The Litter Box ShuffleWritten by M.L. Scott
Cat owners have a preoccupation with waste disposal that rivals only that of sanitation workers. Indeed, only a fellow cat lover could understand. The ultimate litter solution seems to elude us like search for Holy Grail. We know it's out there. And we know it should cost something less than a mortgage payment. Like Pavlovian subjects, our ears prick to attention and our wallets fly open at mere hint of an easy and odorless answer. The irony of this fixation lies in fact that of all animal species, cats have a preeminent position as being among cleanest. How many pets do their business and then spend an equal amount of time covering their tracks? Even people forget to flush. Hand a cat a roll of toilet paper and it would probably ask for a moist towelette. For their owners however, going one on one with a toilet bowl and brush seems to offer less chance of fecal matter contact than litter box shuffle. Whether we rake it, scoop it or crystallize it, we still feel incomplete. A little wistful, perhaps, as we eye Fido bound into a litter free abode after his morning sprint. For every hour spent taking dog for a walk, there are four engaged in litter shopping, hauling litter in and out of car, pouring it into box, scooping clumps, smoothing it out, splatter management (don't ask) and carpet treatments for wayward torpedoes and seeping ooze. (Again, don't ask). Not to mention incalculable cost of passing out from ammonia fumes of an overdue litter box. Rousing from a toxic coma with a pooper-scooper in your hand and fecal waste down your pants does something to your self-esteem years of therapy can't erase. Before many cat owners even contemplate how to handle waste, they lose themselves in contemplation of perfect litter box. Cat owners are faced with options that vary from motorized trays complete with motion detectors that purport to automate process of separating fecal clumps from unused litter without mangling cat to sifting litter boxes that allow you to shake, rattle and roll waste into a neat little package. However, even perfect box won't get waste from receptacle to local landfill without that human touch. And that's where things really start to get messy. Who knew that emptying litter box could be a lesson in chemical break down of amino acids? The interesting thing about kibble is that though it starts out as a solid with a sizzling bacon aroma, it ends up a semi liquid reeking of rank sulfur. And it sticks to everything. Everything. So whether your box sorts and separates like postal office or rocks like Elvis Presley, icky sticky bits make for litter box hell.
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