In this world of hard-hitting issues, few things conflict the emotions more than changing kitty litter.
Make no mistake, it can be a shitty job.
But like so many things on this earth, the problem is not so much the problem, but your attitude to the problem.
For that reason, I try to con myself that tending to loved ones in such a manner is actually a great opportunity to show how much I care.
The fact that the loved ones in this instance are cats is irrelevant.
It could be babies, it could be grandparents.
There but for the grace of god go all of us.
My cats, for their part, seem to think they deserve the adulation. Not that they reciprocate.
Surely, if they loved me back, they'd hold back.
Or at least get the bleach out once a week.
The fact they don't indicates an imbalance of emotional dependence.
But ain't that love in a nutshell?
Ah yes, so much going on in the mind as you muck out the stables.
At these moments I often reminded of that famous quote from Apocalypse Now: "I love the smell of napalm in the morning."
Give me napalm over cat spray any day.
Perhaps it would be better to get off the love-cat scenario and look at it more in a workplace-productivity context.
Experts note workers/slaves are much more productive when they're happy.
Obviously the cats are happy.
They're unburdening themselves.
The worker/slaves on the other hand may not be so happy cleaning up after them.
They may see it as "work" or a "chore".
Better, say the experts, to think of it as "play".
"Play" is fun, and fun is more productive.
Unfortunately, no matter how many times I delve into the super absorbent whatever-it-is they put in kitty litter, I can't accept that it's fun.
Particularly when the product which is the focus of the productivity has an unhappy tendency to miss the bag when I tip it out and land unnervingly close to feet.
Don't mention the bouquet.
So it's not love and it's not fun.
Maybe it's just responsibility.
Doing what has to be done.
The immediate question then springs to mind: Why does it have to be done by me?
Why can't the alleged owners of the cats take responsibility? The ones who received said cats for birthdays and so on.
This line of inquiry often leads to a stand-off between alleged owners and me.
A bit like when the council garbage collectors go on strike. Of course, the cats don't go on strike.
They won't poop in their own nest . . . forever.
They'll poop next to their nest.
If the humans want to play this dirty war, then it will be the humans who suffer.
And so it comes to pass.
I'm yet to see our cats lose one of these stand-offs.
And it's always me caught in the crossfire.
Which in theory should get me resenting my cats more than I do. Particularly if you measure that resentment by how often I change their litter.
Unfortunately, if that's the true measure, then, no matter how unpleasant I find it, I really do love my pussies. And that suits them purrrfectly.
Are you bitter about litter?
Blog with Simon at theherald.com.au.