Of stoop poop, vomitoria, and Christmas

Three years ago Nigel was going through some sort of extended, unpredictable digestive upheaval, and I awoke one Saturday to discover he had turned our carpeted living room into a vomitorium. I didn’t even get dressed; I just threw on a jacket and proceeded to Walmart, where shopping in pajamas is not necessarily notable, to buy a portable steam cleaner. Until then, we had magically gotten by with just a few bottles of carpet spot remover. But this wasn’t a spot, it was a crime scene.

An aside: because critters are gross and do gross things on a pretty regular basis I have become an expert in forensic critter mess identification. I could tell this was Nigel’s doing, for example, because of the size (too small to be dog puke, eliminates 50% of the suspect pool) the smell (Nigel puke reeks of pickles) and the pattern (Nigel is terrified of throwing up so he backs away frantically as he’s doing it, which serves as both an identifier and, in large scale events, a locator–the blob marks event initiation and the trails point in the direction of backward travel.)

So, I got one of those pet spot removers with the extra strength de-stinking cleaning fluid and it turned out to be a great investment because right around that time everyone started losing control of their bodily functions on a far more regular basis. Calvin showed up and began his ongoing, intermittent routine of anxiety peeing when he thinks you’re leaving the house. He also drools profusely when you follow through on his suspicions. And then there was the time that I brought the dogs in from a walk to discover Nigel had puked, Mort was in the process of puking, and, much like the pie eating contest in Stand By Me, Karmann developed the sympathy pukes so that all three critters were spouting off simultaneously. Things get a little fuzzy, but I believe there was weeping.

Anyway, that little steam cleaner has been put through its paces. And I guess this is Requiem for a Bissel, because I think it’s toast. Three years with my critters has put it out to pasture, and Karmann has been the bridge too far. Our new house has stairs and those stairs are the only carpeted thing in the house. Our middle aged dog has arthritis and something about the motion of ascending steps causes her to emergency poop on the landing. Like she just did twenty minutes ago, about four hours after her acupuncture treatment which is specifically designed to help her not do that. And the steam cleaner, despite ignoring strongly-worded recommendations against cleaning it with bleach, now emits such an acrid, awful smell upon activation that I am in very serious danger of adding my own emesis to whatever slop I’m trying to clean up.

In other news, this is not going to end well:

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Also not going to end well: Nigel’s obsession with chewing on electrified festive things. Like Christmas tree lights, and the little LED light up trees we have on the window sill.

Also not going well, in general, are attempts to fatten up Calvin, who has the metabolism of a supermodel and daily proves my theory that all very skinny things are inherently neurotic. He’s the dog version of that person who sits there eating an entire appetizer of chili bacon cheese fries while complaining that, no matter what they eat, they just can’t put on weight.

That Calvin bit has nothing to do with puking, pooping, awful smells, or Christmas-related electrocution. To illustrate my sparkling optimism and generally pleasant disposition.

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Anxious little beagle in trepidatious relaxation mode

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