Tuesday, November 24, 2009

The Menagarie

Due to our plethora of pets,(2 dogs 3 cats and around 30 fish, Oh My!) I feel less like a human who owns a home and more like a zoo keeper who cleans the large, beautifully decorated, “cage” we have purchased for our menagerie.

Since I’m not Dr. Doolittle I have no real proof but I feel quite confident in saying that the apparent goal of each of these pets seems to be to make their “cage” as gross as humanly possible. Actually, humanly possible is probably not the right expression in this circumstance, because they are much more skilled at debauchery than any human I have ever met.

The Fish are, well, fish. They swim around in their fishy-ness, eating and shitting. Now that I’m thinking about it I must say, with the bottom feeder catfish and plecostomas who seem to pick up after the rest, they are possibly the cleanest animals in the house. Or maybe it just seems that way because their mess is contained in their tank in one corner of the “cage”.

The Cats give the air of cleanliness, but I am not so easily fooled! They lay around on the couch licking themselves clean. This is really a bait and switch though. They are not “cleaning” themselves! They are dirtying whatever surface they are sitting on! While they “clean” themselves they spread their hair all over whatever happens to be within a 50 mile radius.

All cats shed, but my cats are professionals. There is a chair in the “cage” that used to be black. Through years of “cleaning” and “sleeping” in said chair it has been turned permanently orange. It is actually physically impossible to rid the chair of enough hair to get the colour back to black. These cats are the Jedi masters of shedding. They can projectile shed from a distance of at least 30 feet, I’m sure of it. In fact, if my cats were travelling in a vehicle going 100 miles an hour on the highway with the windows closed and you passed them doing the same speed travelling the other direction you would find soon after, that some how, you have cat hair on you.

It’s not just their hair that makes the mess either! They seem to be incapable of eating without spreading little food bits everywhere around their dish. They haul gravel around on their paws after using the litter box. They leave bits of dead things strewn around the house and if all else fails they get up on the counter and start throwing things off on to the floor. Little fuzzy masterminds of mess!

Where the cats are masters of the shed, the dogs excel at stinking. Don’t get me wrong, they make a great effort and huge contribution to the hair and detritus that is strewn about the “cage”. They even have an added advantage of hauling things in from the outside that have just been “stuck” on them. But while they are good at shedding and generally mudding things up, where my dogs truly shine is at smelling utterly horrendous. I’m not talking about regular old dog smell either. I’m talking full on, oh my god there is something dead in our house, ranky-ness. The older, fluffier one is MUCH better at it and much more practiced but the other one is coming right along. Just yesterday someone commented that she smells awful, I swear she smiled.

I have to give them credit, they work damn hard at smelling as horrible as possible. You know how when you go for a walk you enjoy the sights and sounds and smells of the great out doors? Not my dogs. A walk is clearly a mission! That mission is to find something disgusting, and to roll in it. Is that a rotting deer carcass? Roll in it. Horse shit? Roll in it! Elk shit that is teaming with bugs? ROLL IN IT!! Rotting, meat? Eat it, then, fight with the other dog and slobber all over them with the rotting meat slobber… THEN Roll in it!!

While I appreciate that all the pets are putting a full effort into dirtying and smelling up the “cage”, I would like to somehow explain to them that my employment as zookeeper does not hinge on the necessity to clean 24/7. Until I get the ability to break through the inter-species communication barrier however I’ll have to make do with my subtle hints. Things such as bequeathing the chair to the cats, chasing the endless reams of hair, and occasionally the pets themselves with the vacuum, and frowning and sighing audibly while staring at a large tumbleweed of hair float across the floor I JUST swept, vacuumed and washed.

While those hints don’t ever work, I do relish in small acts of revenge against my furry friends. Things like, putting something sticky in the cats fur causing them to lick obsessively until they get it all out. Letting them smell what yummy thing I’m eating and not share, or the mother of all revenge tactics for the dogs… the bath! Tomorrow I will take my stinking bags of fur to the groomer after which, they will smell beautiful, look and feel silky and hate every minute of it!

For at least a week I will be the conqueror of stench in our house. I will relish in that thought, while they watch me with their beady eyes, and plan out new and increasingly disgusting ways to exact their own revenge.

“Hey zookeeper! Watch me eat this cat shit while I roll in that vomit encrusted rotting deer carcass…Its on!!”


  1. Perhaps the issue they cannot convey to you, is that they feel your occupation of their cage intrusive. They are simply trying to get you to adapt to your new surroundings by covering you in fur and stench.

  2. Um, maybe your dogs should stay home this weekend? (Kidding, I'm kidding!)