Archive for May, 2012

I’ve been understandably out of it for a while now, but this morning a friend on Facebook caught me right after I woke up with a pro-life post about gender selective abortion in Canada. So, being early in the morning and half asleep I was a little more myself and it woke up a part of me that’s been rather lost under soot for the past few days. This was my response to said post. As always, feel free to leave your comments and opinions here. This is a place of free discussion and I encourage friendly debate!

If You Don’t Know What Gender Selective Abortion Is, CLICK HERE

I am pro-choice; however, I would personally never have an abortion. I feel that it is a woman’s right to choose whether or not she wants to go through a pregnancy, deliver, and raise an infant into adulthood. I know a lot of men say “Oh, it’s my baby too! So, I should have a say!” But, if we get realistic then we quickly realize that most of the time an unexpected pregnancy ends in single motherhood. Likewise, men don’t have to go through labor pains or the discomfort of pregnancy. Which is why I can’t for the life of me understand why male government officials get together and decide the fate of abortion and contraceptives. Although, I digress….

When it comes down to it, I feel there are understandable reasons for a woman to abort a pregnancy. Many of which I’ve seen first hand through the eyes of friends and family: rape, incest, and the fetus posing a threat to the mother. In contrast, there are also reasons that quite frankly make me sick such as improper use of contraceptives and those women who think abortions are contraceptives! Yet, as a pro-choice supporter I feel that regardless of reasoning it is not my place to bless or damn the womb of another woman for the choices she makes. I think that is the biggest confusion in the debate. People think that just because someone is pro-choice that they’re all about those abortions! I fight for the right for a woman to choose. That’s it, whether or not I agree with that choice and the reasoning behind it is irrelevant.

So, naturally gender selection leaves me a bit conflicted. Of course I disagree with it, I think it’s down-right monstrous. Why? Because I feel the motives are culturally archaic and I know what a fetus at the age of gender detection looks like… sounds like. Even so, I will fight for freedom and stand with any woman seeking an abortion – even if I don’t agree with or even like her as a person. You can’t pick and choose motives in terms of who gets an abortion and who doesn’t. That defeats the purpose, and we’re back in the shower with wire clothes hangers and whiskey. You can disagree with people, but you can’t take away their rights simply because something isn’t ‘okay’ with you. Humans as a whole are incredibly stubborn, and they’re going to do what they want despite what the government says. When you take away the medically safe route, then you’re taking away options… and that’s horrifyingly dangerous.

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Admittedly, this article has nothing to do with feminism, activism, charity, or advocacy. Yet, I still feel it is important to get this out there as much as possible. As a cat-lover, I tend to gravitate toward other cat-lovers. I don’t know why, maybe there’s some sort of feline force field drawing us all into lives filled with catnip, bells, whiskers, feathered toys, and of course…. litter boxes. Now, while a lot of people know how to properly care for kitties, most are completely oblivious to what I like to call “Good Litter Box Hygiene”. As an asthmatic, I am quite sensitive to ammonia. Thus, over the years of cat ownership, I have learned how to eliminate litter box odor without having to scoop every single day. After entering the homes of fellow cat owners, I quickly learned this is not common knowledge. So, in order to make the world a less smelly place, I’ve decided to share some of my hard earned knowledge!

This Is Your Best Bet

Litter Box Selection: 

When you’re buying a litter box, you need to focus on two things:

1.) Eliminating Litter Spewing/Kicking.

2.) Odor Retention.

Cats have a natural tendency to bury their urine and feces. Most new cat owners don’t even consider this when buying a litter box, and quickly learn that the bane of their existence is going to be walking around their home barefoot with little bits of clay stuck to their feet. So, it’s best to purchase a box with at least 4-5 inches of height, and a hood to keep those little pellets where they belong.

You Should Love Yourself Enough To Not Do This To Yourself

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Naturally, pan style or shallow litter boxes should be avoided at all costs. Not only do they put on full display the fruits of your cat’s colon, but they’re also incredibly messy.

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Kicking Prevention: 

Your Protector

One of the things cat owners learn early on is your cat’s entire point of existing is to make your life as difficult as possible. Yes, they’re cute, cuddly, and make the sweetest little “Mew!” sounds, but if there’s a way they can fuck up your day: they will! So, you have your hooded cat box. Now what? Well, you need a little rug to go beneath the litter box in order to further protect your home from clay pellets strewn about. Now, maybe I’m a little nuts when it comes to this. I can admit that! But nothing annoys me more than walking across a room and feeling bits of kitty litter on my feet. Not only is it disgusting, but it’s infuriating! After a bit of trial and error, I found that bath mats work best for this. You want one at least four inches longer than the litter box, and you want to place is at length beneath the box so the excess mat acts as a little runner to and from the entrance. Not only will this catch the dreaded kicking, but it will also help catch the little bits that stick to the kitty’s paws.

