Open Thread: Well, At Least The Kitchen Is Clean

At five-thirty this morning, there was what sounded like an entire wall collapsing in my house. Inspection revealed a smaller, yet not inconsequential, disaster.

With the exception of my lemon tree and Christmas cactus, all my plants are hanging plants. Because…cats. I’ve never worried about the lemon tree because it has spikes for thorns and the Christmas cactus has never interested any of the whiskered clan.

I’m not sure what happened this morning. The lemon tree sits atop my kitchen hutch, it weighs a ton and the Christmas cactus sits next to it.

The plants are offset so there is plenty of room for the cats to sit next to them without bothering them. And they never have. What happened this morning, I can only surmise.  I suspect Gabe somehow snagged a claw on the moisture pad under the plants and they all came tumbling down.

The best part? Somehow on the way down, he managed to knock the drawers open. The drawers that contain my tablecloths, placemats, cloth napkins, dish towels and grilling utensils.  Not only are they covered with mud (because of course I just watered everything yesterday) but also blood, since I cut my finger on a pottery shard hidden in that pile of dirt.

Two cups of coffee and two hours later, the kitchen is cleaned, vacuumed and mopped, the laundry is started, the plants repotted and the cats’ nails trimmed (yes, horse-barn, I know).

I need a nap. But at least the kitchen is clean.

Open thread

106 replies
  1. 1
    debbie says:

    Do kitties get time outs?

  2. 2
    Baud says:

    As long as you realize it’s your fault.

  3. 3
    debbie says:

    You probably already know this, but it’s really easy to make new Christmas cactuses with cuttings.

  4. 4

    @debbie: Kitties get picked up, petted and long apologies about how it was all my fault and I’m sorry, sorry, sorry they were traumatized. (see Baud #2)

  5. 5
    debbie says:

    @TaMara (HFG):

    Then I gotta be a cat in my next life!

  6. 6
    evodevo says:

    Damn! Knocked the grill off the vent too? that’s a #1 cat disaster lol

  7. 7
    Dog Mom says:

    And your finger – is it properly treated and guarded against further injury and infection?

  8. 8
    John Cole says:

    Someone vying for the Cole award I see.

  9. 9
    MazeDancer says:

    So sorry this catastrophe befell your household.

    But to paraphrase @darth: Gabe looks innocent to me TaMara

    Such a great face. No collusion.

  10. 10
    germy says:

    I love our cat, but there are many rooms in our house where she’s not allowed in alone, unsupervised, because of the potential damage she can do.

    My wife had a long windowsill full of potted plants, starter vegetables waiting to be planted outside. Our cat would swat them all on the floor in about two seconds. And she knows she can’t do it if we’re in the room. Once, I left for two seconds. When I returned, the cat had been walking slowly towards the plants, saw me, and turned around very casually and walked away from them (like that Simpsons scene where Grandpa Simpson walks into the strip club and makes and immediate u-turn after seeing Bart)

  11. 11
    Soprano2 says:

    Oh, man, what a thing to wake up to! It’s getting ready to pour down rain here again. We’ve had over 6″ in the past week. My husband says someone needs to invent “swamp corn”. LOL We need the rain, just not all in one week! As long as there are no more tornadoes…..

  12. 12
    AliceBlue says:

    When I saw the photo, I assumed this was the latest Cole disaster.
    (And Cole beat me to it).

  13. 13
    Spanky says:

    A couple of months ago I was awakened by an early morning crash somewhere downstairs. I lay there for a minute, listening for any followup. And since I didn’t smell smoke I figured it could wait until I got up.

    I’d pretty much forgotten about it when I went downstairs a few hours later. There in the middle of the living room floor was the antique clock that had formerly sat on top of a 5 foot high bookcase. It had been sitting on a doily that spanned the bookcase …

    The kittens – or one of them, at least – had finally gotten big enough and confident enough to attempt the height. Made it, too – almost. I suspect he made it far enough to snag the doily.

    The clock seems to have tumbled a full 360 degrees in its fall, landing more or less on its base. It was lying face down on the well-padded oriental rug, and I knew that underneath it I would find the gold-painted glass door. The flimsy door frame had popped apart, leaving the four frame sides and, miraculously, the intact glass.

