After about a month or so with The Admiral, I started to notice a distressing issue that she had. You see, because Snowball is such a massive cat that she has some…difficulty in the bathroom department.
She was too fat for her litterbox.
She would shit on the floor because she couldn’t turn around.
Because she was so fat. Like a shitty tugboat.
So after about a month or so of me trying to train her with food, spray bottles, begging and just staring at her while she pooped. Silently judging her (the way my parents potty trained me), I realized that there was a much simpler answer here.
Just like the fishermen from Jaws, I needed a bigger boat.
Later that day, I went to PetSmart (which is an oxymoron in terms) to purchase a brand, spanking new litterbox for Snowball. Prior to leaving, I took a picture of Snowball next to a yardstick in order to get a sense of proportion for her so I didn’t get something too small or frou-frou for her, because my cat is a goddamned warrior.
I seem to have terrible luck when it comes to being approached by overly aggressive sales people. It’s probably because I smell like catnip (read: credit card debt) and I look like a sucker. In any case, this waifish store clerk came bounding up to me in a work uniform that didn’t seem to be her size; I’m guessing she wanted to be prepared to use her chest as a floatation device in case she fell into the fish tank.
“Hi! I’m Ashley and it’ll be my pleasure to help you today!” Clearly this was her first day, but that’s good because new employees make up for their inexperience with opportunities for hilarity.
“Hi Ashley! It would be my pleasure if you could help me today!” At that point I decided for hilarity by matching and overreacting to her exuberance with my own. Kind of like a more chipper version of brinksmanship.
“Wonderful! What can I help you with?!” She took a half step closer, leaving about a foot and a half between us. She smelled like timothy hay and gerbil piss.
“Excelsior!! I need a litterbox for my massive cat!” I took a half step closer, there was no going back now. This was a battle of minimum wage wills.
“A LITTERBOX FOR YOUR MASSIVE CAT?! GREAT! WE’RE RIGHT IN FRONT OF THOSE! HERE THEY ARE!!” She used the opportunity to take a step back while showing me their wide selection of cat shithouses.
Clever girl, but this was only round one.
“THESE ARE EXCELLENT CAT LITTERBOXES! WHICH IS YOUR LARGEST ONE?!” At this point, those few shoppers in the building were peeking around aisles; watching two people with psychotic grins staring at each other having the most pleasant shouting match ever.
“WELL LET ME SHOW YOU THEM!” With that, she pulls out a stepstool and continues screaming at me from on high.
She pulls down a litter box that looks like an igloo for a diabetic midget Eskimo. “HOW ABOUT THIS ONE?! IS THIS ONE NICE?! IT’S ONLY 34.99$!!!”
I take it from her trembling hands and place it on the floor, lift up the cover and crawl into it, rotating in a circle while pretending to defecate.
“NOOOO!!!! THIS ONE IS TOO SMALL!!!!” I yell, doing my best Point Break Keanu Reeves impression.
We have now drawn quite an audience. This must have been how Michael Jackson felt during his knife fight in ‘Beat It’. I can’t lose now.
“I’M SO SORRY!!!!! HOW ABOUT THIS ONE?!!!” She is just hurling litter boxes at me now. This one looks like a kiddy pool, but since it’s a litter box; I’ll call it a kitty pool. It’s also very disconcerting that it had a smiling turtle head attached to a litter box, as though it could think of no better way to spend its day than having a medium-large sized creature shit on its back.
I did the same thing as before. Sliding the diabetic igloo out of the way I laid the kitty pool on the store floor; stepped into it, got on my haunches and circled around while seeing how it felt to defecate at several different angles.
An elderly woman in the crowd looked very concerned.
A middle aged man nodded in approval whilst scratching his stomach.
“I’M SO TERRIBLY, UNEQUIVACOBLY SORRY! BUT THIS ONE IS ALSO FAR TOO SMALL!! WOULD IT HELP IF I SHOWED YOU A PICTURE OF MY CAT?!!” Granted, this thought had occurred to me several minutes ago; but I’m nothing if not a performer.
I could see the first subtle crack in her sales person armor. A twitch, rapidly replaced by the same placid grin. “YES! THAT WOULD BE FANTASTIC. I CANNOT THINK OF ANYTHING I WOULD RATHER HAVE RIGHT NOW!”
I take out my phone and show her the picture of Snowball next to the yardstick.
For those that don’t know: Snowball at this time would have been better named as Avalanche as that name better symbolized how she looked. Or Boulder. Or Glacier. Or WHATTHEFUCKISTHATACAT. When this happened, Snowball weighed around 30 pounds and is still about 3 1/2 feet long.
When her eyes bulged I knew I had defeated Ashley, PetSmart employee. Her shoulders collapsed with the weight that such a thing existed, her rictus grin replaced by apathy for a world that allowed Snowball to exist while children starved; she now knew what stared back from the abyss: FASTTES stares back.
“here.” She said, voice hoarse and barely above a whisper. She pointed at a litter box on the bottom row by itself as though it were quarantined because the manager knew no such cat would ever need a litter box 5 feet long by 4 feet wide.
It was 7$.
“This is perfect. Thank you Ashley. You’ve been a great help.”
“yeah.” (read: “Fuck off. I’m going to lunch.”)
I paid for it with a coupon I got in the mail and have had it ever since.