Laundry Rooms, Cats & Herb Pickers

    Writing is an obsession and like all obsessions it can become down-right distracting!  This point was driven home to me this morning when I walked into my laundry room and looked at it for the first time in months with the eye of a normal person vs. a writer.  My laundry room is not just an ordinary laundry room it is a haven for everything that doesn’t fit anywhere else.  Besides the norm, washing machine, dryer, ironing board, steamer and hot water heater it houses two sets of shelves that contain tools.  Now, tools are handy…if you can find them.  It is next to impossible to find them when they are all scattered across shelves mixed in with nails, screws, rolls of duct tape, masking tape, paint rollers, five boxes of ceramic tile that I still don’t know how to install, electrical tape, plumber’s putty, wood glue, cat toys, flower pots, unlabeled paper bags with flower seeds that I collected god knows when, oven cleaner, car wax, light fixtures, cans of paint, varnish and even a half gallon of liquid starch that has to be at least twelve years old.  That’s not to mention all the adapters and cords that are choking the life blood from the very screwdriver that I looked for in vain yesterday!  Alright, enough about the tool shelves.

    My laundry room also has a six-tier shelf that I refer to as the pantry.  It houses all the canned food and junk that won’t fit in the kitchen cabinets because they house all the dishes that I never use.  Well, this morning the pantry caught my eye and I decided that I was going to accomplish one honest to god feat of housecleaning before the computer caught me in it’s evil clutches!  So, I began to unload all the various cans, boxes and pouches of everything that you keep buying because you couldn’t find it the last time you looked.  Amidst, my unloading process, I found, you guessed it, more tools!  I also found some really scary stuff.  The pantry shelves happen to be wedged in a corner next to the hot water heater and the washing machine.  The laundry room window is situated directly across the room, so if I forget to close the window before I mow the yard, which I did yesterday, then yes, the pantry shelves, hot water heater and washing machine get a good coating of dust, pollen and grass.  The laundry room window also has a nice wide shelf under it and at one time I thought it would be the perfect place to grow some flowers.  I planted them in a big, deep, old enamel pan that was probably used for amputations during the civil war.  Regardless, of the pan’s history it was not destined to become a flower pot.  I no more than planted the seeds and put the pan in the window when Merlin, my cat, spotted it and claimed it for his own.  He liked laying in it so much that I decided to dump the dirt out and put a couple of beaches towels in it and that really pissed him off!  He evidently preferred the feel of the dirt because he boycotted the pan for almost two months before he graciously lowered himself to sit in it.  The point of the pan and the cat is that, cats happen to have hair and in Merlin’s case, it’s black and there is a lot of it!  The same wind that blows through yon window when I’m mowing also blows across his feline body and multitudes of black cat hairs drift over to rest with the dust, grass and pollen on the pantry shelves.

    It took two hours to unload the shelves and scrub them down.  Another thirty minutes was spent in reorganizing what was identifiable and restacking it.  During the process, I came up with two boxes of stuff that has absolutely no reason for ever being invented, much less purchased and those treasures went in the garbage.  I also found an array of gadgets, discarded trinkets and a few gifts from family and friends that truly have no idea who I am.  Those got loaded into boxes and carried to the front door.  I have a second or third cousin who makes his living selling crap like this along with various roots and herbs that he picks.  Everyone in the family thinks he’s out in the lake without a paddle but I often wonder if he isn’t merely watching the rest of us swim around until we choke and drown.  Any way, I always save my sellable crap for him. 

    Merlin announces its ten o’clock and time for his party bowl by leaping out of the window.  His bowls and cases of food also reside in yon pantry corner and he gives my organizational efforts a disapproving glare while he demands his food.  So, the entire process comes to a halt until he finishes snack time and strolls toward the front door for his ten fifteen appointment with the front porch.  Merlin does not appreciate change in any form so when he spies the boxes of crap stacked at the front door awaiting the arrival of the herb-picking cousin, he stops.  I plead with him and explain that it’s all stuff we don’t need and that it will be gone tomorrow but that’s not good enough.  He refuses to budge until I open each box and he gives everything the once over.  Then, he decides that he will allow me to close them back up and then he meanders outside.

    During this whole cleaning, organizing, kissing the cat’s ass process it hits me that, if and when, I ever get the chance to be reincarnated, I sure would like to be a cat…or maybe an herb picker…

justwrite   justwrite wrote
on 6/5/2008 10:39:03 AM
A great read! You took simplicity and threaded it with downright amusement. The descriptions of your cats behavior is right on. Very well written. I enjoyed reading this very much. Sincerely, futurewriter

vwhitlock   vwhitlock wrote
on 5/25/2008 11:36:13 AM
??? Writers = Unorganized Rooms ??? Maybe because we spend more time organized our thoughts? It's sounds better than just saying we are messy. :)

Mike Firesmith   Mike Firesmith wrote
on 5/25/2008 10:24:59 AM
HEY! This sounds like MY house!!!

StarPoet   StarPoet wrote
on 5/22/2008 11:35:48 PM
I have a room like your laundry room and ironically, it's the cats room! For some reason they prefer every other area of the house, except their own room. Hmmmm...... Moqui is so right. You took a mess and wrote it into a superb story.

Moqui_Takoda   Moqui_Takoda wrote
on 5/21/2008 11:45:25 AM
this is amazing. you have taken a simple room, a laundry room, and made it funny, charming, colorful, textured ... and the cat knows what is best!!!!! I know, I have been a piece of furniture for a couple of cats over a period of years, and the idea that they are from another planet seeking to destroy ours as spies is just ridiculous ...

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It's scary what you think about when you're cleaning...