    So now it sits, doorless and doilyless in its old spot,awaiting my restoration of the door and a trip to the clock repair, because the works seem to have been popped off their mounts upon impact. I still consider us lucky. (Also lucky that it apparently didn’t land on the guilty cat!)

  14. 14
    Mike in NC says:

    Our house guest (three nights) departed an hour ago for home. We’ve been doing laundry, dishes, vacuuming, sweeping up cat hair, etc. The next guest (two nights) arrives tomorrow. It’s like running a B&B here this time of year.

  15. 15
    brantl says:

    For what it’s worth, Gabe looks sorry, to me, at least

  16. 16
    germy says:


    Do kitties get time outs?

    Our cat gets an occasional time out.

    Downstairs is where her feeding dish, litterbox and various carpeted cat towers are. If she misbehaves, I’ll sometimes tell her “Okay, leave. Leave now.” And she goes downstairs, I close the door, and she stays.

    But she decides when her time out is done, because she’ll scratch at the door as if to say “I’ve learned my lesson. Let me back upstairs.”

    And I always open the door.

    We always watch her very closely and she always watches us very closely.

  17. 17
    debbie says:


    Too funny!

  18. 18
    germy says:

    I remember once mentioning here we have a gas stove heater downstairs. Cozy gas fireplace.

    Cat loves sitting on top, because it’s always nice and warm in the winter.

    She decided it was also the best place to puke up some hairballs. The puke went into the vent.

    I cleaned the vomit out as best as I could, but it got all deep into the stove. We haven’t been able to use it since.

    I need to have it professionally disassembled, which is not currently on our to-do list.

    She’s staring at me now while I type this.

  19. 19
    CaseyL says:

    That’s how I like to spend the pre-dawn on a Sunday: cleaning up a cat-astrophe, and soothing the wounds/wounded feelings of the perpetrators.

    Where were the dogs in all this? Off in a corner, looking Totally Innocent?

  20. 20

    @CaseyL: They were sleeping soundly. Which makes me question my entire home security plan.

  21. 21
    Spanky says:


    Where were the dogs in all this? Off in a corner, looking Totally Innocent?

    I’d blame the ducks.

  22. 22

    But is the lemon tree okay??

  23. 23
    Emma says:

    Funny, we never had a problem with our cat. Our first dog, though… she had a loooong, strong, and whippy tail. She could sweep a table faster than a hurricane could shred your yard.

    I miss them both so much.

  24. 24
    CaseyL says:

    @TaMara (HFG):

    They were sleeping soundly. Which makes me question my entire home security plan.

    Bixby & Scout: If we have to let Mom know every time the cat does something destructive, we won’t have any time to be alert for real threats. Like, invading ducks.

  25. 25
    MagdaInBlack says:

    There was the evening the cats sudden appearance and equally sudden exit (get! down!) from the dinner table caused her to swish tail over candles and ! FOOF! tail on fire……….she was quite upset at me for grabbing her by the tail…….my fault, of course…..somehow😊
    No one was hurt in this incident, just some bruised dignity.

  26. 26
    Cowgirl in the Sandi says:

    OT but since it’s an open thread…

    We vacationed in Italy last September and recently have gotten 2 ‘Official” notices that we were in restricted zones with our rental car and we owe lots of Euros. We paid the first one, but since we received the second one, we are wondering if this is a scam? Is this how Italian cities make their $$ on unsuspecting tourists? And finally, what happens if we don’t pay it. Thanks to the hive mind for any suggestions…

  27. 27
    low-tech cyclist says:

    That’s impressive! I’ve been a cat owner (to the extent that anyone can claim to own a cat) continuously since 1982, and we also had cats for a good deal of the time I was growing up.

    That easily beats the worst cat-related disaster in my life. Hands down, no contest.

  28. 28
    Emma says:

    @Cowgirl in the Sandi: there was a recent article on common travel scams in one of the travel sites. Italy was listed as one where rental car scams were most common. Do check before you pay anything else!

