Whenever I clean out the cat’s litter box, I also employ the bathroom wastebasket. It gives me a clean, pure feeling. Everything in its place, the world is sorted out. And to my stunned surprise, sometimes only moments later, I will walk into that same bathroom and there will be TRASH in the wastebasket. What?! Can’t my family see that it was just cleaned?
In my house, we’ve never gone 24 hours without spilling something on the carpet.
I myself, of course, am inconsistent. I use the wastebasket whenever needed.
Whenever the carpets have been freshly cleaned I announce that we must all move into a motel. Last time one of the cats threw up a hairball right in front of me. The carpet wasn’t fully dry.
I laughed because crying would have been a victory for the cats and they must never know that they won the battle.
What battle, you ask? That obscure battle between the weak (animals) and the powerful (people)? Where somehow the “poor, dumb” animals end up being catered to with heaps of toys, mountains of treats, and select cans of tempting gourmet foods. Who are these creatures and what have they done to deserve all this?
Let’s face it, most dogs have not saved someone’s life. But we cater to them as if they might. Many of them hog the bed, knock over toddlers and seniors in a single bound or yap you deaf because a butterfly flew past the window. They will steal the steak off your plate, chew the heel off your shoe and whine for an hour at 4 p.m. because that’s the time you take them for a walk every single day, never mind that you broke your leg yesterday and are in traction. You say your dog is loyal, I say that you are an easily trained human. The tail doesn’t need to wag the dog, he had you wrapped from that first doggie kiss.
Are there fewer mice in the world because of cats? I think not! I will submit my home as a completely random example, with 1.8 cats per occupant and I still find at least one mouse a year in my garage. Outrageously, I am expected to rescue it and remove it to the great outdoors! Last time I cornered it in a matchbox and made my husband drive it down the street to an empty field. I think my children named it. They said prayers wishing it a long life. The words I said aren’t found in any prayer book.
Cats will climb the curtains and pee in the flowerpots. They look cute crawling into paper bags but not so cute jumping into a Waterford vase, which crashed and broke and now we don’t have to worry about being uppity. In the general outcry there was much concern that little paws might step on glass and not one word of consolation for the smashed vase. Nor did a single cat come forward to help the mother on her hands and knees cleaning up the mess and saving paws.
I surrendered a long time ago. Animals are in our lives to stay. We share the world with them and they with us. I’m pretty sure they outnumber us, so all things considered I think they’re very gracious. I really don’t mind cleaning up the litter box. Tending to doggie yard duties gets me out and about my garden, which I enjoy. But somebody needs to teach my human family that the bathroom wastebasket is off limits, for Pete’s sake!
Christine McFadden holds a license to practice veterinary medicine and surgery. She has cared for the family pets of Merced at Valley Animal Hospital for more than 30 years. Send questions or comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.