Friday, January 31, 2003

Cleaning Up Pet Goop...and a Rat !

Patch is my first dog (I'm 32 years old) and as I was cleaning up after him today it reminded me of a progression that I've got in common with other first time pet owners. Besides Patch we also have two cats, Aura and Garibaldi. When we first got them and the job fell to me to scoop out their litter boxes, I was pretty disgusted with the whole process. I'd hold my breath while scooping the cat poo and urine clumps into a double grocery bag, then hold the whole thing at arms length when I took it straight outside to the rubbish bin.

Ah...the old days :) As many first-time parents will know (so I've heard, anyway) you quickly lower your "Eeeeewww !" threshold and get used to whatever you need to do. The cat boxes are a breath of fresh air compared with what I'll cheerfully pick up these days. When a Great Dane poops at the dog park, you grab the ol' inside out grocery bag, make sure there's no holes in the bottom of it, pick up the material in question (as much as will fit in one claw-like hand), flip the bag inside out, tie the knot and drop it in the provided bins with speed, accuracy and skill.

Well, today I know I graduated top of the class in the Picking Up Disgusting Things With An Inside-Out Baggie when I was summoned by our friend Vicky who was in a panic because the decaying body of headless, fetid, three-months-buried rat had been exhumed by their dogs and placed lovingly on the back porch. She saw it, screamed, ran inside and wouldn't go back out to save her life. Scott was working too far from home and could I stop by and dispose of it ?

"Not a problem !" says I, Master of the Disposal Arts. And I speak the truth, because it was no problem at all - hand in the bag, up comes Ratty, flip the baggie, pull the handy string provided, throw it away, wash hands and eat the lovely lunch provided to Brave Heroes such as myself. I even pretended to chew on the bag to see if I could make Vicky sick.

In four short years I've gone from barely being able to stand little cat poops to cheerfully extracting blackened, decapitated rodents. See, men can learn something.

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