Thursday, January 6, 2011

Poltergeist?

This is the sight that greeted me when I got up in the wee hours of yesterday morning. My immediate thought was, "We have a poltergeist. Well, naturally." After all, we've had everything else: kids home on break, ant invasions, chicken moult, flu, flooding, fires, skin eruptions--heck, throw in a few locusts and it's been a regular parade of biblical plagues around here. What's a little poltergeist?

But then I looked a little closer and found this:

And I realized that the creative furniture arrangement was the result, not of a poltergeist, but of a frustrated husband. You see, this is what we call The Spot. The Spot is ground zero in the Great Canine Battle for World Supremacy, otherwise known as The Pissing Contest. For the past several months, Heidi and Sam have been locked in mortal combat over "ownership" of this patch of carpet in our dining room. We have tried everything to put an end to this contest. We have gated the area, laid towels and tarps, sprayed it with every "get the hell out of here spray" known to the internet, lain in wait to catch the culprits in the act, yelled and screamed, locked dogs in the laundry room, and confined them to our room at night to keep them out of the area. We have scrubbed and shampooed and swabbed and sopped and sprayed and sprinkled in a vain effort to rid the house of the vile odor emanating from The Spot. And we have failed. Failed utterly. Failed to keep the dogs away; failed to remove the smell. The night before last was apparently The Last Straw.

I was not awake for The Last Straw (praise all gods that be). I was trying to get a few hours of sleep after spending the day caring for a child who was doing his best impression of the little girl from The Exorcist, with a fever that never got below 102 degrees, even with Motrin. (The administration of which was a saga in itself. Suffice it to say, the child can't swallow pills, pukes up liquid meds, and will take only orange flavored chewables, which the KH discovered have been discontinued only after visiting five stores in search of them.)

Since I had to be in court at 8:00 am, I went to bed early, leaving the KH to watch Finding Nemo with Exorcist Boy. At some point after that, but before 1:00 am, which is when EB finally fell asleep, one of the dogs evidently upped the ante in The Pissing Contest by elevating it to A Pooping Contest. And this, it seems, was The Last Straw. The white stuff on the floor is salt. Two boxes of it. It's supposed to be a great desiccant (that's something that dries stuff out). In my mind, I picture a Great Lake of Pee under the carpet, so two boxes of salt seems pretty inadequate. But, hey, it can't hurt. I'm pretty sure nothing could be worse for the carpet than what's already on it. What you can't see in that picture is where the KH pulled the carpet up to look under it. He assures me it is not wet underneath a few feet away and that there is no Great Lake, but I find this oddly un-reassuring. (At some future date, I'll be happy to share with you my Rant Against Wall to Wall Carpeting, The Stupidest Thing Man Ever Invented. It's sure to be illuminating.)

After pouring the salt on The Spot, he created that fantastic modern art installation by piling most of the dining room furniture on top of the living room furniture to create what he tells me is a dog-proof barrier. But considering one of the dogs involved routinely jumps the entire sofa in a single bound to land smack dab in the middle of the KH's desk when she feels neglected, I remain unconvinced.

On the bright side, school break is over, the chickens' feathers are growing back, the yard is starting to dry out, and I have Raid, a fire extinguisher, and two more boxes of salt in reserve, so I'm cautiously optimistic. I don't have anywhere to sit and my sick kid is home for the fourth day in a row, but still. Cautious optimism. How's that for an inspiring mantra for the new year?

12 comments:

kmkat said...

This is the third post in a row I have read wherein the writer has had a particularly trying experience -- your dogs' pissing contest; another writer's desperately low energy level since December 2, which has inspired health worries; and a mother's despair over the anti-social behavior exhibited by her 7-yo autistic daughter yesterday. Oh, and another blogger's dread of trimming her cat's nails.

Life is full of ups and downs, but I hope this doesn't presage a year of misery and gloom. And pissing contests. (As a fellow pet owner, I heartily concur with your opinion of wall-to-wall carpet. If we ever finish this remodeling project, our house will be wall-to-wall hardwood floors.)

sophanne said...

I knew an alcoholic who once was known to rearrange their living quarters during black-outs- that was my first thought. My last thought was- you need a drink!

melissaknits said...

Hey wait. That last comment... VODKA! That is what The Spot needs! Give it VODKA! A whole bottle! And a second for the author.

seashells said...

I applaud KH's noble endeavors. I've often told my boys that an adult is someone who sees that something needs doing, and does it. I do agree with your assessment of dog agility, "That's no barrier, that's a jump."

stitchywitch said...

Hilarious! You do have my sympathy on the peeing contest - we had the same with two of our cats. How did we fix it? We moved. So probably not the most helpful advice, but if things get really bad it's an idea!

Haley said...

i love how you can make anything entertaining and funny. i'm sure it's not funny to you right now, but i hope it will be a few weeks from now when you reread this post. hope things improve!

seashells said...

I forgot the most important word; crates.

Jennifer said...

Have you tried putting their food there? Leave it there for a couple of weeks and they "remember" that it was there and won't pee there. We have had it work with ours....

k said...

I just had a series of things involving thermostats - car, hot water heater, furnace. Talk to your local astrologer; that's the only thing that's made sense to me. (Fortunately, the hot flashes have stopped. Again.)

Robin C said...

I have cats but cat pee is stronger than dogs I think. I buy a product from Pet Product Advisor called Zero Odor and they make it for dogs or cats. We use it to spray the litter boxes and it does work. Check out their website. They have a good website. Great service too.

=Tamar said...

Would some kind of radio-collar electric fence setup work? But I'd try the food dish first. Or find out what the dog(s) fear - noisy rattles? and have some there.

Romi said...

OMG. I was seriously laughing at this! (Sorry, but I have had the cat version of this happen, so I feel that I have the right). ;) Have you tried Nature's Miracle? It is the absolute best stuff EVER.

Good luck in the fight for home domination. When it happened to me, one of my cats peed on the new cat, who just happened to be sleeping at my side. On my bed. And yes. Everything that brings to mind is, sadly, accurate. :P