We call our 5th wheel camper the Condo Camper because it looks like a mini-condo you’d rent at the beach or in the Smoky Mountains.
Since it was all fancy-dancy, I wanted everything to be the right color and the highest quality I could afford.
So of course I went to Wal-Mart to make my purchases. I found the perfect small waste basket and a cup, all brown plastic, but very tastefully done. They had a brown hand towel that would look great. All I needed was a small rug to step on when we came out of the shower.
I couldn’t believe Wal-Mart was selling this bathmat. It was a beautiful shade of brown, thick with foam and stitching that divided it into six sections. It cost more – a lot more – than I usually spend, but I couldn’t wait to get it in the Condo Camper.
This would be a good time to tell you that we are cat lovers. We have three of them at the moment: Gracie, Trudie and Satin. They go with us when we camp.
Yes, we are that crazy.
Our cats stay inside and have never been outside. They don’t seem to mind the confines of the camper. To them it’s just another place to eat, sleep, barf and poop.
Those last two are realities of owning a cat. It’s kind of like having small children who spit up and have to wear diapers except these kids never grow out of it.
So an important consideration always is where to put the litter box. Some campers build elaborate compartments to hide the box, but we took the easy way out as most campers do and put it in the shower.
You can count on loose litter around any litter box because the cats bring it out on their paws. Of course, this meant that they were depositing bits of litter on my new bath mat. I wasn’t worried about it. A good shake or two out the door would take care of it.
Our first camping trip was wonderful except the cat litter stuck to and embedded itself into the fibers of my beautiful bath mat. Shaking it out the door did absolutely nothing. Vacuuming did little good. I briefly considered tweezers, but cringed at the thought of tweezing my mat every night before bed.
I was very stubborn about it. I could have moved the mat and put it down only after showers, but that spot looked so lonely without it.
Finally, after two years of sulling up every time I looked at that stupid, litter-strewn mat, I decided to replace it. This time I bought a cheerful, bathroom rug of aqua, brown and white that I could easily shake out the door and wash when needed.
During the first week of camping this year, one of the cats barfed on the rug. When you have cats, you have a litter box and you deal with barf. It’s just the way it is.
I cleaned up the barf, but it left a small stain. The easy thing to have done would have been to leave it alone and pretend it was part of the pattern. Hardly anyone goes in there anyway. But I wanted to do the right thing, whatever it is that women do to keep their places clean.
So the next time we were at the house (we go home on Saturday nights), I washed the rug in a load by itself. When I checked on it, I found it sitting in water. The washer had gotten off balance by this little bath rug!
It was getting late and I didn’t want to have to stay up and babysit a rug in a washer. I set the washer to high spin and turned it on again. This is a fancy machine in many ways, but it will not start on the spin cycle. It only starts from the beginning. Great.
Later I eagerly checked it, thinking I’d put it in the dryer the next morning. Nope. It wasn’t exactly sitting in a puddle, but it was too wet for the dryer.
David said, “Did you set it on low spin?”
“Low spin? No, I set it on high spin. How could it spin out all the water on low?”
“I told you this the last time. You have to set anything that puts the washer off balance on low spin in order to get enough water out to put it in the dryer.”
Ten years ago, this would have been the beginning of a pretty good argument. Now, though, we’ve run out of energy and we’ve stopped keeping score. We just cut to the chase. Less drama, but we get things done a whole lot faster.
David draped the rug over a chair on the patio. The nighttime temperatures have been in the 60’s, so we thought it would dry out enough to put in the dryer.
No, it did not. Can you believe this? We ended up putting it in a plastic bag, bringing it back to the camper, and spreading it out on the picnic table.
Actually, we spread it out on two picnic tables because we moved from one campground to another about an hour away.
I am not a good housekeeper, never have been and I guess never will be. A little cat litter doesn’t bother me. After living with cats my whole life, I just don’t notice it much. And when I did notice it much, it became an obsession. I was almost willing to tweeze a bath mat!
Fortunately, this strange rug that wouldn’t dry showed me to return to my laid back ways. A little barf stain on a rug that nobody but David and I and a few family members see is nothing to freak out about.
And the brown bath mat? You’ll find it on the table in the camper. Trudie loves to sleep on it.