Saturday, September 15, 2007

The Cat Carrier

There is a downside to everything and the reason why a lot of people are horrified with the idea of trash picking is the possibility of coming across yucky or creepy things. Experienced pickers can't be put off by that of course, they just share their story on HGTV, have a laugh afterwards and get on with business as usual. But I warn you, if you have a weak stomach don't read this thread.

The truth is, I believe these accounts are the exceptions, and I had only one smelly experience a few months ago myself in all these years. And to be honest I still smile when I think of it.

Neighbours and friends of ours are stray cat feeders. They live 5th floor a few blocks away from us, but one of their furry groups live right on the footpath behind my yard. Earlier this summer the lady, Ganny, called me and told me they had to break down the wooden shelter her man, Freek (pronounce Frake, not Freak) had built in the backyard of my next door neighbour, Harry. The police had decided it was too visible and Harry had already a bad name for holding chickens and not keeping his yard too clean. There was fear of other neighbours thinking the cat shelter might attract critters and such. It was total nonsense of course, because I know my friends take extremely good care of their stray cats, bring them to the vet if necessary and certainly kept that shelter clean. Besides, Harry got rid of his chickens last year (and I miss them, I liked having chickens running around my yard).

This is Miene. She was born stray and she's over seven years old already. Can you see these cats are well taken care of?

Anyway, Ganny got permission from the cops to place smaller shelters hidden in the bushes between the yards and the path (behind that hedge you see on the picture) and they thought about using cast away litter boxes and pet carriers for it, so she asked me to look out for those on our trash round. My BF happened to have one old litter box on his balcony, recently replaced by a better find. So we were glad to get rid of that for such a good cause.

Once there I immediately ran to the bathroom, put on my rubber gloves, scooped out the pooh, flushed it in the toilet and thoroughly scrubbed the whole thing (and my scoop) with bleach. Then I took a closer look: I had a brand new, bar code sticker of the shop still on it, unscratched, complete, hardly ever used (except once for a human toilet) cat carrier in a highly fashionable lime green colour!

The next morning I presented a grateful Freek with the two pieces when he passed by. I told him I had to get rid of some 'dirt' from the carrier but that I disinfected it thoroughly and they didn't have to worry about it. I also said that I wouldn't be surprised if they kept it for their own cats, giving their own old carrier to the strays instead and in fact I believe they did!

Apart from a little bit of the bad smell I have no bad memories of this experience. The only thing that puzzles me is how the pooh ended up there. I can imagine one thing: maybe a small child used the carrier as a potty, putting it on its back and using the door as a hole. But what kind of parents are too disgusted to clean up their own kid's pooh and instead throw away a brand new cat carrier? The curb is full of stories and I never grow tired of them.

But on top the same evening towards the end of our twice a week stroll I found a plastic cat carrier, close to the model up here. It looked pretty good and clean, only the door was missing. Well, we didn't need that for our purpose, but still I looked inside to see if it was there after all. It was, but there was something else too: an enormous turd! It was about ten times to big to be of a cat, but it also didn't have the sharp penetrating smell of dog shit. I could have sworn it was human! Before asking myself how on earth that ended up where it was, I faced a difficult decision. My eagerness to help my friends and the cats was struggling with my disgust. Well you can guess, my love for the cats won. I know that little group and Miene is such a darling. After all the outside and the handle of the carrier were clean and it's easy to disinfect plastic. I quickly walked home, hoping passers by wouldn't smell anything. Lucky it was dark!


yours truly said...

Great story and wonderful blog! I stumbled upon you this morning and really enjoyed the reading! Oh ... the cat carrier is such a great find!

Le-Chat said...

Thanks, 'Yours Truly', for the positive input. After almost a year blogging about trash I can still use that! Took a quick peek at your blogs, will be plunging into them later. For now the BF awaits me upstairs. Keep reading, even with poor winter finds coming up, I have tons of summer finds still to write about to last me until spring.

Cindy Garber Iverson said...

Your suspicion is probably correct. It just amazes me what sort of throw-away society we live nowadays. Our great-grandparents would be appalled, wouldn't they? Good for you in going ahead and salvaging something that will now get plenty of use. Cindy at Rosehaven Cottage

Deb said...

Love the cat carrier story....I would've done the same thing....and been happy it was dark outside! :) I'm glad you could put the cat carrier to good use!

Anonymous said...

super ton blog petit frere, meme si je capte pas tout!! je prends le dico anglais de temps en temps !!

Le-Chat said...

Hey La Dude,
Nice to hear from you and find you with our regular readers!

Astrid & Michel