Every Spring the “Powers That Be”, aka the condo board, has the building power washed. This means we have to haul everything on the balcony inside. Facing the prospect of clearing the balcony, I took a hard look at all my gardening tools, pots, fertilizer and other odds and sods and decided with a sigh that, until (unless) I can get waist-high raised beds my gardening days are over. But the gardening paraphernalia is all in usable condition, so Gail put it in my wagon and took it out to the building’s community garden.
This left only two things on the balcony; the cat’s little carpet-covered house, which Smokey sits on, and Hobbes sleeps in, and Hobbes’ “hamster” wheel, a metre (48”) wide circle which he runs on like a treadmill. He usually chooses to run about 3:00-4:00 am, and he yodels while he runs. I’m sure the neighbours enjoy this about as much as I do, but thankfully he usually gets going so fast he flies off the wheel, which scares him a bit, and brings the session to an end.
When we bought the wheel we had to assemble it (18 sections) and apply the running surface which was a plastic material which felt a bit like velour. It had a sticky backing. We were hoping fat old Smokey would take to it and run some pounds off but he was terrified by the thing. However Hobbes took an immediate shine to the running surface. The movement of the wheel sent him scurrying under the bed, but the running surface drew him like a bug to a street light. Soon he was busy tearing chunks of the plastic off the wheel, where it stuck like dried paint to the floor!
When we redecorated in June we moved the wheel to the balcony, which made Hobbes very angry. He carried big slabs of the running surface into the house and dropped them on the floor of the living room. He didn’t get on the wheel and run for a couple of months!
So fast forward to today. We had to move this enormous wheel inside temporarily. It’s been outside almost a year. There are a few shards of running surface hanging from it. We tore them off before we brought the wheel inside, stuffed them in a small garbage sack and threw them away.
Now there’s a problem. One the thing is very dusty from sitting outside for a year, and two, he’s liable to tear a claw out running on the wheel, as there’s a join between every section large enough for his claws to fit into as he runs. So we thought we’d put it in the bathtub and scrub it down. It wouldn’t fit. I went through the rolodex in my head. What do we have that’s big enough just to sit this thing in, get enough water to cover the track (4”) and we could just roll it and wash it? A-HA! Underbed box that we store guest linens in. Perfect.
Forty-five minutes later, it was scrubbed, the kitchen was nearly ankle deep in water and Hobbes was on the kitchen counter, leaning over us with an extremely anxious expression on his face. “Meow?” he said, “Meeee-ooow”?
We dried it as best we could, mopped up the kitchen floor with half a dozen cat-tas-troh-fee towels, and rolled the wheel into the guest room. Now came the “fun” part. We had to “Gorilla” tape over every one of those 18 joins. Gorilla Tape is *sticky*, and it is not programmed to do anything but to stick to whatever surface it comes in contact with.
We were using our ancient metal tape measure and it didn’t help that the tape measure was too close for me to read without my glasses, and the joins were too far away to see without my glasses. Hobbes kindly volunteered to hold my glasses, and even cleaned them by licking the lenses.
I determined that each piece of tape needed to be cut 20.95 cm (8.25”) long. Tony held the end of the tape and I pulled. He has a tremor, and I am not very strong, so the Marx Brothers’ movies come to mind.
I measured up our 1st try. We were 5 cm (2”) short. We pulled some more. He held the measuring tape next to the Gorilla tape. The measuring tape slid over the the top of the Gorilla Tape and they stuck together.
I saw where the 20.95 cm mark was and made a cut on the opposite side. The Gorilla Tape stuck to the scissors, and when I tried to pull them free the Gorilla Tape stuck to me. When Tony tried to help pull the scissors free, the Gorilla Tape stuck to itself.
“Oh good,” he says with a thin smile, holding up a folded length of tape stuck to his thumb, with the scissors dangling from it, “Only 17 to go.” We did (eventually) get them all done, but we may never be the same.
And how are your projects coming along?