I sat in my parked car and assessed the building. Two men wearing freshly pressed designer suits strolled out, briefcases in hand. I glanced down at my disheveled shorts and T-shirt. Perfect. If anyone looked at me funny, I would reassure them that I was here to advance research; I was here to improve marketing… Okay, fine — I was here to sniff kitty litter.
It’s not exactly the job everyone aspires to, but at $25 for about 5 minutes of my time, it was perhaps the best wage I’d ever received. So I smoothed out my wrinkled clothes, took a deep breath and marched myself into the building, onto the elevator and into the room with the sign reading “kitty litter testing.”
The task was simple – sniff four sets of little samples and check a box to mark my opinion. Each set had a canister of clean litter and a canister of litter that had been chemically altered to imitate “used” litter. Why someone took the time to figure out how to chemically alter something to smell like cat refuse, I don’t know. But in my highly professional (*cough*) form, I opened the lid on each container, took a nice sniff, made the appropriate face and scribbled on my paper. I had to laugh that we were asked to rank each litter on “didn’t like the smell of / neutral / liked the smell of.” Should I ever like the smell of cat litter? Turns out, no matter what it smells like, it’s all crap.
I think there is a theological link somewhere – but I’ll let you sniff it out on your own.