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The cost of cleanliness

I've never lived with a cat before this week. I'm more of a dog person. And then I really only like tiny dogs. But Amanda's got her cat Tootles that she's brought into the new place. I thought it would be fine, but I didn't realize how much it would stress me out more than a dog.

I didn't realize how much time cats spend on counter tops. And oh Heavens do they shed!! Ugh. Tootles hopped up on my lap the other day, and I pet her, and it was a cute moment. When she got down five minutes later, I had enough fur on my pants to make a kitty wig!

I may not have to pay for her food and kitty litter, but I'm paying in terms of cleaning supplies. I'm going to have to buy lint rollers for myself, but it's the counter tops that are gross. There is cat hair all over the kitchen whenever she jumps on the counter. So every time I want to cook, I have to wipe down the counter. She used to go on my bathroom counter, but now I just close the door all the time. I still can't seem to get all the cat hair out of there.

The worst part is that Amanda encourages Tootles to drink from the kitchen faucet because -- or so Amanda says -- Tootles is used to drinking from the sink and won't drink out of her water bowl.

So the cat's tongue touches the faucet where the water comes out.

Tootles licks her butt. Tootles licks the moisture off the end of the faucet. So if you drink the tap water, it's like licking the cat's butt.

Needless to say, every time I want to make a pot of coffee or anything with the tap water, I take a Lysol wipe and scrub the faucet. Because that is just too gross to me.

When I approached Amanda about it, she says I'm being a germaphobe and I should just ignore it. But frankly, I rather avoid cat spit and cat hair in my food. If that makes me like Monk, then so be it.

I would like Amanda to stop encouraging Tootles to drink from the sink and have the cat get used to drinking from her bowl again, but since that might not happen, I need to keep buying more Lysol than I normally would. Even then, she will still jump on the counter tops, and I'm cleaning down the counter tops more than I would normally, and I'll Swiffer the floors more than I would normally.

But while I was cleaning on Sunday, I express out loud that I was having trouble with the vacuum cleaner. Amanda said she hasn't used a vacuum in years, so she jokes that she's not one to help me. And then she throws this line out...

I'll just get a maid to come here once a month.

...WHAT? We are two girls living alone. How can she dare suggest that we should waste money on a maid?? I guess cause that's what she is used to? I think her dad has a cleaning person. I got upset that she would consider that as an option. Just get out the broom and Windex once a week -- it's not that hard!

But it got me thinking... if she suggested getting a maid in our first week here, it looks like for the time being I'll be doing most of the cleaning up around here. I'll have to talk to her about splitting the cost of cleaning supplies.

Posted by Bridget Carey at 09:28 AM on April 15, 2008 in Cleaning | Permalink | Facebook | Digg | del.icio.us | AIM



Did your roommate ask if she could have the cat live with you before you moved in together? If not, then I don't think it is fair to you. I love animals but I would never force them on anyone. No one will ever love your pet like you do. That is just the way it is. People need to be considerate of others. I feel for you. Now you have to tip-toe around the situation. And after spending all that the money to move in together you now seem to have an uncomfortable living arrangement with a pet that you probably didn't expect. I am sure that the cat is nice, but if you are not used to living with one, it can be a cleanliness and/or health issue. How would she like it if you brought a boa home for her to love?


To PetOwner:

It's not that I didn't expect the pet. It's that I didn't expect what the pet does. Like leaving hair all over the kitchen and licking the faucet. Tootles is sweet, and I have nothing against her. She isn't a mean cat. I didn't mind Amanda bringing Tootles over at first, but I also had no idea what like living with a cat would be like. So in this first week I'm getting a crash course in Tootles101.

I've seen her cat before when I visited her old place. And each time I came over, Tootles just sat on her bed or hid in the closet and didn't bother anyone. I never really witnessed the cat jumping on everything, so my brain didn't compute that it would be an issue. I also didn't know how much cats shed. I thought it would be like having a small dog around, except it would be a very moody dog that used a litter box.

I'm not saying Amanda should get rid of Tootles. The cat is cute, and Amanda loves her. But the cleaning is more stressful than I anticipated. And I'm always stressed that I can't leave food out or I have to use foil or something to cover the food because the cat might jump on it.

But Amanda doesn't share my stresses. And I think Amanda takes my stress as a personal attack against her and Tootles. I hope she realizes that's not the case. But I want to talk to her more about my concerns about the sink and the cleaning so we can avoid a future fight.

Clean Gene

What, you haven't licked a cat's butt before? Get the net.

I'm not the biggest cat fan. But I think you are borderline OCD. Not that there's anything wrong with being obsessive compulsive. Mark Sommers of Double Dare is apparently OCD, and he hosted the messiest show in children's history.

In seriousness, though, I've had to live with a cat I didn't love and it was annoying. Eventually you grow used to the taste of its butt, though.



Is it OCD to not want to drink from the same faucet that got licked by a cat? Is it OCD to want to use a Lysol wipe to clean it off before I turn on the tap water, because I don't want to get sick or drink cat spit residue?

