Two of our cats have now taught themselves to pee in the toilet. No special round training kitty-litter pans; no human coaxing or coaching. Their idea. Dito approached the problem like an engineer, a surveyor: he watched and listened to us, took measurements, and duplicated the feat precisely. He bowls a strike right down the center, tinkling sound and all. He doesn't spill a drop. He gets extravagant praise: "Dito!! You is genius!" (Note Slavic absence of article. Stolen from early Baryshnikov on Fred Astaire.) He takes off and zooms around in celebration like a released, untied balloon.
Then one day I heard a tinkling sound and peered into the bathroom, only to see Buzzy finishing up. Whether he had taught himself by observing us or Dito (particularly the praise Dito was garnering), we will never know. His execution was not quite as perfect because, being dominant, at the very end he stood up like a tomcat and used the raised lid as a backboard. (And here I'd been puzzling over the dried yellow spots around the hinges of the toilet seat: I didn't think I'd been that sloppy dumping the urinal!) He also added another feline touch: he scrapes the toilet seat with his paw when he's finished.
But that's not the end of the story.
Yesterday, I came into the bathroom and stopped short. I saw this:
Now how on earth did he do that -- get the end of the toilet paper across a foot and a half of space into the toilet and spin the roll so it kept going in?? I would have trouble doing it, and I have hands. It was no fluke: he did the exact same thing again today. (The picture was taken the second time.) Once again, he must have observed me and reasoned that toilet paper is what humans scrape over their leavings. It's not for nothing that one of his many nicknames is Smarty Jones.