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Cat litter is the new flour

January 6, 2022

Oh, great. Another foot of snow overnight. 

Just what I didn’t want. Another morning of having to get the fire going as soon as I get out of bed. Another day of worrying that I don’t actually have enough wood to last until the end of March.

Fortunately I don’t have to go anywhere today. Apparently the cat litter crisis can’t be solved until next week.

Yes, cat litter, it seems, is the new flour in plague times. Almost impossible to find.

This is Angie.

By the end of 2012 she and I were alone in the house. Her human, Mike, left us in March 2011. Her brother, Tri, left us in early 2012. That year both cats had turned 92 (in human years). I actually thought Tri would outlast Angie, as she was on a lot of medication for her kidneys which were packing in, but she kept going until she was 20 (96 human years). In her dotage she got very fussy about cat litter. If she didn’t like it for some reason she would go outside the box. I finally came across World’s Best Cat Litter. Bloody expensive, but she found it acceptable and I no longer had to wash the bathroom floor three times a day.

I mention this because Stella, now the equivalent of 84 in human years is also getting fussy about her cat litter. 

For a long time I bought Purina Maxx. A good clumping cat litter that came in a handy, reusable pail.

Here, for example, before it froze, containing emergency power failure water.

Then it just simply disappeared from the island. You couldn’t buy it anywhere. 

A switch to Arm & Hammer, which I used until the grocery store began selling cat litter that was half the weight of regular litter. I decided to try it out, despite the fact that it came in handled plastic containers which are the hardest thing to recycle. (This after I converted to laundry sheets to get handled laundry soap bottles out of my life.) Anyway, this went fine for a while – until the manufacturer started to add some horrible synthetic scent. Stella wouldn’t use it and I don’t blame her. I couldn’t stand the smell either. Went back to Arm & Hammer. 

Then, a couple of weeks ago, disaster. No Arm & Hammer in the grocery store (only the stinky litter in the bad container). Went to the pet store. No Arm & Hammer. In fact the only litter they had was the very expensive World’s Best or (new to me) Yesterday’s News – a litter made out of recycled bits of paper. Also compostable. Excellent.

What didn’t occur to me – and obviously should have – is that paper litter doesn’t clump. It just gets moist. Stella wasn’t impressed. Tried mixing it with some of the leftover stinky stuff. Stella started going outside the box.

Back to the grocery store. Nope. Still no Arm & Hammer. Back to the pet store, this time willing to cough up for World’s Best. No cat litter whatsoever and none expected to arrive until next week. Crap.

Come home, dump out the combination paper and stinky stuff, refill the box with just paper. Empty and change box every other day. Stella seems satisfied. It’s a big bag of paper litter. Hope it lasts until next week.

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