Cleaning the Catbox Was Never So Fun

So this little gem appeared on YouTube in mid-January:

Turns out, I know the people who made it – a fabulous husband and wife team from Richmond, Virginia.  Trumpson1, the video brains behind the operation, answered some questions for me in regards to this catchy, fun video creation.

Why a chicken?

I just wanted to share what life at our house is like.

chicken standing still

"Cleaning the catbox. Cleaning the catox."

So you scoop the cat box and then what?

Bag up the litter and throw it in the garbage. A victory dance is optional, but it does sort of seal the deal.

How long was this song in your head before you wrote it?

Not long at all. The whole tune probably took about 4 hours from start to finish. I was writing it as I went along. I just knew I wanted something mechanical that would reflect the monotony of the task, but there needed to be a weirdness to it as well. I wanted something simple and catchy: a sing-along-able with-able melody with a robot soul.

How often do people sing this song to you, now that you put it on YouTube?

People have been doing that to me for years, and almost none of them have seen the video.

Tell me about Porter Street Pictures

I have been making short films for about three years, just for fun, trying to learn and get better as I go. Sometimes I have an idea in mind, other times I just point and shoot, and hope the editing process unearths something good. The bulk of what I record doesn’t get published.


Well, I can say that I hate mice more than I love cats. But I think my willingness to keep an ammonia-reeking box of poo in my home office is a testament to my fond feelings about felines.

Short, sweet, and to the point, the Mr. is very busy making quality videos and making sweet music all over the Richmond area.  The lovely lady in the video?  She’s the Mrs., and a renaissance woman at that.  She says all she did was “put on a dress and dance” but I’m sure she does much more than that.  Including cleaning the catbox.

The wonder of this video led us down a path of, of all things, research.  Yeah.  We starting thinking about catboxes.  Who came up with the idea to have your cat poop in a box of sand INSIDE your house?  Have you ever even thought of that?  Well, we did, and this is what we found out:

The History of Catboxes

It turns out that people used to use ashes for their kitties to poop in.  People have kept cats as domestic pets since Ancient Egypt.  Yes, they were revered and thought to be deity-like, but they were also awesome at catching mice.  Fast forward several thousand years, and cats are considered “familiars” of witches and burnt in big old piles of Middle Ages devilry.  By Victorian times, cats were beloved family pets again.  Why did people decide to let them do their business inside?  Your guess is as good as my shoddy research.  Maybe it was because some people would cook them and eat them.  Maybe some people were still scared others would think they were witches.  Maybe some people were pretty sure that if they let their cat out to poo it would never come back.  Whatever the reason, cat-owners decided they needed a place inside their home for their cat to urinate and defecate, so they started using the ashes from the fires (a little symbolism there, maybe?) and that went on for a LONG time.  Can you imagine?  Fluffy’s little kitty feet, covered in ashes, jumping up on your Victorian duvet and stuff.

In 1947, a dude named Ed Lowe (he worked in industrial absorbents) was approached by a neighbor who said she was tired of getting ashy kitty paw prints on things and what was he going to do about it?  Did he have some sand or something?  This is getting ridiculous.  Ed thought clay might be a good pee and poop absorber, since it wouldn’t track like sand.  Ed, being a smart dude, knew that his neighbor couldn’t be the only cat owner who wanted something other than ashes for their cats to poo in, so he bagged up a bunch of clay, wrote the words “Kitty Litter” on them, and took them to the pet store.  The pet store owner doubted anybody would buy the bags (they were $.65 apiece).  Ed said to give it away.  The pet store gave away his 10 bags, and soon everybody wanted a bag of “Kitty Litter” for their cats to poo in.

Ed marketed the crap (pun intended) out of his new product and by 1964 he created a brand.  The brand name?  Tidy Cat.

BOOM.  Knowledge.  Dropped on you. Yea, booooy. Sorry.

Nowadays, people are coming up with even more innovative ways to deal with their kitty poo.


By Liz Johnson

Leave a Reply