Saturday, October 31, 2009

Annals of Stupidity, Part 3

This week has been all about cat nursing and housecleaning. Every cat gets an antiviral supplement, lysine, mixed in its food twice a day, but not every cat will eat it. Snalbert is on twice-daily antibiotics and pain injections and is being fed by hand; little Possum is on the same antibiotic and gets little nose-cleaning treatments. Wendy, the kitten with possible ringworm, has had two (difficult) antifungal baths (Possum had one), finished her worming meds, and is being treated with topical gel twice a day. And Snicky is getting her usual steroid and appetite pills, plus potassium mixed in her food.

It's a job to keep track of it all and to make sure the right cat eats the right food. If we end up having to add ringworm meds to the mix, and twice-weekly baths, it will feel like a regular, part-time job.

We're awaiting the first of three weekly calls about the ringworm culture from the vet, after they get the lab's report. Maybe we'll get it on Monday. If there's nothing developing in the culture, that's a good sign; the vet says ringworm usually replicates quickly. But even so, we'll still have two more weeks to wait until we're in the clear. If we get bad news, we start our cleaning and cat-bathing regimen full-blast. In any case, Wendy definitely has something we'll need to keep treating; she has strange gray spots on her ear.

We'd been wondering why my husband's office had a terrible litter-box odor, even though the new, kitten-sized litter box wasn't terrible at all. The smell was affecting the whole apartment. After days of cleaning the box and all its accoutrements, spraying Lysol, airing the place, and lighting candles didn't help, I scrutinized the entire office once more and found the culprit: a large, squashed "cow patty" on the carpet directly in front of my husband's Mac Pro, which sits under his desk. The patterned oriental rug had camouflaged it well; it had been sitting right under my husband's nose as he'd worked for days (actually, he'd given up sitting in there several days earlier). The fan in the computer has been doing a good job of both warming the mess and wafting the odor.

I called my husband at work; he said he was not responsible. Having narrowed the possible culprits down to four, I proceeded to remove the mess and treat the stain with this excellent stain/smell spray remover I got from our vet. I was proud of myself for remembering we had the stuff. 

Then this (click on the image to enlarge it and read the brief transcript):

You're supposed to spray the carpet stain from a standing position to keep away from the fumes, holding the can upside-down. Naturally, I didn't think to cover the Mac, which has a perforated cover in the front and, naturally, my first shot sent a stream of carpet cleaning right into the CPU. I immediately called the spouse to confess. And he was remarkably calm; I think he was in shock. Much of his professional life, including an upcoming book, is in one of the four mega-terrabyte hard drives in that expensive, souped-up Mac.

Then I called Apple, and after reading the tech the ingredients on the can and making a frantic search for the Mac's serial number so he could determine what was directly behind the cover, he suggested keeping the computer turned off for 24 hours to let it dry out. Mercifully it wasn't on when I sprayed it; that would have send the cleaning solvents throughout the circuitry. He also guided me in unplugging the thing; there's a snakes' nest of cables under that desk.

A few hours later, all signs of the bad smell were gone, except for the stain on the rug, which I rolled up. That was Thursday.

On Friday morning, we took most of our rugs to Bon Ton, in Cambridge, which has been cleaning rugs since 1901. This is the place to go for rug cleaning. The man in charge spread out our rugs in their back room/warehouse, and explained differences in knotting techniques to show us why our pretty living-room "Bakhtiari" is really a Sarouk. When we pointed out the nasty smell on the office rug, he didn't flinch.

Back in the incredibly overheated front office, two teeny-tiny, shriveled, ancient ladies silently mended rugs using wool in every color of the rainbow, which hangs all over the walls. They looked like sisters, and must have been hired shortly after the business opened; the excessive heat was clearly keeping them alive in some way we couldn't understand. But if a cool breeze hit one of them, she'd have been done for.

We came home and turned on the computer. It's working fine.

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