Prologue: When a fat cat really is a fat cat
Off to the vet. I’m taking my nine-year old cat for an annual check up, which is actually an annual and a half. In that time, my little white and black fur ball has grown into a Sumo fur ball, gaining 2-1/2 pounds. For a cat 2-1/2 pounds is like 10 pounds in human years. Earlier in the week, my son noticed a wad of droopy skin hanging from the cat’s lower abdomen near her hind legs.
According to the vet, it was just a fat pocket — a love handle in human years. Poor fat cat has to go on a diet. A cat diet means less canned food, no dry food, and no more dining alfresco. Kitty will not be wearing a bikini this summer.
Later in the day, as the humidity spawned more humidity, my son took the dogs to the park for a run, and I took the vacuum cleaner for a spin. Usually, a lady comes to our home twice a month to clean. After I lost my job, we reduced her visits to once a month. However, since over the past several weeks the dust balls began to look more like tumbleweeds, I took it upon myself to vacuum — a wonderful whimsical thing to do on the most humid day of the year.
What a strange, weird trip I’m on
If only I could find the vacuum. I searched high and low. Low finally won when I found the vacuum in the hall closet on the first floor. I stared at the strange-looking object in front of me, wondering how to turn it on. I studied the knobs that protruded from the neck of the machine. I counted one, two, three potential on-off switches. Since I’ve always been diplomatic in solving disputes between my left brain and right brain, I settled on the knob in the middle. I pressed the knob and subsequently watched the bottom-half of the machine drop to the floor.
Frankly, puzzles really puzzle me
I put the vacuum back together and pressed the next knob, which wasn’t a knob at all, but in fact a place to keep attachments for the long unwieldy tube that lurches from the vacuum (like a creature from the movie “Alien”). I must wrestle the long unwieldy tube, while standing on my tippy-toes, to vacuum the drapes and moldings in the nose-bleed section of the house. The long unwieldy tube usually pins me to the floor by the end of the second round.
Three is a charm
Last, but not least . . . the process of elimination led to the final knob that when pressed, awakened the vacuum that promptly emitted a loud whirring noise, an affirmation that I could count to three.
My back always finishes last
I decided to vacuum the upper-level, using fortune cookie logic, and “attack the worst task first,” as Confucius never said. I dragged the vacuum up the stairs, one step at a time, to the second level, with three rug peninsulas (or runners as they are called among carpeting aficionados) lying in wait in the hall. What I didn’t know about runners and vacuum cleaners. When the mouth of a vacuum suckles a swathe of detached carpeting, it wants to inhale the whole thing and makes a horrible noise because it can’t swallow it. Rule one: don’t vacuum runners with a high-powered greedy machine that follows an “all or nothing” philosophy.
Knock on wood
So I bypassed the runners and stuck to the wood floors and other immovable carpets securely fastened to the floors. All was right with the vacuuming world until the vacuum tried to take me hostage by ensnaring me with its rather lengthy chord. But I outsmarted it and was able to untangle myself before I had to call 911. After I dragged the vacuum back down stairs, I realized something important. I hated vacuuming and everything that vacuuming wrought, like breaking out in a sweat. Only three activities warranted sweating: aerobics, cycling and sex. Sweating while vacuuming seemed meaningless to me. I returned the vacuum to the closet and tried my hand at mopping the kitchen floor.
When leaving bread crumbs to find your way doesn’t work
Nowadays, mops aren’t really mops at all. They are sticks with disposable Maxi-pads at the other end. It’s brilliant, you see. A bottle filled with liquid cleaner affixes to a handle. The liquid flows down a tube to the Maxi-pad as soon as the handle on the pole is squeezed.
Washing the kitchen floor was a snap. If only I remembered to wash the floor from back to front to avoid leaving unsightly shoe prints on the tile. Remember. Back to front. Not front to back, which leaves dark Impressionist-looking footprints scattered across the floor. Because I had to cover my trail, the process took twice as long. If only I had been lost in the woods, I could have used bread crumbs. But I was just lost. I should have realized that housework required organizational abilities of which I had none, unless a computer software program fit into the equation. As far as I know, there isn’t a software organizer for cleaning floors.
It’s all about the ka-ching
In conclusion, by doing housework and breaking a sweat, I realized something important. The sooner I was able to get a job, the sooner I’d be able to increase the frequency of the cleaning lady’s visits. But I couldn’t put that on a job application. Reason for applying for job: to get my cleaning lady back. I’d have to come up with a better response. Tomorrow I’ll attempt to dust, and hope I will not be trampled by gangs of wayward dust bunnies running amok throughout the house.