Saturday, October 30, 2010

Dog Poop and Cat Litter

Scylla and Charybdis. Rock and a hard place. Hell and high water. Dog poop and cat litter. All are tough places to be between.

The dog poop is in the yard, and the cat litter is in the basement of the house. In between these two places are where the daily battles are fought: bills, raising kids, lawn and car maintenance, laundry, the dishes etc, yet I find myself prioritizing the care of their daily constitutions.

Pets are one of the ironies of the American Dream. We pursue this happiness of a dutiful dog and a cuddling, purring cat, yet we dread the crap that comes with it.

Our dog, Duke, is a chocolate lab for the most part. We got him last spring, a year after we lost our golden, Padme (yes, Star Wars), to cancer. Duke’s name was a string of factors that included Duke kicking butt in the NCAA tournaments, Grace’s favorite movie G.I Joe had a character named Duke, and John Wayne, The Duke, is a favorite in the house. Chewbacca was a close second for a name.

For the most part, Duke is a pretty good dog. But, even after training him to go in the lower backyard, he still does is business where it suits him. And with the autumn leaves in its hues of browns over the yard, we have a virtual mine field of doggie bombs. One wrong step, and the victim’s shoes are tagged with a substance that does not stick to a dog’ rear end, but to everything else non-dog.

We have two cats too many. There is Chance; Christopher’s cat since he was three. He is a cantankerous feline that only let’s Christopher carry him anywhere, yet he insists on sleeping on whoever’s bed he deems most fit for his highness. Lo, thou darest disturb his slumber when you seek to rest. Thou will be hissed upon. I swear this cat actual grumbles inappropriate language as he shuffles off.

Princess, yeah that’s her name, is Grace’s cat. She may not be the king of the pets, but the name fits. She seems to know that someday that she will inherit the lands and dominate. Her favorite pastime other than lounging is to harass the dog when he is in his kennel by lounging out of his reach.

King Chance, Princess and Duke. I just realized that I just subjugated myself to my family’s pets. And I, the court jester, stands outside in the early morning dark dressed in my robe, stand dutifully by as his lordship leaves another gem in my lawn. And I, the stable boy, kneel before the throne of cat littler with my plastic scoop. I place the royal feces in small plastic bags and tie them shut so the order does not overpower the land.

I have this bazaar dream that thousands of years from now, archeologists will dig up these precious nuggets of bowel movements and determine that our culture held cat crud in high regard.

I must go. Duke is whining at the door and Princess is sitting in dignified repose by her food dish and eyeing me with a dour look. I am remiss in my duties.

Has anyone seen the pooper scooper?

I must walk carefully. It is a jungle out there.