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Lessons From the End of a Marriage

A “How to Thrive” Guide After Divorce

S**t Where You Eat

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My cat is displeased.

Perhaps it’s the stress of the move. Or something she does not quite like about the new home. Or the new litter box is the wrong shade of blue. Or maybe she has also developed a basement phobia.

Regardless of the reason, she is not happy and she is letting me know.

First, by using my gym bag as her litter box.

And then the dog bed in my office.

And finally, my office floor.

And now I am displeased.

I have relocated her food from the main floor down to the basement/garage level, where it now sits near her litter box. I figure that the litter box may not be enough to draw her through the kitty door and down the stairs, but I’m betting that her food is. I’m going against conventional wisdom; I want her to s**t where she eats.

And, as I was carrying her food down the stairs, I realized that I use the same strategy in my own life.

Ewww, no I do NOT store my food in the bathroom. That would be unsanitary. Besides, I can restrain myself from using the bathroom on my office floor. I’m civilized like that.

But I do link together things that I do not want to do (my s**ts, I guess you could say) with the things I do like (my kibble, perhaps). Much like I am trying to train the cat (my goodness, dogs are so much easier in this regard!), I train myself to see the link as inevitable. If I want my kibble, I have to endure the s**t.

Today, I listened to music (kibble) while grading papers (I’ll let you guess). I enjoyed coffee (kibble) while paying bills (extra s**tty). Along the same lines, I withhold my favorite socks to wear only on long runs, I save my favorite shower gel as a reward after the gym and I enter a new item on my gratitude list every time I make a payment on the debt from my ex. None of these erase the discomfort of having to endure things I do not want to do. But they certainly make it more pleasant.

S**t is part of life. But that doesn’t mean that it has to stink.

And as for the cat, I’ll give her another week. And then her bed moves down there too.

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13 thoughts on “S**t Where You Eat

  1. Will your cat go down the cellar stairs? I adopted two adult cats. I put the litter box in the basement, showed them where it was. Done deal. Not really. I kept coming home and finding someone had done their business in my plants. I finally figured out my cat Nox is TERRIFIED of the cellar stairs. I tried training her with treats… I finally gave up. Her litter is now in the utility room. Of course I also had a cat that when we left her, in her opinion, too long, she would pee in the middle of all of our beds. But if the litter wasn’t in the basement before, it might be the stairs. Good Luck.

  2. If this continues, you might want to take her to the vet to make sure she doesn’t have a urine infection or something else going on. The stress of the move could have easily caused one. Also make sure she is not kicking litter into her food or she might really get sick. (I used to work at an animal sanctuary.)

    1. Her urine looks and smells fine. Well, as fine as cat urine can smell. She’s active, running all over the house. I think she’s just ticked that her litter, which was in my office by necessity for the last four years, has been moved. Last resort, I’ll move it back but it is so nice to finally do yoga without getting litter all over my hands!

      Oh, and don’t worry, her food is actually in a room adjacent to her litter. Thanks!

  3. Have you ruled out a urinary tract infection? Also please research feline lower urinary tract disease. Hope that helps!

  4. New house, new litter box, new location – she’s likely just in protest mode then. I’m sure she’ll settle down. Good luck with everything – you have so much to look forward to!

  5. Oh dear. I moved five years ago and one of my cats peed on the packed boxes in the old house and on everything he didn’t feel belonged in the new house. I put up with it for THREE long years and finally put him down. A new filter for my exhaust fan in the kitchen was on the table, newly purchased and yep… Got a big dollhouse for my grandkids. They played in it. He peed in it. Guest wore extra slippers I let them wear. Yep. Peed on them and on and on.
    Hope your cat comes around. Sometimes you can’t teach an old cat new tricks… 🙂

    1. No fun:( I had to deal with constant urine issues with my pug when she got older (a special diet helped, but the poor girl didn’t even know she was going).

      All this talk of pee is making me glad that my cat is leaving more…solid deposits!

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