Monday, April 26, 2010

Memento Mori

It was a beautiful day on Sunday, warm, sunny, and dry. Perfect for doing hip, cool Austin things. I cleaned carpets instead. Woo!  Living on the edge! The truth is that I live in squalor. The past two years have been hard on the carpet, what with a not-always-able-to-hold-it Muzzy puppy (now 3!) and, once her issues were resolved, an elderly and incontinent Roma. So on Sunday, I simply couldn't ignore the stains and smells, and I got out my vet vac.

Surprisingly, the rhythm of running the machine over the carpet in each of five rooms actually put me in a kind of meditative state. I'd load a fresh bottle of soapy liquid into the machine. Ten minutes later, I'd dump out a gallon of murky water. In between, I'd move methodically over small patches of rug. I thought about Roma a lot. After all, she spent a lot of time cruising the carpets in our house. She had several special spots, depending on her mood and the weather. For a while, she slept on a bed behind the sofa in the living room. Then, when Muzzy came along, she decided she preferred to spend her nights in the guest room. In the summer, she'd lie on tile in front of the intake vent to the air conditioner. When I worked in my office, and she was feeling sociable, she'd find a corner to curl up in.

I felt a bit guilty, removing pretty much the final traces of Roma's daily life. In fact, when I moved a piece of furniture in one room, I saw the tell-tale scratch marks in the carpet where she would dig, dig, dig with her nails before deciding she didn't want to lie there anyway. I remembered how, when we first moved into our house and rats in the attic were a seasonal problem, she woke me up from a deep sleep with her rug scratching. I'd hopped out of bed thinking that the house had been invaded by giant rodents, but it was only Roma rearranging herself.

But, you know, there are better ways to memorialize my old dog than to preserve the stains and scratches on the floor, so I hit the wet vac button, and away they went. Sorry, Roma!

No comments:

Post a Comment

Please write a comment here or e-mail me directly at Thanks!