Before you think of the several obvious punchlines to the title, such as “Yes, we always assumed you looked like crap”, permit me to explain. It refers to my arrival, rather than my physical description.
I have noticed something about my cats’ litter-box habits. Firstly, they are very good. I scoop the boxes thrice daily, more often if required, and sometimes, in an apartment, it is required. Prior to each sifting, I sweep and vacuum the floor of the storeroom in which the boxes are kept, then wash it each day. Come to think of it, my litter-box habits are pretty good, too. But allow me to return to the title.
Each time that I get up in the morning, and each time I return from work at the end of the afternoon, some, often most, of the beasts head to their washroom to relieve themselves. Under certain circumstances, this may indicate that my materialisation induces terror. But the cats do not rush, panic-stricken, to the storeroom. They walk, wander, amble and, in Josie’s case, waddle. It’s as if my arrival reminds them that they have to get rid of waste.
“Hey, there’s that human again. That reminds me, I’d better poop.”
I’d like to think the connection is not as direct as that.
Perhaps it’s the bestirring of lazy bodies that compels them. They may have needed to go for some time, but it was not urgent, and could wait until toddling the laborious twenty or thirty feet to the litter-boxes could be combined with some other strenuous activity, such as sitting and waiting for soft-food to be handed out.
Since these visits to the litter-box not only coincide with my appearance, but usually immediately precede a meal, it may be that there is a vacation of internal space, in preparation for a re-filling of that void. This suggests a stronger control over the process of digestion than the beasts may actually have.
So this remains another minor mystery with which the cats confront me. It is part and parcel with fat, fur-coated animals lying in the sun on a blazing summer’s day, and with meandering about in the middle of the night making distorted, whooping sounds. There are reasons, I’m sure, but since none involves sickness, lunacy or danger, I won’t bother sorting out the puzzle at this time. My advent promotes regularity among the cats, and I can live with that. I just won’t put it on my resumé.