Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Searching for Bliss in the Barf

Often, There Is No Message in the Mess

Cat Barf Epiphanies Do Not Exist

Simple Saturday morning pleasures such as sneaking back into bed and reading more pages of a favorite book cannot be underrated. I’m now in geriatric sleeping mode and often wake long before dawn, so my book beckoned me back between the covers on a recent Saturday. Mocha coffee in hand, I slipped back into my room, anticipating nestling myself beneath my down comforter, snuggling with my book, and maybe even falling back asleep.

No epiphanies from this cat
Not so fast. Horrors! Shock and dismay! A pile of cat barf, yes cat barf, oozed atop my comforter. I whipped into cleaning mode, scooped up as much of the goop as I could with a paper towel, and as fast as my fingers would function untied the duvet cover lest the barf seep into the down beneath it. The duvet is tied to the comforter in at least ten places, and as I untied those pesky ribbons, I noted that months earlier I had tied them in knots instead of easy-to-undo bows. The comforter is king-size, and because it was a gift, it is not on par with my usual bargain-basement, thrift-shop belongings. Thus it weighs about as much as I do and it’s so large that I could roll myself up in it four times, should that nutty idea ever strike. On the positive side, maneuvering the comforter meant I got in some weight-lifting as I cleaned the cat barf.

I didn't dress like this to clean the barf, but it would have been appropriate.
I must mention that after five children, I long ago reached my cleaning-up-barf threshold. Cleaning it means looking at it, smelling it—I needn’t go on. My eldest child will be 40 this year and rather than having an immunity to barf, I’m like someone with a nasty allergy—each exposure makes me sicker and sicker. Whenever I can, I beckon someone else, anyone else, to take over this particular clean-up duty. I pay for cat-barf removal. That geriatric sleeping mode, however, means that at 5:15 a.m., nobody else is awake—except the cat. I could have called the dogs in, who are expert at cat barf removal, but that’s even more disgusting and I would rather stifle my gag reflex than bring on another.
Stifle that reflex I did as I removed the duvet cover and fetched it post-haste to the washer, where I ran hot water and added liberal amounts of detergent and bleach. Still gagging, I returned to the comforter and with a few gentle swipes cleaned the damp area so I won’t need to take on a part-time job to pay a dry cleaning bill.

Air-drying the duvet cover would have been delightful...
I tried to find some sort of life lesson, but failed. Not everything produces an epiphany to move me into and toward a self-actuated life. Cat barf happens, but I wanted to find some bliss in the mess. I decided that when the sun came up, I would take the duvet cover and the comforter outside to dry in the fresh air. Not quite an epiphany, but I experienced the anticipation of later that evening climbing back into bed, with air-dried sheets (might as well wash them, too), a clean duvet cover, and a comforter that had been among the breeze, the sun, the flowers, and birdsong (and none of that other bird stuff). The scent would permeate the room, and I would tuck myself in with my book and fall asleep to the sweetest aroma on the planet, but only after putting the darn cats outside.
Still no bliss . . . it rained.

No comments:

Post a Comment