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why i don’t have a cat

ImageConfession. Scandal. Intrigue. Suspense. Terror.

I am a professional pet sitter with no cat.

Almost every new client asks me what type of pets I have. When I rattle off the list, which does not include a feline, I get:

“No cats?”

“You forgot to mention your cat.”

“And how many cats do you have?”

“No cats? Don’t you like cats?”

And by the die-hard cat people, I am often looked upon with slight suspicion, at which time I begin making out with their cat, just to prove my devotion. I also love hippos, but one does not reside with me.

So how do I feel about cats? Cats are awesome. They are so individual. One might wind between your legs and magnetize to you the second you walk in the door, and another might hide in the closet, never to emerge when humans are present. Some purr and meow, some hiss and yowl. Personality is a great thing to have.

I have cared for a pair of shy cats for nearly eight years now, yet I’ve never touched them. I know they are alive because their food is consumed, their litter box is used, and their eyes glimmer and move under the bed. I don’t push them to be friends, and their family is well-aware of their aloofness. I talk to them as I go about my business of feeding and litter-box scooping, just so they know someone is there who cares. But they don’t care. They just want to be fed. That’s okay.

I care for several cats who require insulin injections. They are all rock stars about it. And thank goodness those aren’t the ones who hide under the bed.

One cat that I care for melts my heart every time. She lives in a house with two rambunctious food-stealing Jack Russells who have not been trained, so she dines on the kitchen island. Every time I visit, she guides me to the island, jumps up on it, then puts her paws on my shoulders and nuzzles into my neck. What better love is there?

So why don’t I have a cat? (drumroll)

The litter box. 

That’s it. I can’t stand litter boxes. And I don’t wish to send my kitty outside among the coyotes and javelinas just to potty. So I choose not to have a cat. My husband is totally a cat person, too. I’ve thought many times about surprising him by adopting a cat and have browsed the cats available and in need on a regular basis because even though I’m more of a “dog person,” I adore cats. But then I remember the litter box and the litter. It’s a no-go.

Part of my job is to scoop litter boxes, so I’m pretty sure I’ve seen ’em all, and I have yet to meet one that I would have in my home. There are the filter ones, the ones with tops, the sifters, the ones that rotate, the ones hidden in the pot of a house plant…and then you have the litter. No matter what kind, it’s just bad. The ones that try to mask the poop smell are the worst. They literally make me feel ill. I most commonly run across the scoopable ones with odor control, so that’s chemical and dust combined. Awesome. The natural ones, like the pellets, are better, but they still get tracked all around the litter box. They all get tracked. That’s gross and a major pain. I’m fine with cleaning all that and dealing with it when I’m being paid, but no one in my home is going to give me a paycheck for cleaning the cat box and surrounding areas, and certainly no one in my home will do the chore. So, no cats. Sorry.

I am thankful that I get to interact with my clients’ cats regularly. They are delightful, and they satisfy my feline needs. So until we find the cat who is already trained to go on the toilet AND flush, we’re going to be happy with the rest of our herd. If we find that cat, there will finally be a reason for my boys to leave the lid up on the toilet.


14 Comments on “why i don’t have a cat”

  1. Pam says:

    “And by the die-hard cat people, I am often looked upon with slight suspicion, at which time I begin making out with their cat, just to prove my devotion.” Hilarious. Good thing I didn’t have coffee in my mouth when I read that.

    I don’t have a thing for cats, I’m definitely a dog person. Maybe even a person-dog. But I don’t dislike cats. I find them very mysterious and entertaining. But also terrifying. Their claws are like tiny hooked razors. God help you if encounter a particularly crazy cat that likes to launch itself off of furniture and onto you, firmly planting its little razors into your skin. It doesn’t quite execute a perfect landing, and slips off your shoulder, its claws taking flesh with with them on the trip down. It didn’t mean to hurt you. It was only launching out of love. But even those terrifying claws aren’t why we don’t have cats. It’s the litterbox. I most certainly don’t petsit for cats on a regular basis like you… but I did… ONCE… and that’s all it took. A long time ago, I catsat for a very good friend of mine who had five cats. Five cats worth of litterbox grossness. For a week. Never again. Not even for one cat. My husband, who isn’t a cat person, per se, but has had much more experience with cats over the years than I (childhood cats + roommates with cats in his younger years) and seems like to like them okay, totally agrees about the catbox thing. Just refuses to have one in the house. He said that the cats they had when he was younger did their business outdoors. But I’m like you – I worry about what would happen to them while they’re out there.
    But we’ll never really TRULY have to think much of it. We like cats okay, but we’re dog people, through and through. I am not even very good at communicating with cats. I am awkward in their presence; and they often seem equally awkward in mine, as if they can sense my profound lack of cat knowledge.
    It’s good that you get to “satisfy your feline needs” with pet-sitting. Just watch out for the launchers.

    • well minded says:

      Glad you didn’t get coffee on the furniture, Pam! Ha ha! I totally understand the claw-pounce thing. Since my littles sometimes accompany me on visits, I have warned them that cats can be unpredictable. Sweet one second, and, then BAM! My daughter got it in the face once, so now she keeps her distance. Lesson learned. Your story about cat sitting is very funny. Thanks for sharing! Cheers to dogs!

  2. I second this! But I do have cats… Now that I have only indoor cats, I am so thankful to Jason for scooping the litter box everyday. All I ask of him as house chores is scooping the box and taking out the trash. If he is ever away for work, I will dutifully scoop but, yuck. The dust aggravates my asthma, the smell is bad no matter how often we clean and scoop. Thanks for making me laugh about it! Maybe Jason will too… Maybe.

  3. “And by the die-hard cat people, I am often looked upon with slight suspicion, at which time I begin making out with their cat, just to prove my devotion. I also love hippos, but one does not reside with me.”

    Awesome. You have officially cracked me up. 🙂

  4. Connie says:

    bet you have never heard of THIS litter box 🙂 http://www.smarthome.com/61676/PetNovations-CatGenie-Self-Cleaning-Automated-Litter-Box/p.aspx

    I have raw fed cats and their poop does not stink. The quality of the stool is in direct correlation to the amount of junk in the food you feed. The more plant based ingredients you have the more stool and smell you have..

    Not that I’m trying to make you adopt a cat.. to each his (or her) own.. but if you have dogs, you have to pick up the poop.. what is the difference?

  5. well minded says:

    That’s a pretty sweet litter box, Connie. Thanks for sharing!

    I do agree that the stink of the poop is directly correlated to the quality of the food. I don’t mean to sound like a poop connoisseur, but it’s true! To me, it’s more about the litter and the litter tracking everywhere than the actual poop. And most dogs poop outside…so that’s the difference to me!

    Thanks for your thoughts!

  6. ILoveDogs says:

    The litter box is one of the reasons I don’t currently have a cat either. But the biggest reason I don’t have a cat is because I know my dog Pierson would like to try and eat one. 😉 Maya, on the other hand, is afraid of cats.

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