Why, what occurred that day -- it could have happened to anybody!
From the time Little Rabbit was able to amble around on his circular podlike paws, he was a scholar of litterbox technique. The silver tabby kitten made a routine of climbing in and out over the powder-blue edges of the low-slung bin several times an hour, testing altitude and azimuth, poring over the accompanying instructions and brochures:
Enjoying Your New Litter-a-Go-Go LitterPan
1. Note and chart position of existing deposits on both X and Y coordinates, using accompanying litterpan positioning chart. In the advent that frequency and size of existing deposits exceeds 88 percent of litter surface, immediately notify humans in appropriate manner.
2. Using waterproof compass in surveying kit, mark area free of existing deposits approximately 4 inches in diameter.
3. Standing with front legs within marked area, push front paws firmly into surface of litter.
4. Move one paw at a time in smooth, backwards motion at velocity of approximately .98 feet-per-second, taking care not to fling litter pellets and/or previous deposits past pan's perimeter. Executed properly, paw movement should produce pleasant whisking sound and assure humans that you are a conscientious litterpan utilizer.
Little Rabbit was only four weeks old when the unfortunate mishap occurred. He was still at the puffy, square-eyed, Space Creature stage, cute enough to make you want to swipe him up off his blanket and stuff him in your mouth.
For days he had been tentatively stirring the wooden pellets using that sideways motion of his chubby white mitt that belied an inborn scientific discipline. On this particular day, finally certain that the wooden pellets would not spontaneously ignite (good thinking in any litterbox situation), Little Rabbit decided he was ready to take on the Litterbox Challenge.
5. Cease paw movement once a crater has been achieved with an approximate diameter of 3.5 inches and a 2-inch depth. [Check dimensions with waterproof compass before proceeding to Step 6.]
6. Place bottom over crater. Point whiskers in a forward position. IMPORTANT: Concentration is essential at this stage: clear mind of all distracting notions.
7. Deposit waste matter.
NOTE: Most litterpan accidents of a serious nature are due to poor planning/execution. Such accidents include improper conclusion of bowel event, leading to embarrassing rampages around house in attempt to free lingering residue from bottom, OR improper placement of bottom, resulting in dumping entire load overboard onto floor.
These and other accidents can be prevented with consistent and conscientious adherence to proper waste-deposit protocol. [See accompanying brochure The House Cat's Guide to Satisfying Bowel Activity.]
Tragically, Little Rabbit never made it to step 8.
8. Upon conclusion of waste deposit, stride away from litterpan in serene manner with tail floating at 90 degree angle. [Modern litterpan construction does not require deposits to be covered over with pellets. In fact, pellet-covering activity is inadvisable as it could lead to unnecessarily dirtying paws and/or mindlessly clawing adjacent wall.]
Witnesses say it was obvious that something had gone terribly wrong between Steps 7 and 8. Aborting the mission midway, Little Rabbit panicked and leaped out of the Litter-a-Go-Go Litterpan.
He proceeded to skid his behind along the floor!
Around and around the room he skidded at high speed, in ellipses, figure-eights, under chairs and tables, circling his horrified siblings...
The impromptu ice show went on for what seemed like an eternity. The other kittens were traumatized, confused, uncertainly wobbling about. Little Rabbit's mother Sugarlips, however, looked on with great amusement. Finally she pinned him down with one paw and scrubbed his bottom in that way that mother cats impressively possess the fortitude to do.
Surveying teams were called in. They measured the poop stripe that looped all around the Kitten Room to be 960,000 miles in length. Straightened, it would have reached to the moon and back. Twice. Aerial photos show that it resembles an ancient runway for visitors from other galaxies.
It was declared a national landmark.
On September 3, 2000, Edsel eradicated it with a sponge mop.