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Cats and dogs, those familiar creatures near and dear to us, wholly different and cursed by nature to be sworn enemies of each other. We folk who share our lives with these two critters know that they can live side by side and can even pull together toward the same goal.
They’re able to do this by having two common ties. One is we human beings. No matter how we think of ourselves in our relationship with cats and dogs, whether it is owner, roommate, buddy or parent, we are one common thread shared in their lives.
The other tie is perhaps one of the greatest unsung inventions ever produced by mankind … cat litter. What amazing properties this lowly stuff has. It converts liquid to solid and coats and partly perfumes the harder things. And dogs and cats both love it.
My orange tabby house cat Tick Tock appreciates a well-maintained litter box. Immediately after the daily scoop out, she’s right there ready to inspect the job. You can tell by her then more relaxed attitude, that’s just one less little cat anxiety removed for the day.
However, the dog attraction to cat litter is an entirely different matter. My bloodhound Pumpkin tends to view the litter box as a party tray. It’s hard for us humans to understand why an animal with a sense of smell perhaps 40 times our own finds this so irresistible.
Anyway, my two litter lovers join forces every morning at about 5:30 a.m. to perform their job of waking me up. It’s sometimes amazing to me but give or take about 10 minutes, it’s the same deal daily. Pumpkin pokes and prods with her wet dog face; Tick Tock paces back and forth or circles on top of my face and head.
The other morning, the daily tag team routine took on a slightly different twist, as I groggily reached out my arm to push the dog away. For a second I got the sensation of waking up on a sandy beach. A messy, sticky beach that something apparently died on. I sprang out of bed, turned on the light and to my horror saw that not one, but both sides of the bed were spread with some sort of gummy, stinking sand mixture. The cat was gone but the dog’s ears and nose were covered with cat litter and other things.
I won’t repeat what I said but I’m sure every neighbor, cow and coyote within two miles heard me.
You know, all the nice aspects of cat litter disappear when the clumps of stuff are mashed up with something like, oh, let’s say a dog’s nose. It becomes way too small to be scooped from the box with the nifty scooper and takes on the properties of clay mixed with gorilla glue.
Some friendly advice. The next time you’re reaching for that second box of “scoop away,” make sure you have a covered litter box to go with it.