The True Measure of Time… | HumorOutcasts

The True Measure of Time…

September 19, 2017

Nothing forces upon me more acutely the awareness of the swift passage of time, the fleet pace of days and weeks as they fly off the calendar as though in a 1940’s newsreel, than cleaning the kitty litter box.

My household assistant earning his keep.

I am not talking about the day-to-day pooper-scoopering that is just one more quotidian household chore that doesn’t mark the passage of anything, like putting the dishes in the dishwasher, but that does have the advantage of giving me the opportunity to feel as though I am an adventurer panning for gold in a clear California stream. (I have a vivid imagination.) No, I am talking about the day of reckoning when it’s time to dump 20 pounds of used kitty litter into a very large, steel-enforced Glad Bag, lug the bag out to the trash can, power-wash the inside of the box at the outdoor faucet that sprays water all over my Nikes, wipe the box dry (digging the now gummy clay out of the corners), and then refill it with 20 more pounds of Fresh Step (for the air freshener) and Arm & Hammer Clump & Seal (for its superior anti-tracking qualities).

The back of the Fresh Step box encourages doing this chore once a week, but I do not do it once a week. (Don’t be too aghast. I do add a fresh coating of new litter after every pooper-scoopering.) In my phone app I have this particular To Do item entered as recurring every four weeks. And I am always astonished when “Rinse Litter Box” pops up to greet me. Surely a month hasn’t gone by! Certain that I had done it just a week ago, I search in the “completed” list – and there it is. Completed four weeks ago. Sometimes I just can’t face it and I tap “postpone one week.” To be honest, I probably undertake this Sisyphean labor only 10 times a year.

This fact gnaws at me. How can it be that I feel I am doing this every other weekend, and yet am doing it only 10 times a year? And worse… I am 64. Even if I live to be 94, I have only 300 kitty litter clean-outs left to do in my life, at most. That seems a paltry figure. After only 10 clean-outs have gone by, I’ve celebrated Thanksgiving, Christmas and a full round of family birthdays. I’ve probably gone to four weddings and at least one funeral. (That ratio will likely reverse as I get closer to 94.) I’ve completed about 350 New York Times crossword puzzles. (Sometimes I can’t finish the difficult Saturday puzzle.)

Within the quick span of only 10 kitty litter clean-outs, so many important life moments are compressed and gone. And now I’m depressed. If only this constant reminder wouldn’t haunt me…

I think I’ll go into the kitchen, pour a glass of wine, and write up a post for our local Nextdoor website: Free to a good home, two cats.

Kathryn Taylor

Kathy Taylor has had essays published in the Philadelphia Inquirer, WHYY’s website, the Broad Street Review, Purple Clover and the Princeton Alumni Weekly. Recently retired as a director for Alumni Affairs & Communications at Princeton, she has lived in the Philadelphia area since 1974. She and her husband have two grown children. Her children and husband, and sometimes her cats, make regular appearances in her essays..

More Posts - Website

Share this Post:

2 Responses to The True Measure of Time…

  1. September 19, 2017 at 4:15 pm

    Kitty litter is not for the weak of heart!

User Login

New Release
How to Write and Share Humor
By Donna Cavanagh Published by HumorOutcasts Press

Available in Paperback and Kindle

New Release
The Astounding Misadventures of Rory Collins
By Brian Kiley and HumorOutcasts Press

Available in Paperback and Kindle

New Release
Rats, Mice, And Other Things You Can't Take to The Bank: An Inspirational Collection of Essays from Humorous to Simply Human
By Leslie Handler. and HumorOutcasts Press

Available in Paperback and Kindle