Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Marriage 701, Lecture 764: The right way to clean cat vomit off the floor, or, I yield to the expert

The scene: An ordinary evening, a little after 5 p.m. SH is washing the dishes, which is what he does when I get home from work. He takes my lunchbag out of my nice leather tote that is a lot bigger than I thought it would be when I ordered it, even though I had the measurements and kept comparing it to my existing purse. I thought the tote would become my new purse, but instead, it has become my new take my lunch and gym clothes to work bag. I still have my old purse and I hesitate to buy yet another purse because the places I want to buy from make them by hand in the US and do not give cash refunds. I don't want a cash refund, I want a purse, but a purse is like shoes or pants: You really need to try it on before you buy.

Anyhow. I am home. SH is washing my lunch dishes. I have just fed the cats.

I am waiting for SH to finish with the dishes so I can start making more dirty dishes, a fact that stresses SH out to no end. Now that he is in charge of dish doing and vacuuming, he doesn't want any activity that might create mess. Even in the kitchen. Which is where food comes from.

I have reminded him of that - that unless he wants to live on canned sardines (and even those are fraught with danger, because the lid of a can of sardines, placed in the sink, will attract cats and cats getting in the sink is Bad even though the cats go in the sink ALL THE TIME and leave only when they are yelled at or when I turn on the tap and get them wet, which often backfires because a wet cat shakes herself and the water goes everywhere) and cheese and crackers, it is necessary to make a mess in the kitchen.

This, of course, is where he disagrees with me. It is not necessary to make a mess in the kitchen, he would say. It is necessary only to be very very careful while one is chopping veg and preparing food and - HEY! DON'T USE THAT DISHCLOTH TO WIPE THE OLIVE OIL BOTTLE! THE DISHCLOTH WILL GET DIRTY!!!!! - to take like seven times as long to make food as it should take.

SH does not like watching me cook. It stresses him out. He likes to eat and he likes what I cook, but I suppose watching me cook to him is like watching the government in action to me: something that is necessary to reach an objective but absolutely revolting and disgusting to watch.

SH is washing dishes. I have just fed the cats and am waiting for him to get out of the way so I can cook.

Laverne jumps onto the kitchen table. She starts to retch. I hear her retching, but think, "She is not getting ready to vomit because she is nowhere near a carpeted surface or a rug or any other surface from which it would be difficult to remove vomit."

So I watch impassively.

She continues to retch and now her back is arching and I think, "Oh she's going to blow!"

I grab her and put her on the floor so the vomit will fall in one place rather than cascading off the table, onto the bench, and then to the floor.

I wait for her to finish.

I walk to the counter and grab three paper towels.

I walk back toward the vomit.

SH, water still running, hands still full of soap, says, "Stop! What are you doing?"

"Walking to the vomit," I tell him.

"But you have too many paper towels!"

I stop. Turn completely around. Look at him. "Too. Many. Paper. Towels?"

"Yes! Too many! That's wasteful. You don't need that many."

"Yes. I do. Any fewer and I can feel the vomit and it makes me retch."

The water is still running. His hands still soapy. He is paralyzed at the idea of wasting paper towels.

The vomit bothers him not at all. The running water - wasteful - does not bother him. But two extra paper towels?

That's a problem.

Because I am such a profligate user of paper towels. I use them for

1. washing windows
2. cleaning cat vomit

For everything else, I use cloth rags. I see years of my old wardrobes in my rag bucket. Rags are fine for everything but vomit. I don't have the stomach for it. I want to be able to throw it all away.

Don't worry about Laverne, by the way. She was vomiting only because she wolfs her food down. We are now feeding her in split shifts - she gets half of her food at 5 and the other half at 5:30.

So SH thought I was using too many of our precious paper towels - we go through maybe a dozen rolls a year, if that - to clean the bodily fluids of a cat from the floor.

My boss' boss told me a joke when I was arguing with him about the specs for a Jira website he wants me to put together.

This old man - 108 years old - was being interviewed about being old.

"What's your secret to reaching such an old age?" the reporter asked the old man.

"The secret is that I never argue," the old man answered.
"Oh, surely you must argue!" the reporter replied.

"Yes, of course you are right," the old man answered.

SH: Too many  paper towels! You are using too many paper towels!

Me: You're right.

SH: You're not doing it right!

Me: I better let you do it.


I win.


Schmitt said...

Brilliant way to deal with it!

We have a boxful of disposable gloves. Barf doesn't bug me so much, but if there is a litter box related incident, I *love* having the option.

Anonymous said...

I laughed out loud at this, because my dog only vomits on my $$$ down-filled big sectional sofa. The Target chairs, well-worn and easily cleanable rugs, and the wide expanses of hardwood floor are always ignored for the sofa.

I'll be more cognizant of my paper towel use next time I'm cleaning the sofa, though. Thanks for the heads-up.