Monday, April 30, 2007

Freshening Up

My intentions were good, really. My furry roommates and I all have to live together here in this rather small space and I think we all deserve a nice, fresh environment.

Winter was slow in coming this season. Back in December, I was convinced that the earth had undergone some loss of equilibrium and had wobbled us off course to the point where we were now located in a more tropical zone. But it did finally hit and we have all been trapped in here with one another for the duration. I thought that, with the advent of spring being somewhat slow in coming and the windows needing to be closed against the unseasonal snows, I might speed things up just a bit. It really seemed like a good idea at the time.

I found a handly little gadget that houses a mini-version of spray-on fresh air. Once the wee, little can is safely ensconced in its casing, you simply set the timer for the interval best suited to your freshening needs, close it all up and, Bob's your uncle! You get chemically freshened air without all that bothersome nozzle pushing. I set that bad boy for 9 minutes of down time between freshenings and did a little happy dance.

That is,until I realized that I hadn't really thought the whole thing through and didn't know where I was going to put it. And the directions were rather specific and bold-faced about the dangers of having this thing pointed anywhere near your face once the timer had been activated. I spent two freshening cycles frantically wandering around the condo attempting to find the appropriate spot for what had now become the equivalent of a repeating time bomb clasped gingerly in my hand and at arm's length from my face.

I finally managed to locate a safe spot for the scary air freshener: atop the refrigerator. This allows the device to disperse the fresh scent in the needed areas while decreasing the chances of my being on the receiving end of a surprise face-spraying attack. All in all, I thought I was pretty clever. And by the time the can ran dry we'd be well into Open Window Season for good.


I hadn't anticipated the loudness of the spritzing. Every nine minutes the thing hisses like a snake on the offensive and, for the first day, I found myself checking my ankles compulsively for fang marks. I got over it, though. Mind you, I'm not enjoying the whole thing as much as I'd hoped. But I've stopped jumping out of my skin every nine minutes.

Desdemona, however, has not. Every time the thing releases a burst of the freshness, the poor kitty leaps up, legs akimbo and eyes bursting from her kitty head, fully engaged in "fight or flight" mode. The Smaller, Less Fluffy Counterpart to The Big, Fluffy Kitty is not a young cat. I know from bitter, personal experience that being startled after a certain age is a risky prospect.

I really need to shut this thing off.

But, it is against a wall. And, if you recall my dilemma from waaaaay back when I started telling this ungodly long story, I'm scared of it and its potential for spraying me with willful and malicious intent right in my face. I need to confront the plastic air freshener head to head in order to shut it off. And this will require some strategy. I must wait for the "phhsshhht" sound that indicates the release of the freshening chemicals. I must then spring into action and grasp the plastic housing, release the catch, open the case and hit the red button. I must do this in under nine minutes. You wouldn't think this would be all that hard given that nine minutes is a really long time, but I am prone to panic when asked to do things under time constraints and there is really no guarantee that I will make it. I can't even begin to contemplate this course of action until I've checked on my insurance coverage and purchased some sort of face mask.

Then there's the fact that I am easily distracted. I'm usually about half-way across a sock round when the thing goes off and the cat rockets skyward so I end up deciding to finish the round before I go into Mission Impossible mode. By then, the cat is settled back down and I'm probably all dizzy from the chemicals because I forget what I was going to do and am only reminded by the sight of a brown cat clinging briefly to the ceiling after about nine minutes.

I haven't slept in three days. There will be pay-back for this. Big time...
All I can do is wait it out. The packaging tells me that this thing may be good for up to sixty days. I don't know if we can last that long.
If you don't hear from me for a few days, please come get me. I have either been blinded by my air freshener or my cat has put a hit out on me.


Beth said...

E and I are both laughing over here! I have two words for you: Ziploc bag. Seal up the silly thing in a bag and wrestle it to the ground while it's shielded. I haven't heard of those things before - I'll be avoiding them! Thanks for the heads up.

Anonymous said...

I love my automatic air freshener; of course I made hubby set it up and my kitties don't seem to mind the hissing. I don't even hear it unless I'm standing next to it (but then, I'm deaf in one ear so that might be why).

Poor big fluffy kitty needs a valium or something :)

trek said...

Laughing so hard it hurts!

Lazuli said...

Oh dear! I'd be worried crazy, though, too. I say shut the thing off and wait for the (ahem) "real" fresh air. Thanks for the sympathy re: dentist! I knew you'd understand!

April said...

Sheepie, I swear I don't know where you find these things. I've never even heard of such a thing. But then my windows are open 365 days a year. A tiny one bedroom and three cats will do that.

laurie in maine said...

There's probably a special place in hell for those who laugh-out-loud with-tears-streaming as much as I do [at] you! All I could think of was HM will be committed for sure by the time that thing finally runs out. There will be no talking her off the ledge...what floor are you on?

At this point if you just open the window a certain feline might see it as the best chance of escape from the crazy lady in a long time!

Anonymous said...

Good luck with the battle. I'm with Beth on this. Get it in a Ziploc bag and run for the dumpster.

Anne said...

Egads. That cat will never ever forgive you for this one. I can just tell by the evil eye.

Mia said...

eh.. you're probably used to it by now.. enjoy the smell, oops, I mean aroma. *grin* It'll be over before ya know it :)

debsnm said...

My kitties didn't seem to even notice the hissing noise, the dogs, on the other hand nearly attacked every time it went off. Ours hangs on the wall, and we set it for 18 mins, that gives time for the poor, befuddled doggies to sleep in between spritzes. We've had ours for almost a year, and I still jump (just a little) every time it goes off.

Teri S. said...

Poor Desdemona. She's looking a bit worse for the wear. I agree with Beth. Get a ziploc bag and pitch the thing. Good luck doing battle.

Cathy said...

Oh boy, I'll get some popcorn and be ready at the PC for the next chapter in this series.

Anonymous said...

Here is what you do.
1. Put on gloves (this will become clear soon)
2. Wipe all prints off the thing.
3. Deposit it in the dumpster.
4. Call OOB police department and report a snake in the dumpster. (Remember #2?)
5.Hide and take pictures of the police looking in the dumpster.
6.Post best pix on your blog.


Cursing Mama said...

face it - someone sold you that thing as zombie repellant and now you think they might've said zombie attractant.

Ger and the Mitz said... I know why I have never been a fan of air 'fresheners' except for fresh air of course!!!! And the Mitz certainly seconds the motion. Im thinking these items should be coming off the store shelves anyways, more pollution we dont need.

Take care, breath FRESH!!! Huggs, G

catsmum said...

put it inside a bucket in the bottom of a cupboard [ or go with the dumpster idea ]
and that'll teach you about using evil aerosols :]
My similar-but-not-quite cat problem is the ceiling fan ... Sophie freaks and runs away everytime I turn on the one in the kitchen. She won't even come out for food if it's on... and I can't put THAT in the bottom of a cupboard.

Lorraine said...

Tears from laughter - how hysterically funny this post was!!!