Nikki had always been a house cat, used to the comforts of home- a cozy blanket, the best chair in the house and of course, her private bathroom arrangements- a large impeccably kept litter box in the utility room.
When she got older she started coming onto the patio with me for brief periods of time, always coming back inside when I did.
One afternoon just as I was ready to go to work a butterfly flew past and Nikki ran off chasing it. She quickly disappeared from sight. I was running late so after vainly calling for her I had to settle for leaving a pan of water on the patio and a blanket on my chair, her favourite outdoor spot to nap.
When I came home after work, I could see her outside the patio door, scratching madly at the glass as though demons were chasing her. I opened the door, peering around to see if a big dog had chased her into our yard, but couldn't see what she was running from. I soon realized the cause of her distress.
She shot across the living room, down the hall, taking the corner on two paws as she ran into the utility room.
Nowhere in her education or experience had it been pointed out to her that she had just spent the day outside in the biggest litter box of all. As she threw herself into her box and sat down, I could almost hear her sigh of relief.