I am toilet training my cat. When all your snickers, snide remarks, and sarcastic comments are out of the way and you have stopped laughing perhaps you can read on. It is a daunting task, no doubt, but I am determined to succeed. As we all know necessity is the mother of invention and this will solve a huge problem that is peaking over the horizon. (I have gotten enough looks of disbelief from the members of my household so you can keep your pessimism to yourself. A girl, and her cat, could use a little encouragement.)
It all begins with the impending movement of another adult into our home. My dad's sister, Muff who turned 83 last Saturday, decided that living in Virginia was too hard in the winter and awfully lonely throughout the year. We have begged her to come. We hate the thought of her being alone and ever since Violet, the oldest of the three siblings, passed away in December of 2009 she has been. She has refused time after time, with one excuse after another so we gave up. I get it. She was born (literally) in that house and has lived there all her life. It would be hard for her to make that change, physically, mentally, and emotionally. Then last week she called and said she was ready.
It will be hard for her. However, we want her here. We can take care of her. Most of all we love her and want to see her happy and secure. We have a spare room and spare bathroom. It's just that right now the cat's litter box is neatly hidden away and out of sight in the spare bathroom tub. So therein lies why this weekend I plunged headlong into the unknown territory of toilet teaching my cat.
I got everything I needed and set about to teach him. He saw me remove his box and set this training contraption on the toilet seat. He watched me put litter in said contraption. He seemed uninterested even as I showed it to him. He sniffed it and stared at me. I sat him on it and, again, he looked at me wide eyed and mystified as if I had gone a little nuts. He jumped down. I coaxed him back up. We did this back and forth, up and down, look of confusion filling his little face as he tilts his head to the side and looks at me and at the training seat....and then, eureka, he got it! He used it one time! I gave him a treat! We were both pleased. One time down, whew!
It will solve a problem in that Muff will have her own bathroom without a stinky litter box to deal with. It will be cleaner and nicer for her. It will cut down on cost as I won't have to buy litter anymore. More room, less mess, it has to work. It is a good idea. he, the cat, just needs to cooperate.
I know that it is wildly out of kilter for him. It is strange looking, feeling and quite out of the ordinary. He paced around yesterday morning, yowling at the top of his lungs as if to say "you idiot I have to go and you put my potty outside. Are you insane?" I was beginning to think I was as the little guy paced around and I thought he might explode. He has the #1 part down it was the other he is out of sorts about. Then once again, he tried it, success! Day #2, he has done it all in the right place and no accidents.
Zeke trusts me so he is trying it. He is not completely trained but we have had success for 2 days now. He keeps coming back to me like I will get a clue and put his box back in place. I, however, see the big picture and when it is all said and done, well it will be truly wonderful.
I need to be patient with him as he tests this new idea out. I need empathy as he does not understand why we suddenly changed tactics on his bathroom etiquette. I need a kind voice as yelling and a heavy hand won't accomplish anything but terrorize him. I will encourage and support but I won't allow him to give up. It is what is best. It got me to thinking, isn't that a lot like how we are with God?
I've been there. Arguing and asking questions. You want me to do what God? Are you sure God? That doesn't make a lot of sense God. It feels strange God. I'd like to do it my way God. That's uncomfortable God. Why me God?
When the one question I should be asking is...do I trust God? The answer is most assuredly YES! "Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your path straight" Proverbs 3:5 - 6. I don't see the big picture. God holds eternity, I can't remember what I did last week. I don't have to understand. I do have to obey. It's laughable really when I question the Creator of the universe. I am so thankful He is gracious and forgiving, patient and kind, firm and in control! Life is so truly wonderful when I sit back and listen to Him and let Him be my guide.