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Tender Moments: Toilet Water

Updated: Sep 4, 2019

My cat likes to drink from the toilet. This bothers me, but there isn't much I can do about it; he pursues the spinning water with the grace and tenacity of a badly dehydrated go-go dancer. Who am I to stop him?

My cat, who I graciously named Chub Chub months after obtaining him from faceless Craigslist users, doesn't seem to care when the toilet is flushed, or what was in the toilet prior to flushing. He will rouse himself from the deepest sleep at the mere sound of a toilet handle jiggle. He trots to the porcelain throne, sometimes simply to watch the water spiral downward and resurface and sometimes to stick his tiny tiger face into the receptacle that, moments before, held my bodily waste.

You may see how this could be distressing. Last winter, I threw up into my toilet (which is measurably better than throwing up other places) but because my toilet was a bit rickety and finicky, the vomit required multiple flushes. As I sat on my knees miserably nursing a sore stomach and vomit mouth, I also had to fight off Chub Chub, who was aggressively head butting me in an effort to reach the toilet.

When friends visit, I often tell them, "Make sure you flush," and more often than not, they eye me warily as if to say, "This bitch is reminding me to flush??" The crazy thing about "crazy cat people" is that we were not always crazy. Our cats make us crazy, adding insult to injury and isolating us from "normal" humans.

Chub Chub not only adores my toilet, but he adores the plush blue rug in my bathroom. If I'm not conscientiously stepping over him, I'm falling over him, stepping on him, or simply falling. I've reconstructed parts of my home to ensure the comfort and security of my cat; there is a corner of the living room dedicated to his vertical scratching post and plush hiddy-hole. There is a blanket I nicely fold and keep at the foot of my bed because Chub Chub likes to sleep there. I purchased an accent chair last fall that I've only sat on a handful of times before Chub Chub claimed it as his own. The cushion is now matted with his hair and I've given up attempting to rescue it with my $20.00 Walmart vacuum cleaner.

I've single-handedly kept lint-roller manufacturers in business, and have purchased every type of wet cat food available in the hopes that Chub Chub would like one of them. In liking the food I purchase for him, I reason, he will also like me. This is the futile, hopeless, tragic life of a cat-owner. Constantly longing for validation/love/comfort from animals that ignore you when you most want attention and demand attention when you're most unwilling to give it.

Chub Chub has an irritating habit of waking me up around 5 a.m. to be fed. I recognize that I've enabled him by rising and feeding, but if I refuse to crack open the salmon flavored fancy feast, he will harass me, meow at me, drink toilet water and breathe on me, until I'm wide awake. I've learned to only half wake up, walk like a zombie to the kitchen, dump a can of foul fish parts into a decorative bowl, and fall back asleep. An hour later, when I rise of my own accord, I walk to the kitchen to make coffee and his food has not been touched. Meanwhile, Chub Chub sits blithely on the counter, blinking languidly at me and yawning widely as if to say, "Why on earth have you gone and waken me up?"


Sarah Rose

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