Wednesday, August 5, 2020

The Season of Futility

We usually have a wet introduction to summer here, followed by sunshine, and then sunshine and heat together. The last stage is where we are now. There has been plenty of sunshine, which I don’t mind, except in the evening, when it shines directly into the apartment, which faces west. The cosy apartment then becomes the toasty apartment.

Another effect of the concentrated sunlight is on my cleaning. I like to have a clean home, which isn’t easily achieved with four cats, but I wash and scrub and sweep. Sweeping gives me a feeling of achievement because I see all the cat-hair and dust gathered up from the four corners of the realm and dumped into the garbage. But I’ve learned that one should never sweep in the evening, with the bright summer sun shining directly onto the floors.

Then, every cat-hair, every food particle, every mote of dust is clearly delineated, its lines and form edged with sharpness, and one’s complete inability to collect all of them, the refusal even of that debris already swept to stay put, demonstrates the futility of cleanliness. The movement of a cat, however slight, however undisturbing it may seem, throws up clouds of detritus like those vomited from a volcano. And if a cat should run or jump, the amount of hair it leaves in its wake is enough to weave another carpet to cover the one from which the move was made.

But the sun is moving south. It sinks in the west earlier each evening, and its light grows thinner day by day. Soon, it will be twilight when I clean, the sun hidden from view and its rays no longer outraged by what I cannot sweep up. Soon, I can pretend that my residence is not an allergy’s nightmare, and that my cats are next to Godliness.

Soon, even a big cat’s leap from floor to couch will once more be an innocent display of grace and agility. The season of futility will be over.


  1. Whoa, nice reading nook!
    When the sunlight streams in, and every mote, hair, particulate, and atom is in full view, one's congratulation for a job well done simply disappears.

  2. guyz.....dadz libraree total lee lee:) sew doez that chair for that sun likes ta play trix heer az well, N like what bout thinkin.... de window glass iz streek free.... :)
    ☺☺♥♥ hope everee onez happee N healthee ☺☺♥♥

  3. I am also an uncounted victim of the tragedy of hair flying with the slightest thought...doesn't have to be movement on the cats part. I go about with a household rubber glove (can be nitrile of course) and wipe cloth surfaces including the cat tree, and roll off tons of black soft furs. They are painstakingly re-applied within an hour. By the Dispenser of same.

  4. I learned long ago that when you have cats, you're going to have fur -either on your furniture or on your clothes, no matter how much you clean or how many lint roller sheets you use. So I've given up. I figure that if your clothes don't have cat hair, you're just not well dressed.

  5. Your library is wonderful!

    Do you have a dry Swiffer sweeper for your bare floors? If not, it's worth buying one, with the Swiffer brand of dry cloths. Generic or other store brand cloths aren't as good, I've tried.

    It's probably just as well that my main living area faces north....

  6. I have a much easier way of dealing with household dust and fur: "Pretend you don't see it."

    1. On second thought, I like your suggestion - it might be easier just to ignore the dust and fur instead of using Swifter. :-)

  7. Oh gosh, I know this problem well. Though, thankfully my home faces south and north with the sun room obstructing most of the light during the day. But when I vacuum each week I'm always amazed at the amount of cat hair that is raised from the carpets. And the laminate seems to collect the tumbleweeds of cat hair too. Can't live with them, can't live without them.

    1. OH! I thought I was the only one with tumbleweeds! They collect in the kitchen with its wood floor! The carpet is covered in fur too...and when I got the vacuum I bought several years ago, it had top ratings from THE consumer mag regarding picking up pet hair. It does. Amazing the amount in the dirt cup each vacuuming.

  8. I'm with you on this John..
    I'm a typical Virgo..not that it
    has anything to do with it..but,
    l like a clean and tidy home, not
    obsessed with it..but clean and
    And..I've had up to four cats at one
    time, so if you clean/hoover two/three
    days at a time you should keep on top
    of it, though depends the time of year!

  9. Can you believe that I still find the occasional hair now after all this time. Every hair is treasured though, and gets put in my little wooden cat shaped box along with the whiskers that got dropped over the years.

  10. Ah, the summer conundrums, enjoy the rays and forget the furs. With only
    one cat, I can not begin to keep the fur collected and she spends much
    time sleeping in just one spot. But a sprinkler she is, so she leaves
    a trail. Our front windows face west also, and the heat build up
    even with the blinds closed all afternoon, is intense. But I see the
    longer shadows coming and not a fan of what comes next. I love summer. One thing you can win a bet on, the fur will continue to show
    up and there will be sweeping to do.

  11. We have 5 furs living here and now that they have the Cat Yard there is a bit more. Keeping the door closed after rain has kept the mud tracks to a minimum but the little bits of hair, the occasionally often hairballs and other general detritus sure keep one busy. I would not trade it for a spotless fur-less home as they are worth the effort