Monday, December 22, 2014

litter boxes

For those of you who don't have cat companions on your journey through this life, the ONE things that you are blessed by whatever gods there be is this: you never have to clean a litter box.

Cleaning litter boxes is roughly equivalent to mucking out the horses' stalls each day, though I realize there is less to muck out, though it is no less odious. And where horse poop, since they only eat grain, is useful in a couple of ways, the poop of cats, full of animal protein, is useless and smells bad.

One of my few regular jobs is to clean the litter box for our 'last cat' (as Bern calls him) Lukie.

We used to have four cats (one cat short of  'excentric' I'd say) so my regular job was even more demanding since they all used the same litter box, just at the bottom of the back staircase. But as Luke has grown older (just like me) he seems to relieve himself in both ways more often.

Another of my jobs in our household is to take out the garbage and recycling each week.

I'm the garbage man in our home.

I don't mind it at all, really. It is a very rewarding avocation. I get to 'clean up' the messes of our lives. And that, in its own way, a noble pursuit.

In fact (I think I've pondered it before but it worth a new pondering) I think the three highest paying jobs in our culture should be the 'cleaning up' jobs: Day Care workers, trash collectors and nursing home workers.

It's remarkable to me how we don't honor and actually actively degrade the folks who clean up our messes. A trash collector in a union does ok, but they should be paid what partners in law firms make. If they didn't come every week and take the flotsam and jetsam of our lives away we'd soon be swimming in the filth of our own making. But the folks we entrust our children and our elders to are grossly underpaid as well. How our culture works is that we express the 'value' of work through dollars. Yet the people we trust with the beginnings and endings of our lives are not compensated in any way according to the 'value' they give us.

Those three groups of workers clean the litter boxes of our lives. We should honor, celebrate and reward them.

Yet, they do the jobs we don't want to do and are ignored. Too bad for them--and ultimately, too bad for us. You do, in some way, get what you pay for....

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some ponderings by an aging white man who is an Episcopal priest in Connecticut. Now retired but still working and still wondering what it all means...all of it.