This is such perfect timing -- I was going to tell you my Bunpote poo story today anyway, but I felt like you'd all think I was nuts (for reasons to be explained). Now I feel vindicated thanks to this story (for reasons to be explained).
I've mostly refrained from cat blogging, because I have some readers who don't love cats, Shhh in particular. But fortunately those same readers love talking about poo. So I realized, hey, a story about cat poo, everyone will be happy. And also, those of you who know my other poo stories (especially the one about the keys) will know that I'm unlikely ever to share those on my blog. So if there has to be a poo story (and yes, there has to be one), this is it.
OK, so here's what happened. On Tuesday night I woke up at about 4am having to go to the bathroom. I was a little drunk or hungover, or both, since some friends had dropped by earlier and we had some wine (and by "some" I mean "a lot of"). So anyway, I went downstairs and went to the bathroom, and then I decided to get myself a glass of water. And a key element to the story is that I did all this with the lights off. The reason for this is that I did not want to shut off my melatonin production. Melatonin (as is explained in the article I linked to above) is a hormone whose release is triggered by darkness. It helps you sleep and I think its production is also facilitated by sleeping. I remember reading a study several years ago that said that sleeping in an insufficiently darkened room was linked to higher breast cancer levels in women, and I also think I've read that decreased melatonin is the reason for the link between not getting enough sleep and being fat (and god knows I wouldn't want to get fat!). So anyway, when I wake up in the middle of the night, I avoid turning on the lights because apparently as soon as you are exposed to light in the middle of the night, it shuts off your melatonin production for some number of hours because your body is fooled into thinking it's daytime. Brad, if you're reading this, please feel free to tell me that I have the science all wrong here. But getting the science right isn't crucial to my story; what is crucial is that I *believed* all of this to be true on the fateful night in question.
After I went to the bathroom (in the dark), I decided I needed to get a drink of water. When I walked into the kitchen I was like, eww, has it been that long since I cleaned the litterbox? And then I realized that Bunpote must have just recently taken a fresh crap, because no way could a dirty litterbox smell that bad. And then I realized that even a fresh crap in the litterbox doesn't smell that bad, so then I was all "uh oh"... and at the precise moment when I came to this realization, I put my (socked) foot into something squishy. And finally I realized that the cat had crapped on the floor.
Now, to be fair to the little fellow, I'm sure he didn't do it on purpose. I think what happens is that sometimes a little bit of poo sticks to his behind and then he carries it with him for a little bit until it falls off. That would explain why the poo that I occasionally find around the house is in little chunk form, never full-blown turds. But in any case, intentional or not, that night the cat crapped on the kitchen floor and, by extension, on my sock.
I remained calm (probably because of the wine mentioned earlier), removed my sock, and scrubbed it with some soap in the bathroom sink and hung it to dry (in the dark). But I couldn't very well leave the remaining crap on the kitchen floor, or else the cat would probably step in it and track it everywhere. On the other hand, why let some cat crap on the floor cause me to shut off my melatonin production and give myself cancer? So I got a paper towel with some soap and water (in the dark) and attempted to scrub the crap off of its original location on the floor and the second spot where I had put my sock down again before realizing that I had stepped in crap (in the dark). And then I washed my hands thoroughly and went to bed (in the dark).
The next morning I came downstairs and was faced with quite a scene: in the bathroom, a wet, soapy sock hanging on the towel rack with crap all over it. And, in the kitchen, a big blob of crap with a shiny clean spot next to it, and a smaller smeared blob of crap nearby, with another clean spot right next to it. And a cat, looking up at me and meowing in an accusatory way, as if to say, "(1) Feed me, and (2) What the fuck were you doing trying to clean all that up without turning the lights on, dumbass?"
What's worse, I didn't get back to sleep until about 6am, because of the alcohol or the adrenaline rush associated with my horrifying discovery in the kitchen. So not shutting off my melatonin production apparently didn't help me get back to sleep. That morning as I was cleaning up the crime scene, I concluded that the moral of the story was that I should have just turned on the damn lights, because one night of decreased melatonin production wasn't going to kill me. But now thanks to that CNN article, as I said, I feel vindicated, since it turns out that melatonin may be even more important to preventing cancer than was previously thought, based on the fact that people who work the graveyard shift have significantly elevated rates of cancer. So the next time I find crap on the floor in the middle of the night, I'm leaving it there, and I'm leaving the lights off, and that's that.