If you are anything like me, you share your home with at least one cat.
Such a sweet face. Such an urgent plea!
Even though I am allergic to cats, the little guy on our front porch was way too cute to pass up.
My son, Simon, and my granddaughter, Rachel, witnessed two kittens sharing a bird for lunch under a tree in the backyard, just a day or so before.
Of course I was fresh out of little birds, so I opened a can of tuna for our beautiful tabby friend. He promptly stepped all four feet into his plate of fish, and got the nick-name Tuna Toes.
Here We Go Again
We hadn’t had a cat since Rover, years before, in Connecticut.
Her long fur dictated her accommodations: outdoors. (We DID try for indoors, but my eyes blistered up so badly, I could hardly even blink.)
Short hair, stunning symmetrical stripes, and “masked” eyes earned Bandit his name — and a place indoors.
We weren’t shopping for a kitten. Bandit found us.
That was nearly ten years ago.
He Was Just What I Needed
Who even knew that we needed a teensy little helpless creature to care for? God knew.
You see, Bandit arrived on the Saturday after the last day of school that year. The kids and I would be home to take care of Bandit.
I had two whole days to fall in love with him before the Monday of my hysterectomy. That little fur ball kept me company during a hard couple of days, napping right next to me, and letting me stroke him.
(We later found out that Bandit’s mother was run over, and he was an orphan.)
Turns out we needed each other.
Just As Well — I’m Allergic, Remember?
At best, cats are good company, and a welcoming, loving presence, who stave off cold toes or even bouts of boredom. Adorable cat videos are proof of that!
At worst, cats are aloof, independent, grumpy little fur balls who just make a big mess, with their shedding, and gross little trails of cat litter crumbs around their box. Yuck.
Somewhere in between, is Bandit.
When he is ready for bed, he lets us know. He makes his grand entrance into our room, once we’re situated, and he takes his place at the foot of the bed.
Bandit won’t let you pet him, unless he’s eating. No lap-sitting. No snuggles. He tolerates an occasional brushing, possibly even to the point of liking it, but don’t go thinking he’s making friends.
It’s actually best this way.
Cat Box Elegance?
I don’t know a soul who relishes the dreaded pooper-scooper duty. That being said, I did attempt the impossible: Eliminating the mess.
Hence, the automatic litter cleaner-upper that combed through the clumps and scooped them into a sealable plastic box. Man oh man, cats can sure make a LOT of clumps!
Pretty soon I was dumping OUT the clumps, in an effort to re-use the plastic boxes. And, if you’re not right on top of it, the clumps can get out of hand. Much bigger hassle than I anticipated from something with ‘MAID” in its name.
Out Of Sight, Out Of Mind
I thought I was really on to something, getting a cat box with a “hood.” The cat goes in, does the deed, the hood contains the litter and the odor.
This particular hooded unit came with three bottom pieces: two litter trays PLUS a screened layer. These layers allow you to merely SIFT the cat clumps out, rearrange the litter pans, replace the hood, and THEN your cat can enjoy a tidy poo pod with his privacy intact.
However, when poor Bandit emerged one day, he actually squinted.
The odors DO stay in the hood — right in the cat’s own face, thank you very much!
An Open Box & Quality Clumping Litter
My final shot at a clean cat box is simple, and the best solution yet to keeping up with Bandit’s latrine.
- A PLASTIC BOX WITH HIGH SIDES
- Keeps litter inside when the cat is burying the mess
- Kittens, of course, need shallower boxes
- A STURDY SCOOP
- Strong handle
- Proper-size holes for sifting
- A LIDDED RECEPTACLE FOR THE USED LITTER CLUMPS
- From the pail of litter we used to buy
- QUALITY LITTER
- Forms hard clumps that hold together during sifting
- Won’t stick to the box
- No scraping necessary — ’cause who wants that?!
- BONUS: Less tracking once the cat leaves the box!
I Hope This Helps!
We love Bandit. In his own way he loves us, too.
Keeping up with our furry friend’s needs is part of the life here, at Sonrise Hobby Farm. Litter clumps just come with the territory.
What’s your solution to cat litter? Tell me in the Comments below!