I loathe thee to the depth and breadth and height
My litter scoop can reach, when scooping day and night.
For the ends of peeing and messy poop,
I loathe thee to the level of everyday’s
Scooping need, by sun and fluorescent-light.
I loathe thee freely, a cat lover’s plight.
I give my apologies to Elizabeth Barrett Browning for butchering her love poem, but my cat Furball recently had a bladder infection and was visiting his litter box about 30 times a day. That gave me the opportunity to get intimately familiar with kitty litter in a way that I would have preferred not to.
Sure, cat litter is a great invention, but when you’re scooping and cleaning dozens of times a day, litter starts to feel like that friend you enjoy talking to at parties, but you sure wouldn’t want to go on vacation with. Too much, too often and too close proximity!
So, how do I loathe thee, cat litter? Let me list the ways.
I begged you to stay inside the litter scoop, but you always found ways to sneak out through the cracks. Every day without fail, I would gingerly scoop you out of the box and inevitably, my elbow would bump something, and out you would scatter, raining like a jilted lover’s tears all over the floor.
I tried to hide our relationship from my family because I’m ashamed of you. I don’t know if I can find it in my heart to forgive you for boldly announcing your existence during dinner. As I placed the plates on the kitchen table, I saw YOU there. Needless to say, cat litter crumbs are not welcome on the kitchen table. I know you hitched a ride on Furball to get there (and all over the couch too).
I can’t depend on you. You show up in unexpected places at inopportune times and then you disappear when I need you the most. I thought I had a back-up bag in the garage and when I looked, you were gone. You left me all alone to deal with a cat with a bladder problem, and all that was left of you were a few pellets in the bottom of an empty bag.
Or, to be more precise, you’ve worn out your welcome on the living room rug. Furball’s no dummy. He knows that the way to get you off his paws is to go to the rug and wipe off his feet. All it took was 30-plus visits in one day to make the rug look like a sandstorm had swept across it.
I can’t even begin to describe the stabbing pain I felt in my soul — oops I mean sole — when I inadvertently stepped on you.
There are always little bits of you stuck in the slots of the litter scoop and trapped in the grooves of the litter mat. Inevitably, I have to use my fingers to remove your tenacious presence.
I tried breaking up with you once, but I couldn’t do it. I thought toilet training my cat would let me to banish you from our lives. You knew better. Sometimes I wonder if you told the cat to poop on the stairs so that I would abandon the toilet training and welcome you back into our lives.
No matter what the litter bag says, you don’t cover up the smell of my cat’s pee and especially not his poop.
Seriously though, while I had a lot of fun sharing my cat litter pet peeves, I have to say I really do appreciate cat litter. Recently I read an article about "first world problems," and bitching about cat litter definitely falls into this category.
Cat litter really is a wonderful invention. I love how there are so many eco-friendly litters available and how it makes my life so much easier. I love that Furball learned how to use the box on his own and that he uses his box without accidents.
Most of all, I’m grateful that Furball recovered fully from his bladder infection and is happy, healthy and thriving.
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About Holly Tse: Holly Tse is a green cat expert and lifelong environmentalist. Practicing Taoist, Dragon Spirit Guide and Chinese Reflexologist who has experienced more than nine past lives and can bend reality at will. Totally into alternative healing, but her Achilles’ heel is reality TV cooking shows. As a Canadian expat, she uses an American spell checker for her Catster articles. Check her out at her Chinese reflexology website.