Saturday, February 05, 2011

An evening last spring

Okay folks, I promise that I'll let up on the cat blogging, but I couldn't resist posting this picture as I watch wet snow blanket the yard. It's been a long hard week with the weather, so here's a treat.

I took this last spring, May, in the evening during one of those perfect times where the hard spring thunderstorm had passed and the setting sun shone from the west. This was a night that there was a rainbow, and looking out the back door revealed that bruised blue black on the storm wending it's way towards Columbus.

Huh, apparently falling wet snow brings out the bad poet in me as well.

Anyway, I was running around the newly planted herb garden trying to get nice pictures of some flowers, none of which turned out. the ones of Maxwell and Molly watching my antics however, turned out nicely. That gerber daisy was in a pot, and is not actually growing out of Maxwell's head.

maybe a non cat pic next time, J

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

the infamous mo mo

As I was flipping through many a spring-taunting photo for this week's blog, I came across this shot of a still kitten-ish Molly. Since I haven't posted about her specifically yet, I figured I would post about her tonight.

Molly is the third cat Andrew and I have shared since we have been married. We got her June 2nd, 2007 after realizing that Tweeker was desperately lonely. Andrew wanted a tortoiseshell. I don't know why, he's never had one before and he kept saying "I want a tortie kitten and I want to name her Molly." So we trundled to the Union County Humane Society and they only had two kittens, a tiger and a tortie. So Andrew asked for them to bring the tortie out and here came this tiny 8 week old kitten who had been thrown out of a passing truck.

The lady said her name was Molly (coincidence right?) And as soon as she was placed in Andrew's hand she snuggled up against his shirt, like her back to the wall, warily eying the world.

So we brought her home crying all the way and introduced her to Tweek. We put her on the ground, and she immediately shot, tail shaking like a skinny flag, under the entertainment center. This induced completely unfounded panic, and not trusting that she would come out on her own, we enticed her with canned food.

For about two weeks we kept her in the guest room. She was only 8 weeks old when we got her, and brought her out morning and night for play dates with Tweeker on our bed. Molly immediately laid out who was boss, swatting at Tweek, and demanding to be groomed.

Molly has grown more affectionate with age, partially I think because after Tweek passed away she became the dominant cat and partially because she just became more loving. She sleeps with us most every night, and demands loves to be cuddled on a sleep in morning. She is the most predatory of our cats so far, the most entranced by bugs in the house, the most alert to birds outside. She likes toys, but seems to be a bit bored by them, like she knows they aren't the real thing. And has always retained some wild spirit.

She greets me at the door now, and stands up on her hind legs, stretching her body long to be petted. She loves to run around the house with or without Maxwell and she chirps more than meows.

A favorite spot is over the cabinets above the refrigerator where she will cry for Andrew to reach up and pet her, letting out a little meow as she yawns.

When she's really cranked up she likes to run halfway up the stairs, point her butt towards the front door, and put her head on the stair, peeking at us like she's about to do a headstand.

They say torties have their own personality and that's true of our little mo mo. She's not affectionate the strangers and she's no dope. But she's our little treasure.

Sunday, January 02, 2011

On New Year's Eve I decided to clean the floors because they had gotten to the point where every time I looked down I couldn't live with myself.

I hate doing floors.

I hate going floors because with two cats, one being long-haired, and having laminate floor in most of the downstairs, every fur tumbleweed, every piece of dust, litter and detritus just leaps out and screams at me.

The house I grew up in was almost all carpet so laminate, even after 5 years continues to drive me crazy.

The stairs though, the stairs are the bane of the bane of my existence.

You can't tell from this picture, but let me assure you, these stairs look as the carpet was put down yesterday.

How did I do it? A new three step process. First I used these wonderful things by pledge that Andrew saw on tv and bought for me...probably because of all bitching I do about the cat hair.

When we got home and tried them out on the couch, the half we fabric swept looked brighter, almost a different color than the control side of the couch. It's that incredible.

So I used this first on the stairs. It did two things. One, it got a lot of cat hair up. And two, it loosened up all the crap that had been trapped by the cat hair.

Then I used the two gallon shop vac with just the hose no attachments to pick up the loose crud.

Then I used the little attachment you see pictured on the stair. Mom got it from LTD.

I don't know if you know about LTD, but like a lot of mail order/paper advertisements, the products are hit and miss. Mom loves LTD and this little attachment, with it's neon green bristles and manic spinning when attached to the hose pulled everything else up.

When I was done, the stairs practically glowed and sang angelically, like in a commercial.

And then the cats came to investigate.

I predict that by Martin Luther King Day, the stairs will look just as they did on December 30th.

But that's not the point.

The point is, for me house cleaning is like, a metaphor for larger things in life.

I hate that I have to do it. I come home from work or get up in the morning and notice a dirty/dusty x, y, z and sigh to myself as I envision time in the future, spent on cleaning something that will just get dirty again.

But there is something to be said for the satisfaction from focusing on a single task. I listen to audiobooks a lot when I clean, and to engage in the low level physical activity and let one's mind wander isn't a bad thing. The satisfaction of seeing the steps SO clean...only comes from letting them get SO dirty in the first place. I've never been a spot cleaner, more of a, let-it-accumulate then clean it really good, kind of gal, so I guess for me, housework is about picking the flavor of drudgery.

So much of our lives is about the balance of maintenance (mowing the lawn, cleaning out the car, getting milk for the 5 millionth time) and doing the fun stuff we all enjoy. How does one appreciate the satisfaction in the drudgery, and remind oneself to appreciate the time they get for doing things they enjoy? That is one of my goals for the new year, to be less cranky about the house cleaning, and to appreciate when I am doing the things I enjoy.

And, one last work about cat hair and carpets. A clean carpet can't snuggle with me on the couch or greet me at the door, or do playful antics with toys or for canned food. The cats can, and I am reminding myself of that now as Maxwell stretches from his spot on the dining room rug and walks off, leaving a light coating of white hair on the rug...