My husband and I recently embarked on mission to potty train our cats. Other people boarded their windows during Hurricane Sandy. My husband and I, lucky to be in a building where all the power lines are underground, watched YouTube videos of cats using the toilet.

Litter drives me nuts, and after over a decade relying on public transit I don’t need another reason to be a germaphobe. So the first day the stores were open again we purchased Litter Kwitter, convinced of how the toilet training process would play out. Ernie, a natural problem solver able to maneuver his way in and out of cabinets and open the bi-fold closet door where we used to store the cat food (before his ingenuity required we move it), would be the first to adapt. Marshmallow, as sweet as her name implies but, we thought, not that bright, would catch on only if Ernie did. We were completely wrong.

“Have we been genderizing our cats?” I asked my husband. “Have we allowed ourselves to think that Ernie was smarter because he’s twice as big? Of course he can get into more mischief being so much stronger. It was probably nothing other than Marshmallow’s size that prevented her from doing the same,” dismayed that as a woman I may have fallen into the trap of associating sweet and cute with lack of intelligence and associating power with brains.

Marshmallow has easily accepted Stage 2 of the Litter Kwitter. Ernie has decided the bathtub is viable option. With legions of consultants and literature coaching managers how to manage organizational change, demonstrating your adaptability may just be the biggest way to prove your intelligence.