Ah, the “joy” of cats in the house.
When I picked up my mother to take her to the doctor yesterday, she came out with a big bucket riding on her walker, full of Christmas decorations. She didn’t want them anymore, and there’s lots of room on the farm, so…
We aren’t using even a quarter of our own decorations this year!
So last night, I went through the bucket – which turned out to be 2 of them, and they were fermentation buckets from wine making kits. I’m finding them all over the place! Now I have two more… *sigh*
What I found was one full sized sparkly garland, some smaller lengths, and bits and pieces that are so small or so messed up, they’re not even worth keeping for crafting. I filled a basket of baubles, most of which were newer, but a few of which I am sure I remember from my childhood. There were some random pine cones, some still glued together. Then there was a … garland “cake” with small red ornaments as the “cherries”. I have no other way to describe it! I believe it’s supposed to be a centerpiece? I don’t know.
The cats, of course, were extremely curious. As these were on the dining table until I could figure out what to do with them, I covered the whole thing with a shiny gold vinyl tablecloth that was in the one bin of Christmas decorations we brought up. The girls still ended up having to tuck it under and weight it down, because of course, as soon as the room was empty, the started jumping on it.
That was not part of the disaster this morning.
With my husband’s pain levels, he has very different hours than we do. It’s not unusual for him to be forced out of bed in the wee hours. He tries to help as much as he can, though, so he took over the job of topping up the cat kibble and refreshing their water in the basement – going up and down the stairs is painful, but it’s about the most exercise he can handle right now, so he does it. Then he fills a jug of water for the outside cats and leaves it for me, so I’m not having to run water while one of the girls is in the shower or something. He leaves that on the counter between the kitchen and dining room.
On the kitchen side of that counter, there’s the sink in the middle with counters and cupboards on either side. On the dining room side is a floating counter that’s about a foot higher than the sink. Very handy to reach from both sides. It’s also the perfect length and height that we fit a pair of cube shelved under it; a 9 cube shelf for dishes, bowls and platters, and a 6 cube shelf with cube storage boxes holding our hats and scarves, mitts and ear warmers, etc. Yes, all 6 of them are full of winter gear.
There’s enough space between the tops of these shelves and the underside of the counter to hold my many tiny bowls, jars and pinch pots, among other things.
The counter top has our advent wreath on it, as well as things like a fruit bowl, paper towel roll and other odds and ends. You know how it is. All flat surfaces immediately get filled! I’ve manage to keep it pretty open, lately.
Unfortunately, the cats do jump up on there, when we are not around, so I have been finding the candles askew on the advent wreath, and things knocked over.
This morning, I was awakened by some very unhappy exclamations from my husband – and more than a little blue language.
Coming out, I discovered him desperately trying to find something to soak up what turned out to be almost a gallon of water, while also chasing away cats.
One of them had knocked over the jug of water he’d prepped for me to give to the outside cats. Nearly a gallon of water.
My husband unrolled the remains the paper towel roll (which was already partially wet from the water hitting it on the way by) while I dashed (okay, hobbled…) for a mop.
The next while was spent mopping up and moving things. My husband’s back soon gave out and he had to leave.
The cube shelves are open in the front, of course, and water not only got into the shelf – and the stuff in it – but under the shelf before flowing around the counter and puddling all along the front of the sink. We’ve got a couple of those interlocking foam mats there, partly to make it easier on the back while doing dishes, partly to cover the damaged worn out floor, so that had to be removed, too.
Once the bulk of the water was cleaned up, I had to empty the 9 cub shelf and pull it out, to get there rest of the water out from under it. The cube shelf itself has water damage, but as I emptied it, I noticed more damage on the bottom shelves. The stuff we use the most off is kept at the top, the least often at the bottom, so we don’t have a lot of cause to see this. It seems that things the cats play with have been getting in there, and they’ve been digging to try and reach them. Enough that one cube actually has a hole scratched into it! How long that’s been there, I have no idea!
So right now, I’ve got the shelf out and drying. Then I had to do the outside rounds and feeding of critters. I’ve since cut some pieces of wood that will be placed under both shelves to lift them a couple of inches off the ground, so that if there is another spill, it won’t damage the shelves even more. Every single dish, bowl and platter will need to be washed before we can put them back.
Only then can I deal with the dining table and do the old dough bread baking I had planned for today.
At least it was just water, and nothing was broken.
I am now going to go investigate the unfortunate noises I’m hearing…