Tuesday, August 5, 2008

House cleaning

Daddy was house cleaning this morning. “Mary Rose will be home in four days, Peep. We’ve got to get this place looking good – lots of cleaning to do.” Peep jumped up and ran to tell Rudy and LT. She knew it would be soon, but to know – four days! That was one paw – just one paw’s worth of days and she would be home. As she ran, she thought about the summer. When the Mommy had left, she didn’t know what four meant. After she’d figured out her own cat-counting system, she’d listened carefully whenever the Daddy talked about numbers, and she’d figured out all the numbers up to ten. She didn’t know how they were written, but she knew their equivalent in her counting system. Ten was paw, paw, scratch, scratch. She really was getting smarter!

Peep found Rudy sunning outside. Peep thought that Rudy must think she could get a tan, like people could for all the time she sat in the sun. With all that black fur, it was too hot to sit in the sun, by Peep’s reckoning, but to each her own. “Rudy! Mommy will be home in four days! I just heard Daddy talking about it. We need to help clean the house. Daddy said so.”

“What the heck can we do to clean? I can’t sweep, or mop and I’m sure not going near bacoom. That thing scares the daylights out of me!” Rudy didn’t even bother to get up. “I’m glad she’s going to be home soon, though. It’s been way too long.”

Peep left her lying there and went to find LT. He could be somewhere near, or just about anywhere. After checking for Fuzzy, Peep went to the edge of the trees and called for LT. She wasn’t about to wander the neighborhood looking for him, but she’d at least try to call him. After a minute or two of calling, she heard a distant reply and sat down to wait for him.

“LT – Mommy is coming home in four days. That’s not very long and Daddy says we need to clean the house. Rudy won’t help; will you help me and the Daddy?” Peep’s excitement made her words all fall over each other. Once he’d figured out what she’d said, LT sat down to think for a minute.

“I don’t know how much cleaning I can do, Peep. Cats don’t have hands, so we can’t clean too well. What do you have in mind?”

“Well, I thought that if we went into all of the little out of the way places, lay down and rolled around, we could collect the dust mice and then go outside and run to get them off our fur.” Peep realized this wasn’t the greatest idea, but it was the best one she had. She’d tried dish washing, and that had been a disaster. She agreed with Rudy about bacoom. That monster was to be avoided at all costs!

LT decided that although Peep’s idea was a little ridiculous, he could at least help her for a while to show that he cared. He did care – he loved the Mommy very much and was so happy that she was coming home. If this was how he could help, silly as it was, he’d do it.
The two cats went inside and found Jay dusting the ceiling and windows in the living room. They shook their heads. How could surfaces like that get dusty? LT stayed in the living room, and Peep headed for the office.

Jay saw LT emerge from under the sofa coated in dust. “LT – what in the world are you doing? You are a dust monster!” He watched as LT dashed out the cat door and shook his head. A moment later, and equally dusty Peep came running into the living room and also ran outside.

Moments later, both cats returned, free fro
m dust. Jay thought to himself that he had a lot more cleaning than he’d thought if the cats got that dusty just from hanging around the house. He watched LT squirm into the corner below the television and squish himself into the very corner, drag himself around the floor and then roll a bit. Had LT gotten into some wild catnip? Once LT was covered in dust again, he watched LT run outside. He went to the window to see what LT was doing, and saw him run around, leap wildly and then even shake like he was a dog. LT then sat down, groomed for a minute and then came back inside. He headed under a table, and squirmed so that he was almost under the baseboard radiator. LT repeated the dragging and rolling and then ran outside again.

As LT ran out, Peep came running in and headed to the office again. Jay followed her, and saw her squeeze under a bookcase, only to emerge minutes later covered in dust. She then ran outside. Jay shook his head. It was almost as though they were helping him clean. Heck, they were helping him, whether or not it was their intention. He hadn’t thought of cleaning under those bookcases, and if that wasn’t help, he didn’t know what was.

Jay went back to his dusting, deciding to put off vacuuming until the cats had finished whatever they were doing. They really hated the vacuum, and he didn’t want to disturb them if they wanted to help. He finished de-cobwebbing the house, and started to clean the stove-top. He heard sneezes from the bedroom and laughed. One of them must have hit the mother lode of dust bunnies. Peep emerged from the bedroom dusty and sneezing and Jay said to her, “Peep, you need to take a break. Once you start sneezing from dust, you’ll just keep sneezing when you go back in the dust.”

Peep headed outside and rid herself of the dust. She agreed with Daddy. She’d had enough of dust for now. She’d finished the office and bedroom, and LT had done the living room and spare room. That just left the kitchen and bathroom, and there weren’t as many dusty spots in those rooms. Enough for now. Peep rolled in the grass, getting every last speck of dust off her fur before starting to groom. It felt good to help get ready for the Mommy. Four more days….

Photo courtesy of Kevin O'Mara - http://www.flickr.com/photos/kevinomara/421654760/

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