With the coming of Spring, days lengthen. Outside temperatures rise. The world begins to quicken; and with it, those who have spent the winter in semi hibernation look around… and realize, “This place is a dump”. Dust, dirt, cobwebs, general grunginess: During the gloom of winter, these could be overlooked. With the increased light showing the deficiencies of housekeeping, though, it is time to engage in that age old ritual of Spring Cleaning.
Which is complicated if you have cats.
Cats do not do spring cleaning. Or much cleaning at all, beyond personal grooming. They see no point in the whole idea. Not in dusting, sweeping, or mopping, and they ESPECIALLY see no point in vacuuming, with a big, loud, obviously demonic device being pushed around endangering feline life, limb, and tail.
To a cat, a house full of dust bunnies, and the trophy bodies of the spiders they’ve killed and not eaten, and bits of kitty litter all over the floor that got caught between their toes when they were using the ‘facilities’ and later came out as they walked around: These just make things homey and interesting, with plenty to sniff at and bat around. This is normal life. And totally acceptable. After all, cats are perfectly fine bathing themselves in their own spit; why should humans aspire to anything higher?
In addition, from a cat’s point of view, when cat toys are scattered about for ease of access, objects knocked off shelves and on the floor where they belong, and sleeping spots become well broken-in, these just denote a home dedicated to the well deserved comfort of a cat. Then humans come along and screw things up with this cleaning business, for no sensible reason. This is simply clear proof – as if any cat needed such – that humans are insane. And disrespectful of the desires of their superiors.
However, while cats will disapprove of Spring Cleaning, and might flee the confusion – especially when the vacuum cleaner roars to life – there is also the chance they may insist on being a part of it. Mainly by interfering as much as possible.
As the humans begin their demented (and inconveniencing) actions, cats may be right there, attacking dusting rags and feather dusters as they’re run over shelves, dashing through piles of sweepings and scattering them again, and standing at the edges of mopped, wet floors loudly proclaiming this is NOT RIGHT!
Also, cabinets being opened, furniture and objects moved, and ladders set up: These are magnets to cats. They will often be constantly underfoot, imperiling both themselves and humans. And perhaps getting stepped on, bringing forth screams from all sides. Or they’ll plunge head first into the mysteries of newly available spaces and places, to the extreme irritation of the person trying to get the mop out of the broom closet or to sweep under the bed. And more than one cat owner using a stepladder to reach and clean a high spot has been shocked to find cats can climb more than trees, and they are suddenly NOT ALONE up there. Hopefully not so shocked, however, that the stepladder topples and comes down with a crash. Which would cause the owner at least discomfort, and the cat to disappear entirely until the coast is clear.
Should the humans persevere in the face of such feline activities, though, eventually the house will be cleaned. Everything will be back in place. Dust, cobwebs, and scattered kitty litter will no longer be common sights. Instead, sparkling floors, shiny counter and table tops, and carpets free of lint, dirt, and debris will met the pleased eye. Exhausted but triumphant, the humans may well go to bed and sleep the sleep of the just. Not to mention exhausted.
While the cats – nocturnal animals that they are – take advantage of the quiet and lack of disruption to start disarranging things, tracking litter about, and getting things back to normal. Because they’re cats. And that’s just that.