Cat Genie Ballad

Last week the Texas snowpocalyse came through and froze everything, broke pipes, and basically wrecked havoc for a lot of people. Then the weekend came with its 70 degrees F weather and everything thawed and melted like nothing happened. I’ll go more into what all went down in a later post, but for now I would like to tell a funny story that wrapped up at the end of icemegaddon.

Many months ago my husband was tired of the cat box smell. He wanted it clean 24/7 while I waited every other day to clean it. So he went on a quest to seek out automated litter boxes. He went the whole 9 yards: watched videos on different models, read reviews, priced matched, and came up with a brand that had the best overall reputation: the Cat Genie.

But they were way too expensive for a litter box, at least for us. So he went on another quest, scouring through social media marketplaces and found someone selling a mostly brand new unit at a much cheaper price.

My husband brings it home and sets it up. It’s pretty neat the way it self-cleans, though the cats took a while getting used to it. Socks started jumping in while it was cleaning and pausing the cycle, but eventually everyone settled down and I thought I would never have to clean a litter box again.

Then I came home to find cat piss in an empty laundry basket. Apparently Elsa really had to go and couldn’t wait for the cleaning cycle to end, so she found the next best thing.

Cue my husband to go on another search through the marketplaces and find another great deal on a second Cat Genie. He sets it up and now we have two running with alternating cleaning cycles. Problem solved.

My husband also scored a good deal on covered lids for the Cat Genies, and put those on to keep the kitties from carrying out more of the reuseable litter (to keep cost down from buying more of it).

Everything was fine until Elsa decided she couldn’t turn around anymore under the lid because of her fatness (which we discovered she had been eating both her and Socks’ food) and pissed on my fabric picnic basket. The lids came off the Genies and I was able to pour enough vinegar on the picnic basket to get rid of the cat pee smell.

Then my husband decides to go on one more quest and searches for a way to get around the washing liquid the Cat Genie requires. They are sold separately and you have to continuously buy more otherwise the Genie stops working. My husband found a work-around on Amazon and bought two devices to plug in and bypass the washing liquid. He installs them around the same time the power goes out for a split second then comes back on.

Then one of the Cat Genies starts throwing an error in the middle of the cleaning cycles. We would have to go into the laundry room, unplug it then plug it back in to bypass the warning. This went on for about a month.

We then notice poo is building up inside the machine just as the snowpocalyse rolls in. Now on this particular Cat Genie, it has a wheel that rolls the poo around in water to grind up so it’s easier to flush down the line. I reached in with a gloved hand and a paper towel and it was like diarrhea in there. Took tons of towels to get it clean. He plugs it back in and starts a cleaning cycle; the error beep happens again and stops the cycle.

By this time the snow has already covered the ground and we turn our attention to more important matters, like busted water pipes. I put an old-fashioned litter box in the laundry room as soon as the power went out.

When all the snow melted we turned our attention once again to the Cat Genie. My husband picked up the litter bowl and there was poo water all underneath it. We carried it outside and I hosed it off. The Cat Genie hose was also plugged with poo so I cleaned that out too. Eventually it was thoroughly sanitized.

So we bring it back inside, put it back together and plug it in. Same thing happens: error beep, cycle stops. My husband then decides to take apart the Cat Genie, to discover he had forgotten to plug back in one of the circuits properly when installing the washing liquid work-around. Now there are no beeps and it works flawlessly. There are two automated litter boxes working perfectly in the laundry room and I do not have to clean any more poo for the foreseeable future.

Moral of the story: always double check your work.

Until next time dear readers.

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