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Next Step: Teach the Cats to Flush...

If you are in Georgia, you are likely under water usage restrictions of some sort due to the long-standing drought. Monday's morning radio talk shows explained things we should be doing: install low-flow showers, buy water-saving appliances, recycle rinse water, turn off the faucet while you brush your teeth, and so on. Certainly nothing worth losing sleep over.

But I still woke at 2:00AM, with a Star-Warsian "I've got a bad feeling about this" vibe. Everyone else was sound asleep. I heard something, a faint noise, like wind--no, water, running water. A trip to the bathroom confirmed covert water use was in progress, sans human interaction--I knew it wasn't the cats because they NEVER flush. I definitely heard water running, and it wasn't coming from an indoor appliance.

Well, this isn't good, I thought.

Then I had one of those moments of early-morning clarity...

"Did I turn off the garden hose after I washed out the litter box Saturday afternoon?"

Oh, kitty-poo! A muddy trickle greeted me in the back yard as I fumbled for the spigot handle. Fortunately the hose sprayer nozzle was tight; as for the washers between the two lengths of hose? not so tight, and hemorrhaging badly.

Augh! I bet I'm going to get a nasty-gram from Gwinnett County in my next water bill...

  • Fifteen pounds of odor-absorbing cat litter: $8.
  • Fine for violating state-wide outdoor watering ban: $250
  • Discovering you left the garden hose trickling for over two days: priceless! *Cha-ching!*

Based on the depth and surface area of ground saturation, and the gallons-per-minute rate of leakage, I surmise that abstaining from toilet flushing and excessive hygiene for the next 12 days should get us back in line with historic water billing patterns.

So I apologize in advance to close friends, family, and close-quarters colleagues: that smell? That's me being environmentally aware! Or I'm stress testing my deodorant.