When my wife and I exchanged vows, not a word was mentioned about cleaning the litter box. Perhaps my response would have been different if there had been. Something along the line of: “With the exception of…, I do.”
Needless to say, The Box is a sore point in our otherwise blissful relationship.
I am a dog person, she likes cats. I like dogs because they do their business outside. She likes cats because regardless of where they do their business, she doesn’t have to clean up after them. I do.
One might think it only fair that she clean up after her own cats. But my wife is squeamish. She delegates the task to me by saying, “You like icky things.”
Which is true. Being a guy I have a very high tolerance for repulsive things. Here are a list of things that don’t bother me:
- Changing diapers for my younger siblings, all seven of them, in an era prior to the invention of disposables.
- Living downwind from a hog barn. For those of you who don’t know, the stench of hogs can bend sunlight.
- Cleaning game. You don’t really know icky until you have gutted a bottom dwelling fish pulled from a fetid swamp.
Yet nary one of these unpleasantries has prepared me for the foulness of our three cats.
We have tried various foods, ranging from the tasty to the bland, in the hapless pursuit of olfactory relief. But I swear, we could feed them chalk and they would still transform it into something wickedly rank.
But it doesn’t end there.
After I am done sifting turds and scooping clumps into the trash – each cat, in rapid succession, will leap into the box to undo what I have done. But let us not dwell on the cats,
The real problem here is my wife.
We have to ask the obvious. Why doesn’t she clean up after her own cats?
I think we all know the answer. Couples do this to each other all the time.
Not a day goes by that I don’t tell her I love her – but saying “I love you” is just repeating words. She needs something more convincing; something to test my love – every day.
So every day she asks me to clean the litter box and every day I protest. Every day she insists and every day I cave in. It is our ritual.
It’s like dancing.