basement living

yesterday we got an automated call from our town office telling us that a tornado had been spotted and that we were to get into our basement.

so we did.

my two daughters, our over-sized dog, our four cats, AND a field mouse that has been residing in a cage in our house for a few days while we nursed him back to health (after a cat attack) ALL trooped down into the basement (well, the cats and the mouse were carried) with a few blankets, some candles and matches, a laptop, and a cell phone.

i learned a few things from this experience:

1) there is nothing in my basement that we might need in case of a natural disaster in which we might have to spend any amount of time down there.

2) my basement is disgusting.

number 1 is easily fixable-- a big plastic bin with a few necessary items (water, sleeping bags, candles and matches, a battery operated radio, maybe some cat food) could solve all kinds of discomfort.

but number 2?

here's the thing:  i pride myself on how tidy my basement is.  i have very little stuff, almost no EXTRA stuff-- so my basement is more or less devoid of the usual boxes, bins, etc. that clutter up most north american basements.

what i do have?  four cats.  which equals six litter boxes.  and one cat who poops on the floor just outside the litter box-- all in the basement.  and though i think that i clean the litter boxes at reasonable intervals, i learned yesterday that one item that should be in MY basement in case of emergencies?  fresh kitty litter and garbage bags to put all the rest into.  because if we actually have to spend any time down there at all?  those litter boxes need to be CLEAN.

making light of what could have been a very serious situation, i realize.

but still.... gross.

-mary moore.   

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