Birdseed and Litterboxes

I have three cats. Anybody who’s read (okay, I had to stop for a moment, my husband is listening to bagpipe-kilt-rap-music on his iPad. All right—done, now.)

Anyway, as I was saying, anyone who’s read the author information in most of my books knows I have three cats. We’ve been cleaning litterboxes the traditional way for YEARS. I never bought an automatic, self-cleaning, blessing-from-heaven litter box because I was afraid that:

  1. The cats wouldn’t use it.
  2. The cats would dismantle it.
  3. It wouldn’t work.

A few days ago, however, I was talking to my sister on the phone. She said that she’d bought a multi-cat self-cleaning litterbox for a friend who also has three cats, and it works like a dream.

Well, how could I ignore such a ringing endorsement? I immediately went online and ordered one from Amazon.

It arrived. My husband and I put it together, put litter and batteries in it, plugged it in and—NOTHING.

We tried again, thinking we’d missed something.

We hadn’t.


We went through the entire trouble shooting guide in the booklet.


By that time, I wanted to weep. I never wanted anything to work so badly in my life.

But wait, you say. The title says birdseed. What about that? Oh—and the ending to the litterbox story, too.


When they shipped the litterbox to me, the pet supply company fulfilling the order also sent a big bag of birdseed (alliteration, much?) to someone else.

At least they thought they did.

Somehow, they placed a duplicate label on the birdseed box, with my name on it. Therefore, instead of going to some nice person in California, whose mission it is to feed birds with no waste birdseed, it came to me instead.

That was before the defective litterbox arrived.

I called the pet supply company, hoping I wouldn’t have to call a delivery service to pick up the birdseed and send it back to said company. They were very nice and said “Keep it or throw it away, and thanks for letting us know.”

Yeah, I thought it was over with that.

How wrong I was.

The litterbox arrives two days later, and as explained previously, it didn’t work, no matter how hard we tried (or begged it to).

I had to call the company again.


That’s why I ended up having to cart the non-working litterbox to a physical store twenty-plus miles away and exchange it for another litter box, while paying nearly thirty dollars more for it because of the price difference between the online and store prices.

*Yay, me.*

Anyway, we got the new box home. We opened it. Inside was something I didn’t expect—the online order form for another person, who’d done what we did—returned their litter box to the store.

At that point, I was almost too afraid to unpack the thing and try it.

We did it anyway. After all, we were already familiar enough with the directions that we could recite them on demand.

I cannot tell you how happy we were when we plugged it in and on cue, the scooping mechanism went through its obligatory first pass, combing through the litter and disposing of an imaginary clump.

There were tears of joy and high-fives after that.

The point of this story?

There isn’t one, except to say this:

Ms. XX, we have your birdseed.

Mr. XY, we have your litterbox.

Thank you.

Now, should I buy a bird feeder?

Connie out.

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