Louise and I had the last few days off and used them for another renovation project. We didn't really miss a lot of potential kayaking days, what with the thunder and the lightning and the fog and the rain.
This year's project was to put new flooring and new paint in the main hall and the office. Not an entirely daunting task, not until one considers how much stuff is in the office.
The clutter in the office is why the rest of the house looks neat.
After a couple of days of packing things up, the office looked like this:
Where did all the stuff go? Well, let's just say that we weren't eating at the dining room table for a few days.
The hallway started looking like this....
...but Paula and Bernie came by for a few hours and helped us rip out the carpet the last of the carpet in the house. That ugly brown carpet. Devoid of carpet, a green linoleum was revealed. I can't believe my parents covered it up 40 years ago.
Louise really loved the old linoleum, and so did Inspector Cat. Louise began to reconsider the plan, and tried to determine if the old lino could be salvaged. But there were lots of nails and staples in it used to hold down the old carpet and underlay, and there was also this:
....an old vent that had been removed. My parents put in the carpet in the hallway and bedroom sometime in the 1970s and I remembered the old vent being there, but of course I'd totally forgotten about it. Anyway, the big hole in the lino quickly ended any thoughts Louise may have had about retaining it. There's no way we'd find anything to match it.
The old carpet came out of the office pretty easily.
Inspector Cat approved of the work in the room so far.
Then came two days of painting. We painted the hall and office on Paint Day One, and the plan was to do a second coat on Paint Day Two. After throwing on the second coat of paint in the office, we took a break. Louise had an appointment and our plan was to go to that, have lunch out, then come back and do the second coat in the hallway. I had enough time to have a quick shower, so I ducked into the bathroom. After the shower, as I gathered up my clothes, a little brown furball streaked along the floor alongside the bathtub. A little mouse.
I shrieked like a girl. But I did not jump up onto the toilet. That's just a vicious rumour.
"Where is it?" Louise asked. I didn't know. And neither did the cats. I presumed it snuck out under the bathroom door.
We continued to get ready for Louise's appointment. Then Louise shrieked. It was in the hallway, and it made a mad dash for the bedroom. By now the cats had figured out that something was up and began patrolling the house. As we were almost ready to go, Indy stared intently at a small bookcase beside my nightstand. I slowly moved the bookcase...and saw a little tail sticking out from underneath it. The mouse came out from under the bookcase and for a moment it was trapped between my bookcase and my nightstand. It was frantically looking for an escape, then squeezed between the wall and my nightstand...and disappeared.
Louise had her appointment; we had to leave. As we left, we told the cats to find the mouse, and we called out to the mouse that it was for his own best interest to leave while he could.
When we returned, there were no obvious signs of the mouse, so we prepared to begin painting again. Then we noticed that Parker was staring at Louise's nightstand. Then we heard it -- a tiny scrabbling and scratching sound from inside the top drawer of the nightstand.
I pulled open the drawer slightly. Something small was rustling in there. I quickly shut the drawer. While planning our next move, Indy walked up. He and Parker exchanged a look, and Parker turned and left, leaving Indy to keep his eye on the mouse. Were those two taking turns, spelling each other off? It seemed so.
I told Louise to clear a path through the house to the back deck. She did, and I picked up her nightstand and carried onto the back deck. On the deck I thought, now what? I opened the top drawer and...nothing. Had the little fellow got out somehow and was still in the house? We didn't think so, but the drawer was open and we couldn't see the mouse. I shut the drawer to think for a moment, but then we heard the scratching again. I pulled open the drawer, and there he was, running and jumping frantically as he looked for an escape. Then he disappeared back into the nightstand. We were getting ready to dump out the nightstand when I saw a little brown furball streak by my feet. He hurled himself off the deck, about a three-metre drop, and I saw him lope through the grass as fast as he could away from the house.
We hope that he now realized that he had stumbled into a house full of cats and, after spending a few hours in sheer terror as Indy and Parker patiently took turns waiting him out, we hope he spreads the word to all his mousey friends that ours is a house to avoid.
After painting, the hallway looked like this:
...and the office looks like this:
Inspector Cat approves...
...while Supervisor Cat oversees the entire operation.
It's hard to discern from the photos but the hallway and office have gone from a light grey/green to a slightly off-white. With its cove ceilings, the hallway is very dark and almost like a cave, so we're hoping this colour change brightens things up a bit. Here's the newly painted office walls beside the office door with the old paint on it. You can see the difference in the colour.
We didn't paint the office door, as we had an idea to brighten up the hallway by trading the office door with this windowed door from the room in the basement.
The light coming through the door windows would brighten up the room, and it's a gorgeous door that is still the original colour of the wood in the house, most of which has been painted over through the years. And the door will fit. After all, doors are fairly standard. They should all be the same size, right?
Turns out, not so much. The window door doesn't fit; it's three inches too narrow. But that struck me as odd, surely the doorway sizes are standard in the house. I took a closer look at the hallway, a hallway I've walked down a million times through the decades, and had a surprising realization. There's seven doorways off this hallway: the front outside door, the door to the living room, the door to the main bedroom, a closet door, the bathroom door, the door to the second bedroom (now the office), and the door to the kitchen. Seven doorways. Two are the same size, the other five are all different sizes. Yes, even the two bedroom doorways don't match.
So much for that plan. But now is late in the evening the day before the flooring is supposed to arrive. Which means quickly digging the paint gear out and painting that door!
The new floor was scheduled to be installed on Friday. So naturally the installers couldn't make it until Saturday. And the installer's arrival meant that the kitties had to go prison for a few hours.
Sam was annoyed, Indy was curious and Parker just laid back and chilled. They were very well behaved, considering they were locked up for about six hours while the floor was installed, and what an awesome job was done! Here's the hallway...
...and the office.
The Inspector Cats, following their release from incarceration, gave their approval.
Even the Project Supervisor seems pleased!
It seems almost a shame to remind her we have to put all that stuff back in there...