There’s No Such Thing as Perfect

Jamie Hughes avatar

by Jamie Hughes |

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We are a three-cat household because, well, felines are awesome. They’re entertaining and sweet. They love to give cuddles. And they’re fairly self-sufficient — no baths or walks necessary. Just keep food and water in ample supply, and they’re good to go.

The only problem? Litter boxes.

We have this issue handled thanks to three self-cleaning litter boxes called the Litter-Robots that are scattered around the place, both upstairs and down. (We bought two of them refurbished, by the way, so that was a money saver.) The cats use them, and 15 minutes or so  later, the Litter-Robots clean themselves.

We open the tray twice a week, take the yucky stuff out in biodegradable bags, and that’s that. Plus, the cats look like they’re in little rocket ships while they’re doing their business. We often sing Bowie’s “Space Oddity” while they’re in there. Total fun bonus for us.

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The only problem is the size of the things. They’re large in order to accommodate all the gizmos required to make them work, and they have to have a power supply. So you can’t just put them anywhere.

Bedrooms are off-limits. Bathrooms, too. One ended up in my office. Another is in my husband’s, and they seem to be just fine in those spaces. But the third one doesn’t really fit anywhere. We tried behind the sectional in the living room and in the corner of my library (which came out beautifully, by the way). No dice. We ended up putting it in the foyer — a kind of liminal space in our house — next to the shoe shelf.

Yeah, I know. It’s far from ideal. I can’t win them all, and that fact galls me. If you know anything about the Enneagram personality test, I’m a 3, and I like having everything handled. I’m a success-oriented soul who likes to come in top of my class and have all the right answers. So problems for which there is no good answer make me twitchy. You think I’d be used to it after 17 years of living with multiple sclerosis. I mean, problems and challenges kinda come with the territory after all.

That’s why a quote from legendary basketball coach John Wooden has always resonated so strongly with me. He once said, “Things turn out best for the people who make the best of the way things turn out.” Yeah, MS is far from ideal, but it’s a part of my life whether I like it or not. Until a cure is found, it’s my lovely little burden to bear.

I had to make a choice between letting it dominate my days or living my life on my terms. I chose the latter, and it was the wisest thing I could have done. Has it been perfect? Heck no. Always pleasant? Hardly. But it’s been OK. It’s been my life, imperfections and all.

Just like that ridiculously large litter box in the entryway, which I’m going to have to learn to live with if I want to keep that trio of needy cats I love so well, sometimes we’re faced with a problem for which there is no ideal solution. It’s our job to roll with it, to make the best of how things turn out. And that’s precisely what I’m going to keep on doing until my days are done.

Note: Multiple Sclerosis News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Multiple Sclerosis News Today or its parent company, BioNews, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to multiple sclerosis.


Cay Borduin avatar

Cay Borduin

Thanks for the story - it resonated with me. I had to store my power wheelchair in our front hallway for a while - I accepted it despite have a big ugly machine sitting right out there. But as soon as the emergency passed and I didn't need the thing as much, back it went to the bedroom and under its cover. Of course I had sewed the cover because I'm not that crazy about having the *!** thing in our bedroom either!

Jamie Hughes avatar

Jamie Hughes

I feel this deeply in my soul, Cay. Sometimes, we don't get our "druthers" as my family says and just have to make the best of it. That's a skill for sure, one that benefits us (even if it irks us at the same time)!



is there enough room to put a little curtain of some kind around it would that help you to hide it you have a dresser that would fit around it if you took out the drawers or something like that ...just like you want to fix your problem that is bugging you for it does go along with living with MS just is something that hangs around even though you never invited it ...hahhahhahaha....trying to put some laughter into it ...have a wonderful day about a large plant....hahahha...going to bug me to...ahhahahhaha...

Jamie Hughes avatar

Jamie Hughes

It's a well-made machine thankfully. Attractive but LARGE. :)

And yes, your description of MS is perfect, "something that hands around even though you never invited it." That's exactly right. Thanks for all the suggestions!


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