pine litter that we’re switching to is healthier for all our cats and, in general, more pleasant. It doesn’t leave a film of dust over everything. It smells decent enough. It’s lighter and when you have three cats that poop and pee as much as ours do, it’s nice not to have to lug a 10 pound bag of litter to the trash can every day. But our cats are having none of it, especially Carson.
I thought that I’d go all out with the switch: new boxes, new scoops and plenty of clean litter for our new vigorous scooping schedule. I spent $60.00 for the first round of “Will they shit in it!?” I emptied a new sack of pine litter into two new boxes and set them out. I grabbed Carson, first, to show her the bounty of new and clean boxes. It was her dream, I thought. Not once used before, sparking and smelling of nothing but natures goodness. As I lowered her into the box, her body tensed and she splayed her legs out, clutching the sides of the new litter box and squealing like I was murdering her. This was not okay.
I managed to get her back feet to touch the litter, but nothing else and she squirreled her way from my grip and took off, likely to pee on my pillow. Each of the other cats had their turn. Harlow had much the same reaction her sister did, clutching the sides to keep from having to put her feet in that godforsaken pit of pine. Ducati, though not pleased, actually stood in the box before hopping out and looking at me as if to say, “Hey, I don’t have to go right now. Don’t be so pushy.”
In the weeks that have passed, we’ve managed to fool them somewhat. We put down a layer of the new liter and covered it with a layer of the old. When Carson went in there and scratched around to cover up her deeds, I popped in on her and yelled, “HA! I got you! THAT WAS THE NEW LITTER IN THERE!” She looked at me, thinking how low I’d sunk, that mixing two litters to fool her was my entertainment for the day.
She’s refused to use the mixed boxes, even now, and retreats to the one box with only old litter, a consolation that she probably believes has made her the winner in this little battle. Every once in a while, in an attempt to show us whose boss, she pees on the rug in the bathroom or the kitchen. I’m ready for the next one, though. I didn’t buy three unused boxes of pine litter to see them go to waste. I’ll stalk her and when she starts to go, I’ll toss a handful underneath her, and then I think we’ll all know who the winner really is.