As I crouched on the grass on a bright clear spring day, knuckle deep in a cat litter box of warm soapy pee water, I thought, ah, this is the life...? I didn't plan on taking on this task today. As usual, my brain acts on the impulse of the moment and that includes chores. But then, I don't think anyone really plans on doing a deep clean of a litter box. It occurred to me that I didn't even know how to do it. What cleaner do I use? What does this job require? I knew some pretty bad, caked-on business was taking place so it would take some scrubbing. Shrugging to the open air, I decided on a now-christened cat-use Brillo pad dish sponge and some dish soap. Cat litter box--it's almost the same as dishes I eat my food on. And just as I do with dishes, I forgot to wear rubber gloves which is pretty freaking gross now that I think about it. I think my mind took me to another place as I scrubbed, (that place being what I would write about here, now).
It also brought to mind another time when I should have worn rubber gloves but didn't. Fade out and then back in to the time my son's friend would drink water and use our restroom somewhere between 9-27 times a visit. We never knew why until maybe this one day when he had a monster of a bloody nose. I had other people over at the time so was distracted but at some point he told Julian to tell me that he'd... had an incident, and... *sorry.* I went up to investigate and beheld a nightmare-inducing crime scene in and all around the toilet. Bright, bold blood everywhere. I know what you're thinking: Jen, what the @#$% are you telling us this. Because, don't you know this by now? If I have to experience gross things, then SO. DO. YOU.
"Aaaghhh what.. in.. the name of all that is holy..!?!?" I exclaimed as I surveyed the scene. It was so uproarious that my visiting friends wanted to see for themselves. I quickly cleaned the mess/got rid of the evidence and later heard that he got bloody noses a lot and someone had told him to "drink lots of water" to stop it. I see the error and it appears he may have heard "stop" instead of "prevent." Very important distinction. Because instead of holding tissue to his nose and waiting patiently, I guess he just sat there, good and hydrated, and just let it bleed out freely... in the toilet. Does anyone else like to play detective with their kids' friends and their families? Gathering bits and pieces and trying to put together a scene, an explanation, background from whence they come. No? Just me? Anyway, I'm tucking this story into my files to retell this neighbor kid when he's older and about to graduate or something. This same kid plays tricks on me like schedules weird reminders at weird times on the Alexa and messes up the Chinese checkers board.
I hadn't planned on completely cleaning the kitty litter box. I'm not really the "do it until it's done right" type, except for things I care about. And I generally don't get a lot/any satisfaction from accomplishing things like this, something I have had to explain to Sean who doesn't understand this concept. I just thought I'd scrub until I was done/over it/bored and it was "clean enough" like I did as a child. Both Julian and I are big fans of half-assery in this regard. But I worked so hard I broke a sweat, splashed a little pee water on my pants and cussed, and thought a lot about some things, all of which got my writer's juices flowing (always gross. Can someone please come up with a new phrase. I picture suddenly salivating. Also picture chewing Juicy Fruit gum which.. did that even have a fruity taste? I just realized what its name actually means and it's not just nonsense sounds to equate the name of gum). So I stuck it out until the end, realizing I'd just discovered a new way to get in some good thinking time.
But chore momentum is real and now, on this beautiful first day of June, I'm going to go find all the sticky spots on the carpet which I suspect are a result of a cat with a little paw wound. I don't think I'll need rubber gloves for this but it doesn't matter, I wouldn't wear them anyway. Plus I get to play another fun detective game as I feel around for clues/more dried-up pet goo.
This is the life.