Oskar ran into the room a little while ago, whining at high volume.
Yeow! Mmm-yah! [Seriously, human,] Mow-ow-ow-ow!
What is it, Oskar?
Mow-ow-ow-ow! He lifted one foot and then the other, doing the Dance of the Great Emergency. He originally invented this song and dance number to express his distress about the first time he puked in my dirty underwear.
Oh, crap, I thought. He's had another poop emergency. He has these occasional poop emergencies lately, because we fed him too much soft food last week, and it is taking his sensitive kitty digestive tract a while to calm down.
I rose from my chair, and he turned 180 degrees to lead me down the hallway to the Palinode's office. The closer we got, the more awful the stench became.
Christ, cat. What the hell did you do in here?
I grabbed a bag and the poop scoop and set about cleaning out the litterboxes. He kept doing the Dance of the Great Emergency in the middle of the room, though, which alerted me to the fact that I was not fixing his situation as he had hoped. Damn. That could only mean one thing. It was indeed a poop-related situation, but it was not a poop-in-the-litterbox-related situation. Damn.
I took the baggie of litterbox poop down to the dumpster and came back up to the office. The stench seemed to have grown. It was soupy thick. I walked in a spiral from the outside edges of the room inward, trying to sniff my way to the source, but it was like searching through a thick fog. Suddenly, I was right in the middle of it. It was intoxicating, but in a bad way, like if you were a Mormon who'd found themself accidentally drunk and was trying to bargain their way out of hell.
It was coming from a black garbage bag that the Palinode had begun to fill with the myriad useless papers we collect. I bent down, lifted the edge of the open bag, and was met with the horrific site of the Great Emergency. Oskar, a cat who, even in times of disruptive bowel issues, is fastidious about doing appropriate things with accidental poop, had crawled inside the garbage bag to unload when he couldn't make it to the litterbox. He had then pushed some of the papers inside partially on top of it to bury the slimy mess as best he could.
I gathered up the disgusting scene, shoved it inside another garbage bag, and made a second trip to the dumpster. Upon my return, I found Oskar lying belly up and purring for my love from the top of the bookshelf.
I fixed it, I said, which is what I always say after fixing whatever has caused him to do the Dance of the Great Emergency, and he squinted his eyes affectionately at me.
If there was ever a cat who could really use his own opposable thumbs, it's Oskar.