Saturday, August 30, 2008

Biblical Proportions

Although I've lived most of my adult life in what Jack affectionately refers to as "squalor," I've been putting a lot of effort into keeping our home neat and clean. The Alps-sized pile of dirty clothes next to my bed has shrunk to a foothill, bookshelves are noticeably dust-free, and I’ve even hauled out the vacuum cleaner a couple of times. Go me.

Jack's reaction to this new leaf I've turned over has been mixed, a combination of appreciation and suspicion: “Wow, you’ve really been doing a good job around here” has evolved into “Who are you, and what have you done with Evn?” While I understand his concern, I also understand that he’s at the start of an exciting new career, and I want to support him in that endeavor by making sure he doesn’t have to waste his well-deserved free time picking up after my sorry ass.

Unfortunately, for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. In this case, zealously taking on a vast new variety of household responsibilities resulted in me accidentally neglecting the one chore Jack has ever actually assigned to me.

In other words, I forgot to clean the litter box. For, like, two weeks.

At face value, this is not as horrid as it may seem. We own the world’s largest litter box. Seriously, it’s the kind of thing you’d expect to find at Sigfried and Roy’s house. If I skip Scoop Day every now and again, no big deal--there are still gallons and gallons of pristine litter for my precious babies to contaminate. Additionally, Jack found this all-natural, biodegradable litter made from pine chips (and possibly rainbows) that holds odor longer than I hold grudges, so there are never any unsavory olfactory issues with which to contend.

With these factors in mind, you can imagine my confusion when I walked through the front door yesterday afternoon and thought, “Why does this place smell like cat pee?” Following my nose to the guest bathroom, I stared, mouth agape, at the half-ton adobe brick that was, not so very long ago, a litter box.

This was a situation far outside the realm of mere scooping--everything had to go. I ran to the kitchen, found a suitable industrial-strength garbage bag, scooted it around the box, held my breath and slowly, carefully poured out the fetid contents. Tying off the bag and gasping for air, I squared my shoulders, hefted up the unwieldy load and trudged off to the dumpster.

Now, the dumpsters in our apartment complex are surrounded by wooden fences and blocked off by tall, chain-link gates, which are well nigh impossible to open. You can't just drop your trash off and go on with your life. No, you have to have the skills of an Olympic hammer thrower, winding up and launching your garbage high into the air, with distance and velocity both taken into consideration when the judges calculate your final score. I got a good swing going, arced the bag over my head, and...


Instead of trying to describe what happened next, I'd like to share a passage from the Old Testament (Exodus 9:24-25):

There was hail, and fire mingled with the hail, very grievous, such as there was none like it in all the land of Egypt since it became a nation. And the hail smote throughout all the land of Egypt all that was in the field, both man and beast; and the hail smote every herb of the field, and brake every tree of the field.

I hope that crystallizes the image for you. If not, suffice it to say that washing ammonia-scented clumps of cat shit out of my hair was decidedly not how I’d planned to spend my evening.

But on the upside, my urge to clean house has reached obsessive-compulsive levels. Now if you'll excuse me, I need to go shower again.


Pom said...

LMAO! It's like I was there you've described it all so well. Should have waited till Jack was around to witness your efforts though. You know the saying "if nobody sees it, it didn't happen". Efforts like that should not go unseen nor unrewarded!

Thalia said...

Oh no!!

Although, really, that's what you get for cleaning. That's why I (and my mother, from whom I learned this attitude) avoid that stuff like the plague.

Evn said...

Pom, I'm sorry to say that people saw it happen. Three of my neighbors decided to take out their trash at the same time, and were lucky enough to witness the garbage bag explode over my head.

We all just sort of stared at each other, until I smiled weakly and fled.

Evn said...

Thalia, while I do now have a different perspective on cleaning...

Cat shit. In my hair. The house can go to hell for all I care, but the litter box will be spotless from now own.

Thalia said...

I'm so sorry.

Do you think the cats themselves had anything to do with it? Don't tell me they don't know how to craft a good curse.

Yvonne said...

Eeuuww, I can smell the ammonia from the other side of the Atlantic... oh wait, it's my cats' litter tray. Do you think they are linked by quantum entanglement?

Evn said...

You know, Thalia, it could have been the work of our oldest cat who we had to have put down last year. She had a knack for revenge, and when alive, demanded that the litter box be squeaky clean at all times.

She also haunts us sometimes, so I would not put the exploding bag past her.

Evn said...

Do you think they are linked by quantum entanglement?


Red Delicious said...

Cats may be able to curse, but dogs are just horrific, chaotic typhoons for that kind of... well, shit, for lack of a better word.

Especially stupid dogs.

Anne Johnson said...

This is clearly the work of faeries. They do not like clean houses. Where can they hide if everything is neat?

How do I know this? Because I too had a cat box explosion, except in my case the bag filled with disgusting contents got stuck on a nail on the wall and ripped. Faeries, I tell you. Faeries!

Evn said...

Oooh, Red Delicious, you ended up with one of those puppies from the TCT benefit, huh?

I'm starting to suspect you're more of a cat person. Or a things-that-live-in-terrariums person.

Thalia said...

By the way, this is one of the funniest things I have ever read. I was lying awake in bed last night laughing out loud at it. Especially the phrase "very grievous".

Evn said...

Not to toot my own horn, but I was very, very pleased with the Old Testament reference. It fits so perfectly, no? (And I'm really glad you liked it.)

Evn said...

Anne, I believe you're the go-to person in this matter--what's the proper way to express the following to the Fey Folk?

"Don't you DARE do anything like that to me EVER again."

Because, seriously, cat shit in my hair. Faerie or non, that is not funny.


Well, okay, not that funny.

Tell the faeries to quit laughing at me.

Thalia said...

Hon, you may as well tell the cat not to sleep.


Evn said...


Lisa Adams said...

*laugh* My my, I could totally picture it. Speaking of which, I should probably clean my litter boxes (I have 2 because Chloe has decided she will NOT share with Tiger).

I need to clean house and I need to stop cheating on my diet it's costing me *snicker*.

Bo said...

the old testament bit was comic genius!

Evn said...

The writers of the Old Testament thank you for acknowledging their comedic potential. (grin)

Anonymous said...

This entry had me totally rolling LOL. Now if someone could please explain to me why my 2 cats (females) insist on only doing their business in the back left hand corner of the litterbox?????? What something wrong with the other 3 corners???? I have one of those littermaid ones, and I still have to get in there every otherday because of that.

I love my cats, but Im definitely a dog person and turtle person LOL.

Anonymous said...



I can hardly breathe.