So the large main cat came in looking all pitiful with one side of his face all swollen up. It was so swollen and he was so pitiful that I dragged myself out of my pajamas and through the shower in the early evening on Christmas Day so that I could go to the store for kitty litter. He’d need to be kept in overnight and taken to the vet in the morning.
When I got out of the shower I could just see that something had happened in the vicinity of his face. I will spare you the gory Technicolor description of what followed except to say that it’s a good thing that The Lovely Rhonda is a nurse, and also that I understand why veterinary technicians usually wear scrubs, i.e. are not naked and dripping wet whilst tending to an animal with a large abscess.
At this point we figured that his face would now heal on its own and let him back outdoors.
The next day TLR texted asking me to pick up litter after all since he was back and looking sad again. He went to the vet that morning and was reasonably patient while they shaved half his face and cleaned what turned out to be a pretty ugly open wound on his cheek. A quick shot in the behind of antibiotics and he was good to go. “Oh,” says the vet, “and keep him inside for two weeks.”
Which is like saying, “Oh and also? Teach him to recite pi to the forty-seventh digit.”
This morning he meowed piteously at our bedroom door until I let him in. All went swimmingly until he climbed on top of us both and began to yowl. Suddenly the bed exploded into activity when Rhonda sat bolt upright and hollered, “YOUR CAT IS PEEING ON US.”
And so he was. And it was disgusting.
Which is how I ended up in the side yard hosing out the litter box at eight o’clock in the morning. I’d fashioned a small temporary one out of a plastic storage container but I feared that perhaps it was too small for His Majesty’s liking, thus leading to the fun this morning. The old litter box was full of rainwater and used kitty litter. O joy.
Later I entered the kitchen in search of disinfectant and an old dish brush to finish my delightful task. “And by the way?” I said to TLR, “The next time one of us just hauls a full litter box outside and leaves it in the rain instead of emptying it, it’s grounds for divorce.”
“But you can’t divorce yourself,” says TLR. “Because I’m pretty sure it was you.”
“Oh, I don’t know, right now I think I could,” says I. Twenty minutes spent prising clay spiked with cat turds out of a plastic box will do that to a person.
Also? If you are out walking your dogs and you see your neighbor standing in their side yard grimly hosing a litter box out at 8am on a forty degree morning, you can feel pretty secure in the idea that they are not doing this of their own free will.
The litter box is now ensconced in the laundry room and Himself is driving us all crazy meowing at all the doors and windows. I think we will be lucky to keep him in for three days.
I may never feel clean again. I informed Rhonda that it might be easier to just start over and clone me from some DNA off the hairbrush.
Oh and? I could have driven to the store and bought a new litter box in the time it took me to clean this one, but somehow it felt just a little excessive. Apparently fifteen dollars is my threshold.