Saturday, April 16, 2011

Porcelain Litter Box

Sometimes I wonder what Mel is thinking when she sees me use the porcelain litter box.
Does she know what I'm doing?  Is she jealous that I don't have to get my paws dirty?  Does she think I'm doing some alien human ceremony by sitting on this thing?  Worshiping some God that makes a flushing noise once enough sacrifices have been made?
I bet she would be jealous if she knew.
I tried to train her to use it.  Besides the experiment overtaking my guest bathroom, which was then unavailable to my guests, it didn't work.  I still have hope and may try again at some point.
Mel is very picky.  If her box isn't cleaned regularly, she drops trough in the middle of the hallway to make her point.  Who can blame her?  I wouldn't want to use a dirty one either, especially if I had to step in it to use it.
Mel has one box for number one and one box for number two, and she keeps them very separated.  If her number two ever has to spill over into number one (there might be a poop left in number 2, God forbid), she gets very cranky.  After doing her dirty, she cleans her paws - about five minutes per paw.  Mel is the cleanest cat I've ever known.  I think she spends 10% of her day sleeping, 40% of her day cleaning herself, and 50% of her time devising ways to kill me in my sleep.
So therefore, I find it amusing, that despite the fact that I don't think she has any idea what I'm doing when I worship the porcelain God, she has to be right there with me and won't give me the privacy that I give to her.  (Well, that she demands really.  Not that one wants to be in the room when she puts a tootsie roll in the box, but if I happen to be say, using my laundry machine at the same time, I'm made quite aware that I'm invading her privacy and space by the glare and nip on my ankle.  She's very modest.)
If I shut my door, she whacks at it with her paw til I lean over and open it for her to come in.  And sit.  And stare while I make my ceremonial sacrifices.  I think she feels left out sometimes.
She'll wind back and forth, rub her head on my ankles, roll over on her back, then usually opens the bathroom cabinet, knocks over everything in her way, and sits (in the cabinet), under the sink until the signal that I'm done (water rushing above her head), at which point she comes flying out of the bathroom cabinet.
Mel's fascination for the porcelain alter doesn't diminish when I'm not using it.  She'll sniff around the base.  Put her paws up on the seat.  Sniff inside.  She's been known to shove her head between the lid and the seat. She likes to get her front two paws down in there on the sides to get a good view.  And, like a dog, she enjoys drinking out of the big doggie bowl as well.  Mel loves fresh water.  If her water in her dish isn't changed twice daily, she'll dehydrate herself and jump in the shower with me (that only lasts a few seconds when she realizes she can't drink the water that is pummeling her head, and this leads to a flood out of my bathroom down the hall and usually ends with a sopping wet cat cleaning off that wretched water while laying smack in the middle of my bed, which I then have to take a hair dryer to - thanks Mel).  So I don't understand drinking out of the big doggie bowl.  But her fascination is the funniest part.  She can not figure this thing out.  I can only imagine the questions she's asking herself:
"What is she doing?"
"What type of incense is that?"
"I wonder if I can scent that thing too."
"Is that flush noise coming from Mom?"
"Are those other noises coming from Mom?"
"Why would she ruin fresh water by sitting over top of it?"
"Is she blessing the fresh water for me??"
"Awww well maybe I'll let her live to see another day."

One day my little leipschin perhaps you will make your own sacrifices to the porcelain God.  Until then, please don't kiss my nose after you've drank out of the big doggie bowl, and I promise to keep your two litterboxes pristine.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Mel the Terrible....Mel the Vegetarian

I'm sure many of you are reading this wondering if I've now imposed my own weirdo practices onto my cat.  No, she's imposed them on herself.
A few months ago, I asked my mom to bring out some plant trimmings so that I could start my own offshoots.  The cuttings sat on my kitchen counter while they grew nice long healthy roots, then I moved them to a pot, and then one day I went to take them to work and noticed that my plant, really didn't look like a plant.  It sort of looked like a piece of abstract, not yet finished, artwork.
The ends of the leaves were nawed off leaving brown, flat ends, not graciously flowing green tips and long leaves that the type of plant is supposed to have.
"MEL!!" I yelled from the kitchen.  She came into the dining area and sat, with a simple look on her face, looking at me, like "Yeah, whaddaya want?"
Did you eat this??? I said, with my best stern look (eyebrows raised, eyes wide, over the rim of the glasses, pursed lips) while putting what was left of my potted plant at eye level for her to see.  
She's not only a vegetarian, but she understands English because she did a Mel tornado right out of the room as soon as I got the plant to eye level.
Well that explained that.  And how do you punish a cat?  Everything is on their terms.
I took my wounded plant into my office the next day, and it's now sitting lamely on top of my mini fridge trying to regain it's strength.  First she's at war with me, and now my houseplants.  I wonder if she feels threatened by another living thing.  Something that takes a little bit of my attention away from her each week.
Because the saga continues.
I bought a blackberry bush for out on my balcony.  I'm so proud.  It's pretty much an amazing plant.  AND it hasn't died yet.  It's growing.  In fact, it looked like it may be getting some flowers on it!!
Until Mel chewed them off.
I tried to enjoy the sunrise with a cup of coffee out on my balcony the other day.  Me, Mel and the sun.  You would have thought it was peaceful.  No.  Every 6-8 seconds in a loud whisper: "Sssssstop it!!"
Swat.  A little louder:
"Quit eating my plantssss!"
Whack.  In a yelling whisper:
It took me thwacking her with the garden knee pad to get her to back off.  She then jumped in my largest pot where my hollyhocks were showing some signs of sprouting this year and proceeded to use it as a litter box.
It took everything I had not to see if cats really have the amazing sense of balance that they are said to, by throwing her over the balcony.  But I didn't.
The following weekend I purchased a bunch of daffodils from Trader Joes.  Imported from Ireland, at only $1.50, daffodils are pretty much my favorite, have Welsh significance, and therefore are pretty much my favorite even more.  And they're yellow.  And they're springy.  AND though I've checked in Lowe's since December, they've had no bulbs.  So here they were waiting for me. So I bought myself flowers.
I enjoyed them all day Sunday and then set the vase on my kitchen counter to keep them out of sight/out of mind of the beast.  Several times I caught her trying to get a taste.  Once she came into the bedroom with a daffodil petal stuck to the side of her mouth.
Monday morning I awoke to a trail of daffodil petals down the hall, in my sofa cushions, on my stove, under the fridge, the litter box.  It looked like a bird had died and been shredded.
All the evidence I needed.
I was not happy.
I surveyed the damage the little beast had done to my daffodils.
They looked alien.
Missing all of the petals, and just left with their trumpets, they looked like the were out of a moonscape and completely creepy.
I took them to work anyway and set them next to my recooperating spider plant.
And once again, this is the cat who will not eat anything other than her same old brand of dry cat food.
Tonight I found a petal under my pillow.
I've tried growing cat grass for her.  She downs it and then pukes up and down my hallway at an abnormally fast rate while make the plunger sound.  "Retch retch retchh heaaaaaaavvvvvvvvvve" And thirty seconds later "retch retch retch heeeeeeeeeeeeeeave."
So for now, my cat is trying to become a vegetarian.  It would sure make things cheaper if she'd just eat my leftovers.  She wouldn't like not being in charge, but it would make life easier.  Unfortunately for her, I don't eat daffodils.