Monday, February 19, 2007

Excrement Day

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:
Daily: diapers
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.


Elizabeth said...

What about your dogs? I hate poop scooping the yard! And it seems to be my job. Yuck!

yellojkt said...

I do not miss diapers at all. You never know what you are going to get. I also hate litter boxes which in addition to my cat allergies keep me from getting one.

That said, I walk my dog twice a day and baggie all his business. I don't mind because it has to be done.

Everything poops.

Mel said...

Oh that was hilarious. AND I feel your pain sister. While I don't have a toddler, I do have two kids whose bathroom looks like what I assume a college frat house bathroom looks after a huge kegger. And, one bunny with four babies make A LOT of tiny turds. Plus, I have two cats AND three dogs (including one Saint Bernard who has dugans that are larger than should be possible)
The litter box is in the garage, and the odor of it nearly knocked us down this morning, BUT I refuse to clean it today, because TODAY is my BIRTHDAY! and one should not have to touch excrement on their birthday!

Impetua said...

As for the yard, we sort of take turns scooping up the dog poop. Guess whose turn seems to come up about 75 percent of the time?

And happy birthday Mel!!!

Elizabeth said...

I will bring up a goat or two with me in March - you obviously appreciate variety in your scatological sorties.

Elizabeth in Logsden

Impetua said...

They say that variety is the spice of life. I see no reason for waste disposal to be exempt from this. :)

(Hold off on the goat until we check local livestock ordinances; if we could have one we'd actually love to get one -- because, you know, we don't have enough animals...)

And yes, I know you're just kidding. :)

mel said...

I just re-read the post (because it was so freakin' funny) and it occured to me that we should petition some government official for an official Excrement Day. There are a ton of stupid things out there that already have a holiday, why shouldn't excrement deserve a day???