My 15-year-old cat Annie just peed in my shower—I mean a man-sized stream that arced up from where she was standing on the floor in front of the shower, over the 6-inch ledge and into the shower, where it ran from a couple of feet away right down the drain. I shouted, “No, no,” but she finished and ran away. Then I remembered that I’d cleaned out her box this morning in the location where it is located in the guest room shower and had to empty all the sand and wash out the box and under it because there was pee all over the shower floor, probably because all the cats were in yesterday and had used it and it was not pleasant to enter, so she just peed in the shower, or they did.
I had sprayed ammonia over all the floor and box, scrubbed them both and then sprayed again with an odor eradicator and stood the box on end to dry while the shower floor dried. Then I closed the door so she didn’t go in there while it was drying. Unfortunately, I then left to drive my housekeeper Yolanda home, do a bit of shopping and stop by the fraccionamiento office to see if I’d paid my special assessment. I then stopped by a couple of neighbor’s houses to apologize for Diego’s barking while I was gone–another story–forgetting that I hadn’t opened the door to her guest room bathroom and set up her litter box again, so I now realized she had had nowhere to pee and so she did it in the easiest place to clean. Good girl.
Phew. Telling about it took as much effort as doing the two cleanups, but now the plot thickens.
The day prior to Annie’s peeing in the shower, I had knocked a bottle of dark rose-colored nail polish off the counter of my master bedroom bathroom and it dropped and broke on the eggshell-colored ceramic tile of my bathroom, spraying across 8 feet of floor, over the new rug I had just bought in the states, and a bit up the wall. Rapidly drying pools of bright polish and splatters mixed in with shards of glass and tiny pieces of glass made passing through the bathroom to the tub nearly impossible! Damn! How to clean it up without walking through it and cutting my fingers to shreds? I ended up wadding Kleenex and toilet paper and picking up what shards were big enough to see, then used nail polish remover pads to tackle the polish, removing big gobs with Kleenex, then carefully scrubbing with the pads. When I ran out of pads, I put polish remover on wads of Kleenex, but it was a big job.
When I had cleared away most of the bigger puddles and largest shards and removed most of the polish off the wall and rug, I had just the decorative splashes left—about 3 feet of them—it occurred to me then that the first thing a certain friend would say when I told him the story was, “Did you take pictures?” No, I hadn’t. So, now that most of the mess was already cleaned up, I did. Secondly, it occurred to me that I should just pour the rest of the bottle of polish remover over the floor and use my foot in my Croc to rub Kleenex over them. I wouldn’t have to worry about glass and could apply more pressure. I finally got it all up and then put more remover down and rubbed over larger areas to remove the stain, as that porous area now sported an overall pinkish glow.
Finally, coming up to the present and Annie’s peeing in the shower, when I was mopping up her urine with toilet paper so I could flush it, I found a pretty good sized clear shard of glass from the top part of the jar which had no polish on it to make it obvious, jagged end facing up, in the shower just where I would have stepped when I took my next shower. It had flown up and over the edge and into the shower when the nail polish bottle broke! Good Annie! Her foresight (or hindsight?) in peeing in my shower probably saved me a serious injury.
But! Did I really say finally? As I was writing this post, the plot thickened again. Just before I started taking the photos to accompany it, I had put a small pan of Brussels sprouts on to steam. Since there were only seven largish sprouts, I used a steamer basket in a small covered saucepan with water up to the bottom of the steamer bottom. I had cut the tops of each sprout almost through to the bottom in an X pattern, and as I sprinkled them with “No Salt,” pepper, garlic powder and a bit of balsamic vinegar, I was remembering the last Brussels sprouts I’d had when I was visiting in Wyoming two months ago. They were served as an appetizer in a restaurant and since both my sister and Jim, her husband, hated them, it was up to my friend Patty, her boyfriend Duffy and me to polish off the whole batch. That was no problem. They were delicious—piquant and a bit charred with a wonderful smoky flavor. I was wondering how I could duplicate that recipe. Would I steam them first, then char them? What were the spices? For years I’d been using a friend’s recipe which I loved but I liked these even better.
At any rate, the present day Brussels sprouts went on the gas stovetop to steam and I went to the bathroom to survey the scene and take photos, then to my desk in the bedroom to finish the story. One thing led to another and a half hour had passed before I finished proofing the story. When I came back to the living room to plug in my computer, edit photos and post, I heard a sizzling and rapid rocking sound and smelled a burning smell. Damn! The Brussels sprouts! I quickly turned off the gas under the completely waterless smoking saucepan, removed the sprouts with tongs and took the pan to the sink, running hot water over the charred black inside of the pan. Yes. More hissing and steam, but then, mindlessly, I turned the pan over and ran cold water over the burning hot pan. Instantly, an explosion of steam so intense that it removed the color from the outside of the enamel pan that was nearest to its bottom.
Luckily, I had a huge box of baking soda and two partially full bottles of cider vinegar. Into the pan they went with the expected chemical reaction: rapidly swelling foam and more hissing. I did a rigorous scrubbing with a scrubber sponge and Spongedaddy, using lots of muscle power as well as more soda and vinegar. Scrub scrub scrub. Although I got some of the char off the sides, I made little progress with the bottom of the inside of the pan.
As I left the pan in the sink to soak, I spied the Brussels sprouts neglected on the counter. I mixed up a bit of stevia in balsamic vinegar and sprinkled it over the sprouts. Swirled them a bit, then decided to taste. I think you’ve guessed the ending. Yup. They tasted exactly like the Brussels sprouts appetizer in the restaurant in Sheridan, Wyoming. So, again, thanks Annie. I’ll think twice before scolding you for any future misdeeds. But I’m going to have to buy a new pan. xoxoxo
For more information about Lake Chapala visit: www.chapala.com
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