  29. 29
    Ruckus says:

    Naw, the dogs know that if they wake it is possible, however slight, that they might be blamed for something. They know to let the cats take the blame for everything. Smart dogs.

  30. 30
    Gozer says:

    He wuz framed! It was probably a ghost or something.

  31. 31
    spudgun says:

    Oof!! Not a fun way to start the day! How could you be mad at that face, though…

    Glad everyone is ok and things are back to normal. But I think a mid-morning nap is certainly in order!

  32. 32
    feebog says:

    I got a nice birthday surprise this morning. Baloo, our newest rescue dog, is usually up at first light. This morning he got up and I told him to go back to bed. He will sometimes do this for a few minutes while I slowly wake up. This morning he sacked out on the couch and was still there when I got up at 8:25. Most likely will never happen again, but yay for sleeping in on a cloudy Sunday morning.

  33. 33
    Mnemosyne says:

    Aww, poor Gabe still looks freaked out that the plants inexplicably decided to chase him after he gave them a sniff.

  34. 34
    sukabi says:

    Poor innocent Gabe, whose name will forever be “What the Fuck GABE”

  35. 35
    cmorenc says:

    I have an old Italian Greyhound who has a couple of times pulled the bad-dog trick before of peeing on the carpet at our beach house just as we’re completing the general house cleanup 15-20 min from departing to return 3 hrs / 170 miles to Raleigh. Fortunately, Pet-zyme and other equivalent dog urine carpet treatments are quite effective in neutralizing any lingering urine odor, but addressing the spot properly (e.g. properly blotting the spot) still delays our departure at least an hour or so past when planned – especially if the end result is to require another run of laundry.

    Fortunately, the dog doesn’t do this very often.

  36. 36
    Ruviana says:

    Sounds like the lemon tree was too close to the house.

  37. 37
    Kelly says:

    Mrs Kelly would like to fence some of our backyard to contain our young (10 month) cat Phoebe. She doesn’t expect a fence would contain Phoebe unattended but would work when we’re in the yard. I’m deeply skeptical that anything without a roof would do much good. Just before we met her cat died after losing a fight with raccoons and we gave up on chickens last year after regular losses to the hawks.

    Next week we’re starting construction of a roof over our second floor deck. I’m thinking we screen it and the space below creating a safe 2 story 12×16 cat outdoorish playground.

    Any opinions or links on cat fences?

  38. 38
  39. 39
    Aleta says:

    Gabe acted selflessly to prevent some greater disaster. What courage.

  40. 40
    FelonyGovt says:

    OT has anyone watched the second season of Fleabag on Amazon Prime? Wow.

  41. 41
    Gravenstone says:

    @TaMara (HFG): The call mayhem is coming from inside the house!

  42. 42
    NotMax says:

    “Oh cool, the hoo-man reset the game!”

  43. 43
    Mike in NC says:

    @FelonyGovt: Just started the first season. The star of the show is also a creator of ‘Killing Eve’ on BBC America.

  44. 44
    Starfish says:

    The cat knew that Cole had chosen the duck as a mascot so he demanded his time in the spotlight.

  45. 45
    eric says:

    Seeing as this is an open thread, and I am finally and literally catching my breath (yes, Steve in ATL, “literally”), my daughter has just finished her 8th day (or so) in Boston Children’s Hospital admitted as an emergency with a Leukemia diagnosis (T-cell ALL for those medically inclined). The prognosis is generally positive, but comes with 32 days in the hospital and 2 years of follow-up chemotherapy. As a consequence of the treatment, she now is (likely) temporarily diabetic, which makes things a bit more of a challenge. Her mom (my ex) and I are holding up okay, thanks to the remarkable support of family and friends, and the unbelievable care and humanity of the doctors, nurses, and staff at the hospital. Today is a more relaxing day, as my daughter hangs with a friend, her mom hangs with a friend, and I am banished as far away as possible. ;)


  46. 46
    tom says:

    I take a certain amount of pleasure in reading posts like this from John or other front pagers because I know then that I am not alone in having stuff like this happening.

