Giving up, throwing in the towel, declaring defeat and ending the war: I have been psyched out by a kitten. I really believed we could do it. So much so that I said it in public. And for long stretches, she was rocking that Litter Kwitter™. We were going to kick litter for good; make the house more hygienic; travel without sandbox. But we were never home for long enough without feline friends visiting with their own litter boxes, letting her off the Program. Using the LK wasn’t always easy for her and mostly she tried, but then she would lose it and backslide. Doing number 2 on the floor next to the toilet upset me, but was easily taken care of, and greater vigilance applied. She came to know that Mama has gecko eyes and one of them is always on her. She was doing so excellently, but honestly hadn’t made actual progress in months. Then, for a dozen unknown reasons I tried to rationalize, she did a puddle on different duvets 3 times in 4 weeks.
That’s it. Whether it’s willfulness because she really enjoys digging to China or just too much to ask that she get it right every time, I can not risk it becoming a habit. Closing off the bedrooms ~and most of the light in the flat~ is depressing and leaves me fearful for the couch, which means keeping constant super gecko eyes and giving myself an ulcer. While she was making progress, the light at the end of the tunnel made the tight regimen worth it. But going back to new kitten days of literally not letting her out of my sight when she was awake? That was going to suck all the joy right out of having a cat, and probably make her neurotic to boot. So, as intelligent as I still believe she is, she can be average and have a litter box like average cats. At least I have found a couple of sources for non-clay, more environmentally friendly litter. From the mining to the disposal, clay litter is a disaster. That was one more reason I wanted us to be a sandboxless family. But better a box and a lovable, trustworthy kitty because that will make Mama and Kiwi less tense and anxious, which is good for everybody.
Note from the editor: Thanks, L, for the expression Infinite Integrity. Cats will and will not do only as they choose. We should be so constant of conviction.