Living with pets presents unusual challenges at times.
Sometimes the challenges can be BIG, particularly if humans get involved and the humans donâ€™t happen to be on the friendly side of the animal.
Case in point: A flooring project done at our house a number of years ago.
The work entailed ripping up old carpet to replace it with a vinyl-like floor that looked like hardwood.
Everybody at the carpet store was wonderful in accommodating me in what I wanted.
There were no problems until the actual work started.
The installer began the work, then told me he had to go back to the store â€śfor a few minutes.â€ť
The â€śfew minutesâ€ť turned into eternity evidently because we never saw him again. It turns out he had a severe allergy to cats and was experiencing a reaction to those that live in our household.
I understand allergies and I was extremely sympathetic, but for the life of me I canâ€™t imagine anybody who has allergies that severe being involved in carpet installation in the first place, particularly the removal of the old stuff, which can send just about anyone into a sneezing fit.
I never figured out that situation entirely, but the store sent out another man who completed the work and we were all very happy.
We used to have a really precious cat, a tiny little grey ball of fur, named Little Girl. She was as affectionate and sweet as a cat can be.
But she had one major flaw: She was fascinated by electrical cords.
I couldnâ€™t count the times we had to replace the phone cord in our bedroom because she would bite in in two.
Weâ€™d start to use the phone and get nothing. A check of the cord invariably would reveal the problem: Little Girl had struck again.
The phone cord wasnâ€™t her only target. She also had a penchant for my husbandâ€™s razor.
It wasnâ€™t as easily repaired as the phone cord. That involved a trip to the razor repair shop.
The proprietor never seemed too surprised to have the razor back in the shop and told Ed we were among a class of many.
He noted that one customer had a pet rabbit whose handiwork â€” or rather toothwork â€” sent his razor in for repairs much more often than Edâ€™s was there.
The latest fiasco occurred recently at our house when a home health nurse was there to set things in order after Ed returned home from a hospital stay.
While the nurse had me in the kitchen instructing me on how to use a telemonitor for taking his daily vital signs, she left her laptop computer on a table in the living room.
I pretty much â€śgotâ€ť what I needed to know in my lesson and we walked back into the living room. And there a surprise was awaiting us.
â€śOh, Mrs. Hollenbeck!â€ť the nurse exclaimed. â€śI think the catâ€™s been playing with my computer.â€ť
Indeed Taxi, our black and white lovable but curious cat, he had been busy.
The key covers on the womanâ€™s laptop were removable and the cat figured this out pretty quickly.
These were scattered all over the table.
The nurse was polite, but perturbed, to put it mildly and I couldnâ€™t blame her. Fortunately, I quickly discovered that each cover would fit only a specified key.
It was a lot like working a jigsaw puzzle. The regular letter keys were easy to correct because of my zillion years of typing and using a computer, but when you got to the other keys â€” like for scrolling up, down, wherever â€” it was a little trickier.
Eventually, I got them back in place, but it was somewhat of a challenge.
Iâ€™m still amazed that Taxi could do this. Evidently, he got one off and then was so fascinated with the process that he just kept going.
I probably donâ€™t have to say that the next time she came to the house, she kept her laptop close at hand.
And I donâ€™t think she spoke to Taxi.
Lynda Hollenbeck is senior editor of The Saline Courier.