  47. 47
    Louise B. says:

    @Mnemosyne: saw your query yesterday about restaurants in Portland. I think El Gaucho would be a good choice. It’s been a while since I had a full steak dinner either place, but the food at El Gaucho is better, in my opinion. There are other good meat-centric restaurants in Portland but they are all really casual.

  48. 48
    Harbison says:

    Spotted at the counter-demonstration against the KKK in Cincinnati:

  49. 49
    spudgun says:

    @FelonyGovt: *raises hand over-enthusiastically*

    Just brilliant, even better than the first season, which was a pretty high bar to clear. I’ve already binge-watched it twice, will probably do so several more times in the coming weeks. (Crushing on Hot Priest!)

    Phoebe Waller-Bridge needs to be in all the things…I mean, between this and Killing Eve and Crashing and the Han Solo movie, she’s just an amazing actor-writer.

  50. 50
    cmorenc says:

    Any restaurant too fancy for me to be acceptably attired in a nice T-shirt and shorts in summer is also likely has food that’s too fancy for me to properly appreciate, anyway.

  51. 51
    Mike in NC says:

    @eric: Best wishes for your daughter.

  52. 52
    lurker dean says:

    poor gabe. look at that face, he’s definitely being framed. it was definitely a poltergeist and not gabe.

  53. 53
    trollhattan says:

    Technically, pissing in the Jimmy Choos is more of an economic hit but that’s an impressive single-event toll.

  54. 54
    Ruckus says:

    Good luck to daughter and family.
    I believe that others on BJ have been through this and that while it takes a while the treatment works well.

  55. 55
    Harbison says:

    eta: Dayton, not Cincinnati

  56. 56
    Emma says:

    @eric: Hang in there. It sounds like both medically and socially you have a strong support system, which is really important in situations like yours. Good thoughts in your direction, for whatever they are worth.

  57. 57
    Amir Khalid says:

    Yikes. I hope things go better for your daughter. Good to hear your family have plenty of support.

  58. 58
    Mnemosyne says:


    Happy birthday! Our remaining cats are happy to continue napping with me on this chilly and cloudy LA morning.

    @Louise B.:

    Thanks! I think El Gaucho is going to edge out RingSide. Their sides and desserts sound just a smidge better to me.

    I was hoping for high tea at (I think) the deLuxe, but they’re all booked up that weekend and the Russian tea just didn’t sound as good. Oh well. I know from experience that I have to pick one or the other — only the most gluttonous eater would be able to have both high tea and a steakhouse dinner within a couple of hours of each other.

  59. 59
    trollhattan says:

    I can’t imagine–my best wishes to your daughter that she beats this completely, and that you and your extended family all navigate this intact.

    I truly sympathize–my kid is everything.

  60. 60
    piratedan says:

    it’s apparent to me that the lemon tree was too close to the willow….

  61. 61
    Mnemosyne says:


    Good luck to your daughter! It sounds like you and your ex both understand how important it will be to co-parent as peacefully as possible through the crisis, which will go a long way for your kid’s treatment and recovery.

  62. 62
    Ruckus says:

    @lurker dean:
    That is a face that says “Mom! I didn’t do it!”
    Not sure I’d believe it but that’s still the face.

  63. 63
    spudgun says:

    @Cowgirl in the Sandi: After a quicki-ish google search, it doesn’t look like it’s a scam, unfortunately. Italy is very serious about its ZTLs (zona a traffico limitato) or restricted zones around historic sites. You should definitely research and get as much info as you can, but I’m afraid you’re going to have to pay eventually.

    I mean, you could try not paying – I don’t know what the penalty would be…but I wouldn’t push it.

    Sorry! I know, it’s a significant chunk of change…

  64. 64
    Yutsano says:

    @Mnemosyne: Do the El Gaucho. high tea can come at another time.

  65. 65
    spudgun says:

    @eric: So glad you’re getting a breather…that’s important. Also glad you seem to have a strong support network.

    Wishing you and your family all the best.

  66. 66
    Mnemosyne says:


    We’re high tea people, so we try to do it whenever we can when we travel. But since the deLuxe is booked up, it’s not really an option. Oh well — steak it is!

  67. 67
    debbie says:


    I hope the very, very best for your daughter. She’s in a great hospital, and that counts for a lot.

