Katniss is a very special cat. Sensitive. “May you live in interesting times,” “May you have a sensitive cat.” Pretty much the same thing.

Because I am a normal cat owner, I started giving her about a teaspoon of milk in the morning. An entire teaspoon. And because she is a special cat, it affected her digestion. And that in turn affected where she thought it would be safe to poop and OMG I have to poop and I don’t know what to do and I’ll run around the house yowling because poops are coming and I am afraid or distressed or something I don’t know what. (Yeah, it took me 6 months to make the connection. I am a bad pet owner.) So, we let her out into the garage, and she walks around distressed, and finally finds someplace where a kitty can poop – usually right in front of my car door, especially if the three litter boxes at her disposal aren’t all at 100%.

Daughter finally twigged to the idea that our adapting our expectations of normal to let Katniss poop in a way that is not so distressing is essentially an accommodation of her special needs. I consider all the adaptations we made for our moop to be essentially for Daughter’s benefit, so that she could see how the world works if you just let go. (I am such a grown-up; give me a gold star.) (I also need one for giving the cat tissue paper. Not any tissue, just the dark tissue, and only when it comes with yarn. I told you she was special.) (I am going to knit her a kitteh sleeping pad. It will be colorwork stripes (she likes laying at an angle to stripes), in dark blue and burgundy (her favorite colors), in wool, because she loves it – and I love my Fair Isle sweater. I also am a special person.) Also, Daughter is a genius cat whisperer. She’s the one who’s figured out most of the weird stuff. But Katniss is a human whisperer; she’s figured out that I am the prime mover and shaker, and if something needs to be done, she needs to pee in my bed.

And that is how my world turns. I guess it all works out.


Outside the Chinese gardens somewhere in Portland, almost a month ago already. It was a beautiful day.