Littered With Instructions

, , , , | Related | August 8, 2017

(I’ve been given a rare opportunity to take a trip abroad. My dad has offered to take care of my two cats for me, so I don’t have to pay for boarding and the cats can be more comfortable at home. In his early 60s, Dad’s mind is as sharp as ever, but things like listening and following directions have never been his strong suit, for his whole life, to hear my aunt and uncles tell it. Before I leave for my trip, Dad comes over so I can show him where food is kept and how to use a bin I have by the litter box to make scooping easier. It’s a pretty simple design: you scoop the waste into the top compartment, pull a handle, and the waste falls into a compartment below to be taken out and disposed of once the bag is full. I offer to walk Dad through it but he assures me he’s got it down. After a week away, I return home and Dad picks me up from the airport.)

Dad: “You know, that litter contraption of yours is a waste of money. It doesn’t cut down on the smell at all, and it barely holds anything! I sprayed some of that air freshener you’ve got but I thought I’d better warn you. The whole apartment stinks.”

Me: “Really? That’s so weird. I’ve always found it to be very useful, and I’ve never had any complaints before. You used it according to the directions, right?”

Dad: “Of course I did, just like you told me. How much did you pay for that thing, anyway? If it was more than five dollars you got swindled.”

(I get home and go straight to the bathroom where the litter box is kept, and sure enough, the top compartment of the litter bin is overflowing with dirty litter, while the bag in the bottom is empty. For a full week, dad had been scooping litter into the top without pulling the handle to empty it into the bottom. Thankfully, a little airing out and some pet odor-removing spray was all it took to get rid of the smell!)

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