May 09, 2015

Chat Chateau (or just Chat-eau!)

Some Dear Readers may remember this entry in which I convinced myself I could make a working sun room for the cats out of a small greenhouse.


Yeah, not so much. Despite my clamping everything heavy I could find—logs, rocks, bricks, planters full of dirt—around the loose base of the plastic cover, Joon managed to oil her way out and into the yard every time. So that idea got scrapped instanter, Joon and I had a discussion about how she’s an indoor cat, and the greenhouse went back to being a greenhouse.

Fast forward two years and I’m tooling around the store I call “The Place Where Goodwill Items Go To Die.” It’s near the office where my BFF Ken works so when we do lunch, I always make a point of dropping by this place. It is a Goodwill store but they make no pretense about cleanliness, about the quality of the goods they sell, or about it being a real store with, say, shelving, cabinets, racks, display cases, or signs. Everything, literally everything, is dumped into massive, gray, wheeled bins—approximately 12’ long by 4’ wide—all higgledy-piggledy. The bins are somewhat sorted by contents—the Massive Bin Of Clothes, the Massive Bin Of Books, the Massive Bin Of Baskets, the Massive Bin Of Toys—but that’s it*.

Despite this, unless you’re a germaphobe, this store has its place in the Universe. I’ve gone there when I’ve actually been in the market for something ratty like a laundry basket. It was going to live out in the garage so what did I care? I found one in the Massive Bin of Grody Plastic Containers, threw some Pine-Sol and water at it when I got home, and was good to go. And books. I can find the occasional book. The last time I went, however, which was about a couple of weeks ago, I scored. I came across a two-tiered, dusty, used cat cage, the real kind, not something cobbled together from a greenhouse. But…wait for it…it was $15, people. It was missing its original padded shelves but they can be procured. Needless to say, I heard heavenly music, saw golden light, and was sure I saw a cherubim or two flitting about the store. I immediately grabbed a measuring tape from a clerk to see if the cage would fit in Crazy Ivan and saw that with a little reconfiguring of his seats, it would. (While I was very obviously measuring the cage—which, to me, screams, “I strongly intend to buy this object! It has been symbolically peed on!”—another shopper came up and tried to muscle her way in. Hello, Post-Breast-Cancer-Assertiveness! I don’t know who this new personality is but I like her. A lot. I’d date her if she weren’t, you know, me. I very quickly sent the intruder on her way.)

I hauled my prize home, again, threw some Pine-Sol and water at it, cobbled together a bottom support out of some old linoleum and a piece of squooshy foam, cobbled together a shelf, threw in some blankets and shoved the cage against the kitchen door. Oddly, it’s taking a long time for the cats to adjust to it. They ask to be let out every morning but then they sneak cautiously into the cage as if it’s new. And they have yet to sleep in it although yesterday, for the first time, Benny finally put his head down. Some pictures:






But, like everything else, and because I am a Princess, in the end this is All About Me. I can now leave the kitchen door open during the hotter days of the summer and let the cross-breeze in. It’s always, always All About Me.

*The last visit I was also treated to The Slow Parade of Massive Bins. To this day I don’t know why they did this but it seems to be a Thing. All the other customers seemed nonplussed by it but I was all, WTF?

At what must’ve been a known, pre-arranged time, a large number of workers came in through one set of large double doors and slowly and ponderously wheeled all the massive bins away. Simultaneously, through a second set of large double doors, more workers slowly and ponderously wheeled in new bins. I had trouble reconciling the stately solemnity of the procession with the fact that the workers were pushing bins full of crap. It was like a really, really bad Easter Parade with ugly floats.

What made it all the more bizarre was that there were white marks on the floor indicating where the bins were supposed to go and the customers who were accustomed to this weird changing of the guard stood around the marks waiting for the new bins to be wheeled in. So, between when one set of bins went out and the second set arrived, it looked very surreal. If you were an alien who was there between bins, as it were, you would’ve seen a couple of hundred silent, blank-faced Earthlings standing around large rectangles on a cement floor and nothing more. God only knows what you would have reported to your superiors on the home planet.

Posted by Ryan at May 9, 2015 08:58 PM

SCORE!!! Gotta love it.

Posted by: carlarey on May 10, 2015 04:04 AM

I'm laughing out loud at work at the parade of the bins. Or, trying not to laugh out loud and thus snickering helplessly which probably draws more attention to myself...

I'd love that thing except that (a) my cats would figure out how to get over the top if it, and (b) bees and spiders would enter. Sigh.

Posted by: Caroline on May 11, 2015 11:55 AM

Clearly, you do not have mosquitos (nor spiders nor wasps nor bees nor flies) in Seattle. No way could we have a door open like that. But good for you! I love the Bite me! photo.

Posted by: kmkat on May 13, 2015 05:38 PM
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