Thankfully, Spring is here and it won’t be long before the warm weather brings people outside with their canines.

I live in a large condominium complex and volunteered to become a member of the board of directors. After serving two years of a three year term I am quite certain I would have preferred a swift kick in the family jewels than have to deal with the minutiae and mind-numbing minutes of the monthly meetings.

At our last gathering it was brought to our attention that many dog owners are not picking up after their furry friends. I can attest to that. Once the snow melts some areas resemble a minefield. My daily stroll makes me look like a country and western fanatic as I two-step my way amidst the doggie DNA.

Speaking of which, I read that a condominium board in Florida is attaining a DNA sample from every dog in their building. Therefore, when doggie DNA is found they test it and the offending Homo sapien is fined. It’s a great idea but expense precludes my particular building from commencing such a program. Now there’s an episode for CSI, huh?

It amazes me to no end that people do not clean up after their dog. I can’t and don’t want to imagine what their homes must look like. People that choose to ignore their animal’s waste probably live like pigs and their house would be the last place I’d want to have a meal let alone walk in the dump without a biohazard suit.

A few days ago a responsible dog owner told me her pooch was having a problem. It seems her dog likes to indulge in other doggie DNA. This problem is called coprophagia. Her vet suggested placing something that doesn’t taste too good in its place. What? The only thing that came to my mind was to give the mutt a sample of my ex-mother-in-law’s cooking.

I love dogs but the aforementioned is precisely why I prefer cats. I don’t have to walk my cat and all I need to do is ensure a clean litter box. Of course, my cat, Tuffy has a regular routine that annoys the hell out of me. It seems Tuffy expects his breakfast at a certain time and if I do not respond to his jumping on the bed or constant meowing he will enter his litter box and deliberately start kicking it up. The sound is incredibly irksome and he continues until I drag myself out of bed. This is followed by Tuffy leading me down the hall (like I don’t know where my own kitchen is) as he darts in and out of my feet. Sooner or later he’s going to trip me and knock me unconscious but then again he probably knows how to work the can opener.

Tuffy’s litter box is one of those models that has a roof and a swinging door. The pet store girl told me cats like their privacy. Are we talking about the same cat here that when I have the boys over for a poker game kitty likes to roll on his back and clean his most intimate parts? Either Tuffy does this to make us jealous or he’s very proud of his junk. I guess he forgot he’s been neutered.

Anyway, Tuffy refused to go through the swinging door. Perhaps it was degrading he had to actually perform manual labour to relieve himself or he’s just plain lazy. I’d put my money on the latter. I removed the door and he happily entered his private bathroom.

This is where it gets weird… like it hasn’t been up until now. After Tuffy does his bodily duty he always scares the living you-know-what out of me because he rockets out of the litter box like a Formula 1 racing car. His feet barely touch the floor as he careens down the corridor. Why is that? Soon I discover why. I don’t want to be offensive but wow! Is my cat suddenly eating spicy Mexican food?

Dogs have a tendency to slowly spin around when they have to go and finally settle on a patch of earth. Cats have a habit of digging and digging until things are just right. I’m surprised Tuffy hasn’t asked me to put a little magazine rack in there but then again an educated feline is a dangerous thing.

Here’s an amazing fact. Americans spend upward of five billion dollars on their pets every year yet they don’t have socialized medicine. That’s fine by me. I prefer animals over most people anyway. For all the unconditional love animals give us I don’t mind cleaning up after them when nature calls. I guess that’s why we have thumbs.

Ben Guyatt is a stand-up comedian who hosted Comedy @ Club 54, is the author of several books including Billy Green Saves The Day and hosts The Ben Guyatt Show on AM900 CHML every Sunday night. www.benguyatt.com 

Providing a Fresh Perspective for Burlington and Hamilton.

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