An Exercise in Futility

I am working at home today.  And no, that’s not the exercise in futility, although it could be.  I have paperwork to complete, treatment summaries to write– odds and ends that don’t involve patient care. I am working at home because today, the carpet layers are putting in my brand new wall to wall carpet.  A month ago, when the painters were putting in my brand new wall to wall paint, I found myself relieved of a camera, an iPad, a Nook reader, my grandmother’s diamond necklace and $200 cash hidden, obviously, in an underwear drawer.  “Fool me once, shame on you.  Fool me twice—you can’t get fooled again” as George Bush famously said.  My new plastic bathroom is being installed today too.

The exercise in futility, as my fellow pet lovers will readily attest to, is the new carpet.  When we moved into this house fifteen years ago, the carpet was already worn and stained by the treasured and precious (aren’t they all?) beasts of the former owners.  No amount of cleaning or convincing could persuade the current inhabitants that my living room was not to be used as a toilet.  Especially the little dog, Jack.  There is most definitely an inverse correlation between dog size and ego, with ego proportionate to the compulsion to mark territory.  I was in luck, however.  The prior owners had considered the possibility that accidents do happen, and their choice of color was the sadly dated, but tremendously camouflaging “Harvest Gold”.  Circa 1970.  Yes, you read that right.

When I went to choose new carpet, I had only two absolute criteria:  That the color have not a HINT of yellow or gold, and that it be treated with Stainmaster to the max.  Actually I chose a wonderful distressed walnut hardwood, just the right amount of roughing up to disguise the toenail marks of the deerhounds as they chase each other around the house.  But my pocketbook chose otherwise.  So today I watch, as the carpet guys install a beautiful pale taupe ultra Stainmaster synthetic, with a subtle criss cross pattern, ever so tasteful and elegant.  And as I watch, I wonder, who will be the first to despoil my unbesmirched and freshly non-fragrant footing.

I leave for Colorado on Friday morning to transport my father’s art work to San Diego.  My husband is in charge of the animals. If I come home to a urine stain on my new carpet, or the contents of the unfortunate cat’s stomach, I swear, there will be a bloodbath.  And I’m not sure who—the guardian or the ward—will go first.  I’ll let you know what happens.

11 thoughts on “An Exercise in Futility

  1. I’m sorry about your thefts! That’s terrible!

    The new carpeting sounds lovely and I wish you luck with your furry family and their habits. Will the floor be mopped with vinegar water prior to carpet? Might help remove odors only pets can smell.

    Friends without pets don’t understand how one can accept any damage to the household from cats (currently) and dogs (past). They miss out on so much. All the catnip and scratching posts in the world can’t prevent some damage but to me, the companionship, entertainment and love pets bring is worth it. I’ll be reupholstering some chairs soon!

    • Agree that they are SO worth it! Vinegar and water? NOW you tell me! Carpet’s in and looks great, at least for today! M

  2. I finally replaced the 29 year old carpet in my house after living with it for 17 years (for much the same reason that you endured yours).

    I went with the best quality synthetic carpet that I could afford. It looked great. I came to HATE it! What a shame after all that money.

    As you have seen from my many photos, over the past 6 years I have picked up pure wool Oriental or Oriental-type rugs at Costco and used furniture stores and estate sales and yard sales. I put them down over the carpet and they feel MUCH better underfoot. Also, being wool, they clean MUCH easier than the synthetics do and also the patterns tend to hide any possible staining. (My mother always had Orientals and said that it was the only way to survive kids and dogs.)

    “Now I tell you?” you say?

    Yeah, well, if I knew then what I know now, I would have put in something hard – wood, fake wood, vinyl – and then used Orientals. Oh well. That’ll never happen since I plan to NEVER again put down any sort of floor covering ever, if I can help it.

    • Margaret, I have some smaller oriental throw rugs that I plan to use in the bedroom on top of the carpet, if only to TRY to keep the carpet cleaner. You’re right–they do clean well. Mine were left to me by my paternal grandmother–after thirty plus years of deerhounds, they are “well chewed” but still, they endure! M

      • One of my mother’s Orientals was bought for her room when she was 16 years old, in 1932. Had one small heart-shaped area that had been chewed out by a Dachshund. It was 12′ by 18′. That’s FEET, not inches.

        I will probably never have a room large enough for a rug that size (and they had THREE that size – built the rooms to fit the rugs). It broke my heart to sell them.

  3. Hello from Colorado! I look forward to your posts, Miranda. This one put me in olefactory recollection of a house my husband and I, two dogs and a cat rented 20+ years ago. The carpet was low grade, which my cat cleary identified as, therefore, suitable for urination. The landlord charged us triple the deposit! I’m sure he bought himself an Oriental rug or two rather than making the place livable for the next tenent. We then bought a 1924 Bungalo whose wall-to-all wood floors were already well loved-scratched in preparation for our arrival. The floors remain, now burnished by two additional sets of four pawed children. The furniture has likewise been well-loved by the rescue kids to the point that we’ve stopped apologizing to visitors or considering the lovely selections at places like Room and Board. I wish you the best in your futile endeavor – and I hope your wall-to-wall stays unloved for at least a little while and that karma gets those thieves but good – perhaps some furry creatures will visit their flooring :) .

    • Thanks Kayte. It’s always hard for non animal people to understand what we put up with, and why. They’re the ones missing out! M

  4. Holy crap I cannot believe those painters ripped you off. Did they really think you would not notice??? OMG. Will you get any compensation? I read and re-read that paragraph and got angrier by the minute. Glad the carpet turned out well. Just keep Club Soda on hand. That stuff gets everything out and takes out the smell too. Have fun in CO…

  5. OMG!!!!! We have a lovely Cocker Spaniel we are fostering. He is handsome, well trained, loving and gentle. Tho’t maybe you might have room for him. So far he hasn’t misbehaved in the house. Please give me directions to your house, and I will drop him off. Maybe I could deliver him to your office.

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