Wild and Domesticated Animals

First off, the domesticated animals. Our cats.

These two are total barf machines.

They’ve always been barfers, these two. Trouble gets crazy big hairballs, while Commie is merely a food glutton. Besides which, they’re both elderly cats. And of course, all dry cat food seems to come in either brown, or orange, or a mix of brown and orange. Which is never good for apartment-dwellers, since all apartments seem to have the same standard ecru carpeting.

We’ve tried scrubbing by hand, and various spray bottles of pet-specific cleaner, but the barf stains remained. So we finally bit the bullet and got the Bissel Little Green:

A cute little squirter/scrubber/vacuum affair. We also got a jug of pet-stain-specific cleaning fluid.

(Also pictured: two of Trouble’s favorite toys. That little catnip Xmas stocking is from probably 3 years ago, but it’s still one of the first things she’ll pull out of the toy box. The brown thing is a face-down plush hedgehoggy thing.)

The setup wasn’t that tough — fill one chamber with warm water and cleaning fluid, spray and scrub and vacuum, then empty the resulting orange water afterward. As you can see here, one of the more vibrant stains isn’t completely gone, but it’s certainly much better than it was:

I don’t think any of the stains are 100% gone, but they’re all a lot better than they were. We’re not terribly concerned about our deposit here, since they didn’t change out the carpets before we moved in. They’d have to swap them out when we move out anyway. We’re just delighted that the spots don’t stand out as much.

Hopefully in the future, we can catch the barfs when they’re fresher, and those might clean up more thoroughly.

Now, on to the wild animals! We’re totally plagued by frogs lately. I posted recently about the tiny baby frogs, but some nights we also have larger models.

This guy is almost as large as my fist (although I do have smallish fists). And his coloring is so weird, it’s like I used the watercolor filter in Photoshop. But this is all him. All hail the hypnotoad!

The weirdest part about these frogs is that when I come home late at night, they’re all turned facing the wall. This guy was the one weird exception. The rest were all like something out of a froggy Blair Witch Project. Which made my walk to the apartment in the dead of night a little more eerie.

We also have ducks galore at our ponds. Here’s a whole crew, all almost as large as mom:

They don’t seem worried about the alligator warning sign. Which all of our ponds have, by the way. I’ve yet to see a gator in the apartment complex, but you never know. Here in Florida, you just have to assume that all bodies of water have reptiles in them that want to kill you.

Last but not least, there’s also insect life galore in the summer.

This is a mud dauber wasp. They look terrifying and gigantic, but apparently they’re harmless. They build these weird little pods out of mud, then lay their eggs inside. This one is kindly making its mud pods on my catnip plant growing out on the balcony. I will confess, after the mama wasp left later, I removed the pods and chucked them down toward the pond. I’ll let the alligators deal with them.

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  1. I have been wondering more about the Bissell SpotBot cleaners, the ones you set on a kitty barf stain and just let go through a cycle. We’ve tried the large size carpet shampooers, tho, and they just haven’t worked anywhere near well enough to justify the expense and hassle. It’s almost impossible to get the water hot enough to start with, and the plastic reservoirs just leak heat quickly, and then pulling a big machine so slooooooowwwwwlllllyyyyy over the stain is just tedious and difficult. The hand held wand on those was also just terrible, so I never really considered the Little Green.


    missy Reply:

    I looked at the ones that you set on the stain and let it run, but the stain-scrubby part didn’t look big enough. We’d have to run it two or three times on certain widespread stains. And there were about 20 or so various spots throughout the apartment — I figured this one would be quicker overall. Plus, it was half the price of the SpotBot for pets, and I’m pretty cheap.

    The wand on the Little Green wasn’t bad. I was able to cram it down into the carpet pretty firmly, even with my tiny arthritic hands.


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