There is only one problem.
They haven’t been able to open the box for almost a month because their three cats take turns sitting on it.
The three cats are unusually attracted to the box and spin around 24/7, so the box is never without a cat sitting on top. So as not to disturb the cats, which Jessica Gerson-Neeves says rule the house, they’ve decided to let the stalemate play out until someone gives in.
Plus, it makes them laugh along with a lot of people on the internet.
CNN developed a strange fascination with their ongoing battle and reached out to Jessica to check on the current status of the couple’s three cats at their home on Vancouver Island in British Columbia.
While we spoke, their cat Max was sitting on the box.
So why not just move it and open the box?
“Because everything is really bad, bad, bad and this is something that’s ridiculous and funny and very, very low stakes. There’s nothing bad or sad here at all,” Jessica laughs.
She explains that it all started the day the Vitamix was dropped off at the door. She moved it to the kitchen and set it on the floor, which she said would take a few seconds. Then Max jumped on it. He looked cute, so she took a picture.
“This definitely started out just like that, of course, we think our cats are cute because everyone who loves cats thinks their own cats are the cutest cats. So we take pictures every time they do something,” says Jessica. “They really take turns and you know everyone goes, but what about the meals? Come on, the meal times! Max is not – and has never really been – food motivated. The other two are very food motivated, but Max just “It doesn’t matter. They’ll eat, but if there’s something he’s more interested in, he’ll be happy to take care of it and not worry about eating.”
If Max isn’t on the box, one of his 13-year-old brothers, George: Destroyer of Worlds (“live potato”) and Lando Calrissian (“the questionably aware dust bunny”) is.
The box has no unusual feel or smell, as far as Jessica can tell, it’s just a box.
“I swear I have a nose like a bloodhound and it doesn’t smell like anything to me. So when they smell something, it has to be very subtle,” Jessica says.
She started posting updates to an online cat group and the response was “fast and overwhelming.”
There has never been a moment when the box has been free while the couple was home alone or together. They even send photos to each other to show who is on the box. They tiptoed out of the bedroom in the middle of the night to find yes, a cat on the box, guarding him.
“We spend so much of our days laughing at the response to the comments and every update,” says Jessica. “Because we update every day and I choose from the funniest or cutest photos.”
At this point the cats are (sort of) into it, as much as cats can be.
“They clearly know we’re interested because we take a lot of pictures and we communicate with them when they’re on the box,” says Jessica.
Jessica wrote a letter to Vitamix, assuming they would get a kick out of what was going on too.
“I thought their social media manager would see it and pass it on to other people at the company,” she explains. “Everyone would get a kick out of it.”
The company sent the couple three empty “bait box” boxes.
They tried one, but the cats soon realized they preferred the sturdier box with the blender inside.
“This valiant attempt failed,” Jessica laughs. “With no internal support structure, we had to find a way to put things in there so the cats wouldn’t fall through.”
To all the people who say to just take the cats out of the box, Jessica gets it.
“Did we try super hard? No, because of course we could pick up the cats and put them on the floor. Of course. They don’t weigh much.”
Instead, the two try to share their amusement.
“This is what our household looks like. Our life includes lots of laughter and love. We keep ourselves going with a good sense of humor and try to be patient. And as, as my wife says, to find joy where it lives ‘ says Jessica.
And so the $450 blender stays in the box. No soup. No smoothies.
“We are absolutely inundated with people saying, oh my god, no, no, no. Don’t do this, don’t rush to a conclusion. Please take your time,” says Jessica, adding “there comes a time when we will want to use our new blender.”
What are they going to make first?
“My wife is really excited about smoothies. I’m a big fan of soup. I’m really looking forward to a good hot soup. But I think at this point, when we finally get access to the blender, we’re both looking forward to a nice margarita, which we deserved.”