Just Heather
If only the human siblings in this house could get along so well.

If only the human siblings in this house could get along so well.

I have said for a year now that if we ever get another cat, I want a Litter Maid! My least favorite part of owning a cat is dealing with the crap box. I wanted to make it as easy as possible the next time around.  On the way home from picking up the kittens last week, I stopped to purchase this one. It rates poorly on Amazon, but I didn’t know that at the time. I got a bit nervous when I saw all the reviews, but I would not be deterred.

img_1687I set it up right away. It didn’t work.  It just kept making this weird clicking sound. Rather than assuming Amazon customers may have been on to something, I decided to read the instructions. This is when I learned that the cleaning rake was strapped to the box for packaging. Oops. A quick clip with my scissors and we were in business! I couldn’t wait for one of the cats to do his so I could see it in action. (Yes, I realize how odd that is.)

We have now been using this for over a week and I have changed the receptacle once.  It is such an amazing change over scooping and dealing with disgusting litter.  The Littermaid really does keep the litter scooped throughout the day. It has a sleep setting at night so you don’t have to hear the motor (which, unfortunately, is exceptionally loud) and runs in the morning at the time you have set to wake.  If the cats are overly, ahem, productive at night, I’ve noticed the rake does have a bit of difficulty on that first run.

We have 2 kittens and it seems to fill the waste receptacle after about 5 days.  I’m sure once they grow, it fill even more quickly. I’m searching for a greener solution.  However, it is so freaking handy to just push in the lid, lift the waste arm and throw the box of crap into the garbage.  I never see it, I never touch it and I don’t even have to smell it.  I just hate the idea of throwing away a plastic box every 3 or 4 days.  I don’t even throw away butter containers!

All in all, I’m pretty pleased (especially considering the reviews I read).  I’ll never go back to a traditional litter box again.  I’ll be even happier once I get the chance to purchase a cover for it.  The cats seem to scatter the litter just by jumping into it.  Also, the handy paw scraping carpet doesn’t really have an impact if they just jump over the back upon exit.  The cover will limit they’re entry & exit to the front where the carpet can actually help scrape the litter dust from their feet (I hope). At the very least, it should stop them from tossing litter over the side of the box.

The next part of my litter box solution is finding a better home for it. It is currently in our bedroom which pleases me not one bit, but we’re currently co-sleeping.  More accurately, they’re sharing our bed while I get next to no sleep because curious kittens think it’s fun to play with Mommy’s hair.  However, I’m not comfortable letting the tiny kitten roam on his own just yet (he has a thing for electrical wires and I’m hoping to prevent a Christmas Vacation-esque moment).

Thus, the cats, and their box o’ crap, remain in our bedroom for the foreseeable future.

Our progress, so far, on the summer list for Wordless Wednesday:

Baby, my hometown cat

Baby, my hometown cat

I have had cats for most of my life.  It started when I was 4 and my dad told me absolutely, never ever are we getting that cat. Then I cried. Her name was Sweetheart and she went on to have 5 kittens, most of whom we kept.  Her last kitten lived until I was in high school. About a year after she passed, I started in on wanting another cat.  My dad said no way, absolutely not. We are never getting another cat. Then, I may or may not have cried. His name is Baby and he still lives with my parents.

Tommy the Cat, 1997-2008

Tommy the Cat, 1997-2008

When Spencer and I were getting married, we already had a dog.  Indy was almost one and tons of fun, but I still wanted a cat.  He said no, but finally relented (even without the tears!) and got me a kitten as a wedding gift.  Tommy was the greatest cat ever, even if Spencer never quite saw it that way. He was sweet, playful and never, ever cross with the kids (though each went through their toddler stage of torturing him constantly).

When he passed away, I always knew I’d eventually get a cat but it takes some time to heal. Apparently, for me, that time is always about one year.  I’ve been making noises for a month or so about getting another cat. In April, Brenia’s Girl Scout troop visited PetSmart, and their on location pet rescue. I, of course, wanted to take them all home with me. He said no, but announced on Mother’s Day that my present was getting a cat. I had my heart set on a kitten, but I also felt tugged to rescue one of the cats.

