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My new hobby - sibling still inspires, teaches

Each week as I cleaned the litter box for my parents, I'd be gagging and swearing to myself, "I didn't want any more cats." I had a couple when I lived up on Coon Hill Road, Pig Pen ruined the most beautiful full size beige Bokhara rug because she insisted on peeing on it regularly; and Roscoe, a hunter and a sprayer, was always bringing bunnies home so he could ritualistically bite their heads off in front of me. Also, the fur, which I developed an allergy too, was endless.

So, Michael sets up this new cat latrine. There is nothing like sitting on the throne, next to the family pet; and sharing a moment, all eyes averted.

As time goes on, I follow Mik's instructions, raking the litter, scooping up treasures and plopping them into the toilet. It reminds me of looking for coins in the sand under the boardwalk at the beach, only without the monetary reward. But also I have to admit there is no unpleasant odor - that litter is really the world's best!

After about a week, I noticed I was looking forward to going in and cleaning the cat box, particularly during anxious moments, which sometimes arise with eldercare. This is especially true because it's two to one, and they often seem to be having random fun like small children, only with access to credit cards and wheels.

Patrick (the cat) now reminds me of my Play Dough Fun Factory from yesteryear, I put cat food in, he works his magic and voila, in the cat box. Then, I rake away my troubles and my parent's cat's doo-doo, too.

Ellen Leahy lives upstairs from her parents Bill and Marion (and Patrick the cat) on Jordan Street - in Skaneateles' Austin Park Village Limits Nieghborhood. Stop by or reach her at 434-8889 x319 or editor@skaneatelespress.com. "I love a good story!"

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