Having as many animals as we do (two each of dogs, cats, bunnies; four chickens; three goldfish; one toddler) means that a certain (cough cough HUGE) amount of my time is spent dealing with excrement. Litter box, bunny cage, diaper changes account for the most frequent tasks I am faced with. Occasionally I clean out the chicken hut, when it gets too damp and/or smelly for even the chickens to face. Generally I try to delegate the task of Yard Scoopage to my better half, but sometimes it falls to me for various reasons.
Here is the approximate schedule:
Every few days: litter box, bunny cage
Every couple of weeks: chicken hut
Now, this schedule is pretty loose (aside from diaper changes) so it's not like I always clean the litter box on Wednesdays, etc. Most days I deal with one or the other of these things at most (aside from diaper changes, which you can now just exclude from the list hereafter).
However. Once in a while, the planets line up and I must take care of all of them at once. Company coming over, extreme slacking on my part, kismet, whatever. It just happens. Like today. Little Miss Terrible Two and a Half and I went out to re-pot some houseplants (following the Great Cat-Induced Flying Houseplant Debacle of a week or so ago) and that naturally led to visiting the chickens which in turn led to cleaning the hut out, which was damp and smelly and littered with little chicken beer bottles and little chicken pizza boxes and little chicken dirty sweat socks. Chickens are like bachelors.
Now I'm taking a break to recover from the trauma of sticking most of my upper body into a plywood box redolent of guano, repeatedly, to remove stinking pine shavings caked with, well, guano. Once I feel sufficiently recuperated, I'll move on to (ominous peal of thunder) the litter box. It's kept in the laundry room, which is a very small walk-through from the house to the garage, and the ventilation fan has been running continuously in that room for about 18 months. Yes, we probably lost some heat in the winter and cool in the summer, but it kept the house free of litter box stank and was therefore worth it. Except it died a couple of weeks ago. We moved the hepa filter in there but it's just not doing anything but blow the smell around. And, Ringo is the King Of The Stinky Cat Butt, so it reeks in there no matter how often I clean it, since he is also the Master of Using The Cat Box Right After It Has Been Cleaned. Needless to say, we will be obtaining and installing a new ventilation fan this weekend.
And, well, I haven't been that scrupulous of late about scooping.
To add to this delightful state of affairs is the fact that one or both of the cats likes to pee on the floor right in front of the box. (I blogged about this long ago, of the many times I moved the laundry machines around to clean up the cat pee that had run beneath them, of the angst and agony that this caused me, and of my eventual discovery of the Wee-Wee Pad. ) I am still using the pads, and every time I get one out a silent but heartfelt prayer of thanks wings its way toward the saintly person or persons who created this marvelous product. However. While they are marvelous at catching the pee and soaking it up, they do nothing in the way of deodorizing said pee. Which means that they reek once peed on, and right at this very moment our laundry room smells like a urology ward. In Calcutta. In monsoon season.
So, I'll spend a richly rewarding fifteen minutes setting all that to rights, only to move on to (duhn duhn DUHN) the rabbit cage.
Did you know that two bunnies produce twice the, erm, output of one bunny? And that twice the output means twice the stink? If not more? Yeah, see, guess who didn't really think that through before agreeing to another bunny. Although, seeing them sleep in a little pile and groom one another and generally groove on being together makes it worthwhile, truly. Still. Yeah. What fun.
So I have achieved it, my friends: the Excrement Trifecta.