Tuesday, November 30, 2010

The Ballad of Tove

             One can only assume that from time to time the Fates need some comic relief.
   Let me give you an example:  (true story, BTW)

             Michael put a pen in his shirt pocket.  The shirt was white, so naturally, the pen leaked.  Michael decided to salvage the shirt by dying the whole thing black, so he  bought a package of Rit Dye -- black.  He very carefully put it up high in a place where the animals wouldn't get at it.  
             The Fates snickered at this hubris.

             One kitten took such challenges personally, so she found the package of dye and pawed it.  She pushed and pulled and batted it around until she got it off the shelf down to where she could play with it. Then she batted it around the desktop 'til it fell on the floor.   

             At this point, Tove decided to get in on the act.  Now Tove was a dog that looks as if he was put together by a committee.  He strongly resembled the picture of the Slithee Tove in "Through the Looking Glass" -- hence, the name. Tove was not overly blessed with brains.

             The dog thought that if the kitten liked to play with this strange new thing, it must be a great toy, so he took it up in his mouth and chewed it 'til the envelope of dye came open. Then he ran about the house, gracefully dripping dye granules about the house.

             Two of the other cats investigated the piles of dye crystals.  Then, losing interest, they sat down and licked their feet.  After words, they trotted off, with damp paws, over and through the dye crystals, leaving two sets of perfect, dark-blue kitty-prints on the white bedclothes.       

             I walked into the room, saw what had happened and calmly screamed.
             Tove immediately figured something was wrong, so he started to back up, right into the dresser, knocking off the flowers onto the floor.  Unfortunately, Tove had a nervous bladder and when frightened, he tended to pee upon himself.   My gentle scream frightened him, so he peed.
             At this point, the Fates are staring to laugh out loud.

             Pee works as well as anything with dye crystals to make a wonderful dye which stains both wooden floors and linoleum very nicely.   Tove, formerly a honey-colored dog, now had four black paws, a black front & tail, a black face and a very black tongue.   Thanks to the pee, he now trailed the dye where ever he went, and, because my scream, he assumed that I was not happy with him, so he scrambled about, trying desperately to get away from me, imprinting everything with blueblack paw prints.

             Several possible actions occurred to me but I opted for the Humane one.  After I caught him,  I took Tove outside and tied him to the porch rail.  Then I came in and started cleaning up the dye, or so I thought.
             At this point the Fates were working overtime.

             First I swept up the worst of it, but the bristles kept holding the dye in them, so I ended up just spreading it around further.   So I tried vacuuming up what I could.  The Vacuum took the dye nicely too.  The floor head and the inner part of the hose were dyed black.  Also probably the motor and the insides, but I decided not to investigate that.   And because the dye clung to the opening of the vacuum cleaner, I left little perfectly round rings wherever I put the muzzle of the cleaner.

             After vacuuming for a good-long time, I had gotten up all the loose dye -- or so I thought.  The floor was littered with paw prints, both canine and feline, so I started to mop them up.  But the more I mopped, the more I made dye.  Soon the entire floor was several shades darker.  The mop-head was now permanently black, the inside of the pink bucket was getting darker, and the tub where I was emptying the used water was turning grayer by the moment.

             My shoes had granules of dye all over them and when I stepped in some damp floor, I started to add my footprints to the decorations.  I took off my shoes and washed the bottoms of them but then my feet got dirty.  I washed my feet and dried them, but every step I took still left prints because the dye powder was so fine I could not avoid stepping in it, and then my feet would sweat, slightly, leaving still more footprints as well as dying my feet a very pretty dark blue.

             For a good hour and a half, I was making more mess than I was cleaning.  Then it looked like I was starting to make headway. 

             Tove was still out on the porch, howling his unhappiness at being left out of the fun.

             I vacuumed him (which he took strong exception to) and then took him to the courtyard to hose him off, but the outside faucet wasn't working, so I had to take him to the basement laundry room.   Tove looked like a lost cause.   I figured that his fur was dyed 'til it grew out, but I wanted to get off whatever I could of the stuff that would come off.   After about thirty minutes of hosing, the water seemed a little lighter.  Twenty minutes after that, I dunked his feet one at a time in a bucket and got no perceptible hue coming from the rinse.

             His mouth was harder to clean.  His tongue was a lost cause, but the rest of his face and muzzle were still very dark.  I was in less than a good mood and not much in charity with him by then, so I dunked his whole muzzle in the bucket of water.  Although he was underwater for less than a second at a time, I must admit it did occur to me to keep him under for longer.  I womanfully resisted the temptation. 

             I wondered briefly if he would die from ingesting the dye, but alas, it was vegetable based.

             Exhausted by the battle, I climbed the stairs back to our apartment to survey the damage.  The porch where Tove had been tied had not a single visible paw-print---it was solid black.

            Tove & I walked in to a bluish kitchen floor which had formerly been white. The wooden floor was decorated by paw prints of all kinds, we now had designer sheets, and a gray & white tile floor in the bathroom.  The tub never did look the same and we needed a new mop. 
             Although I did pay my landlord for the damages, I never did get my security deposit back.  But the Fates had a good long laugh about it.


1 comment:

  1. OMG I think I would have just walked out the front door and moved somewhere else LOL