6.20.2006

Our Cat

He weighs approximately half a ton. He takes up half our driveway.

And the resulting mess... is exactly what you'd expect from a beast that size.

We love our Doopah-Mobile. Really and truly. He's a blessing straight from heaven.

A heaven-sent blessing that leaked a LOT of power-steering fluid.

But, you don't look a gift horse in the mouth, and you don't look a gift van in the steering system. You just faithfully place a cardboard box under the leak.

Except when you forget.

The van mysteriously stopped leaking right around the time when we finally ran out of boxes from the move. It had been bad, very bad, and getting progressively worse every day. And then... it stopped leaking altogether. We found this a bit disturbing... but that's another one of those blessings that you just don't question. If you can't complain about the leaks in a free van, surely you can't complain when they fix themselves.

Anyway, the leak hasn't really been a problem for a while now... until last week. Last week, the management did an inspection of the property, and gave out notices to everyone with excessive oil stains. Clean it up by Monday morning, or be charged for the professional cleaning.

So after church on Sunday, Andy doused the driveway with dishsoap. It took about half a bottle of Dawn to cover all the stains.

Economy size.

That's a lot of dishsoap.

Andy scrubbed, and rinsed, and soaked everything up in five pounds of kitty litter. Then he put a long barrier of kitty litter around the perimeter of the stained area. And I scrubbed, and rinsed, and swooshed the water down into the kitty litter, while Andy went to Stater Bros. to buy more kitty litter.

It was looking really good. Much to our astonishment, the oil was actually coming up. The part underneath the kitty litter was a big swath of gookiness, but the rest of it looked amazingly good. Soapy, but good.

The super-odor-eating stuff was on sale, so that's what Andy got. And boy, was it pungent. So strong, I almost wanted a cat, so as to neutralize the odor.

One hundred pounds of extra-odour-control kitty litter later, we finally decided to give up on trying to soak it all up. We just hosed the driveway down and let the soapy water all run down into the street.

And back down into our driveway again.

And up into the neighbor's driveway.

Apparently, we have no drainage. Whatsoever.

After a good hour of spraying, our lawn is well watered. The neighbor's lawn is well watered. And if you believe in home remedies like that, you can be sure we won't be having any insect problems for a long time.

The driveway is still very soapy. I hope and pray that it was good enough to pass their inspection. It would be terribly ironic to work so hard to clean up the oil, and then have to pay them to remove the soap.

But on the other hand, the whole experience rather put things into perspective.

$150 for driveway cleaning?

Major bargain.

The other thing I learned was that I'm really not interested in cat-ownership.

7 comments:

Fletch F Fletch said...

Saw your comment on my blog about my comments about your blog from two years ago, and for good measure, blog, blog, blog, comment, comment and blog. How in Allah's name did you even find the site? I didn't even tell friends about it until I started up with the Natalia stuff and I took it away then or so I thought. It's a shame that you didn't comment on it two years ago, if that's when you saw it or I might not have taken this hiatus. I'm not sure if you meant for this particular post to be funny, but I thoroughly enjoyed it in a long, rambling Dennis Miller rant sort of way. I've noticed an incredible command of the English language in this and the posts below. I may have underestimated your "blogging", if you will.

Anonymous said...

Aaah, it's just as well-- dogs don't need kitty litter. In my experience Border Collies are better anyway. And would help you spray the yard. All you need is a hose with a hole in it, and a Border Collie will carry it around and get the driveway, yard, etc. Think of all the work you would have saved.

Elena said...

=) Thanks!

You showed up on my site-meter as having sent a bit of traffic my way. But only recently, when people started reading your blog and clicking on your link.

Pretty funny. I got quite a kick out of my... um... award. =)

Destination...Gloryland! said...

I have to agree with you about cats. At our house, cats will only be allowed outside to deal with the mice. In that respect, they're rather nice.

Living in the country, I enjoy reading about your escapades with living in the city. I know that many "city people" simply LOVE that life, but it makes me love country life even more.

You put a bright spot in my day with your posts. This is another one that I will tell my husband, "You need to read this one!".

Elena said...

Awww! Comments like these put a bright spot in MY day! =)

I'm right with you on the city/country stuff. We really love our community here... but we've got our sights set on rural Pennsylvania. We'll see where God leads us. =)

Ashley said...

rural pennsylvania? Don't leave us.

Elena said...

Don't worry... we're still here for another year at least.

But Andy is seriously drooling over Penn State.

And would you believe, it sure looks like it'll be a whole lot easier to make ends meet on a grad student's stipend in Pennsylvania, than on a teacher's salary in Southern California. Pretty crazy.

We were poking around online, and found lots of beautiful four bedroom houses, with big yards and all, selling for 60k. If I remember right, payments for a ten year mortgage would be half our current rent.

And we live here WHY?

But then I start thinking about you guys, and all our other friends in the area, and the thought of uprooting just kills me.