Lessons in Litter
Our cats are inexplicably fussy about their litter. They sniff, burrow, circle, run away, then circle back and fling it out of the box when we try one that doesn't suit their freaky feline sensibilities. So far, in eight years of cat ownership, there's been just one that meets all of the criteria set forth by both the cats and us, their flunkies: It absorbs odor, isn't perfumed, is all-natural and even flushable, scoopable and fine enough not to irritate delicate paw pads. Plus it's incredibly lightweight. It's also crazy expensive, but well worth it.
Imagine my displeasure, then, when all of the boxes of our favorite brand began sporting big, yellow stickers with those dreaded words: "New & Improved!" I reached for one, and my worst kitty-litter fears were realized. The "new and improved" litter is so much heavier than the original that I tumbled into a display of Snausages as its unexpected weight pulled my arm toward the floor. But clinging desperately to the notion of brand loyalty and hoping against hope that weight was the only non-improvement improvement, I brought the litter home. Almost needless to say, it's totally different. It's still eco-friendly and non-perfumed, but now it has these little stick-like bits that our cats simply will not tolerate. When they finally realized that no amount of burrowing, flinging and circling was going to make me toss a box of $12 cat litter and they deigned to do their business in it — well, it didn't work nearly as well as its old and unimproved predecessor.
I went online to the maker's website — yes, kitty litter is that big a deal in my home. There was no explanation for the change, just lots of starbursts touting the new product nestled amid photos of cat lovers and their pets, and verbiage about us all being valued members of the XXX brand family.