I left you dangling on the cat litter issue so here is an update.
Thanks to all your comments, I had a few suggestions to try. Not all brands are available near me, but I found two clumping clay litters.
The first one I bought turned out to be scented. There were so many things to read on the box, the fact that it did not expressly say "unscented" escaped me. Scents are one thing Lucy cat is sensitive to, so I tried it with Meredith cat only. She aggressively sniffed it over and over, got it up her nose and sneezed and coughed. I left it for a day, thinking she'd get used to it and stop sniffing it, hence stopping the sneezing and coughing, but that didn't happen.
So I put it in an old dishpan and set it in the closet where the dead mouse smell is still lingering. I don't like just covering up smells but I thought maybe, just maybe, the litter would absorb the odour instead. Still working on that.
In the meantime, I bought another clumping litter which I made sure was labelled "unscented".
Meredith cat did the same thing - sniffed aggressively, sneezed, etc. Over and over. It was pretty dusty, and tracked terribly. Both cats used it once, then ignored it.
After a couple of days I surrendered and put it in the compost, which is how we are instructed to dispose of kitty litter here. Which is a whole different post; maybe some day I'll tackle that.
Then I checked into wood pellets online, because I couldn't find them locally, and read that if they are not specifically made for cats the wood can contain essential oils that are poisonous to cats. You are apparently supposed to check with the manufacturer of horse and small pet bedding pellets to make sure they've sufficiently kiln-dried the pellets to reduce the oils to an acceptable level. Since I already have enough to worry about, AND since I have zero trust in manufacturers telling me the truth, AND since I'd have to order online exclusively, I decided not to go any further with that option.
In the meantime, I was able to find more of the new style Yesterday's News litter at my local Wal-Mart.
And because I had already spent the better part of $30 on litter I couldn't use, I have to confess -- I bought it. Because as bad as it is compared to the original pellets, I do prefer it to the clay litters. And I suspect it will be available on a long-term basis, as this is the second batch I've found at the local Wal-Mart. Hopefully our grocery store will start to carry it, too, so I can pick it up easily with my weekly groceries.
This puts me in a bit of a quandry, though.
When the manufacturer emailed me asking for my address so they could send me some coupons for the new Yesterday's News, I told them I wouldn't be buying any of it so I wouldn't need their stinkin' coupons. I did not actually say "stinkin'", but I thought it, loudly.
I know there is no way for them to know if I'm buying their stuff or not, but I was still planning to reply to their final email to me, which was exceedingly polite and apologetic but ultimately useless.
I do believe in giving credit where credit is due, and would like them to know I at least appreciated their extreme politeness, but how can I do that without also telling the rest of the story -- which is (1) that they gave me misleading information and (2) that although the new product sucks, it doesn't suck as bad as the other products I have tried?
Which is also complicated by the fact that one of the clay litters I tried is another of their products, so that's awkward.
I'm thinking I'll take the coward's way out and just not bother writing back.
I also left you dangling on the dead mouse smell in my closet. Sorry if you didn't want reminded but I don't like to leave loose ends and I'm constantly doing so.
The smell is still kind of there, but I've boarded the hole in the wall back up and along with the pan of (clean) kitty litter in there, hopefully absorbing some of the smell, maybe I can put everything back in the closet soon. I really hope so, because if the house caught fire right now and the firefighters had to get in to the room where I'm storing all the closet stuff, they'd never make it.
If you're also wondering how things are with my mother, that's going to take a whole 'nother post. If you're not wondering, that's okay because it's going to be a whole 'nother post and you can just skip it.
It's time for some funnies. I'm returning to photo memes, because the Charlie Berens video didn't go over awfully well with about fifty per cent of readers. I wonder if it might be partly a language problem. As I replied to some commenters, part of what I like about Berens' humour is his use of colloquialisms, which don't translate easily to other countries, even English-speaking countries. And he does talk fast and has an accent. I realize it just might be a difference of taste, as well. But I have found in the past that videos from other countries are harder for me to follow due to the accents and in-jokes, so I'm hoping that's all it was for Charlie's humour too. I do aim to please, here!
I hope these pictures translate better :)
And some Dear Diary cat funnies:
Aaaaaand ... bringing us back full circle ...
Have a good week, my friends.