  68. 68
    germy says:

    I wish there were a Scared Straight for cats and my cat could go to a shelter and hear how good she has it from cats who've seen some shit.— Stephanie McMaster (@Smethanie) March 22, 2015

  69. 69
    Original Lee says:

    Just saw the q on the dead satellite thread downstairs. Mr. Original Lee works on satellites. He says they are shiny because they overheat otherwise. He also says that people he knows in launch control positions are not happy about the sheer number of satellites planned because they will make launch windows smaller, which potentially leads to more scrubbed launches and having to plan and budget for more launch attempts per vehicle.

  70. 70
    Aleta says:

    @eric: sending all the best, for your daughter’s and your health and support.

  71. 71
    Aleta says:

    The Quintet of the Sunset by Jie Weng
    Stop motion animation of a woman’s relationship with her cats from their perspective

  72. 72
    WereBear says:

    @germy: I’m sorry. I laughed so hard and then felt bad for you.

  73. 73
    zhena gogolia says:

    What a face! You should make a photo essay of this and let Paul Bronks slap a caption on it.

  74. 74
    germy says:

    @WereBear: It’s okay.

    She’s a good girl, it’s just that these things happen sometimes. She makes up for it in purrs and head bumps.

  75. 75

    @John Cole: Only if she takes up beekeeping.

  76. 76
    rikyrah says:

    Uh uh uh😒😒😒
    Kitty looks guilty as heck😌

  77. 77
    lurker dean says:

    @Ruckus: exactly! except we know gabe wouldn’t lie to us. :o)

  78. 78
    grandmaBear says:

    @eric: My best to you and your daughter. We’ve just been through similar issues with my granddaughter, littleBear, though lymphoma rather than leukemia. I concur that the support of family and friends helps immensely (thanks again to Harry and his dutiful companion BellaQ for charming cards), as does planning. We had a family schedule on Google to deal with the appointments and our ‘shifts’ spent with her in the hospital – she was at Cincinnati initially and we’re in Dayton. My DIL managed the schedule, working around their jobs and our need to have a little me-time to maintain sanity and decompress. But for us, we’re now at the other end – she finished chemo earlier this month, got a great report on her final CT scan and got her central line out on Friday, so she’s now a regular kid again. Can even start swim lessons in another week! Though she will have follow-up appointments at 3-month and later yearly intervals, probably forever. Cancer is no fun. That said, the Children’s hospital here in Cincinnati was great – caring nurses and doctors and loads of ancillary people – PT, OT, massage and music and dog therapy, child-life – everyone. They really try to make it more bearable. FaceTiming with friends was a help too, since she suffered quite a bit from the social isolation.

  79. 79
    J R in WV says:


    (yes, Steve in ATL, “literally”)

    eric, shouldn’t that read (yes, Steve in ATL, literally “literally”)??

    Just askin’, kinda joking. Literally!

    Sorry to hear about the health crisis. An acquaintance is a pediatric oncologist, told me when he started they lost the vast majority of patients, now as he winds his career down, they save the vast majority, 95%+ of the patients. Best of luck, keep us posted often, OK?

  80. 80
    debbie says:


    Great news on your granddaughter’s prognosis!

  81. 81
    Ken says:

    @John Cole: Nah, in a Cole story it would have turned out to be subsidence caused by a fracking company drilling sideways under the property.

  82. 82

    @TaMara (HFG): One of those events that eventually is entertaining when you look back on it.

  83. 83
    Alternative Fax, a hip hop artist from Idaho says:

    @eric: Good thoughts from here for successful and well-tolerated treatment for your daughter and support and rest for your family.

  84. 84
    Aleta says:

    @grandmaBear: Happy to hear that. (And thanks for the information.) “Caring nurses and doctors and ancillary people” — what a difference they make, along with an institution that gives them space and time to act.

  85. 85

    @eric: Oh wow. That’s scary. Hope all goes well.

  86. 86
    Mnemosyne says:


    Started to watch it and had to turn it off when the owner died. Still too soon for me, sorry.

  87. 87
    Patricia Kayden says:

    I must have missed when John got another cat named Gabe. Nice!!

