Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Le sacre du nettoyage au printemps

Ah, the Rite of Spring Cleaning... with its culminating sacrificial dance of the Chosen Furball.

No, no cats were harmed in this annual event, though several were traumatized by the appearance of a rug-sucking behemoth imported by my friend N who volunteered to do the dirty work since I cannot abide the sound of a vacuum cleaner. Fortunately this one was not nearly as loud or piercing as the ones I have to contend with at work when the cleaning crew comes in during my shift three nights a week, nor is the frequency nearly as annoying as the white noise [sic] noise-masking system that runs 24/7 whether I’m the only person in the building or not (that it even runs during a power outage only confirms my belief it is, in fact, controlled by an alien life-force).

All but one of the cats spent the afternoon hiding in various locations or scooting from one hidey hole to another depending on the progress of the vacuuming. Murphy, who normally cannot abide the kittens, was happy enough sitting around watching the proceedings, perfectly content to ask “Can we let that thing run all the time?” The house, then, would once again be hers.

So after the spring cleaning was done, I saw the black Chinese wool rug I’d put in the living room last year look as bright and beautiful as it did the day I bought it, now free of the overlay of orange, white and gray cat hair it automatically attracts. The cats, checking it out after the noise and the dust settled, realized they have their work cut out for them and I’m sure, in a few days, will be exhausted by all the shedding they’re going to have to do to get caught up.

Last weekend, we managed to get three more book cases assembled (purchased in early November and merely awaiting the right moment in our busy schedules) and so the past few days, I have slowly been working my way through boxes of books as yet unpacked since my mid-November move. About half way through the boxes, I see the book cases are already more than half filled. Hmmm...

The kittens, of course, have turned a year old – officially 13 months last week. I rarely get a chance to catch them all in one picture from the time I aim the camera and the flash actually works. The photo on the left was taken when they were one month old and the one on the right was taken just a few days ago. The occasion was the discovery of a centipede on the flagstone floor of the foyer which immediately got their collected attention. That’s Baker looking up as if to say “Izza bug, you mind?”

The downpour the other night finished off the clematis on the front porch, leaving only a few hardy blossoms where once there was a mass of 110 pale lavender and white flowers. On the other hand, the new peony is blooming for the first time (see below), a brilliant white variety known as “Shirley Temple,” though why, I have no idea (I expected it to break into The Good Ship Lollipop when the first bud opened).

Seeds have finally germinated and I have another crop on the way of “Moon Glories” (night blooming morning glories with brilliant white blossoms 6" across) and regular morning glories (“Scarlet O’Hara” already sprouted, “Heavenly Blue” planted a few days later lagging appropriately behind). I’ve thrown in some white marigolds and black pansies plus a few other seeds for summer flowers which, hopefully, will not be eaten by the resident rabbits. If anything needs propitiated, by the way, it’s the resident rabbits in the back yard...

Well, I hear a cat shedding in the living room, gotta go...

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