Mr. Ferguson, a prim, correct cat, has undertaken a program of behavioral therapy with his wilful and random girlfriend. Miss Nickel Catmium, wild in ancestry and veteran of a three-month tour in rough country, shares with her breed the disturbing tendency to think outside the box. (This is why people should stop breeding and buying Bengal cats. Not all of them are as lucky as Nickel, who has only a mild palette of alarming traits and found a human who can put up with them; whenever I feel as if my heart hasn’t been broken enough, I read about the Bengals and Savannahs that wild cat sanctuaries have to turn away.)
For longer than I really care to admit, Nickel has been willing to take a whiz in one place and one place only, to wit, a bath mat at the foot of the guest bed. Actually her initial statements in this direction were made sans bath mat, but having a library of the things from Apricat’s senior years, I had a procedure in place and the mats went down; easy to throw in a double-bleach wash, no need to buckle to with a major cleaning project. Amusingly, every time Mr. Ferguson has witnessed this dismaying, but at least manageable, ritual in my presence, he’s immediately marched pointedly to the nearby litter box, dug to China, and shown her how it should be done. It just never took.
About a week ago I walked into the guest room and stopped short. Fergie was ensconced on the bath mat, paws tucked formally under his chest, radiating a Buddha-like serenity.
It happened several more times over the course of the week.
The bath mat remained pristine.
She’s been going somewhere, and it appears to have been, exclusively, the litter box. Does the mat smell like her buddy, whom she finds it rude to pee on? Is he just blocking it when she wants to anoint it? Do I care? It’s working.
Mr. Ferguson, C. S.W., Behavioral Therapist and Love Muffin. I’m having a shingle made.