Magessa O’Reilly

Owner of talented cats

Age: 51 ½

Occupation: Head of the French and Spanish departments at MUN. Teaches courses in Québec Culture and Literature.

Hometown: Maniwaki, Québec (near Ottawa)

Musical preferences: Likes pop, jazz, classical, world beat, but not country and opera.

Last book read: The Origins of Animal Culture by Dominique Lestel, a book on animal behavior and finding the origins of culture in animal behavior.

Zodiac sign: Libra

Words of wisdom: “Remain calm.”

The story: Magessa likes cats, but for a while he didn’t want to have any in his home.

“I hate cat litter,” he says. “It’s really disgusting stuff… So when I found this method, that’s when I got cats again.”

Magessa O’Reilly now has two feline companions, and they are no ordinary kitties. Motor and Suavecita (Spanish for “small, soft thing”) are sans litter box. Magessa has trained them to use the household toilet using a book called How to Toilet Train Your Cat in 14 Days.

Essentially, he says, you trick them into thinking the toilet is the box by raising the box to the same height. Then, at one point you remove the box and put plastic and cat litter over the toilet bowl. You decrease the litter little by little each day, then eventually remove the plastic entirely. Then, voilà! All your cat is left with is the toilet itself.

Magessa says these are pretty much his dream cats.

“A cat that uses the toilet, eats dry food, and doesn’t go outside.”

But do they flush?

“No.”

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