Sunday, September 19, 2010

Fish health and the great cat experiment

Following the fish tank catastrophe, Beamer the angel fish has been thriving in the tiny hospital tank in the kitchen. At feeding time, s/he hovers with tail fin wagging and agape mouth aimed upward toward the surface of the water, waiting for those dry, colorful little fish'n'shrimp chips to fall from the hand of the life-giving deity (me). Beamer grows visibly larger daily and is strong, radiantly healthy, and about as cuddly as a cold-blooded angel fish can be.

Alas, Leo the harlequin rasbora, being a schooling fish, is not so happy. Indeed, Leo spends the daylight hours hiding behind the filter pump, waiting morosely for his/her aquarium glass reflection to come out and play. The profound loneliness isn't aided by the fact that S repeatedly forgets Leo's name and calls him/her "Alex."

In other pet news, I have decided to toilet train Homer, our lithe and schmusig geriatric passive-aggressive cat. NB Homer: this is what you get when you pee all over the bath mat for three weeks when your humans are on vacation, even if (just guessing) the housesitter never bothered to change the litterbox until the night before we came home.

The device I am using for Homer's re-education is known as the Litter Kwitter. I did a little comparison shopping and, based on 165 thoughtful and compelling customer reviews from around the globe, chose the Litter Kwitter over a cheaper, flimsier system. We are placing our confidence in the award-winning system despite the tacky "Kw-."

Homer responded to Stage 1--the appearance, on the floor next to the downstairs toilet, of the red litter-filled tray within the white imitation toilet bowl rim--with general disinterest. We recently began Stage 2, stationing the red litter-filled tray again within the imitation toilet bowl rim, but now clipping the imitation rim onto the actual toilet bowl rim. See how this works? Homer responded to Stage 2 with initial disinterest, after which a human needed to use the downstairs toilet and inadvertently returned the system to Stage 1. As you might observe, this is not the most convenient system, but four to six patience-filled weeks from now, when Homer is completely, unerringly, Litter Kwitter affirmingly toilet trained and no longer expressing his wrath by peeing on towels, we'll be laughing all the way to the litter-free bank.


JLPP said...

Only in your dreams, I think. But, surprise me.

mom2homer said...

Oh, just you wait!

Rae said...

oh, wow, every few minutes i think about stefan hurting the fish's feelings or homer discovering the litter kwitter's utility as a passive aggressive tool. and i laugh out loud like a crazy person. thanks liz. truly.