Fiction: My wife got a cat and I got a litter box

Kelowna columnist William Peckham writes monthly for the Capital News

“Darlin’, it’s time to clean Pooky-cat’s potty-box.”

Right… she got the cat; I got the litter box.

Ever cleaned a litter box? Well, it’s an experience, I could do without. Simple, right? Wrong. Required tools and equipment list is long. There are two ways to clean a litter box. You can get the little, slotted shovel and fish those hard brown marbles out of the sandy litter, trying not to gag. Required are a gas mask, slotted shovel, dainty little rake, plastic bag, plastic gloves and a strong stomach. Don’t forget the April-fresh-always-clean-little-lady-air-freshener spray.

This first method is called “the fish ‘n’ drop” method… no relation to a wonderful day on the lake with beer and sandwiches. Keeping your nose and eyes as far away from the litter as possible, pretend you’re a kid at the beach fishing for coins in the sand. Sift the sand through the slots in the shovel and drop the marbles into the plastic bag, try to avoid barfing. This is where the dainty, little rake comes in handy. Comb the litter bringing marbles to the top… then fish them out. Continue until no more marbles are found. Spray the April-fresh-always-clean-little-lady-air-freshener around and you’re done… except for disposing of the bag of brown marbles you have collected. So, it’s into the garbage pail with this dainty, little package. This method can be done several times before you have to actually bring in the heavy-duty equipment and change the litter.

When should the litter box be cleaned?… when the pungent scent of “Eau De Ammonia” assails your nostrils and takes your breath away or when Pooky-cat sticks her head into the potty box, coughs, gags, backs up and crosses her legs tightly enough to make her eyes water. Let me tell you, the job of the “official potty-box cleaner” is a thankless one. If you’re stuck with it you’ll soon learn, it’s better to clean often… thus you don’t chuck your cookies each time.

Completely emptying and cleaning the litter box is really a covert, under-cover-of-darkness job. After lunch, while the neighbours are having their afternoon siestas, go to the garden and, under the pretense of digging out some weeds, make a hole. It must be deep enough to hold the entire foul smelling and disgusting contents of the litter box. Later, by the light of the moon, without the aid of a flashlight, sneak out to the garden and empty the litter into the hole. Rake the pile of loose soil on top of the litter and escape. If done correctly, you won’t gag, your eyes won’t water and the neighbours’ll be none-the-wiser. Everything in the hole’ll decay and plants growing on this spot later will thrive. You’ll be the envy of the neighbourhood… tomatoes the size of softballs, zucchini that would make a football blush, and squash, big enough to feed the hockey team. Your neighbours’ll be hounding you for your secret… you can modestly say, “The cat’s got my tongue.”

William S. Peckham is a Kelowna author and freelance columnist. If you have a comment or question about his stories or his novels you are invited to contact Bill at peck102mch@yahoo.ca

To report a typo, email:
newstips@kelownacapnews.com
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