  88. 88
    Aleta says:

    @Spanky: The inherited mantel clock was one of the first conquests of Sharkey, the piano player who soon became the cat love of my life.

  89. 89
    zhena gogolia says:

    @Patricia Kayden:

    It’s TaMara’s cat.

  90. 90
    FelonyGovt says:

    @spudgun: Definitely crushing on Hot Priest. What writing and acting!

  91. 91
    Tenar Arha says:

    @eric: All the best to you & your daughter.

  92. 92
    donnah says:

    Eric, just a word of encouragement and support from someone who has been through this. My son Nick was diagnosed with ALL at the age of three. We were away from home when he got sick and he was diagnosed at Johns Hopkins. They generously paid for him and my husband to fly home while my mom and I drove home with my other son.

    We went through three years of chemo protocols and two years in maintenance and he was such a brave boy. We had great support from family and friends, and that’s priceless. Ups and downs for sure, but he came through with flying colors.

    He’s thirty-three now. The cure rate when he was diagnosed was 75% and now it’s close to 90%. We’ll always be grateful for the care he received at our Dayton Children’s hospital. Best of luck and good wishes to your family!

  93. 93
    lahke says:

    @Cowgirl in the Sandi: Same thing happened to me, and I didn’t pay them. I got a notice from the car rental company that they would bill my credit card. However, in the meantime the credit card company had suffered an attack and swapped out my card number, so never had to pay. Don’t think I can ever use that car rental company again, though.

  94. 94
    Aleta says:

    @Mnemosyne: Sorry. I didn’t know whether to mention that in the end the supposed death is not actually, and the cat resumes sitting with the grandmother in her chair “in the same way you always did for us.”

    I’ve been thinking of you. Sincere sympathy.

  95. 95
  96. 96
    Gravenstone says:

    @Harbison: The see-through magazine is a nice touch.

  97. 97
    lahke says:

    @lahke: Guess I should mention that I had already had to pay a €60 toll fine because of a mix-up with the car rental company and a toll transponder, so I was taking not willing to pay more fines at that point. Not usually a scofflaw.

  98. 98
    J. says:

    My sympathies. I would have been cursing up a storm. Cats. (There’s a big dent in our stainless steel refrigerator thanks to our black kitty knocking over all three kitchen stools, like dominoes, and the last one crashing into the fridge. Sadly, it’s still there.)

  99. 99
    Gary K says:

    John, if you’ll forgive a personal question, were you dressed as you cleaned up the mess? I went hunting for the “naked mopping” post, and discovered (1) it wasn’t a post, just a comment on a post, (2) we’ve just passed the 10th anniversary.

  100. 100
    Mnemosyne says:


    Thanks — sometimes spoilers are helpful. 😄 I will still probably need to wait at least another week to watch the rest, because just knowing that the inevitable exists is probably too much for me at the moment.

    I did LOL at the sly reference to Jean Reno in The Professional. And I suspect the female cat’s name may actually be Cherie, not Sherry — bad translator!

  101. 101
    debbie says:


    Sweet. I watched it before seeing your spoiler and so was ready to bawl. Those rascally cats!

  102. 102
    Aleta says:

    @debbie: I actually clicked it off. Then came back, watched further.

  103. 103
    thalarctosMaritimus says:


    remaining cats

    I’m sorry to hear this–I must have missed the news. I hope your memories of Annie give you and G solace, and that your other kitties are a comfort.

  104. 104
    Kattails says:

    This is way too late, I’ve been doing stuff all day & just popped in for a couple of minutes, but just had to tell you that the pic of Gabe made me laugh very out loud. I suspect he’s a real character who’s always had to work with a lot of insecurity and keep it all under wraps. Sorry about the linens though.
    Back to my garden while there’s still 15 minutes of light left, hate to waste all that good Deet…..

  105. 105

    Beautiful Cat! Oh Well They all Do it! I have two!

  106. 106
    Art says:

    A local cat lady says she has far fewer drops now that she has started using Museum Wax under her flower pots and chochkies. The monsters can still push them off but it takes some effort and cats tend to be lazy.

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