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.