I love my cats. Everyday when I get home from work I love to scoop them up in my arms, nuzzle them close, and tell them how wonderful they are. But I, like every cat owner, know that there are several downsides to living with cats. There are the typical ones like unexpected vet visits, daily litter box maintenance, hairballs, vomit, and sharp claws at inopportune times. Some of these less enjoyable things mentioned fall under what I’d like to call the Eww Factor of cat ownership.
I had an Eww Factor about a week ago when Toby didn’t upchuck the easy way via a simple pile on the floor easily contained with about 10 paper towels for hand protection. Nope. He felt versatile that day and spilled the goods from the top of my five-foot tall dresser, artfully ensuring the “contents” hit every drawer on the way down and gracing the wall picture propped against the dresser before reaching bottom. Unfortunately in the midst of an unpacked bedroom, I didn’t discover this grotesque addition to my room decor for a day or two. The crusty-mushy mess I encountered was a definite top 10 grossest moments of my time owning cats.
Another Eww Factor is what I call the “heinous catanus”. A co-worker of mine humorously coined this word “catanus” (pronounced kuh-tay-nus) and I’ve used it ever since. It doesn’t merely refer to the backside of a kitty, but rather the kitty’s frequent misplacement of said backside smack dab in front of a human face. This is just about an everyday occurrence if you hold your cats, let them on your lap, in your bed, or on your counters. I have seen enough up close and personal cat rear to last me a lifetime despite only having them for about three years. Eww.
Then you have your unexpected Eww Factors. These are the ones that happen on an individual basis and may not be experienced by all or even many cat owners. Today, I had such an Eww Factor. I don’t know if anyone else has experienced this one, but here goes my airing the dirty litter. As you can tell from my opening sentence, the first thing I do after work is scoop up the kitties and tell them how much I love them. I was so glad as I picked up Timba that I paid no attention to the fact that he was laying by the litter box, where tiny pieces of litter find themselves over time. After I gushed forth my litany of “I love you’s” and “So glad to see you’s” I naturally took in a breath, at which point I immediately exhaled with all the gusto of an exaggerated German accent.
What came to the tip of my tongue from that blast of alarm filled air was a piece of cat litter. I had just inhaled a piece of cat litter off of my cat’s fur. Ick, ack, yuck, blach, and eww. These are the times when we choose to love blindly and consider not those things which would otherwise curtail our affections for our tiny little furry cohabitants. I still love my Timba, but still … eww!