Too Much Information (TMI)

4:57 PM

Be warned! This may be far more information than you ever wanted to know about me....

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I am not a housekeeper. Never have been, and I dare say, never will be. Despite a strong desire for a sparkling, pristine, clean house, I have little to no enthusiasm for housecleaning. I have far better things to do and can ignore housework like nobody's business. In fact, the house does a far better job of keeping me than I do it.

I also live with cats. Cats that drop fur everywhere they go like they're leaving a breadcrumb trail in case they need to find their way back to the bedroom again. As if they couldn't find it any other way. Sheesh.

And then there's the litter. We have two litter "trapping" mats; however, the cats are amazingly adept at stepping over or around them as they don't like how they feel on their little paws. And litter "decorates" the floor like seashells on the beach but with far less appeal.

So, now I have cat-hair-dust-bunny-thingies the size of chihuahuas hanging out under furniture and in the corners. Sometimes they brazenly sit out there in the middle of the room. Like they owned the place. I'm pretty sure I heard one growl at me when I attempted to get at it and its kin with the vacuum hose. The nerve! Oh, and they routinely hijack the vacuum cleaner and hold it hostage. They render it useless by wrapping themselves around the roller brush.

I think they must have gotten that idea from watching the "save-our-planet" channel and seeing tree huggers trying to save an endangered animal/tree's life by chaining themselves to the tree. It does the cat-hair-dust-bunny-thingies about as much good as the tree huggers.

It just slows down the inevitable.

The other reason I hate to clean....is the cats. They are terrified of the vacuum cleaner. You'd think, after 18 years with no harm befalling any cat in the household, they would figure it out. But every time the beast rolls out of the closet and roars to life, it is cause for instantaneous and complete panic! Fur flies, claws skittle and scrape across the hardwood floors as they try to find purchase so quivering, feline bodies can be propelled to safety in the nearest hidey hole.

And let's not forget the heart failure the cats give me when they burst forth from their hiding places like a startled covey of quail because the beast was getting too close! Paws and claws justaflyin' as they streak past me and the beast, me forgetting to breathe for a few seconds until I can sort out the racket and commotion.

Such fun, these creatures. Not.

After the beast has quieted and been escorted back to its "hole in the wall," one by one, they slink into the living room to see first hand the desecration of their homes.

Only....there is none.

So then they start looking sideways at me as if to say "Are you okay?" Tucker begins to hang close, giving me occasional, worried looks with a patina of pitying annoyance. He also feels it is necessary to escort me everywhere I go in the house lest I fall under the spell of the beast yet again as simpletons are wont to do.

With trauma of housekeeping being what it is, I have found only one way to truly get the house cleaned up, and I do mean clean, on an annual basis.

Invite people over for a holiday party.

Three days before said party I panic and turn into a manic cleaner, tossing things, hiding stuff that can't be tossed and cleaning anything I can reach. And wonder, the whole time I'm engaged in this cleaning marathon, why I do it. I'm not fooling anybody. These people are usually family. They know me. And they know I did not suddenly sprout a halo and turn into Miss Susie Homemaker.

Still.

I don't seem to be able to help myself nor stop the insanity. It's a compulsion. Am I afraid of being reported to the sanitation/health department for substandard conditions? That someone's going to run their white-gloved finger over the edge of the baseboard and give me a raised eyebrow? The only person likely to do that is my mother and she wouldn't bother as she already knows the sordid truth.

And did you know that no matter how well you've cleaned, dusted, vacuumed mopped and otherwise beat the house into submission that the cat-hair-dust-bunny-thingies are required to come casually rolling across the floor and gently land at the tip of a guests' shoe? It's a union contract thing. They have to do it or they could get kicked out of the union and lose their bennies.

Of course, they seem to be enjoy it just a little too much. It's as if they're taunting me as the saunter gleefully across the floor, pausing and pirouetting in oh, so, slow motion to make sure everyone will notice them. And I can tell you that when this happens, it will cause my mother to raise an eyebrow. As if to say, "Didn't I raise you better than that?"

