Removing the pestilence

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It's probably fair to report here on some failed garden experiments, just for completeness, especially when they took a few hours of my morning.

Two years ago, we decided to try composting cat litter. Angelika has two cats, Rowena and Puschelwuschel. We switched their litter to SwheatScoop, which works pretty well.

Because cats are carnivores, their litter smells pretty awful to start with. They also carry a variety of diseases you don't want to get, so you should use the compost only where it won't come into contact with anything you're going to eat.

Unfortunately our composting efforts never really succeeded. The compost worked long enough to make us think it was a good idea, but results got worse over time. Aerating and adding straw and newspaper didn't make much difference. Then we took in two of Angelika's cousin's cats for a while, and that totally overwhelmed it.

The composter had to be fairly close to the house, which meant that eating on the deck was best at times with no wind at all. The prevailing winds definitely took the stench right to the deck.

This morning, I finally ended it, emptying a foul container into trash bags and taking them to the dump. Six hundred pounds of incredible nastiness, going to the one place where it might actually fit in. Then I cleaned up the area where it had been, which still has some lingering odor, and took apart the composter and cleaned it out too. Finally, I took a shower to get the stench off of myself. I threw out a pair of gloves, and probably need to throw out a pair of shoes.

We'll try again eventually, probably with vermiculture, in smaller quantities, but for right now we're just going to stop the experiment and focus on other less dreadful projects.


Randy said:

This made me laugh! There has to be a better way. Maybe the cats could do their own composting... Build a big outdoor litter box. When I was a kid we had a cat that always went outside in the bushes. What a blessing.

Thanks for the laughter.


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This page contains a single entry by Simon St.Laurent published on May 3, 2008 8:55 PM.

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