Until Portugal …"
XO, –Ali Fedotowski on poor ol' Craig Robinson, aka The Poor Man's Peyton Manning
photo credit ABC
photo credit ABC
Most readers know that Doodle cat uses a toilet instead of a litter box, something I trained her to do over ten years ago with incredible results. I basically moved her litter box into the bathroom, put it atop the toilet, then switched it with a mixing bowl filled with litter, and finally, used some plastic wrap with a hole in it, the litter scattered on top to direct her where to go. And voila!Over the decade, she's had an 85-90% success rate, even managing to poop and pee in strangers' toilets when we've traveled to Massachusetts or Vermont. The problem has been, however, that when she makes a mistake (or an intentional mistake), it's often a costly one in terms of money, effort, and frustration for both of us.
On Monday, Doodle peed in the toilet and I gave her cheers, per usual. Later on, JD's Mom and brother came over to see the baby. JD was in the bedroom on the phone, and Doodle was running around acting a little crazy. Generally I pay close attention to her activity to thwart any potential rogue doo doo bombs, but I was entertaining. I assumed she was running to and fro because she had just done her #2 business in the can and was due another round of praise. I was wrong.
JD screamed out from the bedroom. I rushed in with a "What? What?? What???" He was in shock, and all he could muster was a gesture toward the clean comforter which, in my corner of the bed, now contained a little nest of logs compliment of Doodle cat. In her confusion over the number of guests fawning over the new roommate whom has stolen her thunder since March, she flipped and failed.
With the comforter clean and no "Bad kitty!" reprimands, I'm finally coming around to the idea of providing Doodle with her very own litter box so both of us don't endure the potty time stress anymore. She's a wild animal (wilder than most) with an intelligence, sophistication, and grace which surpass most homo sapiens, and I'm so proud of her. I think it's time I honor her with a box of dirt she can toss turds around in just like her peers. And if she wants to act like a lady and dump in the can once in awhile, that's fine too.
Look closely at this picture--as hard as it may be--because there's a lot going on. Exhibit A, obviously, is the mouse, taking front and center stage apparently having died a thousand violent deaths. The toilet in the back is chock full of waste, compliments of Doodle. Good girl! Mid-ground is a jingle ball, which may have been a part of the World Cup Game or found itself on the field later. Assorted spots on the ground are fur: mouse, cat, or both. The picture which had been sitting against the wall to be ultimately hung up (and then I went into labor) is askew from the scuffle. Doodle herself is on the side of the tub, so stoked to show off her kill that she can't get out of her own way.
I did a 180 degree turn when I saw this cat and mousy show and screamed for help. JD cleaned up the crime scene (and took this picture) because I couldn't handle it. Suddenly, I wasn't so hungry anymore. I ran to the kitchen to get the paper towels and bleach, and lo and behold, the kitchen door was wide open! In JD's haste to remember everything for Doodle and John, he had forgotten to bolt the back door. Thus, the wind blew it open at some point over the weekend, and Doodle had her run of the place, inside and out. For hours. Approximately 48 hours. Nope, she hadn't found that mouse in my house, she went down 8 flights to the laundry room and out the window to get it, and bring it back up for a good time.
No wonder she was so calm and collected when we got home. She didn't miss us one bit. In fact, she's definitely wondering why the hell we lock the back door at all when life is so much more interesting when her square footage of living space is increased and she can roam as she pleases. Had Doodle not found a mouse, she'd without a doubt have the " Gone Huntin' " sign up when we returned. And had she caught more than one, this joint would've turned into full-on Apocalypse Nimh.
Now back to the photograph for more fun facts. In the tub you can see John's blue playmat, which Doodle peed on earlier in the week and turned into a pissmat. I washed it, and it was hanging on the side of the tub to dry when we left for Philadelphia. But in the mouse melee, it must have ended up in the tub. I pictured the trembling mouse hiding in the mat's folds, Doodle with her paw placed firmly on top. When I went to tidy up the bathroom after JD disposed of Doodle's prize, I whisked up the mat to find approximately 50 million mouse turds flanked by a mega bonus of what I can describe only as a trio of organ meats, delightfully stewing in their own sauce which had coagulated and rendered the gizzards so stuck to the tub that I couldn't pick them up with a dry paper towel. There was also something resembling a tendon in the mix that was particularly stubborn to remove, resisting my grip with the stretchiness of a rubber band. Ahhhhhh eeeeeeeeeee yahhhhhhhhhhhhhh!!!!!!
When did the disemboweling happen? Before or after Mr. Mouse found himself on the tile floor? Was he so scared of Doodle the Ripper that he literally crapped himself to death in the tub? What's more thrilling, the chase or the kill? What's tastier, the heart or the liver? Was there mouse roux in the pile of Doodle's barf on the carpet this morning? I don't know, I don't know, I don't know, I don't know if I want to know. What I do know is that everyone had an amazing weekend. Well, almost everyone.