To which I can say nothing and only hope that the stars and planets will align and transport me into some space vortex/black hole at that very second.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I still have things to hide, a cat or three to terrorize and a house to beat into submission before guests start arriving.
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Whether you are in America and celebrating Thanksgiving or not, I hope your table is overflowing with good eats, good laughs and plenty of love!

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21 Creative Thought(s)

  1. I swear I could have written that...plus we have one elderly cat that needs to do lovely transparent barfs. You can see them, but you can slip in them...

    It's good to know I actually have rubber bones, for an old girl...I land on my tusche, but so far (KNOCK WOOD) nothing injured by my dignity!

    There's my contribution to the TMI of the day.*G*

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  2. I know EXACTLY what that's like. I'm not a housekeeper either, and I've said for YEARS that it's a good thing we have company once in a while or the house would never get cleaned. Our last cat was also terrified of the vacuum cleaner, but our current one seems to take it in stride (so far).

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  3. Oh, Laure you made me laugh out loud! Guests are the best way to get your house in shape--suddenly, we begin touch up painting and buying new sheets for the guest bed when we have out-of-towners in store. Oh,our cats also used to be terrified of the vacuum, but our dog hates it and attacks it, barking at it and biting it. I think she's secretly afraid of it, too, and she's covering it up with a show of bravado. Have a happy day tomorrow--enjoy the food and family times.

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  4. you are too funny!!! you made me giggle today....dust bunnies the size of chihuahuas....lol

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  5. The fur creatures here were all howling this week. Happy Thanksgiving.

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  6. haha, I have dogs.. with lots of fur and one cat.. oh this is me too.. Have a beautiful Thanksgiving and thank you Laurie for being you! love,Diana

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  7. TOO FUNNY!!! I didn't know this about you Laure but do understand, you're a lot like my sister and cleaning was just not her thing either! You really made me laugh remembering how our cats use to scatter when the vacuum came out of the room, you didn't have to turn it on either, they just flew!!! Good luck on your house cleaning and HAPPY THANKSGIVING!

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  8. LOL....I can identify with a lot of what you've written. Housework is definitely NOT one of my favourite things...I'd rather be painting, sketching or crafting. I have no cats but my dogs don't like the vacuum cleaner either. While Thanksgiving is not an Australian holiday, I am hosting a Baby Shower for my daughter this weekend so I MUST clean house. sigh ~

    Have a lovely Thanksgiving!
    Serena

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  9. Hi Laure! This was really funny! Indeed nothing like the prospect of a houseful of guests to get one moving! I think most cats don't care too much for the vacuum cleaner. I have to admit that I actually used to get the machine out to stop the incessant howling of one! Worked a treat - disappeared like a bat out of hell!
    Thanks very much for your sweet comment on the wedding.
    Happy Thanksgiving!

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  10. I could have written this also except it would be about my cockatiel who manages to shed her feathers everywhere but she does like to ride on my shoulder while I vacuum and make sure I don't miss any feathers.

    Happy Thanksgiving Laure. Just think when the guests leave you get to do all the cleaning all over again.

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  11. I too have been suffering from “gotta get it clean syndrome,” only for me it is spider webs and dust. Mega spider webs. Spiders never die here. They just hide behind a painting or something when I occasionally get ambitious. And I really do have a bad neck, so I have just munched them into the knobbly ceiling for years rather than really trying to address the wretched strings.

    But there is light at the end of this tunnel! Now that my husband can help with housework he discovered he can vacuum the ceiling! I’d be in traction for a week if I tried that …. But he did it. I’m so proud of my ceiling right now!!!! Do you think my company will notice? I almost feel as though I should point it out. I’m sure they are all too aware of my past collection. They’ll probably be blinded by my new look.

    I loved your essay .... you made me feel like a kindred spirit.

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  12. Oh you could have been writing about me - except we no longer have any cats. LOL. The dust bunnies still turn up though and I don't even have the cat excuse!

    I think it was Quentin Crisp who stated that if you didn't dust for two years it never got any worse after that - and he truly lived by that creed. I'm not that bad but maybe he had a point.......

