Now that I have a cat, some of my friends assume I know as much about cats, and I will someday. But right now, I do a lot of research. In the course of trying to help a friend whose cat has temporarily renounced the use of the litter box, I found, on the A.S.P.C.A. website, a list of 20 reasons why a cat "lapses" in his or her litter box use.
As I read it, a little bell rang in my mind, probably because of the use of the word "lapse". It was the sound of a metaphor taking shape. Aside from being good cat advice, I think the list pretty much covers why people might stop going to a particular church, or stop attending services at any church at all.
A few suggestions: for box, you might read church. For owner, try subtituting priest, worship leader, minister, bishop, pope, diocese, stake, ward, territory, covenant, or denomination. In general, be creative in your reading. And we are the cat. Le chat, c'est nous.
Finally, please make a donation,if you can, to the A.S.P.C.A.
One in every 10 cats will have a litterbox lapse in his or her lifetime. The 20 most common reasons are:
- The cat is suffering from a medical problem involving the urinary tract.
- The cat experiences a bout of geriatric constipation.
- The caretaker does not keep the box as clean as the cat wants it to be.
- The owner changes the brand or type of litter.
- The owner changes the location of the litterbox.
- The owner switches to deodorized or perfumed litter.
- The owner buys a new box and throws out the old one.
- The owner cleans the litterbox with too harsh a cleaning product.
- The location of the litterbox is too busy or not private enough for the cat.
- The home is too large for just one litterbox.
- The cat inadvertently gets locked out of reach of the litterbox.
- The cat is kept from using the litterbox by another animal in the house.
- There are too many cats and not enough litterboxes.
- There are too many cats and not enough territory.
- Stray cats can be seen/smelled near the cat’s territory.
- The unneutered male cat has come of age and is marking his territory.
- The unspayed female is in heat and advertising for suitors.
- Over time, the cat has developed an aversion to the texture of the litter.
- The cat was never properly trained to use the litterbox in the first place.
- The cat is stressed by a change in routine or environment, including a new baby, new furniture, work schedule changes, vacations, overnight guests or a move.