Me: Thank you so much for getting me in today! My husband is putting away the dogs. You can come in.
Carpet Repair Guy (Oh, let’s just call him Mike): You’re welcome. So a cat problem, huh?
Mike put an old towel down on the rug and stomped his wet shoes.
Me: Yes, our cat is scratching the carpet upstairs. She likes to scratch the corner of the doors. There’s about 4 or 5 spots. I’ll show you.
Mike: Lead the way.
I took Mike upstairs.
Me: Ok, so here. Here. Here. And in my daughter’s room, two spots there. We have leftover carpet in the basement.
Mike: Yep. Easy fix. I’ll get my things from my truck. Shouldn’t be more than an hour.
I led Mike to the entry. I waited at the door while Mike got his things and entered the house again. He stomped his feet.
Mike: And where is the extra carpet?
Me: It’s in the basement. Follow me. Here it is. You can cut it wherever, we’re only using it for scraps.
Mike cut a square out.
Me: Oh, that’s it?
Mike: Do you have more spots that appeared since I left?
Mike: Then that’s it.
Me: Oh, ok.
I guided Mike back up two flights of stairs. Mike huffed at the top.
Mike: Wow, you must have some calves of steel.
Me: I actually don’t come up here a lot. The master is on the main level. The kids have the loft and bedrooms to themselves.
Mike: Aren’t you out of breath? Man, I should probably start up smoking. So when I quit smoking it will feel like I can breathe again.
I laughed. Mike didn’t laugh.
Mike: Are you going to stand here and watch? Or do you want to learn how to do this?
Me: I am concerned the cat will do this again, so yes, I want to see.
Mike: It’s not hard if you’re particular. I’ll show you. You’ll need a glue gun. These two different types of shears. Right now I’m trying to figure out which direction your carpet was laid down. It’s going this way, right?
Me: Yeah, that looks right.
Mike: What am I doing asking you? You’ve never done this.
Me: Oh. Right. Yeah.
Me: Do you have any suggestions on getting a cat to stop scratching the carpet? I bought cat posts and cat nip and I have….
Mike looked up at me and stared.
Mike: Why would I tell you the answer to that.
Me: Oh! Right.
I nervous laughed.
Mike looked back down at his work.
Mike: Actually, what I found is that cats and dogs usually want something. If you figure out what the cat wants, she’ll stop.
Me: To sharpen her claws?
Mike: Does she use the posts?
Mike: Then she wants something else. If I had to guess she wants in this bedroom and this bathroom. She’s trying to dig her way in. Leave the doors open.
Me: Leave the doors open? I’ve been keeping them shut this whole time, thinking she won’t scratch if there’s a door there.
Mike looked up and stared at me.
Me: Oh. Ok, I get it.
Mike: You really don’t come up here, do you? You keep picking up everything.
Me: Yeah, my kids are gross. I have a friend that warned me about building a house with the master on the main. I’ll never come upstairs and it will be disgusting. She was not kidding.
Mike ignored me. He continued to work then stood up.
Mike: Hm. Well the cat must like this kid.
Me: That’s my daughter. This is Emma’s room. Yeah, for whatever reason, the cat hasn’t destroyed Emma’s carpet.
Mike looked at me.
Me: Maybe because she never shuts her door.
We walked to Kate’s room.
Mike: Whoa! This cat really got to this kid. It’s all the way to the wood trim of the door. And the original carpet installer tucked the tape. I hate it when they do that. It’s a lazy practice. They learned how to install carpet from big daddy, Billy Bob, and get set it their ways.
Me: Oh, uh huh.
Mike: Big daddy, Billy Bob, telling them what to do.
Mike stared at me.
Me: OH! A joke! I get it. I get it.
Me: We haven’t declawed the cat. I don’t think many vets do that anymore.
Mike: It’s cruelty to animals. I’m not a cat person but it’s a cruel thing to do to your cat. I saw an x-ray of a cat’s declawed paw. The paw was all turned in and deformed. Immediate arthritis. A horrible practice. People just need to figure out what the cat wants.
Me: Right. I grew up with declawed cat. I guess this cat is lucky.
Mike: This cat wants freedom.
Me: Yes. Freedom. Leave the doors open.
Mike finished the carpet. I went downstairs. Mike followed.
Mike: Do your neighbors have a chicken coop or something? A barn? Is that a house? No, it’s not a house. No roof.
Me: Uh, I’m not really sure what that is. I’ve actually never noticed that. Wait, where?
Scott yelled from his office.
Scott: Yes! It’s a barn. My wife’s an idiot.
Mike: You’ve never noticed a barn in your backyard?
Me: Uhhh, I…don’t…pay attention.
Mike: To your backyard?! With these huge windows?
Me: I’m not observant, I guess. My mind starts wandering….and whatever. Here’s your check. Thank you so much.
Mike: No, thank you. Here’s my card.
Mike walked to the entry. He picked up his used towel.
Me: Oh, wait! Is this your wallet?
Mike: I wouldn’t carry a crappy wallet like that.
Mike peeked into Scott’s office.
Mike: Did he hear me? I said “I WOULDN’T CARRY A CRAPPY WALLET LIKE THAT.”
I laughed and showed Mike out.
Me: SCOTT. That guy was hilarious. He had this dry humor. He would make jokes but it would take me a little bit to realize he’s joking. I felt really dumb and really smart at the same time. I think he liked that it took me a little bit to realize he was making jokes. I’m totally going to use this guy again. Oh! He said to leave the doors open. Penny is trying to get in the rooms.
Me: I guess we can try it. Unless that was more dry humor and I just opened the floodgates for her to scratch fresh carpet? He’s probably laughing in his car right now because he just got his own blog post.
And don’t forget to buy my book, “But Did You Die?”