Sunday, March 13, 2005

Domesticated Animal: CSI

DISCLAIMER: Hungry/eating readers should be avised that this entry contains frank feline content and graphic descriptions of litterboxes.

It's time for another post about my pets. I came home last week to find something I had never encountered before, and I think we need a little "Domesticated Animal: CSI" to figure out what possibly could have happened.

First of all, it's a disgusting, horrible fact that dogs like to eat poo. They especially like to eat cat poo. Cats metabolize really differently than dogs. They'll never digest all the salt and fat they need because they break down food so quickly. Consequently, cat kibble is full of sodium and fat, because the Good People at Iams know cats will only absorb about half of it before it's, um, eliminated. Dog food, on the other hand, has as little fat and salt as possible, which is why most dog treats are created in the theme of salty/fatty/bacon-inspired products. You see where this is going, right? I don't need to go all the way there, do I?

So Fred has a special covered litter box with a flap that keeps Bella from doing things that make me give her a bowl of water that she must drink NOW, don rubber gloves, brush her teeth with chicken-flavored toothpaste, give her another bowl of water, and prevent her from licking me for at least 24 hours.

Now, we all know the cat is Special Fred. He's a wonderful, funny cat, but he experiences unique challenges that don't seem to confound other cats. Like the aforementioned litter box. He has had this litter box with a lid and a flap for more than two years. The cover and the flap are TRANSPARENT. There's only one way in and one way out, but he gets... lost. He uses this thing at least twice a day every day. At least once a month, I find him mewing and scratching against the back, flapless wall, trying to get out. Sometimes he pulls the flap toward him with his paw, repeatedly whapping himself on the nose.

Last week, I came home from work to find the litter box upside down in the middle of the living room, its contents filling the lid, the lid detached from the base. The litter box is usually located in the bathroom, a good 15 feet from where I saw it when I walked through the door. Now, the thing is designed so the lid comes off for easy cleaning. It has a latch on either side, attaching it to the pan full of pine pellets (feminist, environment friendly litter). One of the latches was gnawed off.

Fred does not gnaw on things, persay. Bella only gets chewy when she gets bored, and she usually sticks to rawhide bones (which she has to have sparingly, for other disgusting reasons; although two months ago she figured out how to nudge the cabinet door under the sink open and helped herself). If no rawhide is available, she'll chew on pens. The only exception to this has been in Miami. She would find this book about the end of apartheid and chew on it, no matter where I hid it, until I had to throw it out. Saying "Dude, Bell- it's okay! Nelson Mandela is freed at the end!" didn't help.

As for the Great Litter Box Caper, this is my best guess: Fred went into the litter box and got stuck while I was at work. He must have been freaking out in there. Bella probably nudged the litter box out of the bathroom. Fred is big enough, but not smart enough, to do it; Bella nudges cabinets open (see above). I think she then flipped the litter box (how else could the contents have ended up almost completely in the upside down lid?) and gnawed one latch off to free him. She didn't take the latch to her favorite chewing places. (She gnaws on the pens while sitting on her dog bed, or alternatively on my bedspread...Mmm..inky). She left it right there.

My first thought was that Someone! Was In! The Apartment! because it was so odd seeing this object in the middle of the living room when it never leaves the bathroom. However, the TV, computer, DVD player, and spare cameras were all present and accounted for. Nothing else was touched. Fred couldn't have done this. It had to be Bella. She wasn't foraging for turds, either, because there was a turd (sorry) in the upside down lid. Can YOU think of any other explanation?

Seriously, I can not. However, "foraging for turds" is an excellent description of my attempts at rebound Internet dating. And that's all I'm going to say about THAT.


Cindy W said...

I know it shouldn't be funny, but the mental image of the cat "locked" in the litter box and "Suuuuper-Bella to the rescue!!" is absolutely hilarious. I can't imagine that cleaning up the litter box aftermath was very much fun for you, though. Ick.

For the record, I met Dave on There are some good eggs out there. Good luck.

Chunky Photojournalist Barbie said...

Nah, it SHOULD be funny. They are completely hilarious. Actually, the clean up wasn't that bad. Almost everything was in the upside down lid. Genius dog, I'm telling ya.

Kelly and her fiance met on yahoo personals, and Alissa and Todd met on springstreet personals. It's not a bad thing, I know. It's mostly just bad for me at this time. I haven't been active in more than a week at this point. Post Break Up Week 5 was really bad, but I think I've turned a corner. At least for now.