Saturday, August 3, 2013

Home Work

Usually the things I like to do at home involve fine motor skills.
 I make things with beads, for example.
 Like earrings.

Sometimes I take a break and discover an old class photo. Claremont Hebrew Nursery School, Cape Town, South Africa, circa 1964 or 1965, Geveret Bella's class. I'm the one at the leftmost end of the middle row with the weird bow-thing on the side of my head. No doubt I thought I was quite fetching.
Actually, I'm pretty pleased with the above, as the original was very faded and indistinct and even though I don't have Photoshop or in fact anything fancier than iPhoto, you can at least see some of the faces now.

So when I'm at home doing my gentle, not very physical things, I interact somewhat (as one does) with my cats, who usually either play nearby or in the case of my primary cat, sleep nearby. She's really very sweet, very affectionate, a lovely companion.

And therein may lie the problem.

I think she doesn't like sharing me with other people.

She's OK sharing me with the secondary cat who is pretty and not super-bright. He's very straightforward and utterly without guile in the way of dogs, but my primary cat is a bit more of a stew of agendas and motivations.

She'll readily turn her back on me to express her displeasure at my lack of attentiveness for example.

The poor thing has an issue (as I have mentioned here) with crystals in her urine and she's been on special expensive food for a few months now, and at this point, I think she's just using it as an excuse to  pee inappropriately to express her annoyance at the fact that when I come home, I talk to my son (home from college, departed this morning for his junior year) before I talk to her.

The cats love him, and sit with, on and around him all day when I'm not here.

No one pees in the gap between the cabinet and the wall when I'm not here and he is.

When I get back from work, there's staring me in the eye while peeing happens. She really has no interest in my son if I'm around and clearly resents the diversion of my attention away from her.

So she pees on the carpet, and this week I reached my limit.
 The room was cleared.
 I started pulling off the carpet. Those gross stains are (I tell myself) from over-saturating when I rented the carpet steamer last summer. No, this is not new behaviour on the part of the primary cat, but it's much more deliberate now.
 The carpet was cut into strips, rolled into logs and put on the curb because I'm told they will pick it up with the garbage on Tuesday. I hope they feel kind and take the longish log on the right because by that time I was tired of the carpet already and just wanted that last disgusting pee-soaked strip OUT OF MY HOUSE.
Underneath the carpet was the padding. It's just foam and just laid down, not attached, to it came up fairly easily.
And underneath that was hideous linoleum. That didn't. Doesn't. Come up quite so easily.
I have the motions down, I think. I have a large flat screwdiver and I make aggressive sweeping motions with the head of the screwdriver sliding along the floor, aiming for an imagined gap between  the tiles and the floor, and if I'm lucky they come up all in one piece.

I'm only intermittently lucky.

Every time I'm about to stop (I'm going to see a movie in a couple of hours, my back thinks that's a better idea than crouching over the floor for another five hours), a few tiles just come off easily, whole, and so encouraged, I start another row of tiles and then they fracture and are airborne and I think I should have stopped but now this row of tiles must go.
 This is not for sissies, this prying of the linoleum off the concrete floor.
It's also a filthy business as there's black tacky tar-like stuff under the tiles and I have absolutely no idea how I'm going to get that off. And I'm only about a third of the way through.

This is by far the most ambitious or perhaps foolish home project I have ever attempted.

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