The cat formerly known as Loose-y has regained the original spelling of her name. In fact, now that she's retired from baby-making, we could almost change Lucy's name to Prudence, or something equally puritanical. She's not happy with me. Seems she really enjoyed having four litters of kittens back to back. So to show her displeasure, she promptly let loose all over the laundry room the morning after being spayed. How she managed to hit the washer, three walls, her blanket, and a good portion of the floor and not get a single bit in the litter box is beyond me. I think she's gifted.
I smelled her message before I saw it. Emerging from our bedroom, I headed straight for the coffee maker, but before my hand touched the handle, my nose wrinkled in disgust. "Lucy ... you didn't." But she did. I nudged the pocket door open and peeked into the laundry room. Lucy sat back on her haunches, dusted her front two paws off, and sneered at me with a look that said, "There's a little 'Thanks for the surgery' gift--just for you."
Now, Lucy's not known for her love of the litter box. She's never had a kitten who didn't leave the womb knowing exactly where to squat, and for that, I'm grateful. But she herself has exhibited a great disdain for all-things-clumping. So I've cleaned up my share of presents. But yesterday morning, I just shut the door. I knew Dave would be up in a matter of minutes, and I was going to ask him a great big favor. Because yesterday morning, I faced a full day of cooking. A friend from church, Heidi, is recuperating from foot surgery, so I'd planned to make a double batch of everything and bring half over in the afternoon so Corey wouldn't need to finagle dinner when he got home from work. That meant two chicken pot pies, two Caesar salads, and a big pan of peanut butter bars. In addition to that, I planned to make and freeze a week's worth of breaded Italian chicken fingers for the kids' lunches, and if I could sneak it in after that, I wanted to blanch and shuck a big bag of corn another friend gave me Wednesday at church. So knowing I was going to be handling all that food, I couldn't, in good conscience, handle Lucy's mess. There's not a paper towel in the world thick enough to keep your hand feeling clean. And no amount of scrubbing afterward would remove the feeling of filth. I couldn't get past the "Ew" factor. You don't jump from poo to pot pie, you know?
Dave was wonderful. Sure, his shoulders sagged a bit, but I think the experience was balanced slightly by the knowledge that he'd have chicken pot pie for dinner. I saw him in there swiping a bit and grabbing the grabbable chunks with a piece of toilet paper. But all too soon--much too soon, for my comfort--he trotted out the back door to check out the doings down in the goat barn. I could still see partial Lucy residue on one section of the laundry room floor, and though I hoped he'd be back, Dave spent a good long time down in the barn. By the time he returned, the look on his face told me he'd managed to erase the distasteful episode from his mind. He had no intention of going back in there.
Fast forward to the afternoon (an ironic choice of words, isn't it? Have I ever "fast"ed anything in this blog?). Tera came home sad. I will definitely write another time about her experience in school this year. Suffice it to say, fifth grade girls can be snotty--and my girl was on the receiving end of the Queen of Snot's attention yesterday. To cheer her up, I suggested she ask her best friend, Jaimey, to come spend the night. Jaimey, of course, said yes. So Tera and I loaded the car with Corey and Heidi's dinner, made the delivery, visited there awhile, and then drove down the street to Jaimey's. When we pulled in, Tim and Kari were out front talking to a strange man (strange to me) in a van. So I said hi and walked up to the house to collect Jaimey. When I pulled open the back door, the most wonderful smell rushed forward and wrapped itself around me. I stood in the center of Kari's kitchen drawing in breath after breath. It wasn't food. It was the smell of "clean."
Tim came through the back door and noted the rapturous expression on my face and my curtain-ruffling intakes of air. "What?"
"It's that smell. What's that wonderful smell?"
He sniffed. "Who knows? Kari's been swiping stuff."
It was a husband-proper description; the gender equivalent of what I'd say if someone asked me how Dave fixed the car. “Oh, you know. He twirled some metal stuff and squirted goo on top.”
Kari came in.
"Kari, what is causing that heavenly smell?"
She pulled a bottle of Lysol All Purpose Cleaner (lemon) out from under the sink and gave me a quick commercial. "I just fill the sink with hot water, dump a generous amount of this stuff in there, and wipe everything down."
"I have GOT to get me some of that," I said.
She walked over to a cupboard and pulled out a second, full bottle. "Here."
I squealed and clutched the purity-endowing liquid against my chest. "Let me pay you!"
"No," she said. "Let me bless you."
I love my friends.
All the way home I delighted in the knowledge that Kari's smell would soon permeate my house. I couldn't wait to squirt, swirl, scrub and sniff. And later, while doing just that, I thought about how wonderful it is to be given the free gift of purity. Someone else paid the cost ... and handed me the solution to my mess ... and said, "Let me bless you."
Thank you ... Kari and Jesus.
"Come now, let us argue this out," says the LORD. "No matter how deep the stain of your sins, I can remove it. I can make you as clean as freshly fallen snow." --Isa 1:18 (NLT)