Last night I went into the laundry room to clean the cat litter box. Usually at least one cat will monitor the cleaning, and will promptly hop in afterwards and use the litter, like they've been waiting for hours for me to clean it. Sometimes all three cats are standing by. The litter box is not dirty, it is cleaned at least twice a day, and there is a box outside as well. But the cats seem to think it's their duty to show me that they appreciate the clean litter.
Last night it was Smokey who joined me in the laundry room. In fact, she was so keen to show her appreciation that I didn't even finish before she was in there digging around. I waited as she squatted a couple of times, but then she got distracted by a noise over in the laundry room drain. She jumped out of the box and circled the drain.
I heard the noise too, and knew it was probably a cockroach she heard shuffling around. The hose to the washing machine was in the drain - it's a black plastic tube with a black plastic disc on the end to keep the tube from popping out of the drain (and to keep anything from flowing up over the tube).
I decided I would put the plug in the drain so the bug would go away and Smokey could get on with her plans for the evening. As I pulled on the drain tube, the disc popped up and the cockroach sprung up in the air - it was obviously on the top of the disc and not in the drain, as I'd thought. When the bug flew up Smokey jumped back which made me jump and then I started screaming, which scared Smokey even more and she took off.
I grabbed a small broom in one hand and a dust pan in the other and trapped the roach and carried it to the bathroom. There were no lights on, the bathroom door was closed, and the toilet seat was down, which meant I had to let go of either the broom or the dustpan. I chose the broom, knowing the odds of keeping the roach trapped between the broom and the pan were against me as one hand just couldn't apply the same pressure. However, somehow the roach was still there, and I shook it into the toilet and tried to flush.
The water pressure from the street was down, so the water didn't come out with much force, and the roach managed to climb up to the rim and into one of the holes under the rim. Great - how would I get it out of there?
I flushed again, which did nothing as there was very little water in the tank. I waited a minute or so and flushed again, which created enough force to wash the roach out of the hole and back into the toilet, where it proceeded to climb out once again.
Not so fast, I thought. I grabbed the toilet brush and pounded at the roach, trying to drown it, flushing away, and hoping it would go down the drain. At this point Miguel arrived on the scene and said it was hopeless, the roach could swim, and the only solution would be to spray it with Baygone.
So Miguel sprayed, and then being the softy he is, he asked me to close the lid so he didn't have to watch the bug die. I closed the lid and flushed, went into the laundry room and plugged the drain, and when I went back to check the toilet a few minutes later, the water was clear.
I had to use the toilet at that point but you can bet I didn't sit down, just in case the roach has climbed back up into the hole under the rim. However, this morning there is no sign of the roach, so I guess he is gone.
Today is Saturday, a good day to wash the sheets. So I stripped the bed and threw in a load and then went upstairs to have my bath while Miguel went to the market. All three cats joined me upstairs. When I was done and headed downstairs, all three followed me. I opened the back door to let the cats out, and Smokey was so excited she ran through the kitchen and skidded on some water on the floor.
I thought Maya had tipped over the water bowl, but then I looked around and saw that the floors were covered in water. Oh no! I'd forgotten to put the drain hose back in the drain from last night's excitement, and the drain was plugged so even the water on the floor had nowhere to go except through the rest of the house.
At that point Miguel came home and I confessed my error. We both got out the rubber squeegees (a staple in any Mexican household), and starting pushing the water - Miguel out to the back terrace, and me into the laundry room so it could run down the drain.
Twenty minutes later and most of the water was pushed out. Now the fans are on in an effort to dry up the rest. Later I will wash all the floors with bleach, and I will have to move all the furniture because there is water underneath.
I'm hoping the final step in this sequence of events will be a siesta in the hammock. So much for a relaxing Saturday at home.