Shh.. Don’t Worry, I’m Here.

Another thing to keep in mind is this is just personal preference. I selected the bath mat because they were cheaper than the rugs intended for litter boxes, water proof,  and very easy to clean/maintain. Ideally, I would simply vacuum the mat once a week or shake it out as the texture of bath mats is ideal for clinging to litter. Furthermore, after a month I could just shake it out, and throw it in wash for a thorough cleaning.

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Odor Prevention: 

Best Thing To Ever Happen… EVER

Okay, here’s where people start giving a damn about this article. I don’t know a round-the-bush way to say it, so: Arm & Hammer: Multi-Cat Scented, or Arm & Hammer: Super Scoop. Honestly, these are the only two types of litter I will use. I have strayed in the past. Yet, I quickly returned when I realized the consequences of my actions. I won’t use anything else, and it is just that simple. Why? Because IT WORKS.

I Make Your Apartment Not Smell Like Shit!!

Another lesser-known secret is the wonders of Glade carpet sprinkle! When I change the litter box I take a moment to sprinkle a thin layer of Glade across the bottom. This crystallizes urine and absorbs any bad odors. Then, when I’ve added my litter I sprinkle a thin layer across the top.

The Act Of Scooping, And Why You’re Doing It Wrong:

Hello, I’m Your New Best Friend

First off, those little plastic pooper scoopers are shit, and you know they’re shit. They bend, they break, and you have to tediously scoop out tiny clumps in order to avoid a disaster. Not only are they time consuming, they’re not as effective. When I bought my first metal scoop at the pet store it was fifteen dollars. Yes, it is a good bit of money, but it cut down on my cleaning time to about four minutes. I kid you not!

I’ve literally had this same scoop for five years, and it’s still the same as the day I bought it!

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There Is Not Humor Here, Just Buy The Fucking Bin.

I’ve had a small plastic wastebasket beside my cats’ litter box for years. Why? Because, it’s absolutely vital in my cleaning routine! When buying a waste bin, be sure that it’s not much taller than the litter box, and that its square or a shape with a straight edge. This way, you can slide the basket directly next to the litter box and the soiled bits can go directly from box to bin without dropping any on the floor. What I do is recycle old grocery bags. I place one in the bin, put it next to the litter box, and just scoop away. The bin holds the bag steady and helps reduce litter leakage! When you’re done, just throw in your scoop for sanitary storage until next time.

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Litter Conservation: 

I Store Things!!

I’ve seen tons of people go through 20lbs of litter a week because they just empty the box without ever scooping. Its a dirty job folks, but you’ll go broke if you don’t do it! So, my first tip is to actually scoop. My second tip, however, is a little more useful. What you need is a storage container of some sort. I prefer a tall skinny one, but that’s just because it saves space. As long as it is plastic, and can fit 40lbs of litter, its fine!

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I Save You Money!

Now, the storage container is not completely useless. What I noticed is that I too was going through far too much litter per week. So, I bought a tall plastic container, put my box of litter in there, and bought a scoop to distribute the litter. I don’t know if this is some sort of litter-mafia conspiracy, but 40lbs of litter has lasted me more than two weeks! What happens is you’re pouring away from this hard to support box of pain, and you end up wasting so much. With the scoop, you can put litter where it’s needed after cleaning and at the correct density without using too much.

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Hello Dear Readers,

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 ……….It is indeed the end of the Spring semester, and with that comes those dreaded finals. I had a high enough grade in Psychology that I could bypass my finals and still complete the course with a 95. However, there are no such loop holes for my other core classes. So, today I have two finals back to back that will have me on campus from 4:30pm – 10:30pm. It shall be a horrible day, I’m sure. However, my only solace is knowing that Spring semester is almost completely over. After today, I have one more final  that I can take on my own time, and a project to complete that I already have 3/4ths done. 🙂 So, if you’ve noticed my absence, that’s why. College takes up a lot of my time, and it has to take priority over this site; the good news is I am taking the Summer off and will have the time to be on here more often! I’m really excited! Not only about being here and working on Speak Out Though Not Spoken To, but just having a break from the burden of 16 credit hours in a single semester. I hope you are all doing well, and to all of my fellow students: Good Luck!!!

– Ziggy (Tina)   

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