Posts Tagged ‘Housekeeping

20
Feb
07

Death and … (Well, You Know…)

Three things are inevitable in this world. In order of difficulty: Death, taxes and the propensity for party guests to stain one’s rugs. (This, among other reasons, is why white carpet is a cardinal sin.)

Death… well, let’s not get into that right now.

And I am coping rather well, I think, with the recent news that I owe thousands of dollars to the governments of the United States and the state of New York. That’s the big news in my life, at present. I just did my taxes last night and accidentally opened an artery. Those paper cuts can be a bitch.

At this rate I’ll be serving government cheese and generic brand soda crackers at the Oscar Night gathering we’re planning for Sunday. It’s not a party, I hasten to clarify. It’s a very small gathering.

At an Easter party we threw last year — bloody marys and mimosas; boiled eggs, kielbasa and saurkraut — a few of our thirstier guests wreaked unintentional (i.e., drunken) havoc on our floors, spilling red wine or cranberry juice (or both — who brought the wine anyway?) on literally every rug in our apartment. The colors in our rugs run from beige to gold, gray to brown. Mostly neutral tones, except for a blue, white and gray rug in the bedroom. You don’t exactly need a map to hit the lighter, easy-to-stain areas, but our guests were a consistent lucky shot.

A tempest in my head roiled and sent electricity coursing up my spine every time I saw someone teetering this way and that, red wine or a strong cape cod sloshing dangerously close to the edge of his or her plastic cup.

I had been told that cold water and salt will usually lift the color out of a wine stain. So I got all Martha Stewart and managed get the stains out. I kept calm and maintained a good host’s smile — and, to a degree, conversation — while I flitted from spot to spot all night, liberally sprinkling Morton’s. (When it rains, it does indeed pour.) The rugs remained largely unspoiled, and I felt spiritually and emotionally purged. It was a triumph.

After that trauma, however, I think we’ll have white wine this time on Sunday. And white cranberry juice. (But I’ll have my spot remover, my yellow rubber gloves and a salt shaker at the ready, stashed behind the couch, anyway — just in case!)

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24
Nov
06

Kitty Liberation Day

 
The unwilling captive

November 24 henceforth shall be known as Kitty Liberation Day. We expect Bloomberg any day now to issue his proclamation stating words to this effect.

One of nine friends we had invited for Thanksgiving is allergic to our cat, Mukau. And she’s a big girl. There’s a lot to be allergic to! So we knew we had to do something drastic. On Tuesday evening, I thoroughly swept and vacuumed the bedroom and invited Mukau in. While she lay comfortably on the bed, I moved her food and water dishes and her litter box into the bedroom. She quietly regarded my bizarre activity. I left the room, and closed the door behind me.

“Forgive me, kitty,” I said.

She was my prisoner.

I put a fan in the open living room window to blow out as many allergens as possible while I moved the furniture and swept the floors and vacuumed the rugs and vacuumed the furniture. Then I washed the floors. The place was gorgeous. It smelled disinfected. Surely, there would be no allergic reactions from anyone.

Naturally, five minutes after his arrival, our friend was popping Benadryl. So much for that.

Every time we went into the bedroom Tuesday night, all day Wednesday, all day Thursday, the cat tried to get out. The moment she heard our footsteps, she’d run to the door and spring toward our feet to attempt escape every time we opened it. She got more and more crafty, and her senses are far better than ours in every respect, but she always hesitated just enough for us to be quicker than she was.

She grew angrier each time. Once, there was a scuffle, and it got a little rough. She was getting desperate. I guess it spooked her, because she hid under the bed for a few hours afterward. We’d open the door, and she’d peek just her little head out from under the dust ruffle. A room made for our comfort and safety had become a torture chamber for her, for all she knew.

She complained loudly from behind the door. She had food and water. She had her potty. She had a west-facing view from the window. But even her little walnut brain had the capacity for enough object permanence to know that there was a world beyond that door that she was not a part of.

Every cry she uttered increased our guilty conscience. But our friend was having such fun hopped up on Benadryl and red wine.

Early this morning, not a minute after our friend left, I opened the door and stepped aside. Mukau looked up and muttered. She looked at the door. She looked at me. She started as if to hop off the bed, but she stopped. Could she trust us? Was this another nasty human trick?




the untallied hours

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