snarling beast in the bathroom

Only in our house would the phrase "you should move the snarling beast" be greeted with such equanimity. Or, better said, boredom. It is, after all, just our nickname for the vacuum cleaner.

See, Edmund doesn't like the vacuum cleaner, in the same way that a four-year-old has no desire whatsoever to curl up and take a nap on the boogeyman, no matter how cute and cuddly and useful he might actually be, thankyouverymuch. Edmund is absolutely certain that every time I unleash the snarling beast from its holding tank of a closet, it will rise up and slay him. Possibly even his smarter and swifter brother.

You can see it when I pull it out of the closet; he gets this speculative (inasmuch as any cat who barely has two brain cells to rub together can be speculative when both brain cells are shrieking GET THE HELL OUT OF HERE to the exclusion of all other thought) look in his eye after he positions himself safely on the nearest ground that could be generally defined as 'high.' He watches the snarling beast, very carefully, just in case this time it really does try to eat him. Or me.

After all, I wrestle with it from the moment it comes out, don't I? It stands to reason that something the mommycat has to struggle with is a very powerful monster indeed, because mommycats can do anything. Including cleaning litterboxes. It makes perfect sense to him, because while to us it looks like we're cleaning the spilled baking soda up off of the floor (don't ask) it's perfectly obvious to him that the snarling beast keeps trying to go on a killing spree, only for me to jerk it back under control at the last possible moment. He watches in horror as I struggle with it around the house, eventually managing to tame it and stuff it back in the closet.

Every time I shut the door, you can see the hopeful little thought in his vacant little round eyes: maybe this time it will sleep forever. Edmund's not the brightest cat in the history of ever, but he's pretty sure he's got his logic straight in this instance and so he's sticking with it.

Poor kitty. Right now we're steam-cleaning all the carpet in the house—to which I'd like to add that it seems my house has gained several hundred square feet full of CRAP while I wasn't looking—and so, in addition to our usual snarling beast, there's this new snarling beast. We ostensibly refer to it as a "steam cleaner" but Edmund is damned certain that it's the only thing on the planet that's more evil than our snarling beast. He's aware that it's a relative of our beast, because it seems to do the same stuff, except it's bigger, and leaves the carpet a little damp and smelling of something that's vaguely chemical and definitely not him.

Aside: the used greywater you dump out of the steam cleaner is truly noxious. Five-second rule, my chubby white ass. That stuff was in my carpet the entire time? I want booties, dammit, and I'm considering shooting the first cat that barfs on my newly-cleaned floors. THAT MEANS YOU, TENZING! Don't think we haven't heard those three a.m. retching noises! Who do you think cleans that crap up? (Well, when Edmund doesn't try to eat it first, that is.) It doesn't go away on its own, you know…

Checklist: reading room, living room, guest bedroom, most of the hallway. (I keep doing parts of the hallway as a sort of gift-with-purchase every time I clean a room, and each time I manage to empty the tank before actually finishing the hallway.) Living room's completely done and stunningly clean, except for that icky little stain by the couch which I can't fully eradicate until I move both the end table and the sleeper sofa. I'll tackle the master bedroom once Jeff tidies up his stuff.

Right now we're marveling at the goodness that is our living room floor. We weren't aware that carpet could actually twinkle and/or sparkle. We were pretty convinced that the poor refractive properties of modern-day carpeting would prevent such visual effects, but it appears we were wrong. I'm sticking with my initial opinion, which states that the recent Tivo software upgrades were so nifty that they added a bonus of nifty to the rest of the living room.

Except for the coffee table, which will be the first to go when the revolution comes.

Well, that and its matching end tables, which I was generally okay with when we rescued them from a flea market and Jeff's mother restained Very Very Dark to hide all the scratches and general beat-up-ness that comes with (albeit otherwise solid) flea market furniture. I look forward to the day when I banish those tables to the reading room and replace the ones in the living room with larger, more gracious, and more lightly stained versions.

I confess … the steam cleaning of carpets leads to lust for mission-style furniture. Twirly knobby legs are not for me. Give me straight, clean lines, simple wood, and enough room for my knitting and my dirty cups, and I'll purr so loud they'll hear me in Tunisia.

Not that anyone in Tunisia cares, mind you, and weren't we talking about the cat? Right. Yes. Psycho cat, hatred of vacuum cleaner, etc., etc., blah.

The moral of the story, inasmuch as any story I ever tell on this site ever has a moral, would likely be that my beloved fat pork rind of a cat is fairly convinced that I am trying to kill him, because I put the New And Improved Snarling Beast in his bathroom between cleanings. It was keeping him from his food and his litterbox, and the mommycat didn't even notice.

Poor kitty. Jeff had to take pity on him and tell me to take the steam cleaner out of the bathroom, because the cat was about to have a coronary. Once I did, the consumption of cat food and the prodigious production of cat crap resumed.

Note to self: clean the litterbox tomorrow. It hardly seems possible, but the local feline population seems to have discovered yet more ways to squeeze more efficiency into the generation of cat crap. (I'm going to regret that sentence in the light of day. I just know it.) The Japanese could learn a great deal from Fang's amazing efficiency at producing cat crap, because I swear to God I just emptied that damn thing.

All I have left is the master bedroom, the rest of the hallway, and whatever upholstery I want to steam, and this long-delayed chore shall finally be done. I may not be able to convince the Tunisian population to care about my preference in furniture, but I can at least get my floors clean enough so that the invocation of the five-second rule doesn't come with a potential microbial-based death sentence. (That is, until Tenzing goes on his next barfing spree, which I think is scheduled for Thursday.)