Tuesday, May 25, 2010

In My Room

This morning I was Swiffering the house - more specifically our bedroom - because it's spring and we have entirely too many pets whose new life-plan is, apparently, "Shed until bald." Because I was doing something which involved movement the two half-grown cats had to supervise and occasionally swat the Swiffer.

[I just noticed "Swat the Swiffer" sounds like a code-phrase for one of those things usually done in private, but I can't decide which one. If you feel so inclined, decide which private act it is and then use the phrase freely.]

Since the whole point of Swiffering was to decrease the amount of animal hair on the ground, the leaping and pouncing which was generating fresh hair-pyramids struck me as less than productive. The cats needed to leave. They sensed I wanted them to leave so they jet├ęd under the bed and against the wall. I flailed at them first with my hands, then with my arms and finally with the Swiffer, which must have seemed like being accosted by a squat, rectangular, long-haired feline. Were I a cat, I would have taken this aggressive activity as a specific and very hairy suggestion to leave this room, this place of noise and poking. But I am not a cat. What the cats took from this harassment was: "Get further into the room. Hunker down. Under no circumstance leave this room."

Fifteen minutes. Fifteen minutes of leaping, dashing, juking, feinting, and sliding across the floor. That was me. The cats danced in a precise and orderly fashion from one nook to another, shedding one-third their fur inventory with each move. In one heart-stopping moment, Diana's evasions took her near the door where I lunged forward in a focused yet ultimately failed effort to shoo her out. This new level of wrangling and counter-wrangling caused her to shed a heretofore unknown new layer of fur. It also caught the dog's attention, who wandered in and shed for a minute or so until I shoved him outside with my leg.

Finally, I flung myself under the bureau, blindly grabbed a leg and a hank of hair and pulled, hoping to God it was a cat. Under the bureau one never knows. It was a cat and I sent her on her way. A minute later, I snagged the other one and jettisoned her as well. They stood in the hallway for a second, possibly stunned, possibly enjoying a life of utter indifference once again. The morning sun hit them in such a way that I was able to enjoy the full effect of the nimbus of fur and dander circling them like a dusty aura. It floated up and away from them and caught the faint whisper of morning breeze in the hallway...lofting straight back into the bedroom.

12 Comments:

Anonymous Lori said...

I should send my cat over to train them... He's afraid of the broom, the Swiffer, the vacuum, the sponge mop-- pretty much any long-handled cleaning implement will send him to the basement. Maybe it's because he sees these things so rarely?

12:22 PM  
Anonymous MidLifeMama said...

"Jeted" is the best word to describe what cats do. Awesome.

12:50 PM  
Blogger Suzanna Catherine said...

Love this post! I have a dog who sheds fur like your cats. I often wonder why he isn't bald.

1:34 PM  
Blogger thelittlefluffycat said...

I know you never got to do it with the late lamented, for various reasons, but if your kittens aren't afraid of the vaccuum? You should try vaccuuming them. It really keeps the hair down, I hear, and kittenhood is the time to start doing it. :)

And yes, jete!

4:34 PM  
Blogger Cat Connor said...

Husband decided to get the dog over his fear of vacuum cleaners by vacuuming him (it was either that or put the entire Labrador in a large bag until he stopped shedding -which they never do)... so every time the vacuum cleaner appeared the dog would throw himself in front of it and roll about waiting for his turn.
It was less than successful.
Took much longer to vacuum the house with the dog throwing himself under the brush every few feet.

The cat is successfully afraid of the vacuum cleaner and I intend on keeping her that way!

9:51 PM  
Blogger Suzanne said...

Look on the bright side. All the activity in the room means they shed more of their hair at one time, making your workload more energy efficient!

Perhaps this means they will become bald more quickly?

6:27 AM  
Blogger kellzzz said...

Our cat has decided that her natural (and massive) shedding isn't sufficiently annoying and so has moved on to pulling out her hair with her mouth. I'm thinking about attaching a Swiffer to the dog, since he follows her around all day anyway.

7:02 AM  
Anonymous Chigjuan said...

u are so witty and funny - love your personality - you should be on tv - i really hope this happen!

7:15 AM  
Blogger Quirky said...

If someone could come up with a commercial application for cat hair, I'd be rich. (Cat hair socks? Cat hair hats? Cat hair to soak up the oil in the gulf?) Despite daily vacuuming, there are piles of it everywhere!

I frequently fantasize about building a wind tunnel and tossing all the cats inside until the excess fur blows away. As soon as I find tiny cat goggles, I'm doing it.

11:33 AM  
Anonymous elseinwmb said...

Your bedroom description sounds a lot like mine. It's bad when your bed is against a wall. Do I ever hate those rays of sunshine casting auoras and think I am inhaling all that stuff. I expect to expel a hairball any day now.

10:17 AM  
Anonymous Robin Raven said...

I love the descriptions. I get an exact mental image that's so funny. :-) The cats sound adorable in spite of themselves. hehe

2:47 AM  
Blogger Lisa said...

I laughed until I cried. Then my 19 year old daughter actually paused the dvd she was watching to make sure I was okay. "Mom? Are you laughing or crying?"
"Both."
"Alrighty then."

And my comment verification? "spinsfur." Could not be more apropos.

12:31 PM  

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