Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Feline pedagogics

The kittens have figured out quite a few things over the past few weeks: How to run, how to make stupid humans come running with loud squeals, how to climb up stupid human legs, how to hang on to poor mummy's teat using nifty new teeth.

Yesterday they figured out how to poop. See, I didn't know this before, but the first four weeks or so, kittens just don't. Mummy cat takes care of it for them, while washing them. (Yuck, poor Pims!) But then, one day, they just sort of...arrive.

We got out a special litter box for them, with low edges so it wouldn't be hard to get into. We filled it with sand and put the little rascals in the box whenever they woke up after napping and whenever they had eaten. We even held their little paws and made them dig a little in the sand to help them get the idea. But no. All the poop and all the pee wound up on the floor and got stepped in and run through and dragged all over.

Pims watched all this gravely. More than once she gave us the stupid, stupid humans look that she is so very good at. But she didn't try to stop them or lift them into the box or anything you might expect.

We went to bed (which was in the same room because we had overnight guests and couldn't put them up in a room full of poo) feeling a tad desperate, wondering if our future would mostly be dominated by squished kitty poo. But just as I was about to fall asleep, I saw Pims come into the room carrying something in her mouth. It was a bedraggled, old toy mouse that she has found somewhere under the sofa, I expect. She chewed it intently for a little while, then spit it out into the litter box. Boy, is that cat weird, I thought, and then finally drifted off to dream of clean floors.

This morning, the ragged mouse was still in the box. Next to it was a little pile of kitty poo. I stared at the mouse and the pile, shook my head and went to get breakfast. When I came back, the mouse had been moved to the opposite corner of the box. And next to it was a new pile of poo. On the floor: nothing. And as of this evening: still nothing.

How, how, how did they think of that? How could they know what the mouse meant? Very Lynchesque.


(And since I didn't really want to post a photo of the poo, here's one of Lin and Teodor instead. I'm sure they're both dreaming of clean floors.)


simen said...

Riiight up my lovely, little nose. You lucky bastards. :)

Christina said...

very strange potty training indeed.. But at least it worked. ;.)

Laini Taylor said...

That's so bizarre. . . what can it mean? I wonder if other mama cats have done similar things? Hope all the kitties have learned the important mouse-poo lesson :-) But wait. . . for the rest of their lives, whenever they see a mouse. . . will they feel the urge to poo?

Heidi said...

Seriously, this kind of cuteness is dangerous. My eyeballs might explode.