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Sometimes the metaphors are so darn obvious, they just sort of kick you in the teeth, don’t they?

Yesterday, my son called me, upset and supremely grossed out, because he found fleas on the cat…Because we can never catch a break with that feline, apparently. (I would set the darn cat out of the house for good, but we hair-intensive, neurotic breeds need to stick together.)

I hung up the phone and promptly Freaked. The. Hell. Out.

You are maybe thinking, “What’s the big deal, Lanie?” But that is because you didn’t live through the Great Batting Helmet Lice Infestation of ’06. And that’s what fleas are– cat lice. They get in your bedding, they get in your couch and your rugs and they are not selective biters, either.

So I headed into Petco thinking I should probably just burn the house down and start from scratch, but the nice, reassuring sales lady seemed to think that a bit extreme and suggested that with a little quick, decisive action on my part, I could nip the whole thing in the bud. (You gotta’ love a store that purveys both pet food and psychological counseling)

So I spent the afternoon medicating the cats, washing everything that fit into the machine and dousing everything else with flea napalm. And yes, I am aware that walking across, sitting on and breathing in pesticides seems to some a whole lot worse than dealing with bugs but to that I say, “BUGS! Ew! Ewewewew!”

EW!

Very mature, I know.

Plus, god only knows how much dust and debris I was breathing in. This was the kind of cleaning where all the furniture had to be pulled away from the wall and we all know what goes on back there; dust bunny anarchy. Start pulling couches into the middle of the room and you will wonder how you are allowed to live indoors at all. Lord, it was gross. Where does it all come from? How did I not know it was back there? Is that a half eaten candy cane? Dear god, do we have MICE?!

I can’t think about it.

But the point is, after a while, it stopped seeming to be so terrible. After a while, I was pretty darn cheerful. I started to see the similarities between dealing with this situation, and dealing with all the emotional fall-out of closing the business and moving on to something new: I was forced into both unwillingly, they caused a lot of chaos and stirred up a bunch of crap, the work required is unpleasant, but my house, both literal and figurative, has never been cleaner.

And the best part?

No fleas!

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The Rise & Fall of a Momocracy

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