You know, my cats are for the most part, a bunch of idiots, but sometimes, they do things that have me almost convinced it's all an act.
Case in point...today. A new neighbor came over to use our phone and got to talking to Todd about internet and other things. I was changing the liter box, as I do every other day. This is not a rare occurance in our house. Nope, every other day is pretty regular if you ask me, which you didn't, but let's pretend you did.
Now, changing the literbox with a new neighbor standing there might not be the most polite thing to do, but honestly, I was in the worst part when he knocked on the door, and I figured it would be better to finish, than to just leave it at the high stink point, which is right after I've emptied the old liter into the trash. So, I continued. First, I tied the garbage bag up, locking in that odor and brought it outside. This served a dual purpose as I was able to get it into the trash before the trash people came, meaning that at least for a day or so, flies will not be gathering around our bins in huge numbers, waiting to feast on their favorite dish, cat poop.
I went back into the house. Todd and neighbor are talking. Meanwhile, Jesse strolls out, no doubt to let this new neighbor know how fantastically awesome he is. He really does have major ego. People just notice him for some reason. His coloring isn't all that unusual, but the way he carries himself is pretty awesome. He walks like he's some wild cougar that we've barely managed to domesticate. It's rather fascinating, until he decides he wants love and falls apart, rolling on the floor, meowing, and acting like a need for love fries braincells. Then, the awesome, fierce, undomesticated image he's built up is about as stable as a Klenex soaked in bleach.
So, Jesse comes out, to show his great wonder to the new neighbor, no doubt to establish things. "See? I'm the best cat in this neighborhood. I am a lean, mean, scratching machine, and you will not forget it, buster brown." It works, because the neighbor stops talking in mid sentence, his eyes rivited on Jesse. Yes, this is what I'm talking about, Jesse walks into the room and all conversation stops. People don't start gushing like they did over Remy. They don't go, "Aww, he's soooo beautiful!" they just stop. And stare. If they are cat fans, they say, "What a magificient cat!" or something like that, but they don't gush or coo. And people who aren't cat people don't say anything, but they always look. Always. It's rather neat.
So, Jesse comes in, gets his fascinated stare, and looks about, no doubt trying to leave new neighbor with the impression that nothing in this apartment happens without his say so. He's stalking around, looking all dignified and wild, his tail swishing magestically, making him appear to be ready to tackle anything. Then, he spots me cleaning the boxes.
I'm at the "Put hot water and bleach" stage. I've scraped the boxes as clean as I can, and now I'm putting in hot water and bleach to kill immediet germs. I've got a fan in the window going full blast exhaust, to keep the house from reeking. Jesse sees all of this, as he has seen every other day, since we adopted him Normally, he could not care less if he tried, but today he stops dead in his tracks, sits down and tips his head to one side, watching me. All of his fantastic untamed attitude vanishes, and he's staring in wide eyed wonder, as if he's never, ever seen those liter boxes changed.
"Oh, WOW!" he seems to be saying with those wide eyes, "Lookie that! I've never seen this! Mommy, what are you doing?" Then, looking as if he's so overwhelmed by this brand new sight of me, changing his literbox, he leaps into the air, turns, and runs off, his reaction reminding me of what I always felt Moses's first reaction to seeing the burning bush and having it speak must have looked like.
I look at the new neighbor, who has been watching this exchange, because remember, Jesse commands immediete attention. I shrug, trying not to look too embarassed. "I don't know why he's acting like this, honestly, I do change the literbox quite often."
Todd helpfully quips, "He's just being weird. The other cats don't care!"
Barely are the words out of his mouth, when Jesse trots back in the kitchen, Goten and Chrissy hot on his kitty heels. They all come over to the sink, where I'm about ready to enter the next stage, which is, "Boxes have been semi cleaned with hot water and bleach. Now we will put more hot water in them, and toilet bowl cleaner, and really scrub the hell out of these boxes." The three of them sit down, surrounding me, and stare up at me. Jesse chirps a couple times as if to say, "See? I told you, she's changing the box!"
And they watch as I fill the boxes, their eyes widening so large that they start resembling anime cats instead of real cats. A few times Chrissy raises one paw in the air a little bit, then pulls it back, as if to say, "I want to ask her, why she is finally, after all these years, changing our box, but I'm terrifed if she pauses, she'll stop!
Goten is alternating between looking at the boxes and staring at my legs. I know that the staring at my legs isn't really about the liter box cleaning, it's more about me and my evil pants, because as I've mentioned before, Goten believes my pants are the root of all evil and must be destroyed at all costs. But, to the new neighbor, it most likely looks like Goten is taking the job of watching my feet to make sure I don't try to run away before I clean these boxes.
