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The Litter Box Incident

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VivaLasViejas is a RN and blogger extraordinaire with over 33 years in experience.

2 Followers; article_pluralized; 246,303 Visitors; 12,756 Posts

Instead of the gloom and doom that's become standard fare for me lately, here's a refreshing and (hopefully) amusing little tale of over-eagerness, cat-litter box changes, and what happens when an absent-minded woman like me uses the wrong equipment to accomplish said task. Just follow the trail of Jonny Cat...

The Litter Box Incident

Now that my husband's customary chores are gradually but inexorably being transferred to my to-do list, I got ambitious last night and decided that I was going to not only change out the cat litter, but take the litterbox itself outside and wash it out thoroughly with soap and water. It had been smelling rather abominably the past few days, even with frequent scooping and refreshing the litter, and since Bill couldn't remember the last time he washed it out, it was definitely time for this chore to get done.

With three large cats, it is necessary to have a large box for them to do their kitty business in. Ours is HUGE and takes about 15 lbs. of litter to fill it adequately. It also needs to be scooped out at least once a day, if not more often. Fortunately, this has posed little problem for me since I'm used to smelling all sorts of unpleasant aromas, and thanks to clumping litter it's actually a five-minute job.

I'd budgeted fifteen minutes for the dumping, washing, rinsing, drying, and refilling, so I grabbed a large Wal-Mart trash bag and the soap, then took these items downstairs to begin the ritual. It was a bit of a challenge getting all that litter plus at least five pounds of cat crud into the bag without spilling it, but I managed the thing and cleaned the box thoroughly before hosing it down. I dried it with paper towels, filled it back up (much to the delight of the cats, one of whom promptly hopped in and peed the second I had the lid back on) and proceeded to pick up the bag...

RRRRRIP!

WHOOOOOOOSH!

Twenty-five pounds of litter and, um, clumps literally rushed out of the bag in a torrent. It completely covered a three-square-foot area of floor, as well as the litter-catcher and my feet. I'd forgotten that large Wal-Mart trash bags do not hold as much cat litter as I needed to dispose of, hence my dismay at the scene before me (and the string of profanities I unleashed as I prepared to clean up the disaster area).

Meanwhile, the cats were wandering around curiously, and one even tried to be helpful by making a deposit in the spilled litter. I guess he didn't want to make more work for me by doing it in the freshly cleaned box. This is when I discovered that the litter-catcher that sits directly under the box makes a dandy dustpan, and I utilized both it and the nearly-bald old broom I found in a corner of the basement to sweep the mess into the big trashcan that lives in the "man cave".

Finally I got everything cleaned up---the fifteen-minute project had turned into thirty minutes and counting---but by this time I was sweating like a horse and becoming very irritated with the whole process. Then I tried to pick up the trashcan to take it up the stairs and out to the trash bins outside...and found I could barely lift it. Now what?? I thought to myself. My balance is not good, so even if I could've carried it up the stairs I still needed to hang onto the rails with at least one hand. I didn't want to ask Bill to do it because he'd almost fallen down those same stairs only the night before with a heavy tool box in one hand, but I was getting desperate.

Thankfully, some common sense kicked in, courtesy of a stern talking-to by the voice of my grandmother, who's been dead for over forty years but who still influences my better decisions. "You're going to have to do this by yourself soon," she said, shaking a finger at me in my mind's eye. "There's no such thing as 'I can't'. The Lord provides strength, not 'I can't."

So I got creative. I lugged the trashcan to the stairs, stopping every ten feet or so to take a couple of deep breaths, then went up one step at a time using the can as an assistive device to help me keep my balance. And by gosh if I didn't make it...I probably sweated at least a quart, but I got the whole kit and caboodle (or is that 'kitten caboodle'?) out to the trash without ever saying a word to Bill until the job was done.

Now I know that I CAN do these things by myself. I CAN get a full trashcan with 25+ pounds of cat litter and 'nuggets' up a flight of stairs. And I CAN remember that next time I'll want something a little more substantial than a large Wal-Mart trash bag to haul it in. That's a handy bit of information right there!

I'm a Registered Nurse and writer who, in better times, has enjoyed a busy and varied career which includes stints as a Med/Surg floor nurse, a director of nursing, a nurse consultant, and an assistant administrator. And when I'm not working as a nurse, I'm writing about nursing right here at allnurses.com and putting together the chapters for a future book about---what else?---nursing.

