Daily Archives: December 27, 2009

Shame Saga of Icy Kitty-Littered Paths

Many factors brought me to my “snow low” — a nasty intersection of frustration and shame. Yes shame. That’s a degree or two..or three…beLOW embarrassment.

Here’s how it all started:

  1. I enjoyed the Christmas season with family in New York City during Virginia’s historic snowfall; therefore, I wasn’t here to shovel every few inches of snow to keep the walking pathways clear.
  2. I live on a corner. By law or city regulation of some sort or simple humanity rules, I’m required to keep the sidewalks clear for my neighbors’s safety.
  3. I stopped getting salt and chemicals to treat the snow — to prevent harm to the environment and innocent dog’s paws (probably red fox paws too since I’ve seen one in my back yard).
  4. We came home to snow drifts of three-feet or more in strategic places where walking or car transport would normally occur.
  5. I happened to have a bag of old kitty litter in the garage.

So let me set the stage:

Piles and piles of beautiful snow held us hostage — preventing passage from my doorstep to the road that led to civilization.

We shoveled and shoveled. Whew. Finished? Not quite. Once we dug out, every surface froze — transforming the steps, driveway and sidewalks into a treacherous ice creature eager to gobble up solid footing and crunch unsuspecting human, bone by bone, limb by limb.

Frantic to battle the evil ice creature and save myself, my family, and my neighbors, I grabbed the only weapon I had in my arsenal — the old bag of kitty litter in the garage!

I sprinkled (ok, poured) kitty litter liberally along the walkways. I stamped it in, feeling quite proud of myself. Proud, that is, until I took one step back inside the house and left a clumped, gooey footprint on my cute little Christmas rug.

I realized, to my horror, clumping-technology infested what looked like an ordinary non-clumping bag of kitty litter, and was now at work clumping the snow and ice on every walking path outside my house. Now, not only was the ice creature out there treacherous, but messy to boot!

My unsuspecting neighbors’ dogs will now track kitty litter paw prints throughout their houses.

Now, in my defense, I want you to know I really, REALLY didn’t know the kitty litter was the “clumping” kind. The bag looked like the prehistoric kind…you know, way back when before the clumping-technology lightbulb lit up the minds of pet-industry scientists. Where does it say “clumping” on this bag (see pic below)?

Kitty Litter bag

Back to the story:

Ever resourceful, I grabbed my recycling bag of Washington Post newspapers — which I knew to be kind to the environment since newsprint decomposes quickly. (I use it often to smother summer weeds under mulch in my garden.) I laid a new pathway of newspaper-covered clumping kitty litter-covered ice. Ah, my work was complete. I was ready for a long winter’s nap.

Not so. My daughters’ informed me the wet newspaper turned to ice. That EVIL ice creature assimilated ALL in its path.

Yesterday, rain came to the rescue. I decided to leverage the 40-degree WET weather to clean up the kitty litter newspaper soup. OH MY GOSH!!! What a sloppy, goopy, slippery mess. Nightmare! I won’t go into the clean-up details. I prefer to wipe them from my memory (pun intended). 😉

The moral to this story: Buy salt…or move south!

(But IF you insist on staying put and care about the environment, read the kitty litter label before spreading over ice.)

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