Friday, August 05, 2011

Animal House

Do you ever have jealous or competitive feelings toward the animal world? It seems a little petty (no pun intended) but this is sometimes a struggle for me. Yes, even from the top of the food pyramid, from the apex of the animal kingdom, I don't like it when people treat their pets as, well, top dog. 

So I get sulky to be scolded for scooting a dog off the sofa so I can sit down - while if he destroys my slippers it's somehow my fault. I feel slighted when having the cat's favorite treats is higher priority than making sure there's coffee in the house for me. No, it doesn't reflect well on my character, I know! 

Currently I share digs with a tabby cat named Lucy. Not my cat, and not quite our cat - but sort of. Really my housemate's cat. And I find myself a little miffed that my complaints of ants on the counters got no hearing until the little critters were found in Lucy's bowl. THEN the varmint-elimination process was speedily enacted. 

Like decisions about pet care, deciding what to do about the ants and acquiring the necessary supplies is basically D.'s responsibility. She pays for utilities and most household costs; I write a check for my share. She is the brains of our operation; I, the brawn. I open lids on jars and get things down from top shelves. I mow the lawn, take out the trash, vacuum, and actually clean out the litter box as well. For the most part this is a good arrangement. But as in any household, we have slightly different values and priorities and have to make sure we're giving each other grace and tolerance. 

You know, she's a cracker-jack researcher, this roommate of mine. She systematically researched and implemented several non-toxic anti-ant strategies using household products. Too bad the vinegar didn't work. When other efforts failed, she found and picked up some ant traps that are specially made to trap these particular ants. D. may be a big animal lover but has no soft spot for bugs - luckily. Did I say she's an ace at solving any plumbing problems, too? 

I do sometimes wish for a man around the house. I don't mind being brawn, but I'm not actually "handy." When the guy I'm dating came out to visit recently, he washed and waxed my car, pointed out my license plate tags were expired (I hadn't noticed), and replaced a florescent light fixture that was no longer working. I purred louder than Lucy. 

What may be my favorite thing about my housemate - D., I mean, not Lucy - is how well she knows and understands me. She can finish my sentences; she knows what I mean even when I can't put the words together right. She likes to listen, laughs at the same things and enjoys the same kind of stories as I do, gives good advice. An excellent companion. 

And I think she's mostly solved our ant problem.


Megan Noel said...

we had ants in the slide room for years. traps did help. what really helped was having the entire room flood, carpet removed, concrete floor thoroughly cleaned, and new carpet laid down.

however due to trauma, displacement, and expense, i do not suggest flooding your home.

Marti said...

Glad that flooding disaster had an upside for you, Meg!