The Real Housecat of Bruce Palma. Episode #1, "Clean My Litter Box"
Another cup of coffee down the hatch. 5:34 am. Got up at 4:30 am today but sat on the couch and dozed off for another 45 minutes. A catnap. I wonder why they call it “catnap” when cats sleep almost all day? I read somewhere that cats sleep around 75% of the day. I will look it up and revise this statement if necessary. I only know that my cat wakes up with me around 5 a.m., eats a little food, walks around and rubs up on my leg and goes in circles and then sits on a plush fake leather chair in my office. He sits there, looks at me, and says (if he could talk), “What are we going to do today, Dad? I’m awake. I need some stimulation.”
If I’m lucky, I can get him to calm down and sit in the chair while I write and do all my busy work. If not, then I have to distract him. I don’t want him waking up my wife. I want her to wake up on her own. On her own time. She has her own rhythms. Don’t want to disturb them with the damn cat’s demands.
Then of course the litter box must be checked. If it’s not up to par, the cat will go in there and scratch around for quite a long time. I can hear him sometimes when I’m in the bed. Yes, the litter box is now in our bedroom. I know. Not exactly the most appealing place for a litter box. But with mother-in-law and daughter living at home, the bedroom, our “master” bedroom (will look up why they call it that….seems a tad, “gender specific”) is now also the feline bathroom.
Don’t worry. It’s a fancy grey dome topped deluxe edition. We got the dome to stop our last dog from raiding the litter box for midnight snacks.
So if the litter box is clean, and the food fresh, and I’m lucky enough to get him—his name is “Jim” after the character on that comedy, The Office—if I can get Jim to calm down and focus, he’ll sit in my plush dark brown fake leather chair and just look at me. He’s with dad at the office. His office. My office.
And all is well in my world—at least until he throws up a hairball and breakfast.
One has to be careful when a cat throws up. You have to know exactly where the damage has been done. You don’t want to stumble into the bathroom at 5 a.m. and step in any messes on the way. This can get ugly. Sometimes I have to roam around the house with my iPhone flashlight on a search and clean-up mission.
Cat vomit can often be found in multiple locations. That’s just the way they are. The don’t have the wherewithal or intelligence to throw up in the toilet, like we humans.
Can you imagine? You go into the bathroom and the cat is hunched over the toilet and he says, “Not now…oh god….way too many margaritas and tacos last night…”
And then the sun comes up and Jim looks out the office window and is in his own little feline heaven. He cleans himself, licking his fur and looking up at me with those beautiful cat eyes and he says, “Hey Dad, this is fun. I love the sun on my body. Are you having fun writing about me?”
(I know. Another cat owner going off about their damn cat. What else is there to write about? World Peace? Luxury cars? Winning the lottery? Don’t worry. I’ll write about all of those soon enough…)
And then, like clockwork, he sleeps. On the chair. In my office. For about 8 hours. Stretched out, content. Dreaming of birds, hairballs and maybe even eating something other than canned Tuna Flakes in Gravy.