Amanda Hopper Writes

A writer's tale of living and working in the country.

Mandatory Observation

What is it with men and their power tools?
I don’t longingly stare at my Shark Steam Mop when I pass by it in the pantry. I also don’t ever think, wow I’m bored, I think I’ll take that baby for a spin
But my husband?
He seems to think the only way to have some semblance of control over the world is to hack at stuff until it can be turned into something else. His three favorite power tools? Chainsaw, brush hog and table saw. Please tell me the theme is not lost on you…
Most of the time he just hacks away at the land, clearing and such. But when the storm clouds roll over and he has the day off… well he breaks out the table saw.
Don’t get me wrong, I can come up with a hundred things for him to build out of scrap lumber but the most recent project to take shape while I was away for a few hours?
Never. In. A. Million. Years.
I may be a writer, able to craft whole imaginary worlds out of a random statement made by a passerby, but even I don’t have enough creativity for…
A kitty litter tree house.
Let me just give you a minute to reread that statement.
Did it sink in yet?
His rationalization,”I was tired of walking around it.”
My response, “So it’s better to walk…under…it?”
I swear I tried to make that sound as unsarcastic as possible, hence the small choking sound when I said the word under.
Here’s the thing, I am the cleaner of all things having to do with His Majesty Mr. Spock (the cat).
I stand at barely five feet three inches tall.
The elevated litter box?
It now resides 6 feet off the ground.
When I questioned the brilliance of a tree house potty, and dared ask how the cat was supposed to get up to said outhouse, my beloved husband quickly pointed out that he had built Mr. Spock a ladder.
I can’t make this stuff up people.
So after pursing my lips and rubbing the heels of my hands into my eyes I turned away from him and decreed that he must now submit to mandatory observation while operating the table saw. 

See the brown and blue tent by the ceiling? Also notice the wood ladder hooked to the concrete in the foreground. The metal ladder next to the litter tree house? It’s 8 feet tall…
“Is this payback for that time you had to climb 20 feet up in that tree to get me?”


  1. When Andy starts finding cat poop in the sawdust beneath his favorite table saw because the cat doesn't feel like climbing the equivalent of 7 flights of stairs to get to his restroom, maybe Andy might think twice about his latest invention. 🙂

  2. …and that would be my daughter&#39;s….choke, cough, choke….ummm….Godfather…?!?! Oh my… :)<br /><br />From Tim: Andy, I used to think you were smart. How could I have been so wrong? Wow, dude. Wow. … Refrigerated Rabbit in box? And why does an outdoor kitty even need a litter box, much less one that is a penthouse suite? Wow, dude.

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