We were late for the cat's veterinary appointment.
There's nothing new about me being late. What is new – and completely true, despite the skepticism of the staff at the animal clinic – is the reason we were late. And yes, it was a reason, not an excuse.
We were late for the cat's veterinary appointment because the cat had to use the litter box before we could leave home.
I swear it's true. Because really, how could I possibly make up something that ridiculous?
I will admit I was running a little not ahead of schedule, but we would have been fine – not early, mind you, but fine – if the cat hadn't decided to answer the call of nature.
Not only did he decide to answer the call of nature, but suddenly he decided he was quite shy about his litter box habits. The same cat who will hop up on top of a table – where he is not supposed to be – hoist a leg skyward, and commence to licking his privates in full view of everyone, decided he couldn't possibly use the little box while I was watching.
Not that I was watching. I was merely trying to locate him so that I could grab him, stuff him into his carrier and try to get back on schedule. I fully expected to find him hiding under the bed where it would be nearly impossible to get him, because where else would he be when we were almost behind schedule?
So there I was, searching of all his favorite, out of the way hiding places when I heard the familiar “scritch-scritch” of litter being shifted.
“Ohhhh no! No, nonono!” I said, knowing full well that Lenny (aka Popper, aka Chicken Fingers aka NONONONO) tends to be quite leisurely when relieving himself. I know this because he typically has no problem using the litter box when I am in the room. In fact, sometimes I wonder if he ever uses it when I am not in the room. In other words, my presence has never deterred him from using the litter box.
Until that moment.
Unable to believe my ears – and knowing this really would put us behind schedule – I stood in the doorway to “Lenny's Room,” hoping against hope that he was just finishing his business.
Instead, he stopped, front paws in the box, and gave me a cat-in-the-headlight stare that said “Do you mind?”
I quickly ducked into an adjacent room to wait him out. Hearing no additional scritching, I decided to check again. All four paws were in the litter box this time, and the look on his face was decidedly hostile, something along the lines of “PERVERT!”
Duly chastened, I slinked down the hall to make sure everything else was ready for our departure. I was standing by the door checking my watch, jangling the car keys and tapping my foot impatiently when Lenny eventually sauntered my way. With a frantic scoop, stuff, escape, chase, grab, re-stuff and zip, Lenny was safely yowling in his carrier and we were out the door. Only 10 minutes late.
It wasn't until after we returned home and Lenny was lounging on the couch, looking as exhausted, betrayed, and pitiful as possible – worn out, I'm sure, from yowling throughout the horrific five-minute drive to the clinic and back – that I thought about how utterly hypocritical he was being.
When I use the bathroom one of two things happens:
|Watcha doin' over there, human?|
1. If I remember to completely shut and latch the door, Lenny sits outside singing me the song of his people.
“Yeoowllllll. Where are you human? Why, oh why have you shut this door between us? Are you forgetting that it is your responsibility to care for me? It has been 30 seconds since I saw you, since you admired me, since I tripped you.
“Yeoowllllll. When are you coming out? I could starve! I feel myself weakening even now! Listen to this – I can hardly muster enough strength to scratch on this door! Look at this! Look at how thin my paw has become! I can pass it under the door! Yoo Hoo! Hellooooo! This is me waving at you! Remember me?
“Yeoowllllll. The door! Is it? Are you? It is! You are! Mphf. About time. Talk to the tail. Ingrate.”
2. If I don't shut him out, or if he sneaks in before I can shut the door, Lenny sits at my feet singing the song of his people.
“Yeoowllllll. What are you doing human? Why, oh why have you shut the door, trapping me in here with you? Why are you sitting down? What do you mean I can't sit on your lap right now? Are you forgetting that it is your responsibility to care for me? It has been 30 seconds since you held me.
“Yeoowllllll. There is no food bowl in this room! I feel myself weakening even now! It is all I can do to sit here and stare at you, while you do whatever it is you are doing THAT DOES NOT INVOLVE ADORING ME! This is an outrage! I demand that you . . . wait. What? What are you doing? Why is there water running? What is going on in this giant bowl? Why can't I see?
“Yeoowllllll. The door is open? No. No! I do not want to leave! I want to trip you! Or, wait, hey! Come back here! Nope. Changed my mind. Talk to the tail. Ingrate.”
On the up-side, I always remind the family to use bathroom before we leave the house. At least now I know someone has been listening.