    Enjoy your Thanksgiving Day. x

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  13. Oh, you all do make me smile! I had no idea and would never have guessed I had some many kindred spirits out there! Thanks for all the wonderful responses!

    Ms. Kate, we too have a geriatric cat and have the same issue. I was afraid it would really gross out the gentle readers though. Do be careful! Having cats can be a hazard!

    Hope Buster keeps his cool, Cheryl! I hate terrifying the cats. Make me feel mean.

    KJ, one of our cats used to fight the old vac. The old one intimidates her plus she's older now and just ignores it...the advantages of age? Happy day to you as well!

    Seriously, Diana, you shoulda seen 'em!!

    Happy Thanksgiving to you too, Lisa!

    Thanks, Diana, Happy Thanksgiving!

    Ah, Myra, you had no idea? I'm surprised you didn't pick up on it after all these years! Happy Thanksgiving!

    Serena, good luck on that baby shower [and all the horrid cleaning] and congrats on that first grandchild! What fun that will be!

    Caroline, your comment made me laugh! We try not to terrorize our cats with the vac but on occasion, when we've need to "herd" them to a specific area of the house, it's worked well!

    Happy Thanksgiving, Teri! Glad to know Sunshine's keeping you in line!

    I was noticing my spider web collection too, Elva. And the spiders do die—I see their carcasses, but dang! You'd never know it to look around. Yes, they'll notice, and even if they don't say anything, you'll feel good about how things look and that's what really counts! Happy Thanksgiving!

    I think Quentin may have the right of it, Gillian! Not sure I want to test the theory though. I'd hate to make one of those shows where they come and show how badly you're living and how messy your house is!

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  14. I'm reading this post about my house ..... late of course!
    Kindred spirits we are. :) Hope you are having a wonderful Thanksgiving!

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  16. I am SO relieved to know that I am not the only one faced with this very same delimma. You have certainly described my house to a T! Although I am a somewhat fastidious housekeeper, the cats defy me to maintain a clean house, dropping "kitty puffs" the very moment the vaccuum is turned off.

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  17. Haha, I loved reading about your housekeeping strategy and the comments of your kindred spirits! I HAVE to dust because of an allergy to dust mites, but I SO relate to the rest of it! We're down to one cat now, but she sheds enough for 3. Hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving and a chance to enjoy the fruits of your labors!

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  18. Oh how funny Laure - and so recognizable as my own situation only for me it's the one cat and four dogs plus it's my husband hoping for company so the house will be cleaned up!

    I was just watching those dust bunnies (which had been vacuumed up just two days prior) rolling around on the kitchen floor thinking the person who came up with the term must have had household pets! They sprout up so fast I keep thinking why bother with the vacuum - they'll just build right back up again!

    And I must agree, there are many better things to do besides keep house. When visiting my sister last summer my husband commented on how clean her house was and he wished I would keep ours better. She responded that the housework is what she "does" rather than the "artwork" that I do and he shouldn't expect so much housework from me. Yay for my sister.

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  19. Well with six kids, three dogs, two cats and a husband, I have absolutely NO idea what you are talking about...

    But I did laugh and laugh and laugh at this for some reason. Happy Thanksgiving (past). :)

    p.s. I had three kids sick over Thanksgiving and two home with strep throat now. I think a plague has descended upon us! I really did enjoy the Imaginary Trip to Paris. Just wish I could have completed it.

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  20. Pam, we are indeed kindred spirits! Hope you had a fabulous day as well.

    Elizabeth, I too have dust mite allergies. I'm not sure if the dusting helps or makes them worse! Every time I stir them up my allergies get worse!

    Timaree, your sister is a WISE woman!

    Ah, Margaret, I'm sure you've no issues with dust, dirt and hair bunnies!! BLESS you, woman and hang in there—the plague will pass!

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  21. That was so cute and enjoyable! You described my cat, Bailey, to a "T". He's petrified of a vacuum and I've been sideswiped by a hurtling blast of fur more times than one when I got too close to his hiding place with the vacuum! LOL!

    RE: the Great Cleanup... just finished mine. Thank goodness. Now, back to painting :-)

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