A Tale of Two Kitties

As many of you know, I have two feline companions, Suzanna (aka Zuzu) and Valentine.  They were born in a feral cat colony, littermates and sisters, and now they are happy to be indoor cats.  Obviously, indoor cats need indoor facilities.

Used to be I had two criteria for cat litter:  it had to be unscented (HAD TO BE!) and I’d prefer it in a smaller box to make it easier to lift because none of us is as young as we used to be, right?  So I usually bought a 14 pound box of unscented litter at the grocery store.  Then about six or eight months ago they stopped carrying the unscented in the small box.  All that was available were boxes upward of 20 pounds.  So I tried going to different stores, but no luck.  So I decided to try this new stuff made from wood instead of clay—and wow!—it was so light.  I was surprised to pick up a box the same size as a 20 pound box of clay litter, but the wood litter only weighed 7 pounds!!  I loved it, and the cats were fine with it too.

Then Valentine started getting these little bald patches on her front legs.  I guess she’s scratching herself, though I haven’t seen her doing that. She really seems unconcerned about it, but of course I took her to our vet and she said it’s gotta be an allergy. The vet started asking about her diet, but then it dawned on me—oh, the kitty litter.  Darn it.  Well, maybe it’s causing it, we don’t know yet, but the vet recommended switching litter for at least two months to see if her skin condition improves.

So now I’ve discovered a clay litter that claims to be extra light, and it’s good.  It’s not as light as the wood litter, but it’s better than the old clay litter.  I washed out their litter box and put in the new stuff, and it’s very very fine and sandy, and has a tendency to get all over the floor, but it meets my criteria of unscented and light, so I’m willing to go with it.

But now I’m noticing that poor Zuzu is sneezing like crazy.  She also keeps licking her lips like she’s got dry mouth.  It’s day four with the new litter, and I’m hoping if I switch back to the regular old heavy clay litter that will eliminate her sinus issues. I hope.

Yeah, this isn’t all that interesting, I know.  The moral of this story is that when you love someone—be they human or animal—they will inconvenience you.  It’s normal. Get used to it.  You will have to cancel other activities to take them to the doctor, or go out of your way to squeeze in a trip to the grocery store to get them something they need, or throw out a lot of perfectly good kitty litter because it makes them sick or at least you hope that’s what’s making them sick. You will spend time worrying.

This is a revelation to me that I feel I should have realized earlier in life.  Love is just inconvenient—whether it’s for a person, an animal, a place, an activity.  Of course it’s worth it.  And I guess I’m saying I should have realized that this is life, not planning your schedule to “maximize efficiency” or working “smarter not harder.”  This. Love.  Being okay with uncertainty and inconvenience.  Rolling with it.

Okay, that’s all I have for this week, because I’m going through a bout of insomnia, and now I’ve got to get up and get dressed to go to a funeral for a dear old family friend. This is what we do.  Have a good week.

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