The Sandbox Is Gone

Jackson Leathem



The cat paces around the room tirelessly. It seems to be in search of its sandbox. The room is in a state of alteration and its furnishings have been scattered throughout the hall outside. The cat’s sandbox was in need of a wash and sits downstairs in the garage momentarily. I don’t think the cat understands that. It persists on its aimless pacing around and around, keeping close to the outer walls of the room, in particular, the corners, where it sniffs gently — maybe in search of the sandbox. I can tell it needs to urinate — maybe even defecate, and I really hope it doesn’t come to that conclusion, it could easily go elsewhere.

I wish my cat wasn’t in such a crisis. Ever since we brought home that second dog — the excitable one — its been more reclusive. The outside world is too much for the cat to bear any longer, and now, without its sandbox — a sandbox that has always been there for her — she may just succumb to this vulgar display of urinating there in the corner.

To help her, I picked her up and brought her downstairs. I clearly showed her the sandbox she’s been endlessly searching for, and I even put her in it; only to see her leap right out. Now she’s aimlessly sniffing the walls and corners of the garage. I watched as she prowled forward into the darkness across from me. At least she knows the sand box is down here. It’s her own fault if she goes through with an unpleasant bodily release onto the cold cemented ground down here rather then the warm, crunchy sand I clearly had displayed to her. I understand she’s out of her element. And I understand she’s not one to accept a definitive alteration in the placement of her sandbox; but can’t she at least tolerate it just this once. I told her things will be sorted out momentarily, but I doubt she listened; she’s somewhere else right now. Her mind isn’t what it used to be — since the dog you see. She’s turned her cheek to the world, so to speak. She’s grown sassy, impatient; unrelenting and rude. I’ve never came across such a cat outside of home. However, maybe it’s not the dogs that brought upon this change in her, maybe its the books of mine she reads while I sleep. I’ll put money on that. It must be Camus’ »The Myth of Sisyphus.» Maybe even Kafka’s »The Trial.» What else would of made my cat into what she is now, so unattached, and in such despair; so altered and existential. I blame the books, though she blames me. I shouldn’t have moved her sandbox.