Captain Nemo

Captain Nemo

Earlier this week, my friend let me know that PetSmart’s rescue shelter had new kittens. We stopped by “just to look” and came home with two.  We picked out one of the baby kittens, but Captain Nemo’s soulful eyes kept calling to us so we had to bring him home. Both cats are affectionate, playful (a little too playful for my tastes at 4am) and good with the kids.  The youngest is not quite sure about Indy, but Nemo seems to have made his peace. He does hide from Lorelai, but that’s just common sense.


"We named the dog Indiana."

When we adopt a pet, we would ordinarily change his name. Indy was once Snoop, but he didn’t really seem to know it. That happens when a dog spends 22 hours a day in a crate. Nemo seems to have stuck, though. Partly, because Finding Nemo is Spencer’s very favorite children’s movie, partly because it was rather funny to be looking for Nemo all evening when he hid and partly because he seems to come when you call. Bogey, however, is not our baby kitten’s name.



The problem is, we weren’t sure what was. We kicked around quite a few names but nothing really seemed to fit him yet. The girls suggested cliches like Shadow and Midnight, but I’m not really into that sort of thing. We’ve named most of our animals from movies or television shows (kids too!) so we kicked around Cat Kirk for awhile. The girls hated it and even though I loved the idea it just didn’t feel right. I liked Pixel, suggested by Spencer, but it was a blatant ripoff from some Twitter guy’s bunny. Somewhat related to Pixel, I suggested 8-bit. I think it stuck.


We are sad to lose you, but so glad your pain is gone. Thank you for letting my children love on you for 10 straight years. You were greatly loved and are already missed.

I’m still swimming upstream, but in the interest of full disclosure I’ll work on getting this up-to-date.

  • Being sick sucks. The entire family had a stomach bug last week (which we so lovingly passed onto my hometown via my nephew). This week it’s a cold so bad I honestly thought it might lead to pneumonia. It seems to be clearing a bit, but I have been through about 2 boxes of tissues in as many days.
  • The armadillo my Girl Scout troop adored on our field trip died in a fire this weekend at the zoo. That makes me unbelievably sad.
  • Venatieri can go back to the Patriots now. That is all.
  • Except to say I just don’t see this great clutch kicker everyone talks about. Vanderjagt may be an arrogant smart ass, but I’d take him any day.
  • I’m working on arrangements to do a live segment on Black Friday. They want me much earlier than usual though, and I was planning to be at Target right about then.
  • The pacifier is officially gone. My goal was by age 2, which happened 10 days ago. Two days before her birthday, she went to bed without and hasn’t had it since. She asked about it nightly for awhile, but seems to be over it now. If only potty training were that easy.
  • I’m planning a Charlie & Lola Pink Milk Party for Brenia this year. It was supposed to be a Pirate/Princess Tea, but the stupid Birthday Express catalog came in the mail and she fell in love with the C&L crap.
  • The gluten free diet has been deemed an official success by the girls’ pediatrician. This time last year we were still in the testing stage and Lorelai weighed 14.4, falling in the 1 percentile. At her 2-year checkup she weighed nearly 26 pounds and falls right at the 50th percentile!
  • If anyone has ideas on how to teach organization and responsibility to a 4th grader, I’m all ears. After a month on the Spell Bowl team, winning Power Speller each week, we found out Stacia doesn’t actually get to compete this week. She is an alternate because she did not bother to turn in 3 50-point assignments. Oops.
  • Also, if you have ideas on organization for a busy mom, send them my way! We worked hard all weekend and I’m starting to get control of some things around here. However, I have yet to tackle the 50-gallon tub that holds my paperwork.

Today’s quote of the day brought to you by my 4-year-old, who knows nothing but a digital life, as she let the dog in from the backyard:

Hey, Mom, can you unplug Indy [the dog] so he can come play with me?

If only our children were so well behaved. I just walked in to find the dog still as can be, poised over some food the girls had abandoned on the floor. Since it’s one less thing for me to bend over and pickup, I told him to go for it. He promptly gobbled it up with —I swear—a smile on his face.

I’m just wondering exactly how it occured to him to stand there and wait for permission. It’s certainly not the norm among the human children around here.