Thursday, March 30, 2006


Ginger crackles

I opened my blog yesterday morning and was greeted by two Google ads: CATBOX CAT LITTER CABINET, and TOILET TRAIN YOUR CAT. That cracked me up, so I printed a screen shot and took it up to breakfast.

"Look guys," I announced, holding up the screen shot like a trophy, "I'm a cat-litter salesman!" They glanced at the screen shot and shrugged. My wife muttered, "Well, maybe you'll make some money..." "...for a change," I finished her statement in my head. I can forgive her for that. The life of an entrepreneur is hard, but especially on the spouse. Lots of waiting with no income and no guarantees.

Later that morning in the shower, where I do my best thinking, the meaning of the second ad suddenly sunk in. Toilet-train your cat?!? I thought that was the whole idea about cats -- you don't have to toilet train them! They are born knowing what to do! Folks, if you have to toilet train your cat, you might as well trade it in for a dog! Or perhaps you could donate it to science or sell it to Ripley's Believe It Or Not.

Then I started wondering, what sort of idiot thinks he can make a living teaching people to toilet train their cats? Are there that many people who think they need to toilet train their cats? I guess the target market must be dumb people who are buying their first cat. "Our market research shows," intoned this entrepreneur in his pitch to the venture capitalists, "that at any given time, 5% of the U.S. population is thinking of buying a cat. By correlating that data with the latest U.S. Census stupidity data, we believe the total market of dumb people who are buying their first cat is approximately 1 million households. If we can capture only 1% of that market, we'll be rich!"

Somehow, it just didn't add up. Finally, the true meaning of the ad sunk in. (Idiot!) Toilet train! They don't mean toilet train in the general sense of teaching a cat, dog, or kid where to poop -- they mean it literally!

CATBOX CAT LITTER CABINET still adorned the banner of my blog, but TOILET TRAIN YOUR CAT had been replaced by ONLINE CAT OWNER BIBLE, so I rummaged through the papers on my desk to find the original screen shot. "TOILET TRAIN YOUR CAT," it read, and continued "WORLD FAMOUS LITTER KWITTER. AS SEEN ON TV - ORDER NOW!"

Great! I thought. Now I can see cats peeing in toilets on TV. That's a wonderful way to start the day. (Mental note, check it out later.)

And what about Ginger? you ask. I'm not supposed to go in there, but wait a minute and I'll check...

She's just fine! I gave her a gentle stroke and took a forbidden look at the kittens. They are sound asleep and curled up in a kind of four-way Ying Yang position. Ginger rubbed my legs, purred loudly, and looked up at me with her bright eyes -- she positively crackled!

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