I don't mind petting the cat. But I'm not about to French kiss it.

The biggest issue for me is that I'm using a Lysol wipe every time I use the tap to avoid cat spit, and those wipes aren't cheap. It wouldn't be the case if Amanda would encourage the cat to drink from her bowl *hint hint nudge nudge Amanda*


Talk to Amanda about getting a "Pet Fountain" most cats just like drinking fresh water i.e. running tap water from your kitchen sink. These fountains have carbon inserts so the cat thinks that they are always drinking running fresh water. Added bonus they stop drinking from your kitchen sink!!


If Amanda doesn't go for the "Pet Fountain" may-be you should invest in a less expensive cleaning product say 409 and a paper towel.


Thanks, Jess. That's a cute idea.

Clean Gene

re: "Is it OCD to want to use a Lysol wipe to clean it off before I turn on the tap water, because I don't want to get sick or drink cat spit residue?"

I'm no doctor. But I think it may be.

Frugalista Files

*sigh* As much as I want to save money, this blog reminds me of why I live alone. BTW, I know a cleaning lady who cleans for about $55 per visit. It may be worth the sanity.


To COnsiderPetOwner:

I made it very clear from the get-go that Tootles would be moving into the house with me/us.

Also, I would be THRILLED if she brought home a boa constrictor. I love animals of any sort, and I always wanted a snake.

Bridget is the only friend I know who has such health-foibles when it comes to animals...I'm trying to make her comfortable, but I think this issue is something she'll have to manage on her own.


p.s. Bridget is OCD.


OK, I am NOT OCD. Mark Sommers is OCD. Howie Mandel is OCD cause he can't shake people's hands. That is not me.

I'm just very germ conscious and I try to make the best to avoid getting sick. I carry a bottle of Purell in my purse at all times, and I use it before eating and after touching grimey things.

I don't share cups (unless dying of thirst) because I don't need someone else's germs for the sake of tasting something.

If you lick your fingers while serving slices of a birthday cake, I find that poor manners and gross, and I won't eat the part you touched.

I will hold my breath when I'm in a store and someone near me is hacking out a lung.

I wash my hands before dealing with food or after I've taken out the garbage.

I use a fresh towel with every shower because it wipes off dead skin cells and water mixes with sweat, and I rather not keep rubbing a stank towel on me after I just showered. There is no reason to use the same towel for a week straight until it stands up on it's own.

But just ask my mother -- I leave my dirty clothes on the floor all the time. I'll touch handrails at Disney -- handrails that a billion germy people touched -- and I don't care. I'll just use a hand sanitizer before I eat.

OCD is a very serious disabling mental illness. They think if they don't do something (like hang clothes a certain way or wash their hands) something horrible is going to happen to them. I can and have eaten without washing my hands, because that's life. Getting grossed out by animal slobber or hair near my food is not OCD. I just choose to avoid unnecessary germs and avoid catching colds. So don't call people OCD just because they don't tongue-kiss pets and they like things clean.

Amanda is the one with the cold for the past week. And I'm still healthy. So there.


Ahem. Oh yes, you totally proved your point.

Cat Lady

I have lived with humans. I have lived with cats. The cats were far superior.


Cats are one of the cleanest animals around!! They do shed, but that is nothing a vacuum and lint roller can't fix. Drinking from the faucet is no big deal if you think where and what that water had to travel thru just to make it to your cup. Ever heard of corroded piping.

As far as OCD is concerned, there are different levels of OCD. Most people are like yourself are a little overly cautious while others are extreme not being able to even shake a hand.
I think we all suffer from a little OCD. Don't take it to personally. I'm sure Amanda has her own little OCD habits.

Avoiding germs is'nt always a good thing. Have you ever had the chicken pox? That is one germ you don't want to visit when your an adult!

Reality check

If you want to save your friendship, live apart. Amanda seems like the type that won't compromise and the frustration is going to cause a blow out that will ruin the friendship. I dislike animals that shed fur. It gets in your food and it is disgusting. Someone that would force a roommate to live under those circumstances is a very selfish individual.


Bridget, get a life. You're the one who needs to GROW UP and enter the "real world". Didn't you know that Amanda had a cat before you moved in together? Did you think that she was going to LEAVE the cat? RIDICULOUS. You've been living with "mommy" too long....


Dearest Reality check:

As stated in other posts and comments, Bridget was aware that I had a cat and that she would be coming into the house with me. When asked if this were a problem, she firmly stated that she liked Tootles and wouldn't mind living with her. However, the reality of actually living with a cat seems to be throwing her a bit...but we DID agree to compromise over this situation, and I would hardly consider myself "selfish" for wanting to keep my pet.

Darling meek914:

Thanks for agreeing with my point of view (more or less), but I don't think attacking Bridget is the right approach. She is entitled to her opinions, and I think we both need to respectfully deal with each other's differences. While it may seem like we're fighting, it really isn't the case - these blogs just allow for some passive-aggressive venting and it comes off as sounding worse than it is!

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