Carolyn, upon consulting her vet, determined that Abbie's not doing this out of spite or for territory-marking purposes or because he wants to show how bad-ass he is by breaking the rules. It's just that he's getting old and his bladder just ain't what it used to be. And if he needs to go, he needs to go, and running up the stairs and into my room and across the floor and into the hobbit hole on the other side of the room and then into the litterbox area apparently takes up too much time. Poor buddy. So we got him a downstairs catbox today.
Seeing as how the downstairs is used and enjoyed by more people than the hobbit hole is upstairs, I wanted to make sure I got one that would be the least offensive to the nose and easy to scoop out on a regular basis. We needed a covered box which doesn't always work for giant cats. However, I found one giant domed structure that's big enough for him. It looks like a giant golden igloo with a ramp, ferchrissake, inside leading to the sandbox of funk. T. says it looks like it's from Tatooine and I have to agree with him on that, and we realized that when Abbie is whining, it really means he wants to stop at Toschi Station to pick up some power converters.
I set the Golden Igloo up today in the downstairs bathroom, filled it with scoopable litter, and brought the cat into the room so he could check it out. He poked his head inside briefly, then concerned himself with sniffing the sink cabinet instead. "No, no," I said, and gently (yes gently) ushered him fully inside with a minimum of shoving and pushing and cat steering. Once he got his feet in the sand he remembered what this was all for, and promptly christened it while glaring at me to get the hell out so he could have his privacy.
Several hours later I've heard him scratching in it once or twice more, and the old corner has yet to be defiled. I think we have both come to a satisfactory agreement, though it will mean keeping the downstairs bathroom door open in the winter and we'd been closing it off to save a little on heating. Ah well. Perhaps this means I can close off the hobbit hole upstairs now and save a little on heating my own room instead. Hoorah, he said.
So that was my gift to the cat this weekend. My gift to myself was the new Rock Band 2 Stratocaster, which is about 900% better than the RB1 Strat in terms of looks (faux two-tone woodgrain) and playability (the fret buttons are less clacky, but the strummer is less mushy than the RB1 guitar, but still less clicky than the GH models.) I also converted the legs of the drum set into a microphone stand because I wasn't playing the drums much. Finally! A stand that doesn't involve lashing the mic to the halogen light pole.
I'm also sensing a little in-game resentment against one of the brand placements, which amuses me a lot. One of the spontaneous challenge modifiers in the world tour involves Hot Topic offering to sponsor you if you forego the song you just chose and play a song by Paramore instead (Paramore being a poppy rock type of group which was a TRL favorite before MTV pulled the plug on the program. The band looks as if its style would not be entirely out of place at Hot Topic.) You're promised big bucks! Hoorj! If you decide to sell out, well, you play the gig with a giant Hot Topic banner behind you, and then your much-anticipated big bucks turn out to not be all that big at all. Furthermore, you discover your band's actually lost fans because you sold out. Quite a lot, actually.
Something tells me Hot Topic didn't move to get itself included in the game just to be the RB2 equivalent of the guy who signs Greg Brady up as Johnny Bravo because he fit the suit.
Hmm. That gives me an idea...