Why She Keeps Me Around

So there I was unplugging the toilet in her bathroom (it is just one of the many nasty household jobs that fall to me) when she called from the living room.

“Peaches just barfed on the rug.”


Peaches is her cat. He is always barfing on the rug and I am always cleaning it up because she refuses to do it.

“He is your cat,” I reminded her.

“Yeah,” she said, “but it’s gross.”

She need not remind me of that.

“And besides,” she said, “you like gross things.”

“No,” I corrected her, “I tolerate gross things.”

She shook her head no.

“You like gas station hot dogs,” she said with a shudder, “ and your mutt rolls around in road kill, so he stinks all the time.”

While I could not debate the veracity of these things, I had no idea how they were related to cleaning up cat barf.

She clarified her point. “Because you like gross things, you get to do the dirty jobs.”

“Is that why you keep me around?” I asked.

Sometimes I wonder.

I admit I have my many quirks and more than a few bad habits. So many that at times I wonder whether the only reason she keep me around is to take care of the things that she cannot bear to do herself.

Like kill snakes.

They terrify her. She goes into a panic whenever she spots one in the yard and it becomes my job to seek and destroy. What would she do if I were not there?

And then there are her cats, she loves them but cannot bear to touch a litter box or clean up barf. Would she have to give them up without me?

She also loves to garden but she has bad knees, which means the heavy digging, lugging, mulching and laying of rock falls to yours truly.

I suppose in that sense, she is dependent upon me. Perhaps that is why she keeps me around but it makes me wonder how this came to be. How do we become so dependent on someone? Is it because we slough off the things we do not like to such an extent that we are no longer capable of doing them ourselves?

Which raises another question.

I am an independent person. I have no problem with gross things. I take care of my own business. I work, I cook, I clean, I pay my bills. I always have.

“So tell me,” I ask, “why do I keep you around?”



“Because I nag you.”

“And why do I deserve to be nagged?”

“Do I have to remind you?”

“Yes, you do.”

“That is just it. I even have to remind you that I remind you.  I have to remind you about everything and you always forget because you depend upon me to remember..”

Oh, that’s right.

It’s why I keep her around.

Author: Almost Iowa


47 thoughts on “Why She Keeps Me Around”

  1. Somehow, this all sounds familiar…

    BTW, if it’s hairballs they’re barfing up, it may help to give ’em a regular brushing, especially if they’re long-haired cats. Of course, if they’re true farm cats they may rip your arm off for trying.

  2. Somehow, I don’t think this is exactly what Dr. Phil means when he describes a “co-dependent relationship.” But if it is, it’s a successful one! She reminds you of what you have to do, and you do it. Makes sense to me!

    1. You are probably right about Dr. Phil – but then does the good doctor unplug the toilet and clean up cat barf? You gotta think he has people for that. It’s what we all need – people. 🙂

  3. I like to make my husband feel needed, too, Greg. Just yesterday I screamed when I found a stink bug perched on one of my African Violets. Patrick came running on cue and took care of it. I take him a cup of coffee every morning at 6 a.m. Keeping him energized is my job. -Molly

    1. Asking dangerous questions is another reason she keeps me around.

      “Just for that,” she says, “you get to…..”, handing me a list of chores.

  4. No cats, no dogs, several spiders – he’s better at dealing with them than I am, but the cat we used to have was even better and the dog wasn’t bad. No cat-puke, no dog-puke (at least spiders don’t puke). We’re doin’ okay. But I wouldn’t mind adopting another cat or dog. Kids? They puked a lot but then they grew up.

    1. Our cats barf at least once a week. On the other hand, I have never seen Scooter barf which is amazing because the dog eats everything he can get a hold of, including horse apples.

    1. I’m going to show this comment to my wife and ask, “Hey! What’s up with that?”

      If I am not posting for a few days, you know it was nearly fatal. 🙂

  5. I am not sure, but maybe a gag or two while cleaning the cat barf will foretell the possibility of a six-pack and a pizza on the carpet. Would be much worse than the cat barf. You could blame a new allergy to cat barf.

  6. It says I have to enter my comment here. Is this ok? Is that even a comment? I’m just so confused. I feel like a Trump voter who’s been offered a shovel and a fork and has been asked to take his pick.
    You do have pickaxes in ‘Murica I assoom?
    Oh God, I so wish I were dead right now…!

    1. It’s okay, it’s Thursday, the week is almost done but then over there it might be Friday or even Sunday. It is all so confusing. Just be thankful it’s not Monday (or Tuesday over there).

      You have to wonder what day it is in Brazil or even Iowa for that matter.

    1. But the real question is who does she love more, me or Peaches? So I put the question to her.

      “There are times,” she said.

      I wonder what she means by that?

  7. I have always done all ‘maintenance’ on our cats and dogs. Hubby kills spiders, centipedes, takes care of an occasional mouse or garden snake, toilet issues or a clogged drain. And lately he has been lending a hand with household chores and yard work. Wow! What’s up with that?!! Lol.

    I was going to suggest a cleaning lady, but after reading ACountryBoy’s comment, maybe not!! 😂😂😂
    🔹 Ginger 🔹

    1. Who gets the bats?

      When I worked for The American Lutheran Church, I worked with a wonderful woman whose husband was a pastor. After I related a tale of defending my home and family from a bat, she said that ridding the churches of bats was always her responsibility. She literally had bats in her belfry.

  8. I was so blessed. Dixie Rose threw up precisely seven times in eighteen years. That’s one of the reasons I was happy to keep her around.

    1. I take it that each occasion was more than memorable – which accounts for the precision of the number. 🙂 But from what you write, she was the noblest of creatures.

      1. I’d heard stories, so I kept a casual written record, just in case a given incident was the start of something horrible. It never was, much to my relief.

  9. I am the Custodian of Gross Things in our household – toilets, house centipedes, cat barf. Mostly because the rest of the family can out wait my patience. They know it and so do I, so there’s no point in arguing.

      1. I think I’ve got it down. Shriek “die” while relentlessly hitting them with a broom. I tried to be more sanguine by reading up on them – they’re great hunters of spiders, but it didn’t help. They’re so heeby-jeeb-inducing!

  10. Ah, the division of duties. I use to think it was male vs female, but that went out the window many years ago. Now, it isn’t quite so clear. I’ve often wondered why all the cleaning, meal planning and computer stuff falls under my venue, but to be honest the snakes, toilet clogs, car repairs, and mouse traps fall under his. I like dogs, hate cats. She’d be on her own when it came to anything cat related. 🙂

    1. Ah, the division of duties. I use to think it was male vs female, but that went out the window many years ago.

      Not entirely. I load the clothes washer but my wife has to remind me to unload it – every single time.

      “How long have the clothes been marinating in there this time?” is her typical question.

  11. I am always cleaning up the cat puke and out of five, we have one that pukes a few times a week.

    My wife never cleans it. Neither does the cleaning lady.

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