2 Followers; article_pluralized; 246,303 Visitors; 12,756 Posts

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That's a great story, thanks for the laugh. My cat is always very interested when I change kitty litter. "Where are you going with my poop?" he wants to know. Then when it's done he always uh, lays a fresh one you know?

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We always used the disposal ones. Arlo always had to christen the new one ASAP.

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That's a great story, thanks for the laugh. My cat is always very interested when I change kitty litter. "Where are you going with my poop?" he wants to know. Then when it's done he always uh, lays a fresh one you know?

Both of mine are the same way. The kitten likes to chase the sweeper and dust pan when I clean the floor after litter changes. But you can bet after the "novelty" of the litter change is over, they leave me a little...present...

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Yeah.....it's like they hold off all evening till I clean out the box, and then they fall all over each other trying to get in there first! I almost have to do a second scoop after they've all taken their turns. :sarcastic:

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Unsolicited commercial (disclaimer: No financial interest to disclose)....

 

S'Wheat Scoop: Clumping litter made of wheat, therefore completely biodegradable, therefore completely flushable even if you have a septic tank (we do). If you are on a sewer line you can flush any clumping litter-- the urine clumps disintegrate before the bowl is even finished swirling. And of course the feces go too.

 

We keep the litter box (4 cats) in the downstairs powder room and whenever anybody human goes in it gets a quick scoop. Flush. Done. We get a big honking bag of it on auto delivery from Amazon Prime (free delivery) now and then, and pour it into a big Rubbermaid tub in the bathroom, and the scoop and a small dustpan and broom sit on top of that. When the litter box gets a little low, top it off with a few big dustpan-scoopsful from the big tub. Works best if kept fairly deep to keep the urine off the bottom of the pan. I think I wash that sucker about once a year and I swear it doesn't smell inbetween times.

 

Perfect. No heavy lifting except getting the bag into the bathroom, but even an old broad like me can haul 25 lbs.

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It's recommended that you have one litter box per cat plus one.I don't use those giant litter boxes because they are so heavy. We are a volunteer foster family for a local rescue and also do some rescue on our own so we have a few cats (I'm NOT going to say how many) They are all indoors and we use a lot of litter. We save empty cat litter buckets and line them with trash bags for the soiled litter and keep them in each area along with a bucket of clean litter.It really only takes 10 mins 3 x a day to scoop and refresh all of the boxes. I find that if we don't keep a good 4 inches of litter in each pan the urine will soak into it and once that happens I don't think all the scrubbing in the world will freshen it. We just replace them (I think they are $5 on sale)

since i'm off today i'm spending quality time with my special best boy right now-he's been in and out of my arms all day...my little furry love bug...

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LOL, litter boxes are my nemesis too! I have two large old fat kitty girls and a small apartment. I have to keep the litter box in the bathroom under the sink...... One fun day, I am in the shower and unfortunately I had not yet placed an anti slip mat in the shower. I am just singing and washing away when...WHOOPS! I ended up falling out of the shower pulling the shower curtain with me, hitting my head on the toilet and falling directly IN the litter box which of course I had yet to scoop for the day! :poop: Good times! :scrying:

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LOL, litter boxes are my nemesis too! I have two large old fat kitty girls and a small apartment. I have to keep the litter box in the bathroom under the sink...... One fun day, I am in the shower and unfortunately I had not yet placed an anti slip mat in the shower. I am just singing and washing away when...WHOOPS! I ended up falling out of the shower pulling the shower curtain with me, hitting my head on the toilet and falling directly IN the litter box which of course I had yet to scoop for the day! :poop: Good times! :scrying:

BWAAAAAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!! :roflmao: I'm sorry this happened to you, but the mental pictures are entirely TOO funny!!! Yecccchhhhh!

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I started training my cat to go on the toilet! (City kitty) OMG it has been an adventure. BUT I will never go back to cat box. Sure, she still hogs one whole toilet and is on the last ring of her training tray, but no litter box! Yes I have to clean up accidents, but she is getting better. Yes, it has been a long 3 months, but it is so worth it. Too funny I know!

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You know, I've had cats that tried to perch on the pot a few times. Unfortunately, they tended to put a little too much thrust into their takeoff and went SPLASH! right into the bowl. Wish I'd had a smart phone back in those days......I'd have loved to record 'em sailing over the edge of the seat.

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re. the OP story: I bought a 6 gallon ShopVac as Lowes. I set it up with a drywall bag inside, and one of those replicable blue circle paper filters and plastic ring. In the event of a spill, I can just wheel it in there, sweep up the whole shootin' match, and blithely dispose of the bag.

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