So, I've got the devoted trio, staring at me in a worshipful way, acting for all the world like they are witnessing a mirracle. And, if that isn't bad enough, occationally they are chirpping or making those cat babbling noises, clearly making it obvious what's going on in their heads. "I never thought this would happen!"
"She's changing the boes! Alert the media, she's changing the liter boxes!"
"THANK CEILING CAT ALMIGHTY, WE'RE FINALLY GOING TO HAVE CLEAN BOXES!"
I finish that stage, and go into the bathroom to empty out that water into the john, my job hampered now by three excited, happy, kitties following along as if they've never seen this in their lives and must gaurd me to make sure nothing on heaven or earth stops me, after all, I'm cleaning their liter boxes, which they've never ever seen in their lives!
The "never in their lives" is made worse by Chrissy, who is a elder cat and is starting to look it.
I empty the hot water and toilet bowl cleaner from the boxes into the toilet, the cats watching every move, Jesse running around to the oposite side of the toilet and getting up on his hind legs, determined not to miss one tiny speck of what I'm doing, because he's never seen it before!
Once emptied, I bring the boxes out. The three cats rush on ahead and look confused at each other. "What is she going to do next?"
"I don't know! Quick, doofus, go watch the door to make sure she doesn't try to leave without finishing cleaning them!"
"I'm NOT a doofus, and I can't do that, because I'm too busy watching her PANTS, because I know deep down, that those pants are going to convince her to stop what she's doing. In fact, I'm pretty sure those pants have been the reason why she's never, ever, ever changed our liter boxes!"
When I establish myself at the sink to rinse them out with hot water, they gather around me again, awe on their kitty faces. Neighbor is watching the show, because, well, wouldn't you? Of course you would. This is prime stuff.
I finish with the final rinse. I've already cleaned the outside of the boxes and the lids with a water and bleach solution. These suckers are clean. I'm not bragging, but if I had to, I wouldn't be afraid to drink soup out of a liter box after I've cleaned it, that's how complete I am. I dry out the boxes, first with a couple of rags that are washed with hot water and bleach every time I use them for this, then finish with paper towel. I've still got my audience.
I put the boxes down, where the cats surround them, and jump in and out of them, sniffing and looking, as if now that they're clean, they are totally new to them. "What is THIS? It can't be our liter boxes, our liter boxes never smell like this! They never smell.... oh, what is that word I'm looking for? Clean! That's it, clean! Our boxes never smell clean!"
I open up the bin where I keep the kitty liter and realize that I'm not helping my own cause, because it's full to the brim. That's because last time, which was back in the dark ages, also know as last tuesday I finished up the old bag and had just refilled it with a new bag, but with the way the cats are acting, it looks more like it's full because I've never changed these cats boxes in their lives.
I scoop liter into the boxes. I don't use a ton of liter, simply because I do change it so often and scoop it enough that I don't want to go broke buying kitty liter. But, I use three "scoops" in the big box, and two scoops in the little box. (I made the scoop from one of those bottles of Tide concentrate that hardly weighs anything, but does 32 loads of laundry if you're willing to use an eyedropper for your soap, instead of feeling you need to fill up several caps, as I often do.)
As I'm pouring in the liter, the cats are still gathered around me, fascinated with this, staring at the kitty liter as if falls into the box as if to say, "Wow, so that's what it looks like when it's clean! I've never seen that before!"
When the boxes are full, I snap the lids back on. The cats take turns leaping in and out of the boxes, coming out and staring at each other as if to say, "What do we do with these?" They're so clean, I don't know!"
"Are we allowed to use them to poop and pee in?"
" I'm not sure! "
"I would like to, but geesh, I'm just too scared! After all, if Mommy doesn't want us to, you know she'll beat the tar out of us, like she always does."
Leap in, leap out, sniff the box, sniff each other, stare at me. "Mommy, what do we do? We have no clue! We don't know how to deal with clean liter boxes, because this has never ever happened before in our lives!"
Finally, Goten decides to be the brave one. He leaps into the box and piddles, not much, he's got to test the waters, so-to-speak, so he sprinkles a bit, and jumps out. Jesse and Chrissy look at him with expressions of awe. "I can't believe it, you did it! You peed in the box!"
And Goten manages to look both cool and yet, a bit humbled, as if afraid too. "Someone had to do it, and better that I get beaten than you two. I have more meat on my bones and can take Mommy's vicious beating with the cat-o-nine tails."
The three of them look up at me, to see my reaction to this. Will I get angry at Goten for having the nerve to pee in a clean liter box, seeing that I've never cleaned it before in their lives? Will I explode into vengeful wraith? Will the world come to an end?
I say, "Oh stop it, you three! I do this every other day!"
I don't think the neighbor believes me. My cats are very convincing actors when they want to be.
The moment neighbor left they promptly began actin completely normal again. So, I